Over coffee this morning, I happened to come across an opinion piece by Stuart Gardyne on Stuff regarding Shelly Bay. In my earlier years, I had thought to take up a career in architecture (heck, I’ve even read “The Fountainhead”), so when I saw his piece, I was immediately interested. Unfortunately, I was also supremely disappointed. As an architect, and citizen of Wellington, he should know better. But unfortunately, he’s decided to comment on things that he apparently hasn’t bothered to research.
Which is a bit weird, because the proposal that he’s talking about in his opinion piece was in fact prepared by his company, as commissioned by the developer. Perhaps he just hasn’t really read it? Or maybe he hasn’t read the supporting documentation?
Unfortunately though, in his opinion piece, he throws out quite a few actual falsehoods (or alternate facts), so deserves a response. Oh where to start?
Cycling: “the road to Shelly Bay will be genuinely improved to allow cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike to share it”
Nope. The road in the proposed development is essentially the same width it is now. In a few places it will be made a little bit wider to conform to the 3m/lane requirement, but that’s it. There will be no cycle lane, and cycles will have to share the road with 4-6 times more cars. Speaking of which, just after his comment on cycling, he proclaims:
Traffic: “Yes there will be a likely increase in traffic.”
“Likely” is a nice euphemism. Even the developers weren’t daft enough to ask us to believe that there won’t be a traffic increase. Their numbers have traffic going from 1200 trips to 4700 trips. I’d say that’s pretty darned likely an increase.
Infrastructure: “I have a simple message: you’re not. The developer is paying, just like they do in every other city”
Nope again. He really should read the council proposal for the development before he says these things. You the ratepayer are on the hook for at least $10 Million. Possibly a lot more. C’mon Stuart, it’s actually in the proposal! I admit, the Council tried quite hard to hide it, and didn’t mention it anywhere in their headlines for the proposal, but it’s there. (see: The ratepayer gets screwed. Again.)
Also interesting in his opinion piece, is that he never once mentions that the proposal that he’s talking about was generated by his company.
Honestly folks, I could go on, but I feel a little bad about flogging the dead horse that is Stuarts’ opinion piece, so we’ll just leave it there.
Stuart, apologies, but I’m hugely saddened that an architect of your standing has thrown this out there.