Feedback sought on possible Newtown bike connections

13 November 2018

People who live or regularly travel in Newtown, Berhampore and Mt Cook are being asked to provide feedback on possible bike routes and street changes – feedback that will be used to help plan safe and convenient bike connections in these neighbourhoods.

Newtown cycle connections consultation launched

Maps showing three different packages of routes and possible street changes are available on the Council’s website transportprojects.org.nz from today.

These cover the area from Dee Street in the south to the Basin Reserve, include a lot of different streets, some possible off-road links, different bike path and lane options for the busiest routes, and possible changes on some streets to encourage slower speeds and provide quieter on-road connections.

This feedback phase, which closes on Tuesday 11 December, is the second of three opportunities the community will have to help shape what happens in the wider Newtown area. Final plans will also be influenced by the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project, which is looking at broader transport changes for the city.

Mayor Justin Lester says the maps and information about the different ways connections through this area could be developed are intended to get people thinking and talking. 

“Nothing is at a detailed design stage yet, and no decisions on routes or changes have been made – so it is a very good time to get involved. The more community input we can get at this stage, the better.”

Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, thanked the more than 770 people who provided their initial thoughts a few months ago during the first round of community discussion on the Newtown Connections project.

“Eighty-five percent said it was important or very important to make it easier and safer for more people to ride bikes in and around the wider Newtown area,” she says. “It’s now time to work together to develop the best possible plan for how we are going to do that.

“We want people to look at the routes up for discussion, what’s possible, what’s likely to provide the greatest benefits, and what these connections would mean for various streets,” she says. “The plan that’s developed could well be a mix of the different packages – so let us know what you think.”

Following the first round of feedback in June, planners have been assessing a multitude of possible ways to provide safer biking routes and connections.

The three packages out for discussion are the ones that align well with the community desires that came through in feedback earlier in the year, fit with Government and Council funding and planning objectives, and provide good connections.

On-street parking will almost certainly need to be reduced in places to maintain good vehicle flow, and provide enough space to develop safer biking connections.

The streets where on-street parking may need to be reduced in one or more of the packages are Adelaide Road, Rintoul Street, Waripori Street (Rintoul Street to Russell Terrace section), Russell Terrace, Constable Street and Wilson Street (Daniell Street to Riddiford section). Minor parking adjustments are also possible on Mein, Tasman, Hanson, and Stanley streets, which are flagged as routes where changes could be made to encourage slower speeds.

Detailed information is available on the Council’s website transportprojects.org.nz and there will be opportunities to talk with the people who have been working through this complex planning exercise.

Drop-in sessions will be held in the shop at 199 Riddiford Street, near the New World supermarket, on:

  • Tuesday 20 November, 5.30pm–8pm
  • Saturday 24 November, 12 noon–3pm
  • Wednesday 28 November, 5.30pm–8pm
  • Tuesday 4 December, 5.30pm–8pm.

The Council has agreed to gradually develop a connected citywide bike network to give people more choice in how they get around, make things safer, and to help manage congestion as the city’s population grows.

Improvements in the south and east, and from the north along Hutt Road, have been prioritised as these are the areas where there is expected to be the greatest uptake when safer, connected lanes, paths, and routes are in place.

The Council is working very closely with the Government and NZ Transport Agency to make sure plans developed for this area are in keeping with the types of street changes they are keen to see and are willing to help fund.

Feedback is required by 5pm, Tuesday 11 December, and can be provided online at transportprojects.org.nz.

There’s a computer at Kia Ora Newtown, 6 Constable Street, 10am–3pm, Tuesday to Friday, and the community liaison advisor is happy to help anyone who needs it. Paper forms will also be available.