- Wellington.scoop.co.nz - http://wellington.scoop.co.nz -

A broken promise in Berhampore – cycle-way delayed for 3 years

by Curtis Nixon
The Wellington City Council has made the politically-expedient decision that there will be no money for a cycle-way through Berhampore over the next three years. This dis-honours its previous commitment through setting up a citizens’ panel and hearing submissions towards building the cycle-way.

Also there has been no movement towards a 30km safer speed zone through Berhampore, though officers stated that we should have heard something by July. I expect that the 30km zone will be consulted on shortly, but that is unconfirmed.

I wonder how the City Council hopes to engage people on this after the shameful treatment we’ve had over the cycle-way. I am “consulted-out” and won’t believe anything they say until I see workers in hi-vis out in the street DOING something. The in-fighting amongst Wellington City Councillors (you know who you are) that has brought this situation about is a disaster, and highlights how political motives can out-do practical action.

I have emailed a big rant to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, so read it if you like and contact your councillor or the Mayor if you feel the urge. I think that Celia has done the best she can in the circumstances and the fault lies with others. But she is the head of the council so she needs to hear people’s views.

Dear Celia
Please allow me to express my disappointment and upset over the decision by the Wellington City Council to cancel the Berhampore cycle-way. What a waste of energy and time by all those who have worked on this. Plus why has there been no official communication to me and the other interested parties who were involved in the citizens’ panel that was consulted in depth about this? I only found out second-hand. Paul Barker has not been in contact as he said he would after this decision was made; or about the 30km/hr safer speed zone for Berhampore – another broken commitment.

I feel that the residents and travelers who use the streets of Berhampore have become victims of political game-playing by some councillors. Politics is fine but there are real-world consequences that we in Berhampore are facing. I hope the councillors involved realise the damage to their support they have incurred with this action. I wish the council’s non-political side could overcome the politics in this case, being a special instance of a combination of bad politics combined with serious need.

I have had a friend run down at the Britomart Street lights. I need to start cycling for fitness and also to accompany and teach my daughter cycling on the road. But I won’t do so for safety and peace of mind reasons until there are cycleways which we can use without fear of injury.

Berhampore is not a big suburb and to some it would appear that we are just some connecting roads in-between Island Bay and Newtown. The council makes noises about developing our infrastructure but nothing is done. I see the main bus stop at Island Bay shops has the suburb’s name over the top of the bus shelter. Can the main Berhampore bus stop on Luxford Street outside the BP service station please have this too? Where is our “Welcome to Berhampore” sign? Is the council going to build a decent-sized children’s playground at Wakefield Park to act as a community focus the way Shorland Park does at Island Bay? Even picking up the rubbish on and next to the road would be a start, as well as spraying weeds on the footpath.
Curtis Nixon

Curtis Nixon is a long-time writer of letters-to-the-editor, parent, and road safety and cycleway advocate in the best little suburb in Wellington – Berhampore.