Thursday April 26, 2018
Evans Bay Parade set to get off-road cycleway
What Evans Bay Parade is planned to look like with the new bike path. IMAGE: Supplied By Jamie Adams
Wellington City Council has unanimously approved a new two-way bike path and separate footpath in Kilbirnie on the eastern side of Evans Bay Parade, replacing the existing shared path. The council’s voted on the change at last Thursday’s City Strategy Committee meeting. It would see the footpath widened to accommodate a two-way bike path to run the length of Evans Bay Parade between Cobham Drive and Rongotai Road as part of a new network of cycleways in the Kilbirnie/ Rongotai area. It would be done in two phases, with the section between the Kilbirnie Crescent and Rongotai Road to include bike crossings at intersections and sharrow markings on the
slip road. The design has been integrated with the proposed new Kilbirnie bus hub and other bus changes planned by Greater Wellington Regional Council in this vicinity. The next stage will be to complete the detailed designs, construction plans and independent safety audits. Work is expected to start in late 2018. Feedback during the consultation process had generally being positive – more than half of written submissions were in favour of a two-way bike path along the entire length – however there was strong opposition by one of the biggest stakeholders in the area, St Patrick’s College. Its rector Neal Swindells had raised “grave concerns” about the safety of students during pick-up and drop-off times, especially given the location
of the bus stops on a narrower road. Eastern Ward Councillor Sarah Free has noted the school’s concerns and has pledged to compromise for the fi nal design. “We will commit to working with them when it comes to the detailed design,” Sarah told the committee. “They want to make sure the bus stops are in the absolutely best position and got some thinking about how kids will safely cross the road, and some signage to indicate perhaps appropriate speeds around there. “It already has shared pedestrians and cyclists going in both ways. So the situation exists. We’re just working with them as to how it can remain safe.” St Patrick’s College staff could not be contacted for comment this week due to it being the school holidays.
Final week for public’s say on Greater Wellington’s plans Wellingtonians have less than a week to share their views on the future of the region as consultation on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s 10-Year Plan and proposed Revenue and Finance Policy closes this Sunday. Greater Wellington Chair Chris Laidlaw says it is important communities take the chance to be a part of the planning process as the work of the regional council affects everyone. “We’re listening and we’ve offered a number of alternatives to ratepayers this year,” he says. “Our proposed 10-Year Plan is focussed on several critical areas including emergency management, water supply, environmental stewardship, planning and public transport which will affect everyone across the region.” Chris says that alongside the 10-Year Plan, Greater Wellington is also consulting on its proposed Revenue and Finance Policy, which is about thinking how rates are allocated. “This year we have proposed changes to funding for both public transport and flood protection to create a fairer allocation of rates more in line with other councils around the country.” After the consultation period ends Greater Wellington will collate the submissions in preparation for Council in late May where people will have the chance to discuss their submissions in person with elected members. These views will guide the Councillors as they confirm the final 10-Year Plan and Revenue and Finance Policy, which will be adopted at a Council meeting in June and will be in place from July this year. “It’s important to Councillors and the officers who deliver the work programmes that we get as much feedback as possible before settling the plan,” says Cr Laidlaw. “Nothing is more important in delivering a plan than knowing it has broad community support.”
New Oriental Bay bike path agreed after negotiation By Jamie Adams
Evans Bay isn’t the only parade in Wellington set to undergo change for the sake of cyclists. The most congested part of the Oriental Parade’s pathway will be widened to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists later this year, though with no loss of parking. Wellington City Councillors on Thursday unanimously agreed to changes that will widen a short section of promenade between Herd Street and Freyberg Pool which, at busy times, is too narrow to safely accommodate the cyclists and pedestrians who share it. Mayor Justin Lester says the layout that has been agreed is the end result of a lengthy and thorough community engagement process. A 2.5m-wide two-way bike path and new 1.8m-wide footpath developed between
the pohutukawa trees and angle parking will allow the existing shared path near the seawall to become pedestrian-only. Croc bikes will need to use the bike path through this part of Oriental Bay. The design, a modified version of the more popular of the two options that Wellingtonians gave their thoughts on last year, retains all the angle parking, adds three additional parallel parks, retains a median strip for turning traffic, and provides some new motorbike parking. The new bike path will complement a planned twoway separated cycleway proposed around Evans Bay. Oriental Bay Residents Association had offered a compromise in a submission to the council prior to the decision being made, which president Andy Thomson says would have been “safe, workable and fair to all users”.
How part of Oriental Parade will look once a new dedicated bike path is completed. IMAGE: Supplied
That involved making the cycleway 2.0 metres wide alongside a 1.8m-wide footpath, and cutting back the south block brick kerb by at least 400mm, which in turn would
make the traffic lane and median slightly wider. However councillors at Thursday’s City Strategic Committee agreed that 2.0 metres is unrealisti-
cally narrow for a shared bike path. “It goes against the safety advice,” Councillor Iona Pannett said. Work is expected to start later this year.
Cook Strait News 26-04-18