Wellington Scoop

NZTA paying $1m for trial of safer streets, including ‘parklets,’ and two new cycle lanes

News from Wellington City Council
The Wellington City Council has secured $1 million from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to design four Innovating Streets ‘pilots’ with the community.

Around 70 Innovating Streets pilots throughout the country will be funded through the Agency’s $24 million pilot fund that gives communities and councils the opportunity to work in partnership to pilot changes to streets and neighbourhoods that make them safer and create more space for people.

The engagement process will see members of the community co-design the trials and jointly assess the extent to which they achieved their outcomes after people have experienced the trial in real-life. The Transport Agency will provide 90 percent of the funding and the Council 10 percent.

The funded Innovating Streets pilots in Wellington city are:

· Placemaking Parklets in Newtown (along Riddiford Street between Mein and Rhodes streets) and Te Aro (between Taranaki, Cuba, Ghuznee and Abel Smith streets). The purpose of these parklets is to trial incorporating more spaces for people in the city’s wider transport corridor and Te Aro, which is one of the inner city’s fastest growing residential neighbourhoods. Estimated project cost: $495,420.

· Cycle route in Wilson Street, Newtown, to trial a safer connection for people cycling between Constable Street and Riddiford Street. Estimated project cost: $59,800.

· Enhancement of the Miramar Peninsula on Massey Road, from Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay. The goal is to connect people to the coast. Estimated project cost: $250,000.

· A safe cycling facility for people riding up Brooklyn Road from Webb Street to Ohiro Road. Estimated project cost: $316,250.

Wellington’s Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the Council will pilot these changes to these spaces in partnership with the community. “It’s exciting to have won funding for these projects, which are all testing ways we can improve safety and liveability faster and at a lower cost. Safe and appealing streets are an important feature for modern and vibrant cities.

“Each project is very different and will require a different approach. We are looking forward to seeing the ideas from the community about how we can make our streets and spaces even better.”

Councillor Jenny Condie, Associate Portfolio Leader for Transport, says the Council will start co-design processes with the community to determine what the pilots will look like and how success will be measured.

“This is a new way of working and engaging for the Council and a good test for how agile we can be.

“We’re excited to see how a collaboration with iwi, businesses, residents, schools, and all people that use these spaces will lead to inspiring changes on our streets,” says Cr Condie.

Waka Kotahi Urban Mobility Programme Manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements that trial more people friendly spaces in our neighbourhoods.

“By using this approach to test what works for communities we can create attractive, vibrant places that make space for people and help to support local businesses. We’re pleased to support this project through the Innovating Streets pilot fund.”

Wellington design studio Isthmus is leading the co-design process that will see the community actively participating in design decisions from the very early stages of the four projects.

Work with the community on the Placemarking Parklets and Massey Road will start soon. The other two pilots would be developed in 2021.

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  1. Lindsay, 29. September 2020, 13:15

    What’s the difference between the cycle route on Wilson Street and the safe cycle facility on the Brooklyn Hill? And what on earth are “enhancements” on the Miramar Peninsula. Council communications like these create real obstacles to understanding.

  2. J, 29. September 2020, 13:39

    @Lindsay – Wilson St’s low traffic numbers/speeds,few heavy trucks, and shorter length would be some key differences. They may mean a different solution is likely to be suitable.

  3. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 29. September 2020, 14:16

    As a cycling advocate, I applaud the plans, but caution that community engagement will be essential to getting good results.

    Wellington people strongly supported the use of trial street designs when consulted earlier this year. The key to success is an authentic co-design process with the community.

  4. Mosh pit, 29. September 2020, 17:23

    What the heck is a parklet and what is its purpose? How do you “enhance” Massey Road? What a load of gobbledygook.

  5. Guy M, 30. September 2020, 8:19

    Parklet = small park.

    Somewhere where you can sit down on a park bench, under a tree, and rest your weary feet, I hope. Best if slightly out of the way of the main traffic, and in the sun, out of the wind, with nice things to look at, or nice plants to smell, while the birds chirp in the branches up above. Not a bad thing in my estimation….

    How’s that, Mosh?

  6. michael, 30. September 2020, 9:25

    Let’s hope for real GREEN spaces not just something like “Parklets” in the city, which are a tree (if you are lucky) or a bush with a bench sitting on concrete tiles, where you can enjoy the smell and noise of the polluting diesel buses as they go by.

