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Help shape safer Newtown bike connections

People who live or regularly travel in Newtown, Berhampore and Mt Cook are being asked to share their thoughts and local knowledge as planning gets under way to develop safer bike connections in the area.

From today, anyone with an interest in the area can provide information about how they get around, and highlight things or areas they think need special consideration.

This initial feedback phase, which closes on 17 July, will be the first of three opportunities the community will have over the next 9 to 12 months to help shape changes in their neighbourhood.

Councillor Sarah Free, Wellington City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, says the Council is taking a fresh look at all the possibilities, and will use information gathered over the next six weeks to help come up with options for consideration later in the year.

“It’s just the start of the conversation. At this stage there are no preferred routes or options on the table,” she says. “The project is likely to include some improvements for people on foot, and other changes. So no matter how people travel – we want their thoughts.”

“Along with feedback we receive over the next few weeks, we will be reviewing and considering earlier work, including the 2014 Citizens’ Advisory Panel recommendations, views expressed as part of Our Town Newtown project, and feedback provided at St Anne’s Hall last year.

We want to hear from as many people as possible, including children who live or go to school in this area,” Cr Free says.

The Newtown Connections project is part of the Council’s plan to gradually develop a citywide cycle network in partnership with the community, NZ Transport Agency and Government. The aim is to provide improved facilities that will make it possible for more people of all ages and abilities to choose to make some trips by bike.

The project will include looking at how best to improve some neighbourhood routes and connections to key local destinations, including Wellington Regional Hospital, and safer links to the city and adjoining suburbs.

It will take into account any plans for this area that are announced through the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project as well as planned bus network changes, which are due to come into effect soon.

Cr Free says to help manage congestion as the city’s population grows, and make sure roads can cope with the numbers who need or want to drive, it is important to make changes which will allow as many people as possible to be walking, biking or taking public transport.

The easiest way to provide feedback is online at transportprojects.org.nz. Facilities and assistance are available at Kia Ora Newtown, 8 Constable Street. People can also pick up paper feedback forms from here, or phone 04 499 4444 or email transport@wcc.govt.nz to request one.

Council staff will be meeting with a range of groups and organisations in the area over coming weeks to help encourage a diverse range of people to get involved.

There will also be opportunities for people to drop-by and talk. These include:

• Saturday 16 June, 1pm–3pm, pop-up shop, 199 Riddiford Street next to the mall
• Thursday 21 June, 5.30pm–7.30pm, Newtown Community and Cultural Centre theatre, 7 Colombo Street
• Saturday 30 June, 1pm–3pm, pop-up shop, 199 Riddiford Street
• Thursday 5 July, 4pm–6pm, pop-up shop, 199 Riddiford Street

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