Wellington City Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee gave the go ahead to quicker and more reliable bus trips and safer biking between Wellington Hospital and the waterfront. The committee made the decision after considering recent community feedback.
The feedback showed 69 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported proposed interim bus and bike improvements on Riddiford Street, Adelaide Road and Cambridge and Kent terraces.
Yesterday’s decision means the Council will install:
- 24/7 bus lanes along Adelaide Road (both directions)
- extended hours for bus lanes on Kent Terrace and Cambridge Terrace (7am–9am and 4pm–6pm on both streets, Monday to Friday)
- three more bus stop platforms like the ones already in place near the hospital
- separated bike lanes on both sides of Adelaide Road and Riddiford Street, as far as Mein Street
- a two-way bike lane between the Basin Reserve and the waterfront via Cambridge Terrace and a short section of Kent Terrace
- closed u-turn areas on Kent and Cambridge terraces
- ·no right turn from Cambridge Terrace into Pirie Street
- a new signalised pedestrian crossing between the central median islands at the Vivian Street/Cambridge Terrace intersection
- a new signalised diagonal bike crossing from Cambridge Terrace to Kent Terrace at the Courtenay Place intersection.
Councillors also passed a number of amendments for Council officers to report back on monitoring once the changes are installed, particularly the impact on local businesses; update Council on plans to educate bus stop users and how the bus stops are used; work with Let’s Get Wellington Moving to develop permanent upgrades as soon as practicable to eliminate the need for shared paths; continue to work with willing local businesses to understand what signs might direct customers to available parking; and with disability and walking groups during and after the installation.
More short-term time restrictions for some of the existing parking on side streets and relocated loading zones will help to mitigate the impact of parking removal along the route.
The Council’s Chief Planning Officer, Liam Hodgetts, says “The committee’s decision yesterday reflects the commitments the Council has already made to lower emissions, improve bus journey times and reliability, and develop a safe, citywide bike network as quickly as possible.
“We’re grateful to the more than 1800 people in the community, representing individuals, businesses, and groups, who provided feedback on the plans.
“The mix of views and local knowledge has helped to shape these interim changes. Along with the insights we’ll gain from having these interim improvements completed, the feedback will help ensure the route is the best it can be until permanent changes are made by Let’s Get Wellington Moving.”
Changes made to the original draft plans in response to community feedback include traffic signal, lane and parking changes near the Mein/Hall/Riddiford intersection, more pick-up and drop-off parking spaces near Newtown School, adjustments to some loading zones, and adding metered parking in the closed-off u-turn area near 59 Kent Terrace, on Kent and Cambridge.
In response to feedback received during the consultation, Councillors also agreed to a proposal for a separate traffic resolution that would extend the bus lane hours on Kent and Cambridge to 24/7. This would further improve bus travel times and reliability and be consistent with the bus lanes on Adelaide Road and Riddiford Street.
Once the interim improvements are installed, we’ll be asking for feedback on how things are working and adjust if necessary. Economic data is being used to help monitor and evaluate the impact of the project on economic spend along the route.
Installation of interim bus and bike improvements on the Newtown route temporarily stopped in May following a legal challenge. The Council reached an agreement with the group which had sought a judicial review. The agreement included a commitment to consult using the traditional traffic resolution process which has now happened.
Depending on contractor availability, the installation work could resume from October and take several months.
More information about the Newtown route is available at transportprojects.org.nz/newtown