Two cycling cities – will Wellington catch up with Auckland?

cycleway PM and Len
On their bikes: John Key and Len Brown. Photo: Len Brown. Click here for a larger image.

A turning point for cycling in Auckland. That’s the new Grafton Gully cycleway that was opened this weekend, completing a 15km cycling route from west Auckland to the CBD and on to the waterfront. Setting an example for Wellington, where not even the first stage of the cycleway from Island Bay to the CBD has been started. Read more »

Honest, impartial, objective?

The NZ Transport Agency and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have both got themselves into hot water recently over claims that they weren’t being entirely accurate in their public statements. So what should we expect from these public servants, and when does simplification of complex issues turn into outright spin? Read more »

Counting submissions: the Transport Agency sees things differently

takapu valley and dog

by Lindsay Shelton
The Transport Agency, persisting with its unpopular “option” to build a motorway through the rural Takapu Valley, has now also been challenged over its claim that there is strong community support for a new Link Road between the Hutt Valley and Porirua/Tawa. Read more »

Selfies or no selfies at Te Papa?

Click here for larger image

Wellington art collectors and commentators Jim and Mary Barr have today discovered Te Papa’s new advertising campaign which is encouraging visitors to “strike a pose and take a selfie.” Read more »

On the waterfront: another private building on public land

by Mary Munro
The Wellington City Council last week voted 11 to four in favour of allowing an office block to be built on Site 10 at North Kumutoto, and granting a 125-year land lease to Willis Bond and Co. Waterfront Watch remains deeply concerned about these decisions. Read more »

The cycleway that hasn’t been built – how slow can they go?

by Lindsay Shelton
Back in 2008, the need for an off-road cycleway between Petone and Ngauranga was being described as “urgent.” The urgency was clear because a prominent cyclist had been killed at the Petone roundabout. We had a reminder of the urgency this week, when another cyclist was injured. Read more »

Open letter to Justin Lester: time to make the city better for pedestrians

To Justin Lester,
Deputy Mayor of Wellington.
Dear Justin,

In Thursday’s Dominion Post you lamented the failure of your colleagues to agree to reduce the speed limit on a few CBD streets to 30km/hr. From my point of view as a pedestrian advocate, this is a victory rather than a defeat. Read more »

Surprised and aghast – but where’s Plan B for the Basin?

by Mike Mellor
From media reports there’s a sense that the Regional Council is surprised and aghast at the Board of Inquiry decision to reject the Basin flyover. The council should have had a “Plan B” at the ready as a normal management precaution for a work of this scale. Read more »

What went wrong? CBD speed limits stay the same for a second time

In a marathon session last night, the Wellington City Council voted down the proposal to reduce the speed limit on selected CBD streets to 30km/hr. It was a defeat for Transport portfolio leader Andy Foster. Read more »

Cycleways versus car parks

by Maximus
Cyclists are, at all times, at danger of getting hurt, maimed and killed by clashes with motored vehicles unless they are in completely separated bicycle lanes. You might think therefore, that given the chance, any sane resident in Wellington would leap at the chance of a network of cycle routes being planned through Wellington. Read more »

Measuring the flyover hysteria index

Since the Board of Inquiry declined the Basin Reserve flyover, the usual suspects have claimed that all manner of calamities would befall the city. We’ve seen forecasts of everything from collapsing investment to cancelled projects and 7,000 less homes. So to bring some order to the chaos we’ve assembled all the prognostications into a helpful guide … the wellington.scoop Hysteria Index™. Read more »

Don’t stop the cycleway

by Regan Dooley
At its meeting on Wednesday, the Wellington City Council will vote on a motion lodged by Councillors Nicola Young and Paul Eagle that could delay the development of the Island Bay Cycle Way (Section 1 of the full route to the city) indefinitely. Read more »

Pioneering at Pigfish and Hannah’s


by Lindsay Shelton
A restaurant which didn’t exist a week ago, and which will be gone at the end of next week, has been attracting full houses every night to a new space at the back of Prefab in Jessie Street. It’s Pigfish, created by Rachel Taulelei and Martin Bosley with Rob Wilkinson of Prefab – which has come from nowhere to achieve enviable success. Read more »

Why community consultation is needed, not melodrama, after flyover rejection

by Christine McCarthy
The Architectural Centre, one of a number of groups opposing the Basin flyover, urges the region’s mayors and the Transport Agency not to shut the community out of discussions on possible future options for the Basin Reserve and other future Wellington transport projects. Read more »

Scaremongering – the vanishing houses

Friday’s Dominion Post was breathless with the claim that the lack of a Basin Reserve flyover will somehow cause “at least two years’ delays” to essential Wellington transport projects. This wasn’t just restricted to roading – it would, reported the newspaper guilelessly, also cast into doubt the future of 7,000 new homes. Read more »

Concrete wastelands on the waterfront

Two city councillors showed confused thinking during yesterday’s debate that approved another new building for the waterfront. Read more »

$10million in exchange for demolition?

Wealthy developer Mark Dunatschik has offered to pay $5m to help strengthen St Gerard’s, and another $5m to help strengthen St Mary of the Angel’s. But there’s a condition. He’ll write the cheques only if he’s allowed to demolish the heritage Harcourts Building in Lambton Quay. Read more »

Five myths about the Island Bay cycleway

by Regan Dooley
One of the biggest issues in the debate about the proposed Island Bay Cycle Way (Section 1 of the full cycle route to the city, from Shorland Park to Wakefield Park) has been a lack of understanding about the real pros and cons of the cycleway. Here’s an analysis of five of the most common myths. Read more »