News | 25 August 2023
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Safer walking, bike and bus link to Brooklyn on the way

Further street improvements will be made on the route to Brooklyn to make it safer and easier to walk, bike and bus, including a safer new bike connection through to the shops.

Artist impression of the new bike lane proposed for Owhiro Road.
Artist impression of the new bike lane proposed for Ohiro Road

Wellington City Council’s Koata Hātepe Regulatory Processes Committee today gave the go-ahead to improvements that include:

  • upgrading the bike lane up Brooklyn Road and extending it along Ohiro Road to the Todman Street intersection
  • seven new raised crossings for people on foot and the possibility of additional pedestrian improvements
  • a downhill shared on-road bike route to Aro Street
  • a new mobility park on Cleveland Street
  • changes to the number and location of bus stops to improve bus journey times.

It’s always been planned that more permanent improvements would replace the trial bike lane installed a couple of years ago. Work on site will get under way by mid-2024 once detailed design is complete.

The plans approved were developed based on technical advice, discussions with local businesses, groups and organisations, and feedback from the community on the trial changes.

These plans were shared with the community last month and have since been modified in response to suggestions and concerns raised.

Mayor Tory Whanau says Wellington has recently been recognised internationally and nationally for the progress it has made rolling out the citywide bike network, and the way it is making it possible for more people to bike more often – winning the prestigious Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure and $650,000 prize money in June, followed by the Breakthrough Biking City of the Year Award at the Local Government NZ conference last month.

“Wellingtonians have made it clear they want action on climate change and transport – that is why we are making this progress to deliver more walking, cycling and bus routes throughout the city.

“Street changes like this can take time to get used to – but they are a smart move for our climate and our future.”

Committee Chair Councillor Sarah Free says that it is gratifying to see the committee approve a permanent solution for the Brooklyn cycleway after it was installed as a transitional cycleway in 2021.

“Through our Paneke Pōneke programme we have been able to use low-cost adaptable materials to get a bike network in place as quickly as possible, along with bus and pedestrian improvements. This project is the first permanent cycleway to be approved following on from that process.

“People seeing this trial lane in action and using it, coupled with lots of opportunity to provide feedback has been a real advantage in designing the permanent solution.

“The most common thing we heard from people following the installation of the trial lane was that the safer biking connection needed to be extended from the top of Brooklyn Road to the local shopping centre, so it is great that will happen. We also heard that better, safer walking connections are really vital and we've been able to propose some more improvements there, along with finding some options to mitigate some of the loss of parking.

"Through this process we've heard from many in the community and it's good to see how the plans have been tweaked in response to the latest round of feedback.”

The bike lane planned for Brooklyn Road will be at street-level with concrete buffers from the intersection with lower Nairn Street as far as the top end of Nairn Street. From this point, the bike lane will be raised to footpath height, with a wide kerb to just past the intersection with Ohiro Road.

Changes will be made at the intersection of Brooklyn Road and Ohiro Road to encourage safer speeds and provide space for a new section of footpath. In response to earlier feedback, a painted central median on Brooklyn Road will be reinstated where space allows.   

Artist impression of the new bike lane proposed for Brooklyn Hill.
Artist impression of the new bike lane proposed for Brooklyn Hill

Changes made in response to the most recent round of feedback include:

  • keeping the southbound bus stop next to the Berkeley Dallard housing complex
  • keeping the citybound stop next to the Renouf Tennis Centre
  • modifying proposed median islands and crossing points on Brooklyn Road north and south of Washington Avenue
  • not going ahead with the proposed speed hump on the cityside of the Brooklyn Road and Ohiro Road intersection and retaining as much parking as possible in this vicinity
  • modifying proposed changes to the Washington Avenue/Cleveland Street intersection to keep four parking spaces
  • a commitment to investigate further improvements for pedestrians
  • increasing parking in Helen Street but putting some angle parking on the uphill side of the street.

The trial bike lane was installed with funding from Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets programme. Through the Transport Choices fund, Waka Kotahi is expected to fund 51 percent of the permanent changes.