Wellington Scoop

Island Bay cycleway rebuild – separated kerbside design recommended

The Wellington City Council has tonight published all 3763 submissions from the public giving individual opinions on the options proposed for the Island Bay cycleway on The Parade. It has also published officers’ recommendations for rebuilding the cycleway, which will be considered by councillors next week.

Because of the large number of submissions, they have been published in 27 separate sections (for submissions on paper) plus a separate section of electronic submissions, and a further section showing what the council calls “informal” submissions.

Almost a quarter of Island Bay residents participated in the consultation (1991),
which led to over half of the total submissions being from the area. The council reports:

While this represents a strong response in the context of this consultation, equally over three quarters of the Island Bay population were either indifferent or chose not to participate. Submissions were also received from all parts of Wellington City and beyond. The results illustrate that public sentiment about the future of the cycleway is situated within both a broader evolution of roading infrastructure to further upport urban cycling, and a community passionate about its character and the wellbeing of people who live, work and travel in Island Bay.

Responses were diverse and honestly held, and are broadly overlaid by two clear responses, characterised as:
a conserving response (revert to a roadside option) and a progressing response
(establish a kerbside option). This distinction has a strong geographical influence with Option E (roadside option) strongly preferred by residents living on the cycleway itself and generally lessening in support the further away submitters are from it. In contrast, kerbside options become significantly more popular as physical distance from the cycleway increased.

In summary there is very little support for the status quo cycleway. The way forward however is sharply divided between a conserving (of the pre-cycleway Parade) response, and a progressing response. The majority of Island Bay submitters say they want the old Parade back. They see the current cycleway as unsafe, bad for residents, businesses and travellers, with little upside for cyclists. The majority of other submitters want a strengthened kerbside option which they see as safe for cyclists, necessary and ultimately good for all road users and Wellington City.

Council officers say they cannot support the roadside option, which they identify as contrary to the NZTA’s Cycleway Network Guidance; they recommend a separated kerbside cycleway, based on an assessment that on balance, the kerbside option best achieves the outcomes sought by the community design objectives.

They also recommend widening road lanes in residential areas.

Councillors will consider the recommendations, which would cost $6.1m and include a full resealing of The Parade, at a meeting next Wednesday.

Consultation on the cycleway re-design ran from the end of July till the middle of August.

Take your choice – every submission is available here.


  1. Glen Smith, 23. September 2017, 11:56

    The City Council has given Island Bay residents a wide range of options for a cycleway in Island Bay – all that is except the demonstrably most logical one which is a dual cycleway on the western side of the Parade. The designers seem to be fixated on the Copenhagen design of two single cycleways on opposite sides of the road, despite the flaws that have been demonstrated in a Wellington setting, and have ignored the option of a dual cycleway, more commonly used in Scandinavia.

    Advantages of a dual cycleway include:
    1. Lower width required. The minimum reasonable width would be 2.5m cycleway and 0.6 buffer given total of 3.1m (compared to the total of 4.2m to over 5m on the council designs) but in fact some cycleways drop as low as 2m (although when I cycled the 2m wide cycleway along the Melbourne foreshore I found this a bit ‘tight’). The additional width can be allocated to cars allowing (by my calculations) 3.2m wide lanes with a 1.6m wide central buffer. Cars on the east would return to parking directly by the pedestrian curb.
    2. Ability to overtake. Bikes now go at greatly variable speeds and overtaking on a single cycleway is impossible. At least 2m and more comfortably 2.5 m is required. I commonly cycle to work in Island Bay and ride a modern electric bike travelling up to 40km/hr. I am increasingly forced back out on to the road between cars to overtake. As cycling and electric bike use increases, this will become more common and an accident (possibly fatal) is increasingly likely. Sorry Island Bay motorists but with current designs options I will almost certainly be back on the road along with a lot of other cyclists.
    3. Half the number of interactions with parked cars, bus stops, side roads, driveways etc since the cycleway is only on one side of the road.
    4. A larger and therefore more visible and conspicuous cycleway making it less likely to be missed by cars.

