Our Transport and Urban Development Committee has opted for the safer of the two options under consideration for The Parade – kerbside cycle lanes that meet international standards – but wants to see more consultation with local residents during the detailed design phase.
As part of this, two drop-in sessions are planned in a few weeks’ time. The project is one of many to make neighbourhoods and commuter routes around the city more cycle-friendly.
We’re making these changes for a range of reasons – the most important of which are to make it safer and easier to cycle here because our cycling crash rates are too high; to provide more places where children, young people and less confident cyclists can feel comfortable cycling; and to help ensure Wellington can continue to compete internationally as a great place to live and visit.
Carl Penwarden, the co-owner of a Wellington tech company which employs 20 software developers, summed it up in a letter to the editor recently. He says their company, Abletech, like others in Wellington’s growing digital sector, competes globally to attract the talented people it needs to contribute to the city’s economy.
“These are talented people who want to live in a safe, healthy and clean environment where one can have a home by the sea and safely cycle to work (among other things),” he says. “If Wellington is to be globally competitive we need supporting world-class infrastructure, which includes safe and sustainable transport options like cycling.”
Councillors have acknowledged the concerns of a group of residents, who have presented a petition calling for work to be halted until there is a plan on how to improve the entire route between the city and southern suburbs. However, the committee wants planning and community engagement on this section to continue as well as work to find the most viable ways to improve the trickier section through Newtown and Berhampore.
Our City Networks Manager, Stavros Michael, says the Council knows people also want cycling improvements closer to the city and that will be addressed as Adelaide Road and Kent and Cambridge terraces are redesigned to develop a bus rapid transit route.
“But that design work can’t start in earnest until there’s a decision on the proposed Basin flyover and other changes,” he says. “We think it makes sense to tackle this are by area and start making some positive changes.”
In the short-term that will mean more Island Bay people make short trips by bike and feel more comfortable letting their children cycle to places like Wakefield Park. In the long-term – the changes will be a part of an improved cycle route to the city.
Island Bay cycleway meetings
Take a closer look at the draft plans, make suggestions and talk through any concerns:
- 6pm–8pm, Wednesday 18 June
- 2pm–5.30pm, Sunday 22 June
Both sessions are at the Wellington South Baptist Church, 284 The Parade.
Newtown–Berhampore cycleway meetings
Find out about the citizen’s advisory panel and next steps for this section:
- tomorrow 6pm–8pm (Wednesday 4 June), St Anne’s Parish Hall, 22 Emmett Street, Newtown
- 3pm–5pm, Saturday 7 June, Berhampore School, 105 Britomart Street, Berhampore.