  7. Mosh pit, 30. September 2020, 10:25

    Sounds great Guy. If I wanted to do that, I could do it in one of the existing parks in Wellington – not, as Michael points out, on the side of the road breathing in diesel particulates, vape clouds, listening to traffic etc

  8. Ms Green, 30. September 2020, 11:22

    A parklet can become a giant Willis Bond development as has happened on the corner of Dixon and Victoria Streets – some park benches, some green growth, all gone!

    A parklet could be a single carpark converted into artificial grass and maybe a little dead tree amongst the diesel…

    Let’s plan properly for communal green space as a District Plan requirement (rule) for every apartment building over say 5 storeys, or at least some required green open communal spacefor a resilient and healthy CBD (plus inner suburbs) environment.

  9. Jackson, 30. September 2020, 13:48

    Parklet = bus stop with an adjacent tree.

  10. wendy, 30. September 2020, 14:05

    Ms Green I agree with you. The World Health Organisation advocates that, as a rule of thumb, urban residents should be able to access public green spaces of at least 0.5–1 hectare within 300 metres’ linear distance (around 5 minutes’ walk) of their homes. And councils should ensure access to urban green space of sufficient quality for all population groups and users (universal access). While parklets maybe useful as little areas of green, they cannot, and must not, be seen as replacements for parks/reasonable green spaces for inner-city residents living in highrise buildings.

    The inner city is now the biggest Wellington Suburb in terms of population, and this is expected to rise significantly in the future. Given that green space in the inner city is already well below international standards, WCC should have already produced a mandated green space plan before any further development.

  11. bsmith, 30. September 2020, 14:57

    May I humbly suggest…if one wants to commune with nature in a parklet (who the hell thought that word up), then one would be better shifting to greener pastures than trying to spend millions, accomplishing the same thing, in the capital city of a small country, where the money would be better spent on infrastructure, that actually benefits the masses.

    @patrick morgan……..pretty sure “community engagement” hasn’t worked in Island Bay. Metthinks the community has had too much damn input on what goes on. Just saying.

  12. Guy M, 30. September 2020, 16:15

    Mosh, Michael and Ms Green – I completely agree with all of you that we need some decent, large parks for people. Swan Lane is my favourite to plug for – that should totally be a park. Not a car park.

    But re the parklets – we have quite a harsh city for the elderly and infirm. There are very few public seating areas in some parts of the city. Weary old legs sometimes just need a chance to sit down. I’ve just been sitting on the bench outside Elmers Mowing in Cuba Street – one of the few privately provided seats in the sun. It’s fantastic, and you can sit there for free, and grow old peacefully. And fortunately, being Cuba Street, there are few cars, and a mad selection of interesting people walking by. Sometimes a parklet (or even just a bench) can be all that you need….

  13. Helene Ritchie, 30. September 2020, 17:42

    I agree absolutely with Ms Green and Wendy – the WCC should develop and require a mandated plan with green common public spaces (.5 to 1 hectare, 5 minute distance and x number of population in the CBD and inner city suburbs) for a healthy and resilient city.

    Let’s do it, before we have unaffordable at-least-six- storeys of anything, any size (“houselets”?) for unspecified population needs anywhere, all over the place, imposed on us by the Council … with parklets to compensate!

  14. Claire, 30. September 2020, 18:22

    Council people what is wrong with you. You have announced this now! Do you realise we have a big fight going on over the spatial plan. That is of your making, because it is lazy and poorly thought out. I live in Wilson Street – if we are going to lose parks there will be another fight. Wait till the new year or later or forget it, before you aggravate people further.

  15. wendy, 30. September 2020, 20:32

    @ Jenny Condie: As far as I can see, your example of a parklet in Dunedin is an outdoor area for a cafe. That is a commercial, not public space?

  16. Hel, 30. September 2020, 23:12

    Parklets looks like the loss of more parking spaces and bigger rates rises unless they become commercialised spaces and then are they still parklets?

  17. Jill Ford, 30. September 2020, 23:42

    Just cycled up Brooklyn Hill this arvo, couldn’t find the 117 car parks that apparently have to be removed, just some Uber taxis; instead I nearly got squashed by big lorries going to the Tip where hard shoulders disappear. There is ample room for a bike lane. [via twitter]


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