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Thursday November 23, 2017

inbrief news

Cycling in Wilson St? No way, say residents

Correction Last week’s letter to the editor “Declining postal service no longer does it fast” was in fact written by H Westfold of Miramar, not Tony Sutcliffe of Strathmore.

By Jamie Adams

A group of residents are up in arms over a Wellington City Council proposal to install a cycleway through one of the streets in their suburb. Sounds familiar? No, it’s not Island Bay - this time it’s Newtown. On Wednesday evening last week, the Newtown Residents Association held an emergency meeting with council portfolio leader for public transport, cycling and walking Sarah Free over a proposal to install a two-way cycleway in Wilson Street, which is partially oneway running east. The eastern ward councillor was surrounded by angry residents who expressed dismay that a planned cycling network in the eastern suburbs included extending one of the paths to Newtown via Constable St. The plan would see the cycleway veer into Wilson St via Coromandel St and would ultimately finish at its intersection with Riddiford St. In Wilson St, west of Daniel St, the vehicle lane would be narrowed with painted cycling sharrows, while a west-running bike lane would extend from a footpath. Driveways, the residents say, would also create danger to cyclists as motorists backing out of those driveways might not see them; and that the loss of spaces would make Newtown’s “chaotic” parking situation even worse. There was also the issue of practicality – Wilson St does not allow right-turning entry and exit due to a traffic island. “You can’t just come along and take away car parks,” Stephen Pritchard says. “The building of the children’s hospital has caused more staff to park in the

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Changes to improve mental health community respite

Newtown residents Evelyn Hopkins, Russell Taylor and Stephen Pritchard are deeply concerned about the council’s proposal for a cycleway on Wilson Street. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

What the Wilson Street cycleway could look like. IMAGE: Supplied

side streets and this will make it worse.” Evelyn Hopk ins says a west-running bike lane will create confusion and could lead to motorists driving the wrong way down Wilson St, something that was already happening. Russell Taylor says he is not anti-cycleway but believes this proposal is completely impractical. “This affects our livelihoods, businesses, everything. It would end in chaos.” They were also livid that there had been no proper announcement from the council, with two

drop-in sessions on the proposal to be held at the ASB Centre in Kilbirnie and none in Newtown. Sarah apologised for not making it clear that Newtown figured in the eastern suburbs plans. “Newtown will have its own meeting. We will also do a leaflet drop,” she told residents last Wednesday. When spoken to this week, Sarah could not promise a local meeting specifically on this issue due to the unsuitability of any venue relative to the ASB Centre, but she says there will be one to discuss Newtown’s role in the city-wide network.

She could not confirm a date but it will be some time early next year. She insists council would listen and get it right this time. The second Kilbirnie drop-in session will be at 10am-4pm this Saturday and feedback can be posted online at transportprojects.org.nz. Submissions must be made by 5pm on Monday, December 11.  A disabled woman has also pointed out that the construction work in Newtown has led to motorists illegally parking in disabled parking spaces. (See Letters, page 6)

Improvements are being made to the management of mental health clients requiring community respite care following the review of a serious incident at a Whitby respite service. In March, a resident who was a client at the respite service tried to abduct a child from her father. Several neighbours restrained the client. Capital & Coast DHB commissioned a review of the circumstances surrounding the incident, which was carried out by independent experts who made recommendations. Improvements already made include improved information-sharing and having Crisis Resolution Service staff in Wellington Regional Hospital to provide faster assessment for people in mental health distress.

Club to host BBQ champs On Saturday, December 2 the Seatoun Bowling Club is hosting the National Slow Cook BBQ Pit Master Championship for 2017. It will be open to the public from 4pm and contestants will have the opportunity to compete for a number of national titles for best barbecue meat, seafood, vegetables, salads and sauces. Entry is by gold coin and food will be set at one price with attendees invited to help themselves to the various dishes. All proceeds go to Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna. Murray Nash is managing the event. Interested participants and consumers can contact him on 021 911 899 or emailing murraydnash@gmail.com

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Cook Strait News 23-11-17  

Cook Strait News 23-11-17

Cook Strait News 23-11-17  

Cook Strait News 23-11-17