The Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee has voted to include various safety improvements and separated bike lanes through the Island Bay town centre making a complete cycleway connection along The Parade for the first time. The committee also agreed to develop a local area parking plan to mitigate where possible the displaced parking.
The changes – most of which will happen in conjunction with planned road resealing next year – focus on improving safety by increasing visibility at driveways and intersections, slightly widening traffic lanes to provide a little more space for buses and putting in a low physical buffer to provide more protection for people on bikes.
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the funding agreed through this year’s Long-term Plan and today’s decision will provide a clear way forward to speedily resolve some of the most pressing safety issues with the existing cycleway, while acknowledging the fact that the Parade is likely to be redeveloped as a mass rapid transit (MRT) route.
“Getting on with these improvements fits with the Council’s goal to develop a city that is safe and easy to get around for everyone, and means we can focus on our commitment to building a citywide bike network and preparing for future mass transit,” says Deputy Mayor Free.
Pūroro Āmua/Planning and Environment Committee Chair Councillor Iona Pannett says Councillors considered and debated a number of amendments and proposals and endeavoured to balance competing community priorities.
“It’s a challenging situation, but we had to carefully weigh up the commitments already made to the community, proposals on MRT open for feedback through the Let’s Get Wellington Moving process, costs, plans for the wider bike network, and getting on and delivering on our climate change response.
“This is a step forward. We have to do the right thing to make sure people are safe.”
Cr Pannett says there is also separate funding budgeted for an upgrade of the shopping centre, which will happen independently of this decision, and engagement with the community will happen in the new year. The Council approved $2.5 million to upgrade Island Bay and Berhampore town centres as part of the Long-term Plan.
Consultation on the traffic resolutions associated with the planned changes will happen from late January. Councillors will consider feedback and make a final decision at a meeting in March.