This work is part of improving facilities and infrastructure to make cycling easier and more convenient, encourage more people to make more trips by bike, and help reduce emissions from road transport.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says the most significant thing we can personally do to make a difference is to change the way we move by reducing car trips and getting to more places on foot, by bike, bus or train.
Fifty-two new bike racks, which will provide parking for double that number of bikes, is going in at 18 locations in Karori, Northland, Tawa, central city, Oriental Bay, Seatoun, Lyall Bay, Hataitai beach, Island Bay, and Miramar. In some places the new racks will add to the bike parking that’s already there.
Around the city and suburbs, the new parking will bring the number of racks to about 650, providing parking for about 1300 bikes.
Six new ‘fix-it’ stands are being installed at key locations to add to the 17 stands already in use. The new stands will go in at Makara mountain bike park, Tawa, Khandallah, Lyall Bay, Strathmore and Happy Valley. The fix-it stands have tools and bike pumps so people can do running repairs or basic maintenance.
From August we’ll also be installing several more ‘push channels’ on public stairways so bikes can be pushed rather than carried up the steps.
More cycle-friendly sump grates are also going in around the city to replace more of the old grates which can create a hazard for people on bikes (bike tyres get stuck in the grates).
Councillor Tamatha Paul, Deputy Chair of Pūroro Āmua, the Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, says the changes are a small but important part of developing a citywide bike network, and making it easier and more convenient for people riding to stop and visit shops, cafes, businesses and facilities.
Miramar is one of the areas where new bike racks will be installed. Locations have been chosen with assistance from Enterprise Miramar and Cycle Wellington, and most will be close to cafes, shops and businesses.
Enterprise Miramar board member, and co-owner of Palmers Miramar, Phil Hughes says his business has seen more people arriving by bike than ever before over the past 12 months.
“Particularly at weekends, we’re seeing more families out biking. They come in to have something to eat, look around, and some buy plants and other things while they’re here,” he says. “If people aren’t able to take their purchases with them, they arrange to drop back later to pick them up or have them delivered.
“We’re happy to see more bike parking going in and more people biking, and know it’s something that is just going to continue and grow,” he says.
“We’re a little village, where people often go to three or four places, so it’s got to be good for the shopping centre if we can make it easier for people who want to ride here or get around our neighbourhood by bike.”
The improvements are part-funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.