Cycleway from Island Bay gets a second go-ahead from city councillors;

cycleway sticker2

Wellington.Scoop
The cycleway from Island Bay’s Shorland Park to Wakefield Park was given a second go-ahead by Wellington city councillors yesterday.

Planning had started in December, aiming to find “clever thinking, compromise and creative solutions.”

The plan was given a greenlight in May by the council’s Transport and Urban Development committee, which approved detailed design work on the first stage of what is to be a cycleway all the way from Island Bay to the city. The committee also set up a citizens’ panel to recommend options for the second section, through Berhampore and Newtown.

But in June nine councillors decided that such decisions should not be made by the committee, but should be moved to the full council. Lambton Ward councillor Nicola Young lodged a Notice of Motion for the whole Council to take over the decisions. Southern Ward Councillor Paul Eagle seconded the motion. Seven other councillors supported it.

Critics of the move worried that, if successful, it could delay the cycleway indefinitely.

The debate continued from then till yesterday, when the motion was put to the vote.

And it was defeated by eight votes to seven. Two councillors who’d supported the motion, changed their minds. So the first stage of the cycleway can go ahead, though it’s taken much longer to get to this stage than had originally been intended.

The reason for the new cycleway was persuasively explained by Maximus in June:

Why are the council deleting the existing cycleway in Island Bay and putting in a new one next to the kerb? Because the existing cycleway is not that safe – it puts cyclists (the most vulnerable of road users) into the lanes with buses, cars and trucks, and into the same zone as car doors. That’s just not the safest place for a cycle way – the safest place is for cyclists to be near the pedestrians, well away from the traffic.

More from Maximus:
Cycleways versus car parks
Council survey favours barriers for cycleways

 

6 comments:

  1. Pablo, 28. August 2014, 9:25

    Where can we find the list of the seven Councillors who voted against the cycleway? [The two councillors who changed sides and decided to support the cycleway were Malcolm Sparrow and Simon Woolf. The vote on the notice of motion which would have delayed the cycleway was lost by 7 votes to 8: Those who voted for it were Councillors Ahipene-Mercer, Coughlan, Eagle, Marsh, Peck, Ritchie, Young. Against: the Mayor, Crs Free, Foster, Lee, Lester, Pannett, Sparrow, Woolf.]

     
  2. Scop, 28. August 2014, 9:49

    I think it is great news and will add to the reasons that make Island Bay a great place to live. What makes a suburb attractive is the ease and safety of getting out and about to enjoy the local shops and facililities, not the number of residential car parks. In a few years people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. They are also likely to remember that it happened, not thanks to our local councillor Paul Eagle, but in spite of him.

     
  3. Rosie H, 28. August 2014, 17:59

    My extended family have lived in Island Bay for generations and we love the Bay, our community and we definitely love cycling. We’re all for whatever is planned. But what is it with all the anti-Councillor Paul Eagle sentiments? He’s door knocked our home 3 times (no other politician has ever done this) and we had him in the hot seat (our lounge) a fortnight ago asking him what’s the go with the cycleway. Communication was our issue as we hadn’t heard a thing about it until we saw our local rag after consultation had ended. He said the engagement process had been completely inadequate, needed to accommodate all views and acknowledged the result wouldn’t make everyone happy. I also watched the live council link yesterday too and he’s a man of his word. Let’s stop the personal attacks and be thankful for what we’re going to get.

     
  4. Scop, 29. August 2014, 12:57

    Rosie H. – I’m not anti Paul Eagle, just critical of the way he has acted on this issue. The council now has the go ahead to create what is likely to be a significant asset for Island Bay that will improve safety for all Island Bay residents, young people included. The motion that Paul seconded and supported in the voting would have delayed construction indefinitely. I do not understand his opposition which continued even following increased levels of consultation. Call me cinical but my perception is that it was politically motivated. That is not working for the good of the community. However I am open to consider any other plausible explanation. I’ll certainly ask Paul when next I see him.

     
  5. JimS, 29. August 2014, 13:09

    I’ll second Rosie’s comment on Paul. Whatever you think for or against the cycleway, it is very unfair to criticise him. He has been the most engaged councillor I have met through this process. He has organised or attended many meetings and been very supportive (unlike our Green council rep)
    Thanks Paul.

     
  6. Rosie H, 29. August 2014, 16:59

    Scop – I’ve seen other posts you’ve written and you come across very anti-Councillor Paul Eagle, even if it hasn’t been your intention. It appears you and other “pro/keen” cycle way residents were opposed to him seeking out all views – did you not think it was going to be controversial? You had a right to be nervous, but not angry! I don’t think you can have a go at anyone for wanting a process that was fair, respectful and safe. I also don’t believe that the motion he seconded would have delayed construction indefinitely – the council meeting was live streamed and the only delay identified was Councillor Andy Foster’s comment that the decision not to build the flyover would delay all cycling and bus rapid transport by 2 years. I don’t know if this is true but there was no other reason given that indicated the motion would cause a delay. However, political motivation is a good point. I’ve felt somewhat disappointed as it seems that Mayor Celia and Councillor David Lee (who is Green) were using this project to win votes for the Greens at the general election. (I’m in a green-blue household but did not vote for Councillor Lee as he does not live inside our council ward). Secondly, some councillors considered their committee structure was detrimental to the strategic importance of cycling for the city, and Councillor Foster’s lack of leadership for transport matters was an underlying theme. (Councillor Eagle’s comment: leadership was an issue if we want “Wellington to be the cycling capital of New Zealand”). I’m hopeful our community can now heal itself and move forward.

     

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