Wellington Scoop

Why a mother likes the cycleway

by Barbara McCallum
This week I received a one page document in my letterbox asking if I was unhappy with the Island Bay cycleway. I’m guessing that the person who delivered it did not leave their name because they knew they were being ignorant by placing it in my letterbox which clearly states “no junk mail”.

Oh well, I am a positive sort of person, so I thought I would take advantage of the document to let you know that I support the Island Bay cycleway.

I live on The Parade and I have two small children (6 and 5) who both go the Island Bay primary school, and I love that the cycleway has enabled us to enforce the 30km zone through the village. This makes me feel safer when I cross the street with my children on our way to and from school. It also makes me feel a bit more secure about the other children crossing the road who don’t have their parents with them. Previously cars would zoom through the intersection and I saw quite a few near misses of children crossing and cars not seeing them and speeding through.

I also support the cycleway because I drive, bus, cycle, walk and occasionally run up and down The Parade. Sometimes on my own, sometimes with my dog, sometimes with my family … I feel much safer with the cycle way and I especially love seeing other children (mine are not old enough yet) riding up to SWIS on the protected cycle way or even just to the bike and skate parks.

I support the cycle way because it goes some way towards helping the children playing sport at Wakefield Park to cross the road safer (at the Dee St crossing).

Finally, amongst a raft of additional reasons that I won’t list here, I support the cycle way because I support a sustainable future. I support people getting out of their cars and not hiding behind a piece of paper they shove in someone’s letterbox because they are not happy, instead riding down the road, meeting friends, taking in the sights, sounds, smells of the beautiful Island Bay. I love the Bay and as such I love to slow down, not rush through it, and take it all in.

So, thanks to the person who chose not to read the note on my letterbox for this opportunity, and thanks to WCC for moving with the times. Let’s hope all of those people who are scared of change learn that it’s not that scary. The only thing certain in life is change 😉

Cyclists call for cycleway assessment


  1. Ron Beernink, 19. January 2016, 21:27

    Fantastic article, Barb. And a really good response to the anonymous anti-change brigade. I finally got a chance to try out the cycle way for myself during the weekend and thought it was fantastic. But yes, agree that it will take time for people to get used to. And yes, it may need some further fine tuning.
    But a great step in the right direction and a lesson learned that can be used in a positive way to help build the rest of the cycling infrastructure in Wellington.

  2. luke, 20. January 2016, 12:35

    good stuff. we need more cycleways. the letter in your mailbox was from a change-resistant nimby and well done for standing up to them with the article.

  3. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 22. January 2016, 12:26

    Well said . “Move with the times” is a gem. Can I borrow that one?

  4. Gary, 22. January 2016, 13:24

    I really want to see this document. Any chance you could upload a photo of it?

  5. J, 22. January 2016, 13:45

    Yes I support the cycle way for these reasons.

  6. Rebecca Bird, 22. January 2016, 14:00

    I too love the new cycle way, I now cycle commute via Island Bay again after previously boycotting this route due to it being too dangerous to cycle. I am so glad to live in a city that values cycling and safety and am so happy that others do too. I think the critics & objectors need get on a bike and give it a go – it’s a much safer ride for all.

  7. Curtis Nixon, 22. January 2016, 15:42

    I went to the cycle shop to look at buying my first bike in 20 years. Exciting to be able to bike to Island Bay soon on the new cycleway.
    And where can I get some ‘anti-road rage’ pills for when I’m on the road elsewhere and some car driver tries to flatten me?

  8. Axel Ryde, 22. January 2016, 16:04

    I was thrilled to see my neighbour’s 8 year old boy having a go the other day. Looked right at home! [via Twitter]

  9. Island Bay Rules, 23. January 2016, 23:06

    Curtis: no need for ‘anti-road rage’ pills. Under the Land Transport Act definition of a road, you are allowed access whether you arrive by car, bus, skateboard or bicycle….