Wellington Scoop

Three choices for bike lanes through Newtown and Berhampore


The Wellington City Council’s transport planners have today released three options for bike lanes and related street changes through Newtown and Berhampore.

The options show different ideas for street layouts and cycling routes which aim to make cycling safer and easier for more people. But detailed designs have not been started.

Before choices are made and designs begin, the council is inviting feedback from the community.

The three options are

Package A
The planners say this includes all three of the most direct connections for people cycling between Island Bay, Kilbirnie and the central city. It includes a link from Island Bay to South Wellington Intermediate School via an off-road path and bike lanes/paths on Russell Terrace. The bike lane layout would be consistent with the existing bike lanes and planned changes on The Parade, and the uphill lanes on Constable Street and Crawford Road.

Package B
The planners say this package provides the most direct connections from Island Bay and Kilbirnie to the central city but not the most direct link between Island Bay and Kilbirnie. Other than the connection to Kilbirnie, this package would provide fewer neighbourhood connections for people on bikes.
The two-way bikes lanes/paths and routes would involve changes to fewer streets than the other two packages, and have the least impact on parking. However they would not be consistent with the existing bike lanes and planned changes on The Parade, or with the uphill bike lane on Crawford Road.

Package C
The planners say this package provides the most connected network of routes for all three suburbs (Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook). As well as direct connections to Kilbirnie and the central city, it connects more neighbourhoods and provides more alternative routes for people on bikes. It also provides the most direct connections from Island Bay and Kilbirnie to the central city, and a connection to the south coast.

The council says it is taking a fresh look at how to improve neighbourhood connections and develop safer links to the city:

As well as the people who already cycle, we want families, children learning skills on school bike tracks, and anyone else who would like to be able to go by bike sometimes, to have routes where they feel comfortable riding. This can only happen by making changes on some streets, so we hope you will work with us to help develop the best possible plan for your wider neighbourhood.

Feedback is now open till December 11.

And then, says the council:

Once routes are determined next year, we will also look at what other changes could be made at the same time in these streets to make them more appealing for people who walk or get on and off buses. We would also be looking at possible ways to better manage parking. This would happen during detailed design, and ahead of a final opportunity to provide feedback on the preferred package – which may be a mix of the different packages under discussion. We expect this third and final stage of consultation to happen in early 2019. We’ll decide on a preferred option (the routes and broad style of street changes) following the feedback we get from the community between now and mid-December.


  1. greenwelly, 13. November 2018, 10:36

    Why are the council not proposing or at least putting forward as an option the cost of lighting and paving the “off road” sections of Option C? Surely this must be an option?.. Rather than the glib

    “Unpaved tracks through the Town Belt would have no lights and have limited use at night.”

    The roads that go through the town belt are paved and have lights for use at nights, why not the cycle paths…

  2. J Nicholson, 13. November 2018, 12:28

    I don’t care which option they do as long as any old road markings that need to be removed are removed properly. As opposed to the ****** job they did in Island Bay where the black covering has worn off to the point that you pretty much can’t tell which set of markings you’re supposed to be following without a close look and concentration. Which means not being able to concentrate on where you’re going…

  3. TrevorH, 14. November 2018, 7:14

    And this comes only a day after NZTA revealed the business cases for cycleways in Auckland were based on inflated figures for usage. The ideologically driven madness continues unchecked in Wellington however, while the failings around Island Bay folly remain unresolved. [Auckland Council yesterday: Cycling is the world’s fastest growing transport mode. In Auckland, 38% of us cycle. Cycling is not a sham.] [Read also: the truth about the Auckland cycling figures.]

  4. Joel Miller, 14. November 2018, 19:48

    Wow, there’s some really great stuff here! All three packages look to be a huge improvement over the status quo. Crucially all three use some kind of protected bike path for the vast majority of the route from Island Bay to the city. [via twitter]

  5. Glen Smith, 15. November 2018, 10:02

    Congratulations on WCC for not only advancing a safe cycleway network and providing practical options for overcoming the challenge of retrofitting these into a compact existing city, but also for doing this via what appears to be a true open consultation process. This contrasts with LGWM where planning is taking place secretly and we will no doubt be presented with a fait accompli.
    I am not convinced any of the 3 options are ideal (option C comes the closest) and a mix of elements of the 3 may produce a better outcome. In my article about Birmingham Supercycleways I argued that a smaller number of high quality fully segregated cycleways that pass the ‘all ages’ test is better than a larger number of less safe cycleways. Cyclists from Island Bay have two main destinations – the CBD and Newtown. Going via Newtown to the CBD is not logical so two routes are required that must separate at some point. North of Berhampore option C has 3 routes, one being Rintoul Street where impact on residential parking is very high (good luck with that) while the western route via McAllister Park is poor (not sealed, no lighting, poor gradient profile, goes via Hanson St with no dedicated cycleway). Dropping Rintoul Street and putting the funds towards a better western route would seem more sensible. A western route via Adelaide Rd (option A and B) would involve high residential parking impact (again good luck).
    South of Berhampore option C also has 3 routes. If an Adelaide Road dual cycleway south of Berhampore can be achieved (and I have some doubts) then this as a single cycleway would seem sensible with the CBD/ Newtown separation occurring at Berhampore (to Newtown via Luxford/ Waripori and McAllister park can be reached via Palm Grove). Alternatively Adelaide Road could be dropped and the separation occur at Wakefield park via two proper sealed high quality off road cycleways- a western route ( via Stanley St as per my article) and an eastern route (via the golf course/ Russell Tce as in option C).
    Hmmm- options to ponder…

  6. Winona, 17. November 2018, 18:22

    Feel sorry for house owners who don’t have a garage and rely on onstreet parking. Wellington roads are too narrow for cycling lane. Sarah did you not hear the bus drivers saying there have been many close calls between cyclists and buses?

