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Planning for Island Bay’s cycleway has begun

Planning for Island Bay’s cycleway has begun

Planning for Wellington’s first cycleway is underway , but there's still no agreement on how to thread it through Island Bay's shopping village without losing car parks.

Some of the angle parks in Island Bay’s main village. Photo: Jeremy Wilkinson

The working party in charge of planning the implementation of the cycleway has met twice, but has so far not reached a solution to the parking or roundabout issues.

The working party was formed following a full council meeting on April 30 where Island Bay was chosen to be the first suburb in Wellington to have a cycleway implemented.

The purpose of the council meeting in April was to decide upon a cycle framework for the whole of Wellington, but Councillor Mark Peck proposed an amendment, which had Island Bay take priority over other Wellington suburbs.

The working party is made up of Southern Ward councillors, David Lee and Paul Eagle as well as four Island Bay community members.

The group is to make a submission to the Land Transport and Urban development committee on June 25.

Councillor David Lee says he suggested the group be chosen with “four fresh people, two people from the business sector and two from residents.

“What actually happened was two members who are pro-cycling and two who are more neutral were selected.”

Cr Lee says one of the functions of the working party is to “tweak” the cycle plan to involve room for parking near commercial places such as dairies.

“Most dairies have been given at least one temporary parking space, we have to be quite sensitive to business interests.

“It’s on road reserve, that’s why we need traffic resolutions to gain the approval of Land Transport and Urban Development.”

Island Bay’s main shopping centre features 18 angle parks, which Cr Lee identifies as “some of the most dangerous configurations for a cyclist”.

This is because to leave an angle park a car must reverse into the traffic stream with very limited visibility.

The group are exploring several options for resolving where the cycleway will go through the main village.

One proposal is to cobblestone the whole area, which forces cars and cyclists alike to slow down.

Another is to have the cycleway travel in front of the angle parking,

A safe option for cyclists would be to replace the angle parking with parallel parks, which Cr Lee says would not have a negative impact on business in the area.

“It’s in an area where it is possible to park within proximity of the commercial area.

“Yes there is parking demand, but there is also a high turnover of parking.”

Southern Ward Councillor Paul Eagle says it is important to resolve what will happen to parking in the main village.

“We acknowledge they (angle parks) are super dangerous (for cyclists) but there is not a lot of choice.”

The working party terms of reference state that they will consider the December 2014 proposal as well as the cycle framework agreed upon at the April 2015 council meeting.

The 2014 proposal states that installing the cycle way along a parallel street such as Clyde Street in order to bypass areas like the main village is not an option: “It is feasible to provide suitable facilities on the main, most direct route, which is the most desirable for people’s travel.”

“If we had started this conversation from scratch that is a conversation we could have had,” Cr Eagle says.

Cr Eagle also says the council should have asked the people of Island Bay if they wanted a cycleway instead of telling them they are getting one.

“We never actually said ‘do you want a cycleway’ I think if we had have asked, people would have supported a cycleway in some form, just not what has been proposed.”

The working party has deliberated over traffic resolutions in terms of how exactly a cycleway will be implemented but one of the main areas of contention is what will happen to the Dee Street roundabout.

The current roundabout at Dee Street/The Parade. Photo: Jeremy Wilkinson

One option for the Dee Street roundabout is to replace it with traffic lights, but Cr Eagle says there is a possibility of trialling a few options to keep both motorists and cyclists happy.

Cr Eagle also says the cycleway will only get cyclists as far as Wakefield Park.

“This is part of the beef from the start, we needed a framework for the whole city, before we began planning the Southern Route.”

Currently, there are no other areas in Wellington, which have been given the go ahead for cycleway planning to commence.

The working party will meet again on the June 8 and will provide the council with a recommendation for traffic resolutions on the June 24.


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