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Improving the Parade, delaying the cycleway, and seeking more govt money

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is aiming to secure up to $24 million in Government funding for walking and cycling improvements in Island Bay, Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook.

The Government this year announced it will invest more money making walking and biking safer and easier, offering an opportunity for the Council to get more work done without needing more ratepayer money.

The Council has been talking with the NZ Transport Agency to determine how to maximise funding for the southern suburbs, where planning is under way in Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook for more walking and cycling infrastructure.

Mayor Justin Lester says the Council has approved $8 million in ratepayer funding to improve connections in the south of the city between now and 2021, including the agreed redesign of The Parade in Island Bay.

“With the new government’s policy statement on transport, we have the opportunity to make more improvements in more suburbs with the same amount of ratepayer funding. By partnering with NZTA under the new Government Policy Statement, we have the opportunity to fund up to $32 million worth of changes in these areas by 2021, with the Council paying 25 percent and NZTA paying 75 percent,” he says.

The Council is working towards an integrated plan for high-quality biking and walking connections from the south coast to the city – including the Island Bay improvements – for which it aims to achieve signoff from NZTA by mid-2019.

Councillors will consider the co-funding opportunity at the Council’s City Strategy Committee meeting on 18 October. If approved, it will affect when the redesign work in Island Bay will happen.

If Councillors agree to the revised approach, the Council will do some essential maintenance work over the summer, but postpone other planned work in Island Bay until NZTA has considered the integrated plan and decided how much funding it will provide. This is likely to happen in the middle of next year.

Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the maintenance work on The Parade will start soon.

“Starting later this month, we’ll do as much as possible to remove the old ‘ghost’ markings, and repaint the required road markings to make them clearer. We’ll also do some pre-seal repairs between Dee Street and Tamar Street so this block can be resealed early next year.”

A package of improvements in the wider Newtown area will be developed next year following more discussion and consultation with the community over the next six to eight months.

The first phase of engagement on the Newtown Connections project happened in June and July.

Of the 775 people who provided initial feedback, 85 percent thought it was important or very important to make it easier and safer for people to bike in and around the wider Newtown Connections area.

In November, these communities will be asked for their thoughts on packages of options involving different routes and changes to streets. Consultation on a preferred package of changes for Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook will follow, most likely about March next year.

Cr Free says with this work, and the work Let’s Get Wellington Moving is planning, the city is well on the way to having an agreed plan for making this part of the city safer for people on foot and on bikes.

“The key thing is that by delaying significant changes to the Island Bay cycleway until planning in Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook has been completed, we can potentially achieve a better, more coordinated result.

“It’s always been planned that the Island Bay facilities would form the southern end of a wider southern bike network. We’re now almost at a point where those wider connections can be agreed.”

The Council is in the early stages of developing a connected citywide bike network to make it possible for more people of all ages and abilities to choose to make some trips by bike. It has prioritised work in the eastern and southern suburbs, and from the north along Hutt Road, over the first few years as these are the areas where there is expected to be the greatest uptake when safer, connected facilities are in place.

Earlier (online) News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is planning to start some essential maintenance work on The Parade in Island Bay this month.

It will be
Repainting the centre line and right-turning bays from Dee to Reef streets
Removing redundant road markings from intersections and other asphalted areas
Any necessary road repairs between Dee and Tamar streets so this block can be resealed in early 2019.

The remarking work will happen after Labour weekend over a couple of nights. Our contractors will then use a water blaster to remove the redundant markings. This will take a couple of weeks, with work happening during the day and in the evening.

The repairs between Dee and Tamar streets will happen during the day. The road may be down to one lane at times, but will operate as usual at peak times.

A letter will be going to people along The Parade soon with more detail.

What Councillors will discuss next week

The Government announced in June that it will invest more money making walking and biking safer and easier, offering an opportunity for the city to get more done in more areas without needing more ratepayer money.

Since then, we have been talking with the NZ Transport Agency about how we can best maximise funding for the southern suburbs, where planning is under way in Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook.

