News from WCC
Two extra pedestrian crossings and a new set of traffic lights are among the changes now proposed as part of the plan to install safer cycle lanes along The Parade in Island Bay.
Changes have been made to the plans following feedback and discussions over the past few months and people have a month from today to look at the revised design and proposed traffic changes and provide any final feedback. Councillors will make a final decision in December and if approved, construction will start early next year.
Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, is keen to see the new lanes in place as soon as possible and more proposals developed to make biking through adjacent suburbs and other parts of the city safer and easier.
“It’s very apparent an increasing number of Wellingtonians are getting about by bike and our research shows many more people will travel that way at times if we make it safer. Like other smart cities worldwide – we’ve committed to making improvements to neighbourhoods and routes to provide real transport choices.
“The new lanes proposed in Island Bay are a good start,” he says. “They give people on bikes their own space away from general traffic and include bypasses at bus stops, which will be great for less confident riders.”
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the separated cycle lanes will be an exemplar for the city. “I’m delighted that locals will be able to enjoy this suburb by bike without waiting for decisions to be made on the whole complex route through Newtown and Mt Cook to the waterfront.”
The proposal for the three kilometres of new kerbside lanes between Shorland Park and Wakefield Park includes:
· new pedestrian crossings on The Parade near Humber and Mersey streets
· keeping most right-turning lanes at busier intersections
· cycle bypasses at nine bus stops
· new traffic lights at Dee Street
· no parking or other changes through the main shopping centre, which is already a low-speed (30km/h) area
· retaining all of the pohutukawa trees.
Some on-street car parking will have to go for the new lanes to function safely, but the overall loss has been reduced from the 45 originally mooted, to 29 car parks – about 11 percent of the existing 265 car parks. This has been achieved with some proposed design changes on The Parade. Some new short-stay parking on Humber, Mersey, Tamar and Dee streets will replace similar spaces removed from The Parade and will help support businesses in those areas.
Cr Foster says staff have worked incredibly hard and listened to a range of suggestions and concerns from local residents, businesses and cyclists over the past few months. They made changes where it was safe and appropriate to do so, including several which will make things safer for pedestrians.
“The new lights at Dee Street and some of the other changes have added to the overall cost (now $1.9 million), but are being recommended as the best and safest way to share this road space more fairly and balance a mix of needs for all ages and transport modes.”
The detailed plans and final proposal are on the Council’s website Wellington.govt.nz/shorland2wakefield and on display at the Island Bay Community Centre, 137 The Parade, and the Wellington South Baptist Church, 284 The Parade. Information is also available from Island Bay Library.
People will be able to see large-scale versions of the revised plans and talk with staff at a drop-in session at the Baptist Church, 5–8pm on Thursday 11 September. Feedback should be made online if possible at Wellington.govt.nz/islandbaycycle. Alternatively, Freepost submission forms are available from Island Bay Library or by phoning 499 4444.
More work is being done on the routes through Berhampore and Newtown that were proposed by a panel of Wellingtonians for the next section of the Island Bay to city cycleway. Wider public consultation on options for this section will happen next year.