News from WCC
Cycling improvements are planned along The Parade in Island Bay this year as part of a wider push to make Wellington more cycle-friendly. People can comment on the two proposed options from today.
The improvements between Shorland Park and Wakefield Park are the first step in improving the cycle route into the city from the southern suburbs, which is already well used but believed to have good potential for growth. Two options are being considered for this section of The Parade.
The first is significantly improving, widening and extending the existing cycle lanes adjacent to the traffic at a cost of about $500,000.
The second is creating new cycle lanes next to the footpath on both sides of the road, separated from parking and traffic, which would cost about $650,000.
Both options would provide continuous lanes through the intersections and could include changes at bus stops to provide a safer cycle lane, or bypass, behind the bus stop. There are a couple of ways this could be done. One involves building pedestrian islands out from the kerb where people would get on and off buses, which could add between $132,000 and $650,000 to the cost. The other is marking a short shared lane on the footpath.
An open day will be held this Saturday 12 April, 10am to 2pm, at the Wellington South Baptist Church hall at 284 The Parade so anyone interested can find out more. Information is also available at Wellington.govt.nz/shorland2wakefield. Feedback is required by 6 May and can be made online.
Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs Wellington City Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says people’s feedback will help Councillors decide what to do on this section.
“We’re committed to making it easier and safer to cycle in Wellington and this is one of several areas we will be starting to look at this year,” he says. “The number of people cycling has increased dramatically over the last few years. Over the coming years, we plan to progressively improve more than 20 cycling routes and suburban areas, starting with this one.”
Cr Foster says upgrade work will start at the Island Bay end of the route where the road is wide and good improvements can be made fairly easily. The existing lanes only go as far as the shops, are too narrow in some places and stop and start at intersections where they are needed most.
“The next section – how we might make improvements between Wakefield Park and the John Street intersection – is a lot more complicated. There are many possible routes and different ways improvements could be made, all with different pros and cons. To help narrow those options down to a more manageable number for wider consultation later in the year, we plan to establish and work with a group of Wellingtonians, who will look in depth at all the options and hear a wide range of perspectives.
“We are also working with others, particularly the NZ Transport Agency, on the northern sections from John Street to the Basin Reserve, and through the central city to the waterfront.
“This would intersect with the upgraded route along State Highway 1, which is planned to run from Willis Street to Cobham Drive via Memorial Park, the proposed flyover, second Mt Victoria tunnel and planned Ruahine Street walk and cycleway.”
The 2013 Census – a one-day snapshot – showed a big jump in the number of Wellington City residents who got to work by bike, up 73 percent on 2006 from 2157 to 3729. Council counts, which are taken at a variety of spots over a week, show numbers have more than doubled over the same period.
The 6.1km between Island Bay and the CBD is a highly used commuter route and one of the most congested parts of Wellington. Council counts show more than 300 people a day ride through the southern end of Adelaide Road.