Just a quick one today - I am THRILLED that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has taken over the Western Link Road as part of the State Highway improvements. What a relief to no longer have to deal with the Council, and instead deal with central government - people who, on the whole, have a much better appreciation of process and of fair play. The KCDC's public humiliation is self-inflicted. They've only had since 1947 to build the damn road, and they've known all along that the funding was dependent on the road taking the traffic off the highway, but with their heads too far in the sand, they have been unable to grasp the basic logic that this won't happen as long as the WLR is a 50kph back road (that doesn't go past any schools).
And as for the DUMB (can you tell I'm lost for words today?) comments from Coastlands that re-routing the highway away from the mall will be detrimental to business, have you noticed that the current mall by the highway isn't exactly a busy mall?? And have you noticed that malls in Auckland, and Queensgate in Lower Hutt are not on a State Highway and their malls are always busy?? And have shops in them that people want to shop at?? If the mall is worth visiting, then people will come. But I shouldn't be surprised at Coastland's response; these are the same people whose submission on the Kapiti airport development involved an agreement with the airport developers that any retail occupiers at the proposed airport would not be in competition with Coastlands businesses. Who cares what shoppers might want.
For the moment, Steven Joyce is my hero. His comments that money isn't necessarily an issue, and that council will be "consulted" but not necessarily involved in the final decision, are music to my ears. I don't think I've ever looked forward to a consultation document so much. And the short (6 week) consultation period thrills me. I love this sort of decision making, and I love that the views of those directly affected are being considered (not the Peak Oil loony lefties).
I'm hoping NZTA ignores all the pleas from the Council. They've had long enough to make a decision, but instead have dithered over political points-scoring. KCDC no longer deserves to have a voice on the WLR.
UPDATE: Some great comments here at http://kapitiroads.blogspot.com