  7. Trevor H, 17. November 2018, 20:39

    @ Wellington Scoop. Thanks for your interpolation on my original comment. So a thousand extra cyclists forecast for each Auckland route by the mid 2020s? For how many millions? For how many businesses ruined? And now Constable St is being destroyed for the convenience of a few? Nuts.

  8. Glen Smith, 18. November 2018, 1:20

    Trevor H. You need to do some more reading around the economics of investing in cycleways (which outperform new investments in roads in almost all research). Similarly almost all research shows that adding a cycleway benefits businesses in the area. This is logical. Parking accommodates only a handful of consumers while the same space allocated to a cycleway brings potentially hundreds of extra customers directly past the businesses. Nonetheless preservation of adequate parking for residents and businesses is important and, as I have said previously, should be given a high priority in cycleway planning.

  9. Andrew, 18. November 2018, 9:24

    Trevor, you state cycle lanes are for the convenience of a few. I prefer to view it as providing safe passage for the cyclists, as kiwi drivers have shown they are not up to sharing the road. But WCC, please use some common sense when designing future cycle ways.

  10. Cecil Roads, 18. November 2018, 15:25

    Well said Trevor, roads are common carriers – spray painting demarcations all over them for bus lanes, bike lanes, taxi priorities is a travesty.

  11. glenn, 19. November 2018, 8:02

    For the life of me I can’t see how having cycle lanes benefits businesses. Maybe if you’re stopping for a banana/bottled water, to tuck into the pocket of your lycra jumpsuit. Or possibly after a physical workout, peddling around Oriental Parade, to indulge in a latte while sitting outside, soaking up the monoxide fumes.
    Andrew – spoken like a true cyclist, let’s all blame the car crowd. After all, everyone knows, the elite are allowed to cycle 2/3 wide on a motorway, while looking the other way, so as not to notice the cycle lane.

  12. Andrew, 19. November 2018, 11:09

    Glenn, such concise stereotyping there… all cyclists riding in bunches, 2-3 wide, on a motorway …
    95% of the time I ride by myself. There are no cycle lanes in my part of Wellington and none planned. My suburb probably has the highest heavy vehicle count of the city as it is on the way to the tip; trailer demolition trucks running the red lights all the time. All good though as i am a true cyclist.
    No point discussing things here when prejudices are entrenched.

  13. Glen Smith, 19. November 2018, 13:31

    Cecil. The research (I encourage you to read some) shows that roads as ‘common carriers’ don’t work for cyclists. The accident/ death rate for cyclists is high and as a consequence people won’t cycle. The WCC research that around 5% of people are ‘dedicated’ cyclists (are prepared to cycle despite the risks) but massive 33% are ‘safe’ cyclists (will cycle if given a safe corridor). Given this, remind me why the whole width of every road corridor should be devoted to motorcars.
    Glenn. Once again did you read the research that shows adding cycleways has neutral or positive effects on business? If so which bits of the methodology or conclusions so you think are faulty?

  14. Cecil Roads, 19. November 2018, 16:04

    Glen – roads work perfectly well for me when I’m cycling to the shops or office or driving my car. I appreciate a centre line but the rest of the separation of space annoys me and seems more a make-work scheme for under-employed council traffic engineers.

  15. Winona, 19. November 2018, 19:28

    Millions spent pandering to a minority.

  16. John Rankin, 20. November 2018, 11:47

    @CecilRoads: it’s really not about you. According to the evidence @GlenSmith cites, for every person like you there are 7 who choose not to cycle because they feel unsafe. By your logic, we should remove footpaths and let all road users take their chances together. Before the advent of the motor car, this is how streets worked and they worked well. The car changed that and now we are trying to figure out how to undo the damage cars cause to our urban fabric.

  17. Cecil Roads, 20. November 2018, 12:54

    JR – Please don’t remove footpaths and turn them into cycleways because I use the pavement a lot. But pavements don’t involve taking space away from existing roads (except ten years ago in Lambton Quay as I recall).
    And please John, don’t take us back to the days of the horse and cart and using streets as open sewers. So how about just appreciating some of the good things the little old motor car has given us.

  18. Mel G., 20. November 2018, 13:59

    Hey John maybe it’s time for you to do some creative thinking whilst you commute to work, like Ms Blakeley (CEO of Spanx) who does a fake commute every morning because she thinks better behind the wheel.

  19. John Rankin, 20. November 2018, 16:31

    @CecilRoads: you are the one who says roads should be treated as common carriers, not I. Except you don’t really mean it, because you want separate space for pedestrians.
    Because cars make such inefficient use of space, far and away the cheapest way to increase the throughput of congested city roads is to create separate cycle and bus lanes, because these modes are so space-efficient. Common carrier is the worst possible policy for allocating the scarce resource of urban road space. It’s cheaper and safer to create separate lanes so space-inefficient modes don’t impede space-efficient modes.