Reclaim Public Space

I wish Jim Bentley success overseeing the group in charge of transport planning for central Wellington (March 17).

There is a maxim that whenever we want to move forward, we must first let go of our cherished beliefs. Sometimes a belilef is SO ingrained that we get stuck in a mindset which resists all evidence of new and improved ways of solving problems.

Most successful cities look outward and replicate other cities’ successes, when it comes to transport planning, Wellington is basically stuck In the 20th century, while the rest of the world move ahead. As long as we continue to believe the private car is king, other transport modes will have a hard time getting the investment they deserve.

forbidden_bike_ride-512

Before the internal combustion engine, city streets were shared by all users, be they horse-drawn carts, trams, cyclists or

pedestrians. Today our streets are dominated by motor vehicles, congested and unsafe for all concerned. Building more roads to accommodate more vehicles will not solve these problems.

It is time for people to reclaim our public space, for government and planning authorities to take a more enlightened approach, and for an informed public dialogue around what is possible.

JOHN RANKIN
Wellington Central

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