Wellington Scoop

Harbourside cycling: new bike path “will be amazing”


News from WCC
A new two-way bike path around part of Evans Bay will go ahead later in the year, along with changes to several other streets that will make it safer and easier to bike around Kilbirnie, into the city, and over the hill to Newtown.

The new coastal bike path will be developed around the bays on the seaward side of the road between the intersection of Carlton Gore Road on Oriental Parade, and Greta Point.

It will connect with existing shared paths at both ends, the new walking and bike paths being developed along Cobham Drive and through the cutting to Miramar, and planned new facilities in Kilbirnie.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says yesterday’s decisions by the Council’s City Strategy Committee are a significant milestone in the city’s cycleways programme.

“This will be an amazing recreational route that families and visitors to the city will be able to enjoy,” he says. “In time it will form a key part of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke – our region’s aim to one day have safe walking and biking facilities all the way around our harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

“It will be possible to ride all the way around the coast from the Miramar cutting to the central city without having to ride on the road, which will make commuting by bike to work or study a viable option for more people.”

The projects, which were all unanimously approved yesterday, will be funded in partnership with the Government and NZ Transport Agency. They were developed with the assistance of community working groups last year, and have been refined following wider community feedback in September and November.

Work around Evans Bay, and the other approved connections, won’t start until the middle of this year at the earliest. Between now and then, detailed design work will be done. This will include independent safety audits.

Councillors have agreed more detailed work can be carried out over the next few months to look at the logistics and cost of widening the six narrowest sections of the bays route so the footpath, bike path and traffic lanes can be a consistent width all the way around. If approved, this would include seeking consents to raise existing low seawalls in several locations, so the footpath could be extended closer to the sea.

Cr Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, says the projects are part of a plan to gradually develop a connected citywide bike network, and simultaneously improve things for people on foot, so people have more choice in how they get around.

“As the city’s population grows, we need more people to be walking, biking or taking public transport to help manage traffic congestion and ensure the city remains a great place to live.

“We can encourage biking by providing more lanes, paths and connections that make it safer for people of all ages and abilities to make some trips by bike.”

Projects approved yesterday:

The City Strategy Committee unanimously agreed to proceed with changes to:

· Evans Bay Parade (Carlton Gore Road intersection on Oriental Parade to just north of Greta Point) – two-way bike path on the seaward side

· Rongotai Road (Onepu Road to Te Whiti Street) – kerbside bike lanes with raised buffers

· Te Whiti Street (Coutts Street to Rongotai Road) – adding more space between existing painted bike lanes and parked cars

· Coutts Street (Te Whiti Street to the airport tunnel) – kerbside bike paths

· Tirangi Road (Coutts Street to the Leonie Gill Pathway) – kerbside bike lanes with raised buffers

· Crawford Road – bike lane with raised buffer on the uphill side; sharrow road markings in the downhill lane

· Constable Street (Alexandra Road to Coromandel Street) – uphill bike lane with raised buffer

· Coromandel Street (Coromandel Street to Wilson Street) – sharrow road markings

· Wilson Street two-way (Daniell Street to Coromandel Street) – sharrow road markings

For now, Councillors have agreed not to proceed with projects proposed for:

· Yule Street

· Wilson Street one-way (Daniell Street to Riddiford Street).

Sharrow road markings will be painted in the two-way sections of Wilson Street but no decisions on the one-way section will be made until there has been more community discussion this year about other Newtown connections and routes.

The proposed layout for Yule Street wasn’t well supported during consultation, and only offered marginal benefits. Improvements planned for Te Whiti Street will provide a safe alternative route nearby.

More information about all these projects – and others planned around the city – is available at transportprojects.org.nz


  1. CycleAware Wellington, 9. March 2018, 10:37

    Yay! Evans Bay Parade and Kilbirnie Connections bike path projects approved by the WgtnCC. Lots of goodness – mostly protected paths, and a set of important routes for getting between the East and the CBD/Newtown. [via twitter]

  2. Island Bay Cycleway, 9. March 2018, 11:40

    Great to see that the two-way cycleway in Evans Bay will be widened at the points where it was below an acceptable width. Hope to see consistency of decision-making when it comes to Oriental Bay. [via twitter]

  3. Paul, 9. March 2018, 13:05

    Are they ever going to reseal the road and do something about the ghost markings in Island Bay?

