Cycleway controversy: 9 councillors want to change decision-making process

Media release from Councillors Eagle and Young
Nine Wellington City Councillors have joined forces to demand the full Council take decisions on the proposed Island Bay to CBD cycleway.

Lambton Ward councillor Nicola Young has lodged a Notice of Motion for the whole Council to take over the decisions of the Transport and Urban Development committee.

Southern Ward Councillor Paul Eagle has seconded the motion, which has the support of seven other councillors. The Notice will be moved at the Council meeting on August 27 .

Cr Young says the Council plans to spend $43 million over 10 years on cycle ways, starting with Island Bay’s ‘Shorland Park to Wakefield Park’ section. “Such significant decisions should be taken by the full Council,” she said.

Cr Eagle said the consultation process around Section One had divided the Island Bay community. “Section Two through Berhampore and Newtown will be even more controversial,” he said. About 1,000 people have signed a ‘Halt and Consult’ petition, asking for work to be delayed until a master plan has been developed.

Cr Young says a master plan was needed to avoid the Island Bay section becoming the ‘cycleway to nowhere’.

“It is irresponsible to commence work without a plan for the whole route. Wellington needs cycle ways, and safer cycling conditions, but there’s a real danger this controversy and its associated fiscal risk will put cycling back 10 years or more. Wellington prides itself on being a smart city; but there’s nothing smart about taking immeasurable fiscal risks.”

Section Two could cost $500,000 to several million. A local design consultancy has estimated the cost of replacing car parks in Section 2 could be up to $6 million.

“There’s huge concern about lack of consultation, undue haste to get the project started, lack of a master plan for the whole route through to the CBD, and fiscal risk to ratepayers. Now local Members of Parliament are getting involved”, Cr Eagle said.

 

4 comments:

  1. Ron Beernink, 17. June 2014, 8:33

    Bitterly disappointed that Paul Eagle is favouring the self righteous residents along the Parade, rather than put his support behind getting on with a cycleway for Island Bay that will be an enormous win for the wider community and in particular for getting children and other people to take up cycling.

    Yes, the consultation process could have been better. But the outcome would still be the same.

    Yes, for now the new route will stop at MacAlistair Park. But the primary purpose for improving the Island Bay route is not for the commute into the city; it is to provide a fantastic cycling opportunity within the suburb itself.

    There is a real risk that Island Bay will miss out altogether as funding could be moved to other parts of Wellington. That may well please those selfish residents along the Parade who are worried about losing their car parks. But it will be a great loss for all other residents.

    Shame on you Paul Eagle, for allowing this to happen.

     
  2. Patricia Morgan, 17. June 2014, 15:23

    It has to be said there has been a very intimate conversation being held over the last 3 ½ years or so between WCC, CAW and CAN regarding cycle ways routes across the Wellington area. There is talk of 19 “important routes” to be looked at across the city covering about 125kms.

    Island Bay Section 1 is the first of these proposed routes and the “genuine lack of community consultation” has been staggering to say the least! The speed that this is being rammed through is hysterical. The stacking of rigged submissions and panels is alarming. If you weren’t interested in cycle ways it would all have slipped under the radar – and that has been deliberate from the outset.

    Just start looking closer Wellingtonians and see what you will find! You will be shocked I promise you. Transparency? Democracy? What a joke.

     
  3. Sridhar Ekambaram, 17. June 2014, 20:10

    Wrong Patricia!
    everyone was invited to make submissions – even anti-cyclists. the fact that they didn’t bother to make their opinion known does not mean submissions were rigged. All submissions are publicly available if you care to ask for them and have a look.

     
  4. Anna Peters, 19. June 2014, 0:14

    Good on you Paul and Nicola, sticking you heads out and doing the job you are paid to do, that being to represent your community. When is Cnr Lee going to show up and join the party or face the music? Or is he just sitting backing letting others do the dirty work then later take the credit, as we have all seen these greens do before.

    There’s been very poor consultation from a non cyclist point of view, which has led to this public out cry and not just for The Parade residents either. This is a Wellington issue. Being an effected resident I had no idea about the cycleway until the petition group informed me, waving a WCC flyer which I had never seen. Seems to me the council were wanting some of us to be kept in the dark, decisions made and work started before we would even know what was going on and then too late to “have a say”.

     

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