Chamber welcomes Golden Mile consultation, but concern over the detail
The Wellington Chamber of Commerce welcomes the release of the Golden Mile options but is concerned about the details of the proposal, such as enabling traffic flow and removing loading zones from many businesses’ door-steps.
"It is good to finally see some details on the early Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme and we certainly look forward to the Minister and NZTA engaging on these options with the businesses it directly impacts," says John Milford, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive.
"Business certainly supports, in principle, the overall goal to improve traffic flows and pedestrian access in and around the Golden Mile. But these proposals are unlikely to achieve this.
"The details matter. How it is implemented will matter. And this information is missing from these options.
"Will LGWM ensure that the side streets, particularly the side streets around Lambton Quay end of the Golden Mile, are not cut off from general traffic? How is it anticipated that traffic flows around this part of the city? What's the modelling show?
"The proposal in all three concepts to remove loading zones is also concerning as businesses along the route need to have good, easy access to deliveries and services. We believe moving these zones to side streets, while also limiting traffic on a key route goes too far and could create more issues than they would solve.
"LGWM's own data shows that loading zones along the golden mile are already at capacity throughout the day. Parking capacity on the key side streets is the same, between 80-90 per cent on a weekday, so removing more parking from here will just exacerbate the problems.
"Further some of these issues could be dealt with through greater enforcement. Data shows taxis are taking up around 18 per cent of loading zone space, we either need to properly enforce this or address this with a policy solution, such as introducing drop off and pick up points.
"We must ensure that the small retailers, hospitality operators, and the second floor up are not negatively impacted by the changes.
"We've got one chance to get it right. We can't have another bus-tastrophe."