  4. Jonny Utzone, 9. March 2018, 15:07

    Will cyclists be barred from using the remaining road that’s left for cars and trucks?

  5. TrevorH, 9. March 2018, 15:28

    So the mayor admits these lanes are primarily for recreational purposes? Good. Now hopefully we can dispense with the notion that cycling is the answer to Wellington’s everyday transport problems. It’s obvious these lanes will make the situation worse and the fact that cyclists still use the road when space has been set aside for them is rubbing salt in the wound for everyone else.

  6. Pseudopanax, 9. March 2018, 17:56

    At last some Good News from the council for future generations to build on…Bring Them On!

  7. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 9. March 2018, 19:04

    @TrevorH: You missed the other quote from the mayor: “It will be possible to ride all the way around the coast from the Miramar cutting to the central city without having to ride on the road, which will make commuting by bike to work or study a viable option for more people.” Commuting = everyday transport.

  8. Wellington Commuter, 10. March 2018, 9:00

    Will cyclists be barred from using the road that’s left for cars, buses and trucks?

  9. Jonny Utzone, 10. March 2018, 13:50

    I don’t think we’ll get an answer on this Wellington Commuter but I guess petrol tanker drivers, bus drivers and most car drivers are just going to have to put up with lycra cyclists who continue to use the residual road space (there being no space to pass them safely) for longer. Parp that horn!

  10. Ron Beernink (Chair Cycle Aware Wellington), 10. March 2018, 19:18

    Jonny Utzone, there’s a good reason why most lycra cyclists are more correctly known as road cyclists. To help explain a bit further: they go too fast to be on cycleways that are designed for slower, more concerned cyclists (e.g. older people, families with kids), and they can typically go fast enough to cycle the same speed as other traffic on the road. Rather than parp that horn, take it a bit easier (good for your health) and share and care (good for others).

  11. Piglet, 10. March 2018, 19:18

    The photo looks ridiculous. It doesn’t feel safe for the young person cycling the opposite way to the traffic which is very close to the cyclists.

  12. Rossco, 10. March 2018, 19:20

    This is being built for what…100 cyclists? Where is the cost benefit study? Just looking at the picture I can see safety issues in that raised cycle way – the little girl will be blown, wobble, be distracted, misjudge, and whammo…ejected straight into the path of an innocent car user. 98% of transport users are by car, why would you diminish their space for what is basically a weekend recreational vehicle used by a minority.

  13. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 10. March 2018, 22:19

    The answer to your question is that cyclists cannot be barred from using the traffic carriageway.

  14. andrew, 10. March 2018, 22:59

    Love the argument against providing for a minority. Watch out wheel chair ramps!

  15. TrevorH, 11. March 2018, 8:36

    @ Ron: thanks for the clarification. So cycle lanes are for older folk and families? Mainly recreational users? Meanwhile other cyclists will continue to use the whole road space because they travel too fast for the cycle lane? Unbelievable.

  16. Jonny utzone, 11. March 2018, 8:57

    Why don’t the Lycra cyclists take it easier and use the cycleways being provided for them and let the cars buses and trucks go at their normal speed?

  17. Piglet, 11. March 2018, 9:06

    Chris how about designating the remaining space as 30kph urban motorways then you can bar selfish Lycra cyclists from the remaining road space and keep them on the multi million dollar cycle ways you have designed for them?

  18. Rossco, 11. March 2018, 9:34

    There is no cost benefit justification. It is pandering to a vocal minority. The cost versus the small number of users, not more than 100, is not justified. The cost to existing road users is not justified. The cost in lost parking spaces is not justified. Traffic flows from the East are strangled as is, Evans Bay is an important arterial route, where any further restriction will make a bad situation worse.

  19. Richard, 11. March 2018, 11:07

    Great news! My partner and I use this route every weekday to cycle to and from work. Can’t wait to have a proper cycle lane. Currently too many near misses with cars misjudging the corners and cutting through the cycle lane.
    Already lots of people commuting by bike via Evans Bay Parade and when this work is done it will increase. Plenty of people who must have gotten fed up of sitting in traffic on SH1 through the tunnel or around the rat race that Evans Bay Parade has become. This new road layout and the increasing car congestion might give them the push to try this. Those signs on Cobham Drive are so spot on about commuting by bike: ‘On time, every time’.

