The new coastal bike path will be developed around the bays on the seaward side of the road between the intersection of Carlton Gore Road on Oriental Parade, and Greta Point.
It will connect with existing shared paths at both ends, the new walking and bike paths being developed along Cobham Drive and through the cutting to Miramar, and planned new facilities in Kilbirnie.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says this week’s decisions by the Council’s City Strategy Committee are a significant milestone in the city’s cycleways programme.
“This will be an amazing recreational route that families and visitors to the city will be able to enjoy,” he says. “In time it will form a key part of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke – our region’s aim to one day have safe walking and biking facilities all the way around our harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
“It will be possible to ride all the way around the coast from the Miramar cutting to the central city without having to ride on the road, which will make commuting by bike to work or study a viable option for more people.”
The projects, which were all unanimously approved yesterday, will be funded in partnership with the Government and NZ Transport Agency. They were developed with the assistance of community working groups last year, and have been refined following wider community feedback in September and November.
Work around Evans Bay, and the other approved connections, won’t start until the middle of this year at the earliest. Between now and then, detailed design work will be done. This will include independent safety audits.
Councillors have agreed more detailed work can be carried out over the next few months to look at the logistics and cost of widening the six narrowest sections of the bays route so the footpath, bike path and traffic lanes can be a consistent width all the way around. If approved, this would include seeking consents to raise existing low seawalls in several locations, so the footpath could be extended closer to the sea.
Cr Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, says the projects are part of a plan to gradually develop a connected citywide bike network, and simultaneously improve things for people on foot, so people have more choice in how they get around.
“As the city’s population grows, we need more people to be walking, biking or taking public transport to help manage traffic congestion and ensure the city remains a great place to live.
“We can encourage biking by providing more lanes, paths and connections that make it safer for people of all ages and abilities to make some trips by bike.”
Projects approved today
The City Strategy Committee unanimously agreed to proceed with changes to:
- Evans Bay Parade (Carlton Gore Road intersection on Oriental Parade to just north of Greta Point) – two-way bike path on the seaward side
- Rongotai Road (Onepu Road to Te Whiti Street) – kerbside bike lanes with raised buffers
- Te Whiti Street (Coutts Street to Rongotai Road) – adding more space between existing painted bike lanes and parked cars
- Coutts Street (Te Whiti Street to the airport tunnel) – kerbside bike paths
- Tirangi Road (Coutts Street to the Leonie Gill Pathway) – kerbside bike lanes with raised buffers
- Crawford Road – bike lane with raised buffer on the uphill side; sharrow road markings in the downhill lane
- Constable Street (Alexandra Road to Coromandel Street) – uphill bike lane with raised buffer
- Coromandel Street (Constable Street to Wilson Street) – sharrow road markings
- Wilson Street two-way (Daniell Street to Coromandel Street) – sharrow road markings
For now, Councillors have agreed not to proceed with projects proposed for:
- Yule Street
- Wilson Street one-way (Daniell Street to Riddiford Street).
Sharrow road markings will be painted in the two-way sections of Wilson Street but no decisions on the one-way section will be made until there has been more community discussion this year about other Newtown connections and routes.
The proposed layout for Yule Street wasn’t well supported during consultation, and only offered marginal benefits. Improvements planned for Te Whiti Street will provide a safe alternative route nearby.