Open days a chance to help shape bike plans for the east

30 August 2017

With work on Cobham Drive about to get under way – it’s time for the wider community to help shape proposals to connect the two-way cycleway with the harbour route to the city, the gateway to Miramar and other parts of the eastern suburbs.

Bike plans for Eastern Suburbs

Two open days are planned next week so people can look at the work done to date and give their thoughts on the various options for Miramar Avenue, Evans Bay Parade and some 20 other roads linking Kilbirnie and Miramar with Strathmore Park, Seatoun and Newtown.

The open days are at the ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie on:

  • Wednesday 6 September, 4pm–7pm
  • Saturday 9 September, 10am–4pm

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the Council is very grateful to the people in the eastern suburbs community working groups, and Enterprise Miramar Peninsula, who have given their time this year to get things to the stage where we can now seek wider public feedback.

“Thanks to their commitment and hard work, we can now share exciting proposals to make biking around the bays more appealing and safer for people of all ages and abilities, and get us closer to our goal to have a connected citywide cycle network.

“These groups have spent many hours with transport engineers, urban designers, Council staff and others considering the opportunities and challenges, scrutinising all the alternatives, and helping to whittle them down,” he says.

“We’re now asking others to take a look at options for the different streets, and provide their thoughts and suggestions so we can refine proposals for these routes.”

There will also be another opportunity later in the year to provide feedback on more detailed proposals.

Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Public Transport, Cycling and Walking, says Councillors unanimously reconfirmed the city’s cycling programme in December last year, including the routes and roads where changes are now being proposed.

“We are working in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency with an ambitious timetable –to secure the considerable government funding on offer projects need to be approved by mid-2018 and completed by mid-2019,” she says.

“It is heartening to see the Cobham Drive upgrade almost ready to go, and the progress that has been made on other routes in the east through the community planning process.

“I came along to most of these workshops, and it was fantastic to see people with diverse views debating the pros and cons, grappling with challenges and trade-offs in relation to allocating road space, and working constructively to find solutions.”

Among other things, the groups considered parking, trees, heritage features, lane widths, safer speeds, painted median strips, bus stops, pedestrian crossings and driveways. They looked at how these streets are used now, ways to improve existing safety issues, and the varying needs of residents, businesses, and people who walk, drive, take the bus and ride bikes.

Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Transport Strategy, says the Government is investing a lot of money making New Zealand cities easier places to get around safely by bike to take pressure of other transport modes and achieve health benefits.

“This fits perfectly with our aim to make Wellington an even more people-friendly, attractive and sustainable city, and give residents and visitors real transport choices.”

Information about what’s proposed will be available at transportprojects.org.nz from Monday 4 September, and at the open days. Initial feedback is required by 17 September on:

  • a staged approach for Miramar Avenue, including options for the section between Tauhinu Road and Park Road
  • options for Evans Bay Parade (Cobham Drive to Carlton Gore Road)
  • options for Miramar and Kilbirnie that will provide connections to Seatoun, Strathmore Park and Newtown, involving changes to about 20 streets.

Submissions can also be made before 2 October on a plan to put in a two-way cycleway on the seaward side of Miramar cutting between the intersection of Shelly Bay Road and Tauhinu Road, consistent with the new two-way cycleway going in along Cobham Drive.

It includes traffic lights at the Tauhinu Road intersection to replace the roundabout. The roundabout is not working well at peak times now and will become more of a problem as traffic volumes grow.

The proposal, which includes landscaping improvements in and around the cutting, is the first part of a two-phase plan to improve Miramar Avenue and the gateway to the suburb.