Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Changes Proposed To Give People More Space

Concept plans for the temporary street changes proposed for Featherston and Victoria Streets are now online – and there’s an opportunity to provide initial feedback until Thursday 11 June.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the changes are designed to help with social distancing, and give people more choice in how they get around by making it safer and easier to bike in this part of the city.

“Wellingtonians are normally big public transport users. But in Alert Level 2 and potentially also 1, not so many of us are going to be able to travel that way because of reduced capacity on buses and trains,” she says. “So, in the wake of Covid-19, like many cities around the world, we are looking to repurpose space on some of our streets for walking and biking.”

It’s proposed one of the two traffic lanes along Featherston Street will become a temporary bike lane. This will link through to Victoria Street via Hunter Street, providing a dedicated bike lane through the city from Ballance Street to Abel Smith Street.

The temporary changes will form part of the main bike commuter route from the north and make it safer and more appealing. It will also provide a clear link through to Willis Street, close to where the proposed temporary bike lane up Brooklyn Hill will start.

Where possible, more space will also be created for pedestrians to walk, queue or safely pass each other on Featherston Street, which in normal times is one of the city’s busiest streets – used by about 13,000 pedestrians a day. This will be done using space on the seaward side of the road that is normally used for parking.

To provide more space for people on foot and bikes, space for general traffic will be reduced while the Covid-19 related changes are in place. It will also mean changes to some taxi stands, loading zones and bus stops. The concept plans include a temporary bus lane on Victoria Street between Dixon Street and Willis Street.

Deputy Mayor Free says the Council is providing a two-week opportunity for some initial public feedback before making a decision on 24 June on whether the temporary changes will happen – an opportunity people in many other places haven’t been given ahead of similar changes.

“Once they’re in, if approved, we’ll make it easy for businesses and the community who use these routes to provide suggestions and feedback, and some adjustments are possible. What we learn will also help us design and create better public spaces and shared streets in these, or other locations in the future.”

Councillor Jenny Condie, Associate Portfolio Leader for Transport, says these are temporary changes being made in very unsual times, which align well with city and regional goals – including the plan to move more people with fewer vehicles, make healthy transport choices an option for more people, and reduce emissions that cause climate change.

“We know many Wellingtonians are passionate and committed to doing their bit to help fight climate change – and that a lot of us also enjoyed being able to safely bike with our families during lockdown. So the things we learn from these, and the other temporary changes planned, can ultimately help us make the city a healthier, more sustainable and appealing place to live.” 

If approved, the changes are expected to be in place as long as safe distancing may be required – which could be until there is a vaccine. No one knows exactly how long that will be.

“I’d like to see the changes stay in place even if public transport does get back to normal soon, because some people will prefer to bike to maintain a safe distance. We need to maintain that option, because like other countries, we could return to higher alert levels in the future. We just don’t know.”

She says when the prospect of applying to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for funding for these projects was mooted a few weeks ago, community representatives and individuals urged the Council to be bold, move more quickly, and do even more to enable physical distancing and increase transport choices.

“We know the removal of car parking will be a concern for some, but we also know from a lot of research around the world that removing car parks for bike lanes and widening footpaths generally has a neutral or positive effect on retail and hospitality businesses.

“We want to work with and support local businesses as we make these changes – so where we can, we’ll provide more space for queuing or sitting.”

In the wake of Covid-19 restrictions, cities all over the world are moving to create more space for people to walk, bike, queue and relax. With restricted capacity on public transport, large areas of London are being closed to cars to allow people to be able to safely walk and cycle.

Other cities have made big and rapid changes too – from hundreds of miles of new bike lanes in Milan and Mexico City, to widening footpaths and pedestrianising neighbourhoods in New York and Seattle.

In Auckland, 17kms of temporary bike lanes are in place already, and footpaths have been widened.

Feedback on the Featherston and Victoria Street proposals can be made online until Thursday 11 June. If approved on 24 June, the changes are expected to be in place by the end of July.

If approved, the changes will be 90 percent funded through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets programme as a Covid-19 response project. The Innovating Streets programme uses tactical urbanism to move towards the Government’s longer-term objectives to create safer, healthier and more vibrant towns and cities.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal


Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>
 

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:




Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>

ALSO:


Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels