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Minister opens $6.8m Hutt Road pathway for biking and walking

Kaiwharawhara cycleway bridge; cycleway; bikes; walkers; shared pathways; infrastructure;Councillors;Government Ministers;staff
Wellington City Deputy Mayor Sarah Free (left) and Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter (right) next to the new bike counter display unit on the Hutt Road pathway

News from WCC
The new Hutt Road walking and biking paths and a wider new bridge over the Kaiwharawhara Stream were blessed by Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika this morning, and officially opened by Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter.

Taranaki Whānui worked with Wellington City Council on aspects of the bridge design and have gifted the tohu on the bridge barrier, a design which depicts Taranaki maunga and ancestral origins. The mihi whakatau was carried out by Kara Puketapu-Dentice and Kim Skelton.

Associate Minister Genter and Wellington Deputy Mayor Sarah Free also unveiled the city’s first bike counter visual display unit.

Twenty-seven electronic counters have been gradually installed under paths and roads on key routes around the city over the past 18 months. The visual display unit on the path outside Spotlight will update as people ride by showing how many have passed this point on any day. In future, it will also show a running tally for the year.

A second visual display unit is also now in operation on the new Oriental Bay bike path.

Mayor Andy Foster, who had prior commitments and was unable to attend this morning’s ceremony, says it is fantastic to see this important section of the route from the north complete and in use.

“This is one of our busiest biking routes so it’s fantastic that this stretch is now safer and easier to ride than it was – and that people on foot now have a safer place to walk and run,” he says. “A lot of hard work has gone into this and I’d like to thank the staff and all those who helped make it happen.”

The electronic counter under the road near Bordeaux Bakery on Thorndon Quay gives the best indication of the numbers riding this route. It recorded 24,129 people on bikes during September, an average of 1102 each weekday.

By just after 8am this morning, the new display unit showed 230 people had already biked past today despite the rain.

The completed section of the Hutt Road pathway forms part of the route from the north, is used by people from the hill suburbs of Khandallah, Ngaio and Wadestown, and will link with the planned Te Ara Tupua which will provide a safe and efficient walking and bike route between Ngauranga and Lower Hutt.

Unless a route is one day possible through the port area, Hutt Road will also form an important part of Te Aranui o Pōneke/the Great Harbour Way.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the number of Wellingtonians biking is continuing to grow with count data showing more people than ever riding in to the central city from every direction during the busy morning peak.

The upward trend was clearly evident from this year’s cordon count, which monitors how people travel into the city between 7am and 9am. The count has been done over a week in March every year since 2000.

The cordon counts show the numbers cycling into the city over the busiest two hours in the morning has continued to grow, tripling from under 800 per day 19 years ago to over 2300 people. This trend is backed up by data coming through from the electronic counters that record 24/7.

“Switching to a lower-carbon commute is a practical way Wellingtonians can take action on climate change and help the city achieve its vision to be a zero carbon Capital by 2050,” the Deputy Mayor says. “About 80,000 Wellingtonians live within a 15-minute bike ride of the central city – so with further safety improvements, the potential for a lot more people of all ages and abilities to be making some trips by bike is huge.”

Over the past couple of years, the shared path between Caltex Fuel Stop and the intersection of Tinakori Road was replaced with separate walking and biking paths. The work involved relocating and upgrading streetlights, putting in new asphalt and concrete paths, bus stop by-passes, roadside parking, and clearer markings and signs to make driveways safer.

The widening of the Kaiwharawhara bridge – which was the last remaining pinch point – marks the completion of the $6.8million project which was funded and developed in partnership with the Government, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Wellington City Council.

The Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme will work with the community next year on plans to improve bus priority on Hutt Road and Thorndon Quay. As part of this work, they will be looking at what else can be done to improve walking and cycling, particularly through Thorndon Quay.

News from NZ Government
Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge.

The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking along the footpath with dedicated parking on the roadside, and the widening of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge.

“The Hutt Road path is the latest step in refreshing and improving Wellington’s cycling network,” said Julie Anne Genter. “Hutt Road was for a very long time a particularly challenging route for people who wished to walk and cycle.

“The newly-completed pathway will relieve that pressure and improve access and safety for all modes of transport.”

The new bike and walking paths will form part of a future Te Aranui o Pōneke/Great Harbour Way and link to Wellington’s waterfront and the planned shared path between Ngauranga and Petone.

“Together we are creating a safer, healthier, and more accessible city where people of all ages and abilities can choose to get around by bike or on foot,” said Julie Anne Genter.

This Government is investing $390 million in walking and cycling over the next three years through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). This is a $96 million increase on the previous three years.

14 comments:

  1. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 11. November 2019, 16:28

    Good to see this great project finished. Who’d have thought that to widen the bridge across the Kaiwharawhara stream, the fuel supply to the Interislander would need relocating? I’d have signalised the Spotlight exit as well, but that’s another story. [via twitter]

     
  2. Don M, 11. November 2019, 21:15

    Will there be physical separation (ie some sort of barrier) between cyclists and walkers? If not, despite all the fanfare this will be another half-baked example of walkers’ interests and well-being being subordinated to cyclists. Sure, less risk to cyclists to get them off the roads, but more risks to pedestrians and walkers to have them on the footpaths. This will become a fast commuter cyclist route – who will want to walk there?

     
  3. luke, 11. November 2019, 22:57

    How long to fix the gap between Ngauranga and Petone, urgent since at least 2006.

     
  4. Geoff, 12. November 2019, 14:06

    Don M, the path has different colour pavement for walkers and cyclists. I think it works very well and should be replicated elsewhere. The real issue is the entitled motorists who don’t look/care when entering/exiting driveways.

     
  5. greenwelly, 12. November 2019, 15:12

    Luke, Forever. An application for resource consent is expected in late 2019 – mid 2020, with the consent process expected to take up to two years. And then they need to go out to tender for a contractor and then build it … so I would say 2024/25 might be a completion date. And I’ll go on record and say it’ll end up being over $100m.

     
  6. Dave B, 12. November 2019, 19:45

    Greenwelly, if the Ngauranga-Petone shared-path does end up costing $100m, a lot of that cost will be to armour that whole coastline against storm-damage to protect both the railway and the road.

     
  7. Don M, 13. November 2019, 4:05

    Geoff, I don’t understand how different coloured pavements protect walkers from cyclists. Where there are painted lanes elsewhere cyclists transgress into the walking area. Around Evans Bay, for example, they cycle on the footpath though they have dedicated cycle lanes. The only thing that will protect walkers from cyclists is a physical barrier – just as cyclists are being provided with a physical barrier from cars.

     
  8. Dave B, 13. November 2019, 11:14

    @ Don M. I use that shared path every day (as a cyclist). There is plenty of room for both pedestrians and cyclists in their designated areas. The footpath is a concrete strip, as found alongside many urban roads. The cycleway is asphalt and looks more like a mini-road. The only feature absent that one would expect to find between a footpath and a road is a kerb, but I think we are better without this between cyclists and pedestrians.

    Rarely have I seen cyclists ride on the pedestrian path, except on occasions when a driver decides to block the cycle path with a vehicle. What I have noticed however, is that pedestrians often amble all over the cycle-path in a way that they wouldn’t if this were a road. But most cyclists are careful and reasonably tolerant of this. As Geoff says above, the arrangement works very well and should be replicated elsewhere. The situation in Evans Bay which Don M complains about is quite different, with the so-called cycleway disappearing onto the roadway in places. Here there is indeed a tendency for cyclists to stay on the footpath and conflict with pedestrians, but the arrangement as installed on the Hutt Road would fix this.

     
  9. Brendan, 13. November 2019, 11:20

    The cycleway is starting to make even Light Rail look cheap especially when you work it out per user.

     
  10. greenwelly, 13. November 2019, 15:19

    @Dave B, I don’t know if the riprap will be the main source of the cost. The Petone-Melling chunk is $30 million, and that’s less than half the distance and is narrower.
    The Ngauranga section is going to have to have lighting, rest and fishing stops, probably toilets, and a whole lot more…. + it’s not happening for at least another 2 years, and construction costs jkeep going up.

     
  11. Don M, 13. November 2019, 21:39

    @Dave B, The issue is precisely the absence of a physical separation (eg a curb) between cyclists and pedestrians. That is the only way of ensuring pedestrian safety (in the same way that it ensures the safety of cyclists from cars). The only reason for cyclists not to want it is that it would prevent them from transgressing into the pedestrian lane when it suits them.

     
  12. TrevorH, 14. November 2019, 8:06

    @Don M. This is a serious issue. I know people, generally older, who are afraid to go out for a walk because of fear of being knocked down by a speeding cyclist. They come at you head on and you don’t know which way to step; they come at you from behind and you don’t know what hit you. Cyclists must be kept off footpaths and regulated for their behaviour.

     
  13. Mike Mellor, 14. November 2019, 14:24

    The next thing that needs to be fixed is the Hutt Rd intersection at the bottom of the Ngauranga Gorge for people walking and cycling: getting across the road here is a bit of a nightmare. It also ought to be a key public transport hub, with changing between buses and trains (at the adjacent Ngauranga station) providing the fastest route between the Johnsonville/Newlands area and the Hutt Valley – but that requires crossing the busy roads.

    This intersection has been on WCC’s agenda for some years – but nothing seems to happen. GWRC seems to have no interest in this improvement to public transport: in the first maps of the new bus network, Ngauranga wasn’t even marked as a place, let alone as a useful multimodal interchange.

     
  14. D.W., 14. November 2019, 19:29

    Ngauranga is where campervans get rid of their effluent. Hmmm nice! GWRC should have kept Kaiwharawhara open and shut Ngauranga.

     

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