In November last year, Wellington City Councillors gave the green light to a set of changes designed to make The Parade safer, including putting separated cycle lanes through the main shopping centre to provide a continuous safe biking and scooting connection through the suburb for the first time.
The planned safety improvements include slightly wider traffic lanes, improved visibility at driveways and intersections, and clearer road and bike lane markings. Concrete buffers to provide greater protection for people on bikes and scooters, and something for people to park next to and unload on to, are also planned. The buffers will be very similar to the ones in Rongotai Road in Kilbirnie.
As well as being safer for everyone, the changes will give The Parade an improved and consistent look and feel over the 1.6 kilometres from the Dee Street roundabout to Reef Street.
The traffic resolutions open for feedback are an opportunity for people who live on, use or are familiar with the route to make suggestions or provide information to help fine-tune the safety and related parking changes.
To widen traffic lanes, make things safer through the shops, and improve visibility around driveways and intersections, there would be on-street parking for 105 to 125 vehicles between Dee and Reef streets compared with about 205 now.
The feedback is one of the things the Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee will consider when it makes final decisions on 10 March.
If approved, work to make The Parade safer will get under way in late March/early April in tandem with essential routine resealing work that is needed to protect and maintain the road.
Mayor Andy Foster says this has been a long running issue requiring resolution and thought as there are a range of views.
“I believe what we are planning is a pragmatic, cost-effective solution that will provide a safe and consistent layout for The Parade, in the context of wider city transport planning.”
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the funding agreed through last year’s Long-term Plan and the November decision have provided a clear way forward to speedily resolve some of the most pressing safety issues, while acknowledging the fact that The Parade is likely to be redeveloped as a mass rapid transit (MRT) route in the future.
“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. It also means we can focus on our commitment to build a citywide bike network and prepare for future mass transit and a low carbon future,” says Deputy Mayor Free.
Pūroro Āmua Chair Councillor Iona Pannett says in reaching the November decision, Councillors endeavoured to balance competing community priorities and the responsibility to make sure people using The Parade are as safe as possible.
“We had to carefully weigh up commitments already made to the community, Let’s Get Wellington Moving proposals for MRT, plans for the wider bike network, and getting on and delivering on our climate change response.”
Separate funding has also been budgeted for an upgrade of the shopping centre. Discussions with local businesses about possibilities will happen in coming months.
A local area-based parking plan is also being developed based on parking analysis and community feedback.
The proposal details and feedback form can be found on transportprojects.org.nz