There are plenty of alternatives that avoid building a flyover and offer a range of advantages.
In its Final Report and decision, the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry drew attention to the fact that there were alternatives worthy of serious consideration (“non-suppositious” in legal jargon) and that NZTA failed to consider them properly in its eagerness to build a flyover regardless. That was part of the reason the Board rejected NZTA’s flyover proposal.
Two of these alternatives are the Basin Reserve Roundabout Enhancement Option (BRREO) and Option X, both discussed below. Some other alternatives that have been raised are also mentioned.
Save the Basin supports at-grade, incremental improvements around the Basin Reserve, in the context of wider transport behaviour changes and sustainable infrastructure developments for Wellington’s transport system.
Check out Let’s Get Welly Moving for the official post-Basin-flyover process to evaluate transport options for Wellington.
The BRREO and Option X
Basin Reserve Roundabout Enhancement Option (BRREO): One option is to make changes only ‘at grade’ – that is, without changing existing roading arrangements. Such changes could include priority lanes, lane reorganisation, and traffic light priority for public transport. The best-known at-grade option is the Basin Reserve Roundabout Enhancement Option (BRREO), developed by a Auckland architect Richard Reid. You can find out all about it here: http://richardreid.co.nz/project.php?aid=75
Option X: This is the Architecture Centre’s proposal which involves extending the cut and covered Buckle Street tunnel closer to the Basin and creating more green traffic free parkland above it, and does not include a flyover. NZTA has refused to engage seriously with the Option X proposal, despite its obvious merits, but it has gathered, and continues to gather, a lot of support. Check out the Architecture Centre’s Option X pages and this short Option X video.
Further proposed alternatives
Eastern Corridor proposal: This is a proposal from Dr Glen Smith of Seatoun for “a high quality integrated high quality rail spine from the railway station to the airport”.
Animation of an architecture student’s proposal: It’s worth checking out this animation of a proposed solution involving light rail by Wellington architecture student Brett Nicholas. The link goes to a Dropbox file, but you should be able to access it even if you don’t have a Dropbox account: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b892zxxmo8mknnq/Basin%20Reserve.wmv