    The main problem with dual cycleways is that they have a higher injury rate at intersections due to motorists who are turning onto or emerging from side roads (and are concentrating on road traffic) not anticipating cyclists coming from both directions. This problem can be overcome by setting cycleways back one car length from the main road on side roads (easily achievable here due to the wide border on the west) so that motorists assess the cycleway separately from the road traffic (see page 21 Sustrans Handbook for Cycle Friendly Design ).
    I wrote to Councillors Eagle Free and Calvert encouraging them to look at this design option but there is no evidence they have done so and it certainly hasn’t been offered to the residents of Island Bay

  2. Peter Panetrieri, 23. September 2017, 15:52

    I have been pushing the kerbside dual carriage cycle way on the west right from the beginning, at a slightly lower level than the footpath. As the road reserve on that side is more than 6 meters wide, a dual carriage is the only sensible option. Also much cheaper.
    For the amount of cycle traffic island would ultimately get (this is not midcity or Amsterdam central) dual is perfect; allows families to ride slowly plus overtaking by faster bikes.

  3. Glen Smith, 24. September 2017, 12:03

    Peter, yes a dual cycleway is clearly the logical choice. For the shopping centre, this could drop to the minimum 2m width as a temporary semi-segregated cycle corridor in a combined pedestrian/ cycle ‘slow zone’ allowing (by my calculations) continued angle parking albeit with a reduced dedicated pedestrian strip by the shops (still 3m wide though). What is surprising is the slap happy way city and regional councillors seem to go about their work. If I acted this way I would soon be up before the Health and Disability Commissioner (oh was chemotherapy an option. Yes someone mentioned that and I know it’s common internationally but its not my preference so I couldn’t be bothered even looking at it let alone offering it to you. Oh well the decision is made now and I’m sure the cancer was going to spread anyway).

  4. Cr Calvi-Freeman, 24. September 2017, 20:11

    Glen, I for one appreciate your interest in transport infrastructure matters but not your repeated comparison with the medical profession. I can assure you that councillors are not slap happy in their work. Many of us have very carefully scrutinised the officers’ reports on key transport issues and have contributed to many detailed discussions with engineers, advocates and opponents of various schemes. I’ve spent hours in Island Bay, observing the functioning of the existing arrangements. I personally bring a lifetime of professional transport planning experience to bear in my contributions, analysis and decisions on transport matters. I won’t try to make comparisons with the medical profession other than to refer you to a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright: “A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” I guess transport planners’ mistakes, like architects’, are equally visible. And yes, having survived serious cancer I can attest to some excellent medical advice and some not so good.

  5. Morris Oxford, 25. September 2017, 9:39

    I wish that more of the debate about transport was during meetings which are open to the public.
    We would then all be in a position to understand what Cr Calvi-Freeman is thinking.

  6. Glen Smith, 25. September 2017, 13:18

    Chris – If these issues have been well scrutinised, then you should be able to release the advice you received on the option of a dual cycleway in Island Bay and explain why this option wasn’t chosen. And you, or members of the Regional Council, should be able to release the long term business case for trolley (which evidence suggests would be cheaper than diesel), the advice/costings you have received on off-wire trolleys and options for combined electrical supply for trolleys with across town rail and explain why these options weren’t presented to the public before the decision was made to dismantle our electric bus system. And you should be able to release the analysis / costings of a dual road rail Mt Victoria Tunnel (I presented Ramboll’s proposal for this in 2013 and have requested information twice on this and, despite this being logically cheapest and easiest way of getting rail across Mt Victoria, neither time had it been analysed in any way). And you should be able to release the analysis/ advice you have received regarding options for track sharing to remove rail transfer (and the associated high ongoing transfer penalty and increased congestion costs throughout this century) at the station for any across town rail (except you said you weren’t going to look at this).