The Council's Strategy and Policy Committee yesterday voted unanimously to proceed with parking changes on Thorndon Quay that will allow a new clearway to operate Monday to Friday between 7.00am - 9.00am. The clearway - between Tinakori Road and Mulgrave Street - will give city-bound cyclists more space to ride and reduce the risk of them being hit by vehicles.
Motorists will still be able to use parking spaces on the other side of Thorndon Quay during the morning peak and cross the road using a new pedestrian crossing, which will be going in near the Bordeaux Bakery. However, there will be no parking on the city-bound side until after 9.00am, with the exception of a five-minute park outside the bakery and a loading zone for early morning customers who need to pick up supplies from City Timber and Simply Steel.
The new clearway and other changes are expected to be in place by the end of June.
The Council's Transport Portfolio Leader, Mayor Kerry Prendergast, says the planned changes will improve one of the city's busiest and most accident-prone commuter cycling routes.
"It's very heartening to see that the number of cyclists regularly using this route at peak times has grown from 75 to nearly 300 an hour in the past 10 years. But we need to make it safer because of the worrying increase in the number of accidents involving cyclists - up from an average of one to six a year.
"The vast majority of the reported accidents occur between 7.00am and 9.00am in a southbound direction and involve drivers turning into parking spaces and driveways, so we are confident these changes will make a difference."
Over the next five to seven years, Mayor Prendergast says the Council is also proposing to develop a new shared off-road route from Kaiwharawhara to the city via Aotea and Waterloo quays and the waterfront. The route would ultimately form part of the Great Harbour Way - a planned cycle and walkway around Wellington Harbour.
The Council asked local businesses and others to comment on the Thorndon Quay changes in March and received strong support for the plan. Only nine of the 163 submissions opposed all or some of the changes and most objections related to changes proposed to parking restriction times on some parking spaces.