Wellingtonians asked for views on proposal for new harbour-side paths on Cobham Drive

3 March 2017

A proposal for new walking and biking paths on the harbour side of Cobham Drive is part of Wellington City Council’s programme to build a safe connected cycle network and improve travel for people who walk or take the bus.

Cobham Drive

During March, Wellingtonians will have opportunities to make their views known on the Cobham Drive proposals, as well as safe and sustainable transport options along Thorndon Quay, and safer and easier connections for people walking or cycling in the eastern suburbs.

The Council’s Portfolio Leader for Public Transport, Cycling and Walking, Councillor Sarah Free, says it is exciting to be at this point.

"We’re keen for people to think about using different means of transport to move around the city. As part of this, we are working with the Government, through the NZ Transport Agency, to build a connected cycle network to provide people with more transport choice. This work will also integrate with any improvements proposed under the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme.

“Wellington roads have their challenges, and we have a lot of things to think about - not only safer infrastructure for people riding bikes and walking, but also bus lanes, longer bus stops, and car parking. There are also opportunities to consider how what we are doing contributes to people’s sense of place. We want streets that work well for everyone and enhance the city."

The Council’s cycling programme was refreshed last year following an independent review commissioned by the Transport Agency, with a stronger focus on community engagement and a connected network of routes.

Lisa Rossiter, the Transport Agency’s Acting Director Regional Relationships, says that a safe, connected cycling network that is easy to use is essential for a more vibrant, liveable city.

“The need for safer cycling routes in a fully integrated transport system continues to grow. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Wellington City Council to help give people more transport choices.”

On Cobham Drive, the Council is proposing to build a two-way bike path and separate footpath next to the harbour, from Miramar to Evans Bay Parade, to replace the existing shared path.

Cr Free says the new paths will mean more people can access this coastline, and strengthen the eastern suburbs connection with the city and harbour.

The proposal does not include a crossing on Cobham Drive, but Wellington City Council and the Transport Agency are working together on possible solutions for the longer term. The public will be able to have a say on the proposals for Cobham Drive from Tuesday 7 March until 5pm, Tuesday 4 April.

For Thorndon Quay, people can come to a drop-in session on Monday 6 March, about options to improve travel for all road users. Cr Free says the conversation is at an early stage and, at this point, the Council is asking the community to bring their ideas and get involved. Thorndon Quay will link the central city to the Hutt Road shared path and the Transport Agency’s regional link to the Hutt Valley.

For the eastern suburbs, there will be two drop-in sessions in Kilbirnie: Wednesday 15 March and Saturday 18 March.

Cr Free says the eastern suburbs drop-in sessions follow on from consultation with the public last year on suggested safe biking routes. “We’re now inviting people to come and talk with engineers about how streets and footpaths should be laid out, and find out how they can stay involved.

“While we want to encourage more people to ride bikes more often, this is also an opportunity to look at other transport issues. These include improvements for people walking, locations of bus stops, and road safety concerns such as speed limits.”

Cr Free says she hopes a wide cross-section of interested residents and business owners will take the opportunity to give feedback at all the drop-in sessions.

"We want to get ideas from as many people as possible on how this could work well. We have taken on board the concerns raised about engagement in Island Bay and, as agreed by City Councillors in August 2016, we have a new approach of working more closely with community groups and to include communities’ sense of place.”

Thorndon Quay drop-in session – Monday 6 March, 3pm–7.30pm, Wellington Bridge Club, 17 Tinakori Road.

Eastern suburbs drop-in sessions – Wednesday 15 March, 5pm–8pm and Saturday 18 March, 10am–4pm, at ASB Sports Centre, Kemp Street, Kilbirnie.

A new website for Council transport improvements projects, including cycling, is now live at www.transportprojects.org.nz