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Legal action against Island Bay cycleway called off; “time to come together”

News release from Democratic Voice of Island Bay
The Democratic Voice of Island Bay community group decided yesterday not to pursue legal action against the Wellington City Council’s proposal to build a cycleway in Island Bay. The decision comes after the desire to use the resources to build bridges within the community instead.

Island Bay resident and group spokesperson, Jane Byrne, said the group was formed after concerns were raised about the 3km controversial cycleway from several hundred residents, retailers and local leaders.

The group sought legal advice a week ago and requested the council mediate and discuss a compromise as a first step before considering further action.

“Council Chief Executive, Kevin Lavery, has acknowledged the processes leading to the decisions taken on Island Bay hold lessons for both officers and Councillors” says Ms Byrne.

Ms Byrne says “We want to thank the many hundreds of people for their support – we’ve been overwhelmed with financial contributions of $15,000 and pledges are still coming in from all over Wellington totalling well over $80,000”. The funds will cover legal fees to date and the rest put towards initiatives in Island Bay.

“We found everyone had one thing in common – their love for Island Bay and the things that make the community special. We can’t do that sitting on opposite sides of the fence – it’s time we came together” says Ms Byrne.

Group representatives discussed their ideas with Island Bay resident and Wellington City Councillor Paul Eagle today. He encouraged the Group to create an ‘Island Bay Plan’ that should be “built by all the people of Island Bay – not council telling the community what’s good for them.”

Ms Byrne says, “We’re excited by this idea as there’s so much going on in Island Bay, we’ve got a seawall to fix and the next stages to sort out, possible medium density housing issues and saving the Erskine College chapel to name a few”.

A draft process for developing the Island Bay plan will be completed in the coming weeks and presented to both council officers and councillors for assistance in November.

Work on cycleway starts on Monday

20 comments:

  1. Donald McGregor, 28. September 2015, 7:43

    Perhaps it has more to do with the Ombudsman’s letter they received last week that said they don’t have a case. I await with interest to see their consultation on the “Island Bay Plan.”

     
  2. Curtis Nixon, 28. September 2015, 9:27

    Excellent to see a positive outcome for Island Bay.

     
  3. Bayside, 28. September 2015, 9:46

    Good luck with the ‘all the people’ idea. This group are quite happy to deny the many, many people in IB who want a bit of progress… (a climate change mitigation strategy rather than propping up a sea wall that’s in the wrong place, for instance…)

     
  4. Regan Dooley, 28. September 2015, 9:47

    This is good news and I want to thank the people involved for dropping the proposed action. I know they still have genuine concerns and they are feeling pretty bruised by the whole process. Even though I don’t agree with them on many points I still defend their right to have a say and take whatever action they felt was necessary. So today’s news is very much appreciated.

    Anyone who really wants to help Island Bay move on could start by supporting the businesses who are directly affected by the start of works today – The White Room Gallery (gifts galore) and Island Bay Stationers (with one of the best little selections of kids books in Wellington). Roti Corner and Original Thai do most of their business after hours but I’m sure they’d love to see you too!

     
  5. Island Bay Rules, 28. September 2015, 10:38

    Maybe now we can sign this E-petition so the Council will forever hold on record that the Island Bay Cycleway was never tested by the formula in the Cycling Framework because of the timing of events.

    On 28 August, Safe and Sustainable Transport Manager Paul Barker wrote: “The cycleway project in Island Bay had effective approval in December 2014. The required changes to the traffic restrictions that would give effect to the approved plan were more recently approved by Council at its meeting of 24 June. At that same meeting, the framework for future cycleway development was also approved. Given that Island Bay was only seeking an endorsement of a previous committee approval, there was no demand from Councillors to assess the project under the new framework”.

    http://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/epetitions/petitions/current/2015-09-demand-the-island-bay-cycle-way-be-tested-for-safety-by-the-formula-in-the-cycling-framework

     
  6. Sridhar Ekambaram, 28. September 2015, 13:04

    Councillor Eagle’s statement – “built by all the people of Island Bay – not council telling the community what’s good for them” – can be taken in another context. That is, if the council has no role, then why need the council? Or better still, the council’s scope can be all of Wellington except IB. Either way then there is no need for a councillor because no one needs to represent Island Bay. That would be one less problem councillor in the WCC.

     
  7. Ron Beernink, 28. September 2015, 13:45

    Any opportunity for the community to have constructive discussions must be welcomed with open arms. Certainly a chance to work together to make the Island Bay cycle way a success.

     
  8. Rosie H, 28. September 2015, 13:50

    I’m a big fan of your work Regan and thank you for your positive reflection on the situation in Island Bay. I welcome this call to move on and your practical suggestions really help to build bridges. I interpret the comments from Councillor Eagle completely differently to Sridhar. The Island Bay Plan idea is a great one. I’ll be e-mailing him with information about a best practice, inclusive process I’ve been part of. The outcomes were people-focussed and I was amazed to see how such diverse views were pulled together and the community I worked in completely changed. It can be done, good work Regan and good work Councillor Eagle!

     
  9. Sarah Anderson, 28. September 2015, 14:27

    Gosh Sridhar. I don’t think Councillor Eagle was being as black and white as you! Of course we need a council but one that actively facilitates a conversation about proposals for a community and listens to their needs and requirements. This is called consultation – not the sham that this current council is doing. They don’t know what the meaning of the word is and as a result a community has been divided. But Sridhar you wouldn’t really be aware of the Island Bay community needs and requirements because you don’t live in the area! And all you have heard is what has been fed to you by the likes of Cycle Aware Wellington.

