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Thursday December 20, 2018

Cycleways need to be carefully designed, say Newtown residents By Jamie Adams

The Newtown Residents’ Association has expressed cautious support but also concern over Wellington City Council’s proposal for cycleways through Newtown, Berhampore and Mount Cook. In a submission to the council, president Rhona Carson says it was impor tant to acknowledge the wishes of the whole community. “We are concerned that after several years of inaction the final design and implementation of these cycleways will be r ushed, in order to meet the requirements of f unding f rom the NZ Transpor t Agency Urban Cycleways Programme,” her submission says. “Cycleways are an investment in the future and need to be carefully designed. “We recommend that comprehensive engagement with the local communities should continue during the detailed design phase. There is valuable local expertise; do draw on this so that you can build it once, and build it right.” The association supports making it easier and safer for people to cycle, especially for those who want to, but experience it as unsafe in current conditions. “However we know that while many people are delighted with the prospect of protected cycleways many others are alarmed about how this will affect their current way of life.” Rhona says many residents fear that parking is in dan-

ger of being dismissed as unimportant in a project that is focussing on meeting the needs of cyclists. “Many of our residents are elderly, have physical limitations, are transporting small children or for many other reasons are dependent on using and parking cars, and there are a lot of properties without off-street parking.” In addition, if the provision of cycleways is successful and more people leave their cars at home this in many cases will mean leaving them parked on the streets. Council cycling portfolio holder Sarah Free accepts loss of parks will be inevitable but says the council “will be doing our absolute best to balance the needs of everyone”. “We’ve had over 1000 submissions to our consultation on the Newtown connections and 75 percent of submitters said it was either very important or important to make it safer and easier for people to ride bikes,” Sarah says. “However, loss of car parking was a clear concern, and ways to minimise the impact of that are an impor tant consideration for Council. “It’s clea r that pa rk ing - and how parking is prioritised for different uses - will be a challenge; but if we do nothing to make alternative forms of transport more appealing it will be even more of a challenge in the future. “We will be going out for further consultation with more details in the first half of next year.”

Free fire safety home checks By Izzy Davis

Wellington’s Fire and Emergency services are currently offering free home checks to residents as part of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Home Fire Safety Visit Programme. These home visits can include the upgrade of your existing smoke alarms, placement of smoke alarms, an assessment of your home to make sure alarms cover and give adequate warning in the event of a fire and the opportunity to have a conversation with a local firefighter about home fire safety. Fire Risk Management Officer Phil Soal says: “Our main focus is Home Fire Safety aiming at the reduction of fires in resi-

dential properties. We are currently attending over 3000 property fires each year and are committed to reducing this number.” Station officer Pete Burtonwood says: “Fire and Emergency NZ is tasked with continually working to reduce the incidence and consequence of fire. Home Fire Safety Visits can give residents peace of mind in regards to fire safety.” Fire and Emergency Wellington are carrying out Home Fire Safety Visits daily and can visit homes during the day or in the evening.  To arrange a home check simply call your local fire station, or send an email to, giving your contact details, and address.

What Adelaide Road could look like under Package A of the proposed Newtown Connections cycleway project. IMAGE: Supplied


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