Press Release – Wellington City Council
Community meetings are planned in Berhampore and Newtown next week so people can find out more about the process planned to come up with the most promising and viable ways to make cycling improvements work through this part of the city.
The meetings will be a chance to ask questions and learn more about the 18-member citizens’ advisory panel that is being set up to ensure to every possibility is thoroughly considered and all the thorny issues are canvassed. They are on:
• Wednesday 4 June, 6pm–8pm, St Anne’s Parish Hall, 22 Emmett Street, Newtown
• Saturday 7 June, 3pm–5pm, Berhampore School, 105 Britomart Street.
Councillor Andy Foster, the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee Chairman, says cities around the world are investing significantly in transformative cycling infrastructure.
“This is a really important part of being a great, safe place to live and work in, for all ages. We should not underestimate the value of having a good quality cycling network in attracting visitors and competing for talented prospective residents.
“As part of our wider plan to make the city more cycle friendly, we want to make changes which will make it easier and safer to cycle between the city and the southern suburbs and also allow more people to make short trips by bike in local neighbourhoods along the way,” he says. “We believe high quality kerbside cycle lanes are the way we should be heading on key routes where roads are wide. In other places – like the section between Wakefield Park and John Street – finding solutions is a much more complex task.”
They could involve changes to Adelaide Road – routes via the golf course and streets to the west or east of Adelaide Road – or other possibilities, all of which have different pros and cons.
Cr Foster says a citizens’ panel, guided by a professional facilitator, is a recognised way to get well considered community input. Its members will be a mix of people – some from particular interest groups, some who live in the immediate neighbourhoods and some who come from other suburbs that will in time face similar proposals and challenges.
“It’s very important we have a diverse range of Wellingtonians involved because finding effective ways to share our roads and public spaces more safely and fairly, and make changes that are in the best interests of the city, affects us all. The citizens’ panel is being set up specifically to avoid being dominated by those with strong opinions or vested interests.”
The membership of the panel is expected to be confirmed in the next week or so and it will meet for the first time in mid-June. Over the following six weeks, panel members will make visits to the area, read a range of reports and studies on possible options, and spend more than seven days hearing from people and groups with ideas and concerns. The public will be able to sit in and watch while people and groups make presentations to the panel.
The panel will make a recommendation on the options it thinks are best, probably at the end of July.
“We have a very large number of options, different routes, different designs, and the panel will help narrow these down so we can take the promising options out for wider formal public consultation later in the year,” says Cr Foster.
At that stage there will be detailed information available on the pros and cons of each option and people will be able to make suggestions and raise any related issues they want to.
As well as the meetings coming up next week to talk about the citizens’ panel and next steps for the Berhampore/Newtown area, more drop-in sessions are planned in Island Bay.
The Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee recently opted for the safer of the two options under consideration for The Parade – kerbside cycle lanes that meet international standards. Council staff have been asked to do detailed design work, including more consultation with local residents.
Both drop-in sessions are at the Wellington South Baptist Church hall at 284 The Parade:
• Wednesday 18 June, 6–8pm
• Sunday 22 June, 2–5.30pm.