Wellington’s best set of stairs

3 04 2011

In a time when the train operators are botching their operations to such an extent that they are replacing service on a whole line with buses, and when the Transparent Agency is trying to justify widening a motorway that is congested for only a few hours a week (give them some feedback here and win an electronic device for people who are too thick to read maps) it is worth remembering that the cheapest and best way to get around a city is active transport. Active Transport, which is walking and cycling is the cheapest to build the infrastructure for, has the smallest maintenance costs and has no operating costs. Any footpath, set of stairs, cycle lane or shared path has heaps better BCRs than massive highway projects, and is less easier to stuff up than a train network.  So it is a wonder that Active Transport is always so neglected.

The older suburbs of Wellington are better served than the northern suburbs. There’s, for instance, no pedestrian access across the motorway between Helston Road and Westchester Drive, and at the Westchester Drive overbridge there is no pedestrian access to Grenada Village which doesn’t involve a long circuitous route to the end of Mark Ave.

So where provision has actually been made and there is some quality pedestrian infrastructure then it can be celebrated. For instance there is a great set of stairs to get up to Amritsar St in Khandallah.

I think I counted 467 steps. I haven’t quite got the same number each time I’ve walked up or down it.

Like a couple other sets of stairs in Wellington there are houses (and their letterboxes) half way up or down. The people living in those houses must be fit, as must be their postmen.

To my best guess the Amritsar St steps must be the longest flight in Wellington.  Let me know if I’m wrong.

With the Kaiwharawhara Bridle track a pleasant hour long loop walk can be made.

Here’s a link to the Tracks website showing the stairs and a map.

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