These measures aim to increase safety for cyclists along this busy gateway to the city. Chair of the Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee, Councillor Iona Pannett says that this change has been a long time coming for Wellington City Council.
“Thorndon Quay has been unsafe for cyclists and active pedestrians for a number of years. We cannot sit comfortably with the number of serious injuries to cyclists reported and unreported. This change aligns with our goals of encouraging active modes, such as cycling and is supported by Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency.”
A Wellington City Council report on parking occupancy, based on data from parking sensors, showed that even during peak times, the number of car parks outweighed the demand.
Modelling shows that with a reduced number of car parks, demand will continue to be met however, visitors that travel by car may have to walk a little further to their destination.
“The Council acknowledges the concerns of businesses about the removal of the parking and is committed to working with them to build on the enormous strengths of this area,” says Councillor Pannett.
“There has been a lot of investment from this sector and we believe as the city grows that there will be more opportunities to develop the area.”
Deputy Chair of the Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee, Councillor Tamatha Paul says that this is a monumental change for Wellington City Council.
“We have ambitious targets to meet to reduce carbon emissions and create a car-free CBD. To achieve this, we need to make courageous decisions that may be unpopular, such as reducing car parking. We believe that we can make these decisions and continue to support business’ needs.”
The changes to parking along Thorndon Quay were consulted on as part of Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project. The proposed changes will increase reliability and safety for all users, and improve walking and cycling facilities and public transport. Converting angle parking to parallel parking will be the first physical change, with construction on the wider project due to begin in late 2022.
Mayor Andy Foster says it is very important that Let’s Get Wellington Moving is actually moving.
“The Thorndon Quay decisions are an early part of this. They enhance safety and encourage ongoing mode share. We are listening to businesses so that we can respond to their concerns in a process of working together to build a safer environment for all transport users. Let’s Get Wellington Moving will be transformational for the City.
“Let’s Get Wellington Moving aims to move more people in fewer vehicles and to do this we need to provide safe alternatives. You only need to stand on Thorndon Quay during peak travel times to see the number of near misses that could have caused serious injuries.”
Changes to parking will be implemented in late 2021.
Later this year Let’s Get Wellington Moving will confirm the preferred option for construction.
Public engagement on detailed design will begin in late 2021 with construction starting in 2022.