Look at traffic flows
Despite public calls for the "temporary" roundabout to be retained because of vastly improved traffic flows, Councillor Alan Taylor decries public opinion by saying "most of the public aren't traffic engineers" and admits that neither is he one.
What the public often have is a high degree of common sense. We know when something is working and we know when it is not.
How many times have we experienced traffic lights out of synch as we go from one intersection to another, stopping for red at every turn even when there is no competing traffic at the light?
While I agree that replacing the traffic lights concerned is not being done on a whim, have any of the council's "experts" actually gone down and witnessed the improved traffic flow at this intersection?
For some days, acting on council advice I avoided the area and then a few days back I had no option but to go through and was amazed at how quick and smooth the whole process was.
The council's traffic engineers at the very least should observe for themselves the improved traffic flow and, assuming the current project is too advanced to reverse, learn from the experience - rather than adding more lights in the city they seek to reduce them.
Furthermore, for their next project I suggest they tackle one of the worst intersections in Whanganui, namely the corner of Liverpool St and Victoria Ave and consider redeeming themselves by placing a roundabout (not traffic lights) at this intersection.
And then, when they have a little more time on their hands, they might observe the speedsters who delight in tearing down Smithfield Rd at 70km/h-80km/h-plus and consider installing judder bars before someone is seriously injured or worse.
Finally, why not take a leaf from the book of many towns in Europe and start removing traffic lights altogether, replacing them with roundabouts which have been proven to create much better traffic flows.
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• Campaign to slow traffic at northern Whanganui gateway
I absolutely agree with the sentiments expressed by Lizzie Marvelly in "Sit down Shane Jones, you're out of tune" (Chronicle, March 7). Even more so, I'm delighted by the tone and elegance of her writing. Lizzie is a national treasure. I invariably enjoy her journalism. We need a few more like her.
Rethink crisis spending
Once upon a time, as an undergraduate economics student, I learned about the "Fallacy of Composition".
What this strange term means is that governments, unlike households, do not have to limit their spending when times get tough.
They have the sovereign right to issue fiat money when needed, provided there are physical and human resources available to be employed.
Several neo-Keynesian economists, like Steven Hail (Adelaide University) and Bill Mitchell (Newcastle, NSW) assert that sovereign governments should actually run budget deficits, funding them in their own currencies. Bold stuff indeed.
When talking of the private sector, then John Watson (Letters, March 6) is correct.
Producers need commercial loans and need to calculate the possible effects of bank interest on future returns. Hedging against natural and financial disasters is a wise strategy.
But debt-funding is not appropriate for our public infrastructures where long-term planning is vital.
Our Reserve Bank is equipped to credit-fund essential projects for both central and local government as it did for the first Labour Government's state houses, roads and bridges. More recently it arranged a $5 billion credit facility for the big banks during the "Great Recession" (2007-09).
Sadly all the parties currently in Parliament have bought into the PPP (Public Private Partnership) funding model, ignoring legislation which could and should be utilised.
Today's triple crisis - climate, economy, Covid-19 - must surely see a rethink in the corridors of power. Up to all of us to make it happen.
HEATHER MARION SMITH