Wellington Scoop

Seven days to say what you think about new bike lanes


by Patrick Morgan, Cycle Aware Wellington
In the last census, one in 11 people in Berhampore travelled by bike. But there are zero bike lanes, making the streets a hostile place. That will change soon.

Cycling advocates are encouraging people to have their say on proposals for bike lanes in Newtown and Berhampore, linking Island Bay and Kilbirnie to the CBD.

The Wellington City Council has produced options for routes and designs, and the public has until 11 December to say what they think of them.

This project is part of the Council’s programme to develop a connected citywide cycling network so people of all ages and abilities can safely choose to make more trips by bike.

Melrose resident Mark Johnston says bike lanes also benefit those who drive.

“If you’re tired of the traffic around Newtown, then bike lanes will help. Newtown has lots and lots of cars. People use those cars every day because it’s sometimes the most convenient way to get around.

“These are valid and rational arguments for driving, but if everyone does that then we just get gridlock. Instead of making more space for cars, we could take a little more space for people on foot, scooters or bikes.

“If you’re not interested and the car is still for you, then it’ll be easier to park and drive because other people in cars have taken up those other options.”

Canadian city planning expert Brent Toderian says: “When you design a city for cars it fails for all, including drivers. When you design a multimodal city it works for all, including drivers.”

Advocacy group Cycle Aware Wellington has published a submission guide, calling for a network of bike lanes that are connected, convenient, and comfortable for all ages and abilities.



  1. Cecil Roads, 5. December 2018, 8:15

    1 in 11 people travelled by bike in Berhampore? Where to? Work perhaps? That doesn’t make an overall mode share of 9% so the statistic is disingenuous at best and a statistical ‘lie’ at worst. Its probably more like 2% (at the most) for all trips, so why the fuss.

  2. Kerry, 5. December 2018, 8:55

    Cecil – If the 1 in 11 figure was the census, it was journey to work and can be taken as accurate. For ‘disingenuous’ read ‘apples and oranges.’
    Better provision for bikes has obvious benefits. Zero-emissions, huge health benefits (private and public) from regular exercise, and the people-carrying capacity of a 3 m land increased about five-fold (Global Street Design Guide, p 14).
    Better provision means separate or semi-separate provision, because motorists are incapable of safe lane-sharing with cyclists. Hence the fuss.
    Designing streets for cars is a dead-end, and civilised cities are moving away from it. See, for example the success of London’s ‘cycling superhighways’

  3. Citizen Joe, 5. December 2018, 9:58

    Kerry – well that is what I said. Re zero-emissions: I breath harder when I’m cycling so I produce extra CO2 emissions when going up-hill or cursing a car driver. Making a bike and transporting it here from China produces CO2 emissions. Making the cycle-way produces CO2 emissions. And of course GWRC, Otago University and everybody else hyping them up create lots of hot air as well!

  4. Paul, 5. December 2018, 11:07

    Where does the 1 in 11 figure come from when the data from the census hasn’t been released yet?
    “2018 Census data will not be available until 2019 – it always takes time for us to analyse and produce the dataset, but this time, we are taking longer than usual because the overall individual response was lower than we had aimed for.”
    An unsubstantiated figure from the bike lobby to justify spending on a minority.

  5. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 5. December 2018, 12:18

    Fair call Paul. Perhaps I should have written “last available census”, i.e. 2013. I can’t wait to see the 2018 numbers because I expect an uptick, making the case for bike lanes even stronger. Note, these are not my numbers. These are generated by the census and published by Stats NZ.

  6. Jonny Utzone, 5. December 2018, 12:27

    Maybe the ‘Bike to Work day’ should be moved to the day of the Census. It might bump up the numbers a bit.

  7. Curtis Nixon, 5. December 2018, 13:06

    Good news everybody! I am one of the Berhampore bike riders who are keenly awaiting cycleways so we can safely connect to the rest of the city. It is scary riding on the narrow streets here at present with cars, trucks and buses too close.

    With the large number of schools and sports grounds here I hope city planners realise that as well as adult commuters there is a need for kids to bike to school, hopefully getting them off the footpath; plus getting them to their sports field on the weekends and other ‘intra-suburb’ journeys. Saturday mornings have the worst traffic jams on Adelaide Rd so there is a need to get cars off the road then.

    Keep up the excellent work Patrick.

  8. luke, 5. December 2018, 14:42

    I might move to newtown if the safer cycleways get built. Sick of waiting for the Petone Ngauranga cycleway.

  9. Citizen Joe, 5. December 2018, 16:39

    The population of Berhampore in 2013 was 3,606. According to Patrick Morgan (or NZ Stats) 1/11 cycle to somewhere which means 327 cyclists of which Curtis Nixon is one. How much should the rest of us spend on the approx 300?

  10. Traveller, 5. December 2018, 16:51

    CitizenJoe seems to be a bit of a stirrer. He wants us to believe the daft suggestion that no one except Berhampore people will ever cycle on a bike lane if it’s built through Berhampore. What next: he’ll be telling us that Berhampore motorists only drive inside Berhampore and never go anywhere else. And CBD pedestrians never go outside the CBD.

  11. Andrew, 5. December 2018, 16:55

    And as for the comments that money should not be spent on a minority… slippery slope people!

  12. Andy Mellon, 5. December 2018, 17:19

    I’m not a daily cyclist. I mainly walk around Wellington; train station to Kelburn to Cuba Street to the Basin. Anywhere within that sort of the circumference from the CBD is easily walkable.

    I would cycle from home (rather than catch the train to town) if the Petone-Ngauranga cycleway was built. I’m not a regular enough cyclist to feel comfortable cycling by the motorway.

    Furthermore, as a regular pedestrian, I’m getting really fed up with nearly getting knocked over at pedestrian crossings when the ‘green man’ is showing when the motorist also has a green turning filter. I have sympathy for the motorist when, chances are, they can’t see that the pedestrians have the ‘green man’. Why does the Council continue to allow these conflicts (most common at the crossing outside the railway station). Some driver hurled abuse at me as I started to walk across Willis Street (at the Dixon Street junction) when I had the right to cross. As I say, I feel largely sympathetic because the driver can’t easily see the pedestrian light, but I’m amazed these pedestrian/driver conflicts continue to exist.

  13. TrevorH, 6. December 2018, 7:55

    Cycleways should be avoided on the main arterial routes where they cause roads to be narrowed and exacerbate congestion but that doesn’t seem to wash with Wellington’s planners. The implementation of cycleways in Wellington is essentially designed to make the use of motor vehicles unattractive – it’s time the ideologues owned up.

  14. luke, 6. December 2018, 12:48

    you can’t keep increasing the number of cars and expect anything other than congestion, unless you are advocating new roads to be built on land currently used for something else. We need to be more spatially efficient than the current dependance on single occupant vehicles.

  15. Pseudopanax, 6. December 2018, 17:31

    TrevorH: Wellington has hit Peak Car and it’s time to reclaim our city for the people…look around you, bigger cars, car parks, car sale yards, four lane highways going from one bottleneck to another…enough already!

  16. Citizen Joe, 6. December 2018, 19:09

    I think we have hit peak population!

  17. Jonny Utzone, 22. December 2018, 7:00

    I see Holland is having problems with its cycleways with cyclist fatalities up. The profileration of e_everything is a cause plus mopeds.