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Fly like a Swan, live in a Garrett: your choice

The WCC is calling for feedback on the future of Swan Lane and Garrett Street. You have 12 days to respond.

By Mark Cubey

The Wellington City Council want to improve the experience of pedestrians and businesses located in and around Swan Lane and Garrett Street, as part of the Council’s Laneway strategy to improve alleyways and create more open spaces in inner city Wellington.

The strategy is open for feedback until 5.00pm on Wednesday 28 November.

Swan Lane and Garrett Street are two small streets, or ‘laneways’, that feed off the same area of Cuba Street but in opposite directions. Laneways in Wellington have been getting a lift to help create more open spaces in inner-city Wellington.

The Council wants to understand how people currently use Swan Lane and Garrett Street and what opportunities people see for these areas, and are talking to local businesses and pedestrians on location in addition to this survey.

Here’s what I think, on behalf of Wellington App. Feel free to cut and paste.

Prohibit the area from becoming gentrified. Ban all chain stores from Ghuznee Street south. Actually, from Dixon Street south. Fuck Whitcoulls and Farmers.

Glover Park must stay. So must the open space in Swan Lane (though not as a carpark).

Cuba Street between Vivian and Ghuznee still needs car access but this should be discouraged; the goal is to get all parking into the Marion St carpark. Get rid of the carpark space on Swan Lane. Wilson’s should be run out of town on a rail.

Keep all trees, plant more. The Swan Lane open space could be a beautiful shared green space for bikes and people and tables and chairs, with the (necessary) access road coming in at the northern end, swooping round past the back end of StorageBox to the back of the Marion Street car park, which would allow leisure and extra table space in front of (award-winning) Noble Rot, and Ugly Bagels and Floriditas, which they may be happy to pay for.

Imagine if you could bring back legendary nightclub Clare’s to Garret Street. In the meantime, increase the permitted noise level between Ghuznee and Vivian Streets and anoint a titular precinct mayor (Tim Ward?).

Establish a Swan Lane lawn in place of the carpark, which would be awesome – the carpark is a blight on society – and close the road regularly for events, with encouragement for more street initiatives where local retailers can have caravans or DJ booths (Rough Peel, SlowBoat) on the street in car parks playing music and such, with more street art and wider footpaths.

The Swan Lane shared space without cars should host regular events, with marquees in winter, for events and gigs and good times.

Swan Lane needs to connect with Victoria Street for cycles, scooters and pedestrians. Car parks are not needed on Garrett Street. (Perhaps a couple of tuckaway parking areas. Or not). Embrace the future.

A pedestrian crossing that lets people walk across Victoria Street, down Garret Street, across Cuba Street (new pedestrian crossing) through Swan Lane would send an awesome message to the city.

Over to you.

The feedback form is here.

Or you can email [email protected].

Or send printed copies by the post, though we don’t want to encourage 20th century feedback, so we are not posting the postal address.