The Agency has advised that by developing an integrated plan for high-quality biking and walking connections from the south coast to the city – including the agreed Island Bay improvements, we have the opportunity to secure up to $24 million in Government funding.

At this stage $8m in ratepayer funding has been approved to improve connections in the south of the city between now and 2021, including the agreed redesign of the Parade.

With a coordinated approach, and NZTA picking up 75 percent of the cost, we can potentially fund up to $32 million worth of changes in these areas by 2021. The Agency has made it clear it will not consider this level of funding for Island Bay in isolation.

Councillors will consider this co-funding opportunity at the City Strategy Committee meeting on 18 October. If approved, this will affect when the redesign work in Island Bay will happen.

The maintenance work outlined above will happen regardless. However, if Councillors agree to the revised approach, other work in Island Bay will be postponed until NZTA has considered the integrated plan and decided how much funding it will provide. This is likely to happen in the middle of next year.

Promised discussions with the community about how to further enhance the Island Bay town centre – in conjunction with the agreed bike path redesign – would happen later next year once funding decisions have been made.

It’s always been planned that the Island Bay facilities would form the southern section of a wider southern network. We’re now almost at a point where those wider connections can be agreed.

Newtown Connections – feedback on options next month
A package of improvements in the wider Newtown area will be developed next year following more discussion and consultation with the community over the next six to eight months.

The first phase of engagement on the Newtown Connections project happened in June and July this year. Of the 775 people who provided initial feedback, 85 percent thought it was important or very important to make it easier and safer for people to bike in, around and through the wider Newtown Connections area.

In November, we’ll be seeking community feedback on packages of options involving different routes and changes to streets. Consultation on a preferred package of changes for Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook will follow, most likely about March next year.

With this work, and the work Let’s Get Wellington Moving is planning, the city is well on the way to having an agreed plan for making this part of the city safer for people on foot and on bikes.

The key thing is that by delaying other changes to The Parade until planning in Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook has been completed, we can potentially achieve a better, more coordinated result.

For information about these and other projects, go to transportprojects.org.nz

7 comments:

  1. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 11. October 2018, 12:48

    I’m a little disappointed that the planned work on The Parade may be delayed, but if it achieves a better overall result, it will be worth the wait.
    It also means much better value for the ratepayer, as the Council can access the NZTA subsidy.
    Great to see the rogue markings will be fixed. Should have happened ages ago.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day.

     
  2. Jess Berentson-Shaw, 11. October 2018, 14:29

    It is great that biking infrastructure is being taken seriously. But I have responded to 3 consultations so far on this. This says we are going to be consulted again. It seems like a war of attrition rather than best practice shared decision making. [via twitter]

     
  3. Fleur Fitzsimons, 11. October 2018, 14:35

    Note: much needed removal of confusing ghost markings and resealing before Christmas, residents have been raising this with me for some time so I’m really pleased this is happening! [via twitter]

     
  4. luke, 11. October 2018, 18:05

    More talk and no shovels in the ground. Will we still be talking about it in twenty years?

     
  5. Trevor H, 11. October 2018, 18:56

    I regularly use the Parade. I have never seen a cyclist. Why are such large sums of money being spent for so little benefit?

     
  6. Ralf, 12. October 2018, 8:34

    @TrevorH: I assume you are also against the waste in Transmission Gully (which makes cycleways look like peanuts). I advise to look at photos of Amsterdam or Copenhagen in the 60s and 70s. No bicycles anywhere. Compare that to today. I also advise to read this. Rule 53: Understand that cycling follows investment.

    P.S. this is what is called induced demand: Investing in cycleways induces cycling, investing in PT induces PT usage (see Auckland’s uptake in rail usage AFTER they build Britomart), investing in roads induces car usage (this is why you never can build your way out of congestion).

     
  7. Heidi P, 12. October 2018, 9:27

    Yeah Ralf. Transmission Gully is a horrific waste of money, time and energy.

     

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