Minister of Transport Phil Twyford's statement (News, May 6) "we know that doing business as usual and building more motorways isn't going to cut it in Tauranga" requires comment.
Sadly, Mr Twyford, neither does building more bus and cycle lanes, but certainly ask the thousands of Tauranga residents who use the Eastern Arterial Road every day what their preferences would be, as this road has proven to be efficient, fast and also very safe.
I remain convinced that if Labour did not have to pander to the views of the Green Party, roading initiatives would be very different - but just look at the current road toll and decide if the approach for barriers etc are actually working and are the only answer?
Construction on the Northern Arterial Road was due to commence in October 2018, but has been cancelled by the agreement between Labour and the Greens to concentrate on road-safety issues, but the current road toll tells us that this approach is just not working and should only be part of a bigger parcel of roading initiatives.
Maybe I have taken out of context the remarks reported as having been made by a council spokeswoman and councillor Leanne Brown with regard to the proposed changes to the Waiarakei Stream landscaping, but, to me they smack of high-handedness on the part of council staff.
In my view, the council staff appear to feel free to do whatever they want regardless of the affect on residents, and councillors are paying no more than lip service to the matter of public consultation.
The report makes it plain that a majority of residents may be opposed to the changes. This business has echoes of the Phoenix carpark debacle where the wishes and suggestions of the public and local retailers, although they revealed strong opposition to the project, were blatantly ignored. Councillor Brown needs to do better on this one.
Furthermore, the public is entitled to know if this is a one-off exercise or merely the beginning of a full-blown plan by the council and its staff to alter more of our natural walkways and parks.
Is it intended that this crude version of landscaping will end here? There's plenty to be worried about, and we need to be told the truth. (Abridged)
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