Wellington City councillor wants NZTA to deter tooting in the Mt Victoria tunnel

Mt Vic's tunnel
Mt Vic's tunnel Photo credit: File

A Wellington City councillor wants to deter motorists from leaning on their horns in the Mt Victoria tunnel.

Chris Calvi-Freeman is writing to NZTA, and asking for signs to be put in place on either side of the tunnel to try and cut down on the noise pollution pedestrians suffer when walking through the tunnel.

The tunnel runs through Mt Vic from the Basin Reserve to Haitaitai, and has long since been a noisy place to walk home through.

Mr Calvi-Freeman told Newshub he's standing up for Haitaitai residents, and passing on their views.

"It's common knowledge that the tunnel is a very poor walking experience, but as cars have gotten more numerous, it's gotten worse," he said "It's just annoying. If you walk through the tunnel, the sounds echo off the walls and it just adds to the poor experience."

Haitaitai resident Gabriel Bioletti says he strongly backs Mr Calvi-Freeman's proposal.

"I've had to walk through that tunnel many times," he told Newshub "It's horrible enough with the fumes and people tooting is incredibly annoying."

He says that even when he's driving through, he refuses to toot.

The tooting through the tunnel has morbid origins, with legend saying it began in memory of a murdered 17-year-old who was buried alive during the construction of the tunnel in 1931.

It may be a long-standing cultural norm, but Mr Calvi-Freeman says he hopes it can be changed.

"There are a number of cultural norms we've changed over the years. It used to be a cultural norm to smoke anywhere and everywhere and subject everyone to tobacco smoke, and that's more or less changed."

However, he's realistic about his goal.

"It's never going to change everyone's behaviour, but if we could decrease that behaviour that'd be good."