slow learners

In an astonishing display of not learning anything much from the Mount Albert by-election the Prime Minsiter chose a new minister today; not the sacrificial Melissa Lee, but untainted Nathan Guy, who responded by immediately pledging his support for an horrendously expensive and disruptive motorway.

Transmission Gully, the pet project of parochialists like Peter Dunne, has been sold to Wellingtonians (for roughly $1 billion!) on the basis that it’s a better option than massive roading redevelopment to the coastal highway. That’s alway struck me a pretty poor choice – we haven’t been present with the cleaner, greener and probably cheaper public transport alternative to link the coast to the capital – just two roads that might or might not create more congestion.

So let’s hope our new associate transport minister will be more open to the options than his first day indicates.

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3 thoughts on “slow learners

  1. Oh dear, Nathan’s always been a fan of motorways.

    And, as you say stevedore no learning at all from Melissa’s “it’s above ground for me” mistake.

    I shouldn’t get into puns about “tunnel vision” because that would play into Labour’s hands, at least in Mount Albert.

    But tunnel vision is really what the Nats’ (and for that matter, Labour’s) love affair with motorways at the expense of public transport is.

    There is no basis in evidence for their approach. It is just a blind reliance on doing it like it has been done for the last 50 years – even though it has demonstrably failed over all that time.

  2. S’funny how despite a huge campaign not that long ago, “Option 3” doesn’t seem to be on the radar at all in the ‘mainstream’ policy wonks’ barracks.

    Roll on the oilcrash, I’m prepared to be burnt as a witch while I shriek “I told you so!” at the SUV-pushing morons …

  3. There is no basis in evidence for the PT approach either. All the arguments why more roads won’t solve peak congestion apply equally to more PT because of triple convergence, or quadruple convergence if property developers responses to changing travel times are included.

    PT is vastly more sustainable than cars, but only during peak periods. Off-peak the situation is reversed so the nett difference is very small.

    Anarkaytie has it right. When peak oil delivers appropriate price signals to car buyers, especially fleet buyers, car makers will be able to sell 50mpg Falcons and Commodores and retrofit kits for used Falcons and Commodores through FPV and HSV. Most of the top selling models from asia should be able to double their fuel efficiency by adding stop-start and mild hybrid capability since that’s easily done with simple upgrades to starter/alternator and CPU.

    AS for SUV’s – they should make great chicken coops.

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