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Thursday March 10, 2016

Cycleway “a vote against democracy” By Nikki Papatsoumas

The results are in – Island Bay residents have spoken and an overwhelming majority want to see the suburb’s controversial cycleway removed or replaced with a more acceptable design. Between January and February the Island Bay Residents Association asked all residents of the seaside suburb to complete a survey on the newly completed cycleway. Members of the residents association have now collated information from the 1792 completed surveys they received. Results show 87 per cent of Island Bay residents who completed the survey were opposed to the new cycleway design. They either wanted it removed, or returned to a more acceptable cycleway design. The survey also showed that just 52 per cent of residents wanted a cycleway for Island Bay. The results of the survey were shared at a public meeting held in Island Bay last night. Since construction work be-

gan on the cycleway late last year, the community of Island Bay has been divided. Many commentators have expressed concern over the design layout and safety of the bike lane which stretches along The Parade, while others have praised it. President of the Island Bay Residents Association, Vicki Greco, said the residents association would now propose the council return The Parade to its previous roadside configuration and determine a solution that worked for all road users. She said she believed it would be difficult for the council to ignore the results of the survey. “If they don’t [listen] it’s a vote against democracy, how could the council not listen to such numbers. They are voted in there to represent us and we are saying this is what we want so surely their job is to listen. “They need to forget their own agenda and listen.” Wellington City Councillor and Island Bay resident, Paul Eagle, said after three years the results of the survey reaffirmed that the people of Island Bay

Committee chairperson, Paul Eagle said the council would continue to work with key stakeholders – including police, health experts, innercity residents and members of the hospitality industry to find the best long-term solution. “Since the default hours were introduced 15 months ago information provided to council show emergency department presentations up, but alcohol-related crime down, showing more analyse

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President of the Island Bay Residents Association Vicki Greco and Wellington City Councillor Paul Eagle.

did not want the cycleway in its current shape. “The time has come now to put aside political legacies and listen to the people – the people have spoken. “I expect my colleagues to

support democracy and back the voice of the people.”  What do you think? Should the cycleway stay, or should it be removed and replaced with a safer design? Send us an email – news@wsn.co.nz

and interpretation of data is needed.” Mr Eagle said the decision would allow more time to gather information and consider decisions on other appeals prior to determining if the council requires a local alcohol policy. “While this might seem frustrating to some, we need to manage this in a way that gets the right results and at the moment the information we have is not complete.

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Ph (04) 382 8834 “I expect council officers to come back to committee as soon as they have the required information, which could be by the end of the year.” Mr Eagle said a report on the council’s Alcohol Management Strategy – looking at alcohol related behaviour and how to reduce alcohol related harm – would be presented to the Community, Sport and Recreation Committee in August.

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More data needed for council Wellington city bars will continue to close at 4am after Wellington City Council decided not to resubmit its local alcohol policy. Last week, Wellington City Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee made the decision, the city will remain operating under the parameters set under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 – with city bars having a default closing time of 4am.

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