  20. Neil Douglas, 11. March 2018, 13:48

    Richard – what do you think of Ron Beernink’s post? I’d be interested to know your prediction on the percentage of cycle commuters who will use the cycleway versus the remaining road.

  21. Richard, 11. March 2018, 16:24

    Neil – I don’t really know. Most bike commuters currently seem to be in the ‘cycle lane’, so don’t think that would change too much with the new layout as long as the bike path is wide enough for people to overtake each other to cater for different speeds (which it appears to be).

    I do object to the sentiment of some comments here, where the impression is given that cyclists hold up traffic. In my experience it is the queue to go through the traffic lights at the end of Oriental Bay Parade (often going back as far as Jenningham point) that is the hold up. It’s the large amount of cars that creates the congestion from Miramar to and from town, not the occasional cyclist who is taking the lane or temporarily holds up a car until they can pass. A little patience would go a long way.

  22. TrevorH, 11. March 2018, 19:25

    @Richard. Cyclists hold up traffic. They ignore the road code and are a danger to themselves and others. I could possibly reconcile myself to the disproportionate expenditure on cycleways if I knew it would result in their separation from other road-users. But it is clear this is not the case. We are spending $70 million in the LTP for a minority recreational pastime because councillors pander to a vociferous pressure group. It’s time the rest of us became vociferous and voted out those who authorise this boondoggle.

  23. Traveller, 11. March 2018, 21:11

    TrevorH. Such wild generalisations. But you’ve made yourself clear. You really dislike cyclists.

  24. TrevorH, 11. March 2018, 21:37

    @Traveller: I dislike waste involving millions of dollars appropriated from ratepayers.

  25. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 11. March 2018, 23:14

    @TrevorH and others. The artist’s impression shows a substandard arrangement where everything (footpath, carriageway and cycle lane) is constrained by the existing overall road width (fence-line to cliff-face). This has now been superseded by the Council’s decision to utilise the space above the seawalls at several locations around the bays. You can see one such seawall on the left of the sketch – this area would be raised to footpath height and would become the new footpath/promenade, meaning that the existing footpath and cycle lane will become the new two-way cycle path. This means a fit-for-purpose cycle path of 3m width, which will attract many more commuting cyclists and will meet the needs of all but the very fastest riders.

    For clarity, the current $70m budget over the next 10 years will be met to about 60-65% by central government via NZTA and the Urban Cycleways Fund.

  26. Jonny utzone, 12. March 2018, 8:32

    Hmmm so to clarify Chris, the computer-artist has given us the wrong impression of what the cycleway will look like at this point of the route. And that WCC ratepayers will be contributing approx $2.5 million a year for 10 years. I’d be interested in seeing an engineer’s crosssection if you could direct us to one for this part of the route.

  27. greenwelly, 12. March 2018, 13:40

    @Chris, the artist’s impression is the one in the council agenda for the 8th March (and on the council’s transport website )
    If there was another one provided to councillors when they made this decision, where can we find a copy?

  28. Concerned Wellingtonian, 12. March 2018, 14:37

    I am as puzzled as greenwelly about the information made available before the WCC made their decision. Perhaps Chris Calvi-Freeman can give Wellington.Scoop a reference to this information. Is it really an old photo which is used on the WCC’s website? Was a new photo and info. suddenly produced at the meeting?

  29. Cr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 12. March 2018, 22:53

    Please see the City Strategy Report that was considered last week: https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/committees/city-strategy-committee/2018/03/final-agenda.pdf Start at page 59.

  30. greenwelly, 13. March 2018, 9:32

    @Chris, the Tonkin and Taylor schematic for the section in the image (p71 of the document you linked to – thanks) shows removing the fence, and allowing the footpath to use the lower level; the entire level would not be raised, only ramped up and down (according to the T/T plan) requiring walkers to descend and then ascend at the end.

    However just to the west (again page 71) an even worse “pinch point” still exists with a footpath or 1.8m and a cycleway of only 2m – are there plans to extend out this seawall?

    Page 65 talks about extending the sea wall, but there appear to be no plans on the extent of this, nor of any environmental impact reports on what impact this encroachment into the harbour would have.