Nelson Residents Association

YOUR CIVIC GUARDIAN

2012 Regional Land Transportation Submission

Submitted to the Nelson City Council 1 May 2012

 

Consultation on Draft Regional Land Transport

Programme for Nelson

 

            We have read this document with interest and note the financial constraints placed on council's programme.

Para.2.5. We regard the limitation of the area covered by the Plan to land controlled by Nelson City Council as being unacceptable in the twenty-first century. In earlier days when vehicle travel was achieved at around thirty miles per hour and most slower traffic was horse-drawn, two lane highways with right-angled bends and single lane bridges were acceptable. Footpaths could be accommodated on the grass berm and surface water was coped with by open ditches.

            Despite the recent failure of the Local Government Commission to provide a merger proposal acceptable to Nelson and Tasman voters, this association considers that the two bodies (at least) should operate a joint Regional Transport Committee to ensure that all parties are aware of the needs of the greater regional area (including Marlborough) for a coherent logistic system for the unique area we live in. For over sixty years, Nelson City has been totally reliant on land transport to move people and freight in and out of the region. Despite the obsession of some members of the City Council with the undesirability of the internal combustion engine and the impending arrival of “Peak Oil”, most practical thinkers will realise that for the foreseeable future, citizens will continue to rely on the same sort of transportation moving on the same sort of pathways!

            The visionary planners required to cope with futuret ransport needs must be capable of creating holistic plans not limited by   city or district boundaries

 

Para.4. We suspect the politically correct Transport Strategy objectives listed on pages 7/8 were formulated in the first months of the new millennium by some middle ranking public servant wishing to create a comfortable feeling in Joe Public while the government was seeking to impose more state control and provide more opportunities to employ bureacrats.

            When one reads the fine print, trite little lines pop up like this:

“ES3: Inefficient use of private cars” as though it is the fault of the individuals that they are cluttering the traffic lanes with only one person behind the wheel instead of sitting it out with the hoi polloi in a bus. The odd thing is that , during the off-peak hours,all those bright blue buses are sailing down the main drags between Nelson and Richmond, more often than not only with the lonely driver up front and an old wrinklie clutching his gold card down the backl!

The NBus facilty must fail all tests on economic sustainability and efficiency, but it does look pretty!   However it is unattractive for many oldies who are likely to live too far from the nearest bus route, for humping home four shopping bags of groceries.

Or: “S2: High casualty rate amongst pedestrians and cyclists” It is questionable whether this has been taken into consideration by the planners currently working on more “Shared Walk/Cycle routes”

 

Then there is: “PH1: High use of private motor vehicles for short distance trips” What on earth do the committee expect in an urban area which for the past fifty years has been constantly developing as a retirement haven. During that same fifty years city planners have been creating an environment of narrow city streets and disconnected subdivisions where the inhabitants have been made dependent on private motor vehicles. Now all those retirees still need their cars (or a very helpful neighbour) to get them the two or three kilometres to the supermarket (most of those friendly local butchers, bakers and grocers with boys who delivered your goods, have been long gone). Even the enhanced bus services on the new schedules in off peak times are so infrequent that for short distance trips, the bus trips are of too long duration. Retirees value their time while waiting for God and don't like a long wait for SBL.

The increased patronage by working commuters in peak hoursis a great plus for the new schedules.

“PH2: Poor air quality in sensitive environments”

Recent research indicates thatthe ‘invisible’ death toll from road vehicle emissions through respiratory disease exceeds the ‘visible’ death toll from motor vehicle accidents. For the population aged 30 or over,the total air pollution mortality for (urban) Nelson is assessed as 14.4 deaths per annum

This statement is the sort of Reader's Digest popular health item which needs supporting by reference to a reputable scientific paper, capable of being verified, otherwise it has no place in the Draft Plan! Probably somewhere there is already a member of the PPTA spreading the word among his class.

Appendix 1:

It is gratifying to see provision being made for the Prince's Drive Extension. In terms of fuel saving, when this happens there should be a considerable cost/benefit.

We are pleased to note provision for enhancement of the Waimea Rd/Ridgeway intersection. In respect to the previous item may we suggest that the designers give consideration to a future over- or under-pass linking the Ridgeway with the inevitable southern arterial link via the Railway Reserve? Despite a lack of enthusiasm in some areas for this, the need for an alternative route to Rocks Road for freight vehicles into Port Nelson continues to exist and we still support a route following the railway reserve in the form of an elevated highway to minimise disturbance to folk living in Nelson South.

With regard to the Rocks Road esplanade boardwalk, in principle we would favour this project so long as the construction proves to be feasible from an engineering point of view.

The accent placed on road safety improvement should be applauded by most citizens as most of the items mentioned such as pedestrian median refuges appear to give a good value for money. The variable speed school signs will be particularly appreciated by those pesky motorists who will be able to pass a school while receiving a visible reminder to check their speedo.

Students attending the Nayland road schools and central Stoke residents will find the Poorman's Stream walkway a useful improvement.

SH6 Cable Bay Road Intersection: It is a pity that the December flood event will have delayed this long overdue improvement to a dangerous stretch of highway.

SH6 Clifton Ter./The Glen Shared Pathway: It is very good to see this item being progressed to complete the path from the CBD to Glenduan. The road safety aspect of separating two-wheelers travelling around 30 kph from multi-wheelers doing 100 kph will be very rewarding.

 

Yours sincerely

            Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated

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