News | 14 December 2022

More sustainable transport options through Aro Valley and Ngaio

Further bus, bike and pedestrian improvements are heading for the suburbs of Wellington, with routes through Aro Valley and Ngaio approved today.

Artist impression and stages map for Aro Valley transport project consultation
Artist impression and stages map for Aro Valley transport project

Wellington City Council’s Koata Hātepe Regulatory Processes Committee gave the go ahead for new raised pedestrian crossings and a further 6 kilometres of safer bike routes, giving Wellingtonians more sustainable transport options to help reduce carbon emissions. 

Transport Projects

Today’s decision determines what interim cycling improvements will be made on two routes. The Aro Valley route goes from Willis Street along Aro Street, Raroa Road and Raroa Crescent, while the Ngaio route goes from Hutt Road along Kaiwharawhara Road, Ngaio Gorge Road, Kenya Street, and Crofton Road. Changes on Cameron Street to the Kaiwharawhara Bridle Path are also planned.

The committee made the decision after considering recent community feedback, which showed more than two-thirds of respondents supported or strongly supported the proposed changes on the two routes. 

“We know reallocating street space to provide low carbon transport options now is crucial so we can support our growing neighbourhoods and create healthy, liveable streets for our tamariki,” says Mayor Tory Whanau. 

“We’re taking an agile and responsive approach to construction, using adaptable materials that let us quickly install changes – getting more of Wellington’s bike network in place faster, so more people can benefit sooner. This also means we can adapt the routes based on feedback once people have experienced the changes on the ground.

“Both routes will be funded in part by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Transport Choices programme, which aims to make quick and visible changes to our streets and the way people use them to build a transport system that’s sustainable for the next generations to come.”

These changes include: 

  • uphill bike lanes
  • safer speeds along Aro Street, Cameron Street, and around Ngaio Village
  • new raised pedestrian crossings
  • new car share parking spaces in Aro Valley
  • improving access to bus stops – for both passengers and buses
  • improving visibility and reducing pinch points on narrow roads by removing some car parks and painting broken yellow lines
  • sharrow road markings going downhill to make it more obvious that drivers and riders share the lane.
Artist impression and stages map for Ngaio Gorge transport project consultation
Artist impression and stages map for Ngaio Gorge transport project

Committee Chair Councillor Sarah Free says: "Community feedback has played an integral role in shaping the final designs that we have approved today, and we thank everyone for their input.

“We understand that getting used to street changes like these takes time and supporting options like car share and having more dedicated residents parking are examples of ways to make the most of limited street space, and help people living in these inner-city suburbs adjust over time.

“We are very conscious of supporting the community to adapt and we are looking at ways to make it easier for carers and tradespeople to access properties too,” adds Councillor Free.

In Aro Valley, changes made in response to people’s feedback include bike parking and mobility parking close to the shopping village, an extension to the 30kph zone, and new residents parking options on Aro Street, Adams Terrace and Holloway Road.

New residents parking will also be proposed on Raroa Road, following more discussion with the community. Two narrow paths that are often used by people walking and biking through Aro Park and Little Palmer Street to the CBD will be widened to make shared use easier for everyone. 

In Ngaio, the Residents’ Association welcomes the changes. 

“Here in Ngaio, we’re aiming to be the first zero-carbon suburb in New Zealand,” says shared Ngaio Residents’ Association Chair Ian Turk.

“Having better transport options is a big part of meeting this goal. Changes like these will make it easier for our community to get around our neighbourhoods safely on foot or by bike, whether it’s getting to school, or visiting the local shops or parks.”

Business and community feedback in Ngaio has led to safer crossings that improve access to bus stops, creating a new loading zone at the bottom of Ngaio Gorge, more short-term parks outside the Crofton Road dairy, safer speeds and a P24 parking zone on Cameron Street, and work to improve visibility and reduce pinch points along the route. 

The first stage of installation on both routes is expected to get under way in March 2023. 

As part of Paneke Pōneke, Wellington’s bike network plan, improvements are already being installed between Newtown and the city, and Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and the city. Designs are also in development for routes through Thorndon, Kilbirnie, and between Berhampore and Newtown. 

More information about Paneke Pōneke and planned transport changes can be found at transportprojects.org.nz. 

Transport Choices funding is currently indicative until Waka Kotahi works with Councils to explore how projects can be progressed in line with Transport Choices timeframes. Funding allocations may be adjusted after this consultation.

At today’s meeting, the Committee also considered and approved street changes in Island Bay which will allow the planned upgrade of the main shopping centre and area near the Empire Cinema & Eatery to go ahead. The improvements will include a safer bike connection through the shops.

The improvement plans, which have been co-designed with the community, are designed to improve access, increase safety, and strengthen the suburb’s special identity. Work is expected to start mid-next year. Find out more about the upgrade plans.