Even the most hardened transport scientist would concede that flyovers are superior to roundabouts for allowing vehicles to change direction at an intersection of roads.
Flyovers do not stop or slow traffic; they let it flow, saving time, emissions, fuel, driver frustration and avoiding the opportunity for an accident. They are so much safer than a roundabout.
Take the excellent flyover just north of Pokeno, on the very busy corner of State Highways 1 and 2. It is the perfect example, and it has been in place for decades. Duplicate it at Piarere and you have a long-term solution that encourages traffic to flow and, most importantly. avoids accidents occurring.
No queues, just Kiwis driving about their business without stopping, grinding to a halt or a crawl. Sounds sensible? Not to the current Minister of Transport or his several disgraced predecessors.
You need to ask yourself: What’s made Waka Kotahi buy a roundabout when a flyover is superior in every way?
Pure and simple
The transport budget has been plundered and pillaged, raided by Ministers with pet projects they have funded over the past six years.
It started with now demoted and ex-communicated Phil Twyford when Transport Minister, assisted by the idealistic Julie Anne Genter, who together raided the transport budget for their pet projects.
Many of those projects have been disasters… the cycleway proposed for the Auckland Harbour bridge, Te Huia – now considered unsafe, massive expenditure on rail that is not running in Auckland, and the ‘Let’s get Wellington moving’ project that hasn’t moved. And of course, there is the state of our roads, peppered with potholes. Add to that the seldom used urban cycleways, speed bumps at urban intersections, 30km/hr speed limits, an astounding array of consultants with their reports and we now have a transport mess with no vision and poor delivery.
A flyover at Piarere may cost a further $20m over a roundabout, but with the cost spread over decades that is a small price to pay for safety of the 20,000 Kiwis who use that busy intersection daily.
We deserve better transport decisions from our leaders and Waka Kotahi needs to be funded adequately with a long-term vision to create better quality road transport infrastructure that equates to safer, more efficient road travel.