Flyover needn't be crime hotbed

Good design means the space underneath the Basin flyover would become a highlight of the project - not the hotbed for crime feared by the community, a crime prevention expert says.

Dr Frank Stoks told a board of inquiry the plans for the space under the proposed $90 million bridge went further than just counter-balancing potential criminal behaviour, and actually improved it from its current state, particularly by introducing a building under the bridge.

''I very much saw it as one of the jewels on a necklace that has very few other jewels,'' he said.

Good lighting in particular would help make the area attractive at night, and there were also limited places for people to congregate which meant the public would feel comfortable at night.

''I'm not overly impressed with the quality of the area now ... there will be a transformation in that of which we can be proud,'' he said.

By making it an attractive place, people would want to spend time there making it safer, he said.

"People will look out for each other and we will drive away anti-social behaviour."

The four-person board is considering whether to grant resource consent for the State Highway 1 westbound flyover 20 metres North of the Basin Reserve.

Board member David Collins questioned Dr Stoks' evidence that tagging would be reduced by "greening" along the footpaths and creating wetlands around the piers.

Dr Stoks said it would reduce tagging by making people more conspicuous when they were tagging if they were standing on planted areas or wetlands, as well as providing fewer expanses of bridge for taggers to mark.

"We have eliminated the big concrete wall."

Plans for trees would not create areas for dangerous people to lurk if the were planted in a grid design and were well maintained and low branches removed, he said. 

The Dominion Post