     
  10. Keith, 28. September 2015, 16:43

    Good on you Regan, I like the way you give a positive spin on negative actions. Supporting these local businesses during the cycleway build sounds very warm and hugging but do you know that they have been told there will be no future parking in front of their businesses, let alone the other eight corner businesses along the Parade who will also be affected.

     
  11. Sridhar Ekambaram, 28. September 2015, 21:17

    Good on you IB. This is a day everyone (cyclists and non-cyclists) should feel proud about.

     
  12. Regan Dooley, 29. September 2015, 12:28

    Hi Keith, there’s a full analysis of exactly how the parking in front of every business on The Parade is affected here: http://www.islandbaycycleway.org.nz/blog/the-impact-of-the-cycleway-on-local-businesses

     
  13. Simon White, 30. September 2015, 17:10

    I found Regan’s actions with the Island Bay Cyleway Facebook page to be divisive for all the Island Bay Community. It seemed to be a vessel for the Council’s idealogical propaganda and a few middle class residents of Island Bay who were not prepared to look at the full needs of the community. It was Regan who counted the number of car parks – is he an expert road and safety technologist as well as a cycling expert? I applaud the Democratic Voice for Island Bay people who had the courage to speak out and to question the motivation for this random and unwanted cycleway. It is a selfish project as it doesn’t serve a priority purpose to safe cycling.

     
  14. Keith, 1. October 2015, 17:11

    An analysis done by the cycleway lobby group, why wouldn’t I believe what it says. Even if done by PWC I would want to know what the brief was. The figures in the report do not outline the personal and social impacts of removing some of the car parks. Take a typical dairy owner who has lost the only car park outside their business, assume 3 cars stop an hour and spent up to $10. The dairy is often open for 12hrs a day, 365 days a year. That is approx $130K of income under jeopardy. Human nature being what it is, if you cannot park outside the dairy you will not park elsewhere, as most people ‘stop to shop’ only as they pass by i.e. for cigarettes, bread, milk, nappies etc, they are not interested in hunting for a car park. There are many more examples on the Parade; even changes of 3 parks to 1 park, one of the businesses will suffer a downturn of trade. One thing for sure is that the cycling public will not be making up this income shortfall for these businesses, so they will fail and disappear from the Parade, and the fabric of Island Bay will change forever.

     
  15. lindsay, 1. October 2015, 21:12

    Island Bay locals must be a pickier lot than the locals in Brooklyn, where I live. If we drive to the dairy, we don’t demand to park outside the door. We’re quite relaxed to find a space further up or down the street, or round the corner, and then to take a walk of a minute or two. Walking can be pleasant. You get to see other possibilities, other shops, other sights. As for Island Bay cyclists never buying anything from Island Bay dairies … is there evidence of this? And if so, where do they buy their cigarettes, bread, milk and nappies? Or do they cycle home and get into their cars and drive back to the dairy? Demanding, of course, to park the car outside the door.

     
  16. Laura, 1. October 2015, 21:25

    As a shop owner you know when a cyclist has arrived, they usually drop their bikes against your window pane and then they buy a stingy little bunch that has to fit in their miniscule backpack. If cyclists were the great consumers that Regan thinks they are, how come every business in Wellington doesn’t have a bike-stand outside their doorway already?

     
  17. Phil, 2. October 2015, 12:29

    Keith – has it occurred to you that the car is the reason why people don’t shop locally any more? If the cycleway makes Island Bay a nicer place to walk and bike rather than just speed through in a car, then that will be good for local businesses. It certainly won’t make things worse. You are scaremongering and your “analysis” assumes the most pessimistic, worst-case scenario. There are already dairies in Island Bay that don’t have parking right outside and you are also assuming that the parking outside a dairy is only ever used by customers of the dairy. Which it probably isn’t. The cycleway is happening now so please just give it a chance instead of being so negative.

     
  18. Keith, 2. October 2015, 17:11

    Hi Phil, I expect the numbers to be worse. I don’t understand your logic that because of the motor car we don’t shop locally, I/we sure do. It is often hard to find a car park as everyone is shopping locally. Not sure what suburb you are looking at. In my 34 years in the Bay I have never seen mum, dad, and kids cycling up the hills of Island Bay carrying their shopping on their handlebars. And it is all these feeder routes to the Parade that are the danger, not the Parade itself, so why would cyclist shopping habits change just because of one cycleway.

     
  19. Traveller, 2. October 2015, 18:32

    Hi Keith. It sounds as if you’d like to ban bikes.

     
  20. Keith, 3. October 2015, 17:41

    Hi Traveller, that is a giant leap in logic, but sounds typical of the cycling lobbyists. For the record I’m a cyclist. I learnt to cycle in the days when the world was not being dumbed down, and being mollycoddled by unwanted well wishers. To believe the outcome from the changes being presented will be anything like the Dutch system is delusional. The current ‘safe’ Island Bay cycleway should be widened a wee bit and made a little more obvious of its existence from vehicle traffic, by delineating it with a painted a green line. Nothing else needs changing as normal road rules apply to all users.