Here's an axiom you may never have heard: "Traffic is not like water; it doesn't evaporate."
It's a truth that Auckland Transport hopes will remain that way. That's because the transport agency's raison d'etre is predicated on hiding it.
The agency wants to remove six historic pohutukawa to widen Great North Rd where it joins St Lukes Rd in Western Springs at a Northwestern Motorway overbridge. Combined with the neighbouring motorway, this additional lane will provide motorists up to 19 lanes as they travel through Western Springs.
No city in the world has managed to pave its way out of congestion. Auckland will not be the first to succeed but it may be the last to try.
I hope the pohutukawa will be saved. I also hope their survival will be the catalyst for a higher level of engagement on how we want Auckland to develop.
I fear this city's natural endowments are being eroded by poor urban management and traffic engineers intent on creating the most driveable city. If the pohutukawa were saved, it would feel like progress towards acknowledging our unhealthy reliance on cars.
Our arrival at this level of addiction is no accident. Sprawl has created an induced demand for more motorways, more cars and more driving. It has come about through decades of deliberate policy settings at a national level.
"Give the people what they want" is the mantra. But first, starve them of informed debate. That's how the political process seems to work. Sprawl is not our friend. Research shows long car commutes make for unhappy and unhealthy cities and people.
Last year, a visiting expert told an Auckland audience our current transport model is a "luxury we can no longer afford; change is an economic imperative".
Support for the removal of the trees is unashamedly based on selfish needs; to speed up that car journey.
The lack of transport alternatives is the manifestation of the Government's continued commitment to funnel the lion's share of transport funding into roading projects.
That's the big picture that needs to be shared and discussed. Like all the pressing social, economic and environmental issues, we are adept at passing the buck to future generations.
Within this context, it comes as no surprise that Aucklanders can still get across their magnificent Waitemata Harbour only by motor vehicle or ferry. That may change with the Skypath project - a proposed pedestrian and cycle path to be attached to the underside of the harbour bridge - inching ever closer.
The pohutukawa and the Skypath should not be seen in isolation. Together, they could be the catalysts for a fresh approach to planning how people live and move in Auckland.
Mark Bracey is a teacher and blogger at wheeledpedestrian.wordpress.com.