News | 5 October 2022

We’re rolling out the green carpet

Wellingtonians have asked for better transport choices, action on climate change and accessible housing, so we’re getting on with it.

Animated image of a person on a bike with a child on the back.

Our goal is to be a city where it’s easy for people of all ages and abilities to choose low or zero carbon transport options to move around the city.

Our population is expected to grow by up to 80,000 people over the next 30 years, which will dramatically affect the way our city looks, feels, and operates. If we continue at our current rate of car use, more people and more vehicles will grind the city to a halt.

No one wants that, so we’re preparing for the future by rebalancing how we use our existing street space to give people better options for how they get around. It’s vital we provide this choice now so we can support growing neighbourhoods and create healthy, liveable streets for future generations. Better transport options mean we can move more people with fewer vehicles and get the best use out of the limited space in our compact city. Providing better sustainable transport options means we can attract and enable urban development and housing closer to where people like to live, work, and play.

Council has agreed how to prioritise our street space, putting people walking, riding and using public transport at the top. Following public consultation, the routes for Paneke Pōneke, our citywide bike network were approved by the Council in March 2022. Over the next 10 to 15 years, improvements will be delivered across these approved routes to connect the whole city with a complete sustainable transport network.

But 10 years is a long time, and we know we need to move faster. So we can get things on the ground sooner for everyone, including our tamariki, we’ll be working with the community to make interim changes as our first step. These initial improvements won’t be perfect or include much landscaping but will make it safer and easier for more people to go by bike, e-scooter, or bus.

It’ll be a collective effort to understand how people currently experience these routes and get public input into designs. We will be taking a more agile approach, using adaptable materials so we can quickly install changes once the designs are ready to go and then adapt based on feedback once people can experience the changes on the ground.

With the feedback and data we gather on how it’s going, we can improve things such as signs, street markings, parking allocation, and the position of dividers between the bike lanes and traffic. We can also recommend future changes when more permanent upgrades follow in the next 5 to 10 years. Working in this way will help to get a bike network built together with the community as quickly as possible so more people can benefit.

To learn more about the programme, and to find out when and where changes are planned for your area, visit the Transport Projects website.