OPINION

So Wellington's getting rid of roads and cars, and ideologically popping everyone onto public transport - in an ironically titled "Let's get Wellington Moving" campaign. The irony being that Wellington's usually at a standstill due to the buses not working or bus drivers striking.

But getting rid of cars and putting in bus lanes, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings is something Auckland is well used to - although it feels like less thought and consideration has gone into Auckland's handling of it all.

Auckland Transport, the council's transport arm tasked with getting Auckland moving, has come in for endless criticism over its perceived culture of arrogance, its refusal to consult, its lack of communication and its overbearing plans to eliminate carparks.

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This is all in the name of "safety improvements" of course.

In the case of one Auckland supermarket carpark, which AT closed, it's been proven there's no safety issue, yet AT shut it down anyway - and seemed not that interested in what locals had to say about it.

Nevermind that businesses were suffering and bleeding customers, or that elderly and disabled people were inconvenienced by having to park further away from amenities, a large carpark was just shut, without adequate consultation or reasoning.

Likewise in the Eastern Suburbs of Auckland, AT caused an uproar among locals. Somehow it managed to "get everybody's back up," as one local put it, by proposing nine new pedestrian crossings and closing 34 carparks. The uproar has seen AT back away a little bit and offer to set up a working party with local residents. It's trying to address criticism that it doesn't listen.

But what about the criticism that it doesn't think?

How can you believe closing carparks and making it harder for cars isn't going to have a serious and damaging knock-on effect on local businesses? Or don't they care about people's livelihoods?

The other irony is no one knows an area like the locals who live there, and in many cases, have lived there longer than councillors have been in velour council seats. Why would you not think to consult them first? Before you jump on in with 3D picture maps of how you're going to tear up the roads?

It shouldn't be up to locals to form protest groups and hold public meetings just to protect their neighbourhoods from being carved up by idealogues. They should have the decency to consult in the first place, and hear all perspectives.

Yes, we need safer roads, but if Auckland can give Wellington any advice, let me say this. It's not just about removing cars and carparks, adding pedestrian crossings and speed bumps, and slowing speed limits. Because, take it from Auckland, all of that hasn't got us moving, it's just eviscerated businesses and ground us all to a halt.