News | 18 March 2016

Eastern cycleways - engagement in April

Wellingtonians – especially people in the Capital’s east – will have opportunity in April to make their views known on how $6 million will be spent on safer cycling in the eastern suburbs.

Wellington City Council staff are working on a website that is scheduled to be up and running from early April. It will outline the areas where enhancements for cycling are proposed for safe-cycling ‘corridors’ between Seatoun, Miramar and the central city – and the suburbs in between. The areas have been proposed as a result of a joint working party with the Council and a large number of community organisations.

The website will outline the cycling corridors that have been recommended by a working group. It will also enable the community to have its say on the best or most-preferred routes within those corridors – and also how roads or footpaths should be laid-out and treated to make cycling safer.

Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the website will comprehensively outline a wide range of possible routes and cycleway options.

“Councillors voted last year for the Council-community working group to make recommendations on options for the eastern suburbs – and this group has done great work in the past few months. In a couple of weeks’ time it’ll be the turn of the wider community to have its say.”

The working group is comprised of representatives of the following groups: 

  • Strathmore Progressive & Beautifying Association
  • Miramar-Maupuia Progressive Association
  • Hataitai Residents' Association
  • Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Business Improvement District (BID)
  • Kilbirnie Business Improvement District (BID)
  • St Catherine's College
  • Wellington East Girls College
  • Cycle Aware Wellington
  • Living Streets Aotearoa
  • NZ Automobile Association Wellington District
  • NZ Transport Agency
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Cr Simon Woolf, the Council’s Community Engagement Portfolio Leader, says that, after the controversy and conflict relating to the Island Bay cycleway, he looks forward to as wide a cross-section of the community as possible making its views known via the website from April.

And the Council’s Eastern Ward Councillors are also looking forward to the consultation:

  • Cr Ray Ahipene-Mercer says while large sections of the east are flat, there are challenges in dealing with the likes of State Highway 1 to the airport. “I’ll be eager to hear what locals think of the best way to get cyclists over, under or around this highway.” 
  • Cr Sarah Free says she wants the community to look at “both the big picture and the street-by-street detail” of how safer cycling could be encouraged. She adds that any solution needs a good level of community acceptance.
  • Cr Simon Marsh, the Council’s Small-Medium Enterprise Portfolio Leader, hopes residents and businesses will grab the opportunity to get involved in “the inevitable debate” about whether on-street parking should be limited or shifted to make way for safe cycling.

Cr Foster says feedback to the website will then be discussed by the working group and proposals on how the $6 million be spent will go to further public consultation in mid-October to mid-November.

Recommendations on final routes and spending options will be discussed and voted at the end of the year.

The Eastern Suburbs proposals are part of the Council’s planned $34.7 million investment in cycling around the city over the next three years, to encourage sustainable and affordable transport, healthy exercise, and reduce emissions and congestion. Two-thirds of that investment will be made by the Government and one-third by the City Council.