The secret life of pocket parks


You know when there are plans to put in new roads, the roading authorities or the city council or whoever issue sketches showing how awesome it will look when its made? And maybe they’ll illustrate this with lots of greenery and people sitting and relaxing in little triangle parks between motorways?

Well, in 1973 the government released a booklet about the new Wellington motorway system that showed one of these triangle parks actually in use. Look, there’s a middle-aged woman sitting and reading a book on a sunny day, next to a lovely plant.

But look what that corner has become, nearly 40 years later. It’s a noisy part of Wellington’s central transport corridor, sandwiched between the main trunk railway line and a motorway onramp, with the motorway whooshing past overhead. The tree has become old and craggy. Not only that, but it’s not even the sort of place anyone would be passing by and think “Hmm, this is a good place to finish Twilight.” Maybe if you were waiting for someone at the ferry terminal and the ferry had been delayed, so you decided to go for a walk. And you were insane. Maybe.

Update: here’s a more recent photo from Google Street View (2009; the original would have been from 2007 or earlier). Here we see the pocket park being used for its intended use, as a pleasant place for relaxing on a sunny day. Only here it’s car rather than a person who’s using it. Er…


Here’s a more recent pic from the October 2013 drive-by. The car has gone. I’m going to keep checking up on this little corner.


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