That's right, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency. According to the Agency (the one that is promoting the hated flyover), we need to put in the flyover before we invest significantly in bus rapid transit or the like.
This is incorrect on so many grounds, firstly, the congestion is not as significant as some might believe. Yes, traffic is quite heavy at peak times but at others, this is patently incorrect.
Secondly, for many reasons, it is important we prioritise public transport over unworkable projects like the flyover. If we are serious about climate change (and politicians of all stripes at WCC say they are), then we need to get our emissions down in the transport sector. Secondly, the benefits and costs of people switching to public transport are so much higher than building roads and simply shifting the congestion point.
Thirdly, the projects are not interlinked, public transport doesn't need a flyover to work more effectively, what we need is mode shift and priority space so it can get people to where they need to get to quickly.
Finally, to the people who argue that we will never shift out of our cars, remember the price spikes in petrol a few years ago, people were clambering to get onto buses! This will be our new future.
Photo courtesy of stuff.co.nz