An artist's impression showing changes proposed for Oriental Bay between Herd Street and Freyberg Pool
The latest plan to improve the most congested part of the Oriental Bay pathway – which opens for feedback today – will make things safer for people on bikes and on foot, and keep the angle parking.
The design, a modified version of the more popular of the two options that Wellingtonians gave their thoughts on last year, includes a two-way bike path, separate footpaths, some new motorbike parking, a slightly narrower median strip, and a few extra car parking spaces.
The proposed changes will widen and relieve pressure on the short section of promenade between Herd Street and Freyberg Pool which, at busy times, is too narrow to safely accommodate the large numbers of people walking, biking, running and sightseeing.
They will help provide an improved connection between the city and the eastern suburbs, complementing the two-way separated cycleway proposed around Evans Bay, and the improved biking and walking facilities already under way along Cobham Drive.
Mayor Justin Lester says providing clearly defined separate spaces for people on bikes and on foot, rather than having a shared path, and keeping the angle parking and the median strip, were among the things that were important to people.
“I’ve listened to your feedback, and officers have worked hard to make changes, and to balance the varying needs of the thousands of people that use this busy area.” he says. “With limited road space, that inevitably requires some compromise.”
“We are now keen to hear what people think before we make a decision.”
The latest version of the design for Oriental Bay is one of three projects that the Council is seeking feedback on over the next month.
People will also be able to comment on interim improvements proposed for Thorndon Quay that could see on-road bike lanes developed on both sides of the road between Davis and Mulgrave streets.
Cr Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, says further work to make Thorndon Quay safer for people on bikes is possible in the future, but is not being proposed at this stage until it is clearer how the transport corridor between Kaiwharawhara and the central city may change in the future.
“It’s always been our long-term aim to have better walking and biking facilities closer to the harbour, and planning for the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project has provided an opportunity to explore this.
“However, we would still like to make some additional improvements for people on bikes along Thorndon Quay in the future as well.”
Also open for feedback from today are the design and traffic changes (resolutions) required for a proposed new two-way bike path, and other bike paths, along Evans Bay Parade from the intersection of Cobham Drive to Rongotai Road (opposite Kilbirnie Park).
The design has been integrated with the proposed new Kilbirnie bus hub and other bus changes planned by Greater Wellington Regional Council in this vicinity, and feedback is being sought as part of this consultation on the traffic and parking changes that would be required for these.
Cr Free is encouraging people to take a look at the plans for all three areas and share their thoughts.
“We’ve tried hard to balance community input and views to get the projects to this stage, but are completely open to further feedback.”
Submissions on all three projects are required by 5pm, Monday 19 March 2018.
Detailed information, including plans and image sliders which help show how things would change, is available at transportprojects.org.nz. Submissions can be made online. Alternatively FreePost forms can be downloaded and will also be available at local libraries and by phoning 04 499 4444.
Councillors are expected to make decisions on whether to proceed with these projects in April.