Debate should be about balanced transport
The debate about transport is far too polarised. It shouldn't be about just roading or just public transport - it should be about a balance between the two.
I balance my commute from Paraparaumu into Wellington between rail (three or four days a week) and car, depending on which option makes more sense once I'm in Wellington. So I see the desperate under-investment in both options.
The road option is shoddy and the sooner the Government gets on with actually building Transmission Gully, the better. Indeed, the fact that bulldozers are unlikely to start work before the next election makes me frustrated with the current Government and fearful of the next. Get on with the roads of national signifcance with a sense of urgency!
The rail option is improving, but far too slowly. There just don't seem to be any consequences for poor performance on the part of either Kiwirail or TranzMetro. And the Government's attitude to rail is so very sad, made worse because they seem incapable of logic - relying instead on very tired dogma. Accelerate the final Matangi buy and explore double-tracking all the way up to Levin - including between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki!
Then, when I get into Wellington, I just don't see a council acting in the interests of either their ratepayers or the bigger picture. I see petty squabbles that just draw out debate endlessly by focusing on the needs of extremists rather than the silent majority who are stuck in the middle.
It's certainly not helped by Wellington's mayor. I get that cycling needs to be a supported option but the notion that it forms part of the solution is laughable. Yet the council, led by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, is prepared to increase rates to fund what is at best a minority interest.
So I'm looking for the centrist politicians who are seeking compromise - a balanced transport solution.
The Dominion Post