Planning for the long-term

Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a submission. We sent off a total of 440 quick submissions to Wellington City Council supporting the most ambitious option for cycling funding.

Wellington City Council is consulting on its Long-Term Plan (LTP) until May 10th. You can read more in the official consultation at https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/hub-page/long-term-plan. We encourage you to read on to find out about some of the issues we have with what’s in the plan, and go make a submission.

There are multiple decisions being consulted on, more than one of which affect people riding bikes!

What is a Long-Term Plan?

Every three years councils are required to consult on and approve a plan for the next 10 years. This plan will go into detail about how the council intends to raise money, and how it plans to spend it. This money is split into two categories: Operational Expenditure, and Capital Expenditure. Operational expenditure is what the council plans to spend on everyday activities such as paying staff, running facilities and maintaining roads. Capital expenditure is building new things, which is what we’re primarily interested in here at Cycle Wellington!

While the plan sets out the next 10 years, the council will be required to create a new LTP in 2024, meaning that what the plan funds over the next three years is the most important.

What’s happened so far?

We’ve already presented to Council in discussions around the draft of this LTP. We’re deeply disappointed that we were unable to get support at the council table to put the full cycling programme out for consultation as the recommended option. The vote failed 7-8 without the support of Deputy Mayor Sarah Free or Councillor Jenny Condie. Both councillors said they would support building a complete network by 2028 when they were seeking your vote at the last election, but have now walked back on that commitment.

One achievement was an amendment from Councillor Laurie Foon adding an extra $45 million dollars from years 4-10 to the recommended option. While this is a significant amount of money we don’t understand why this extra funding wasn’t added from year 1. By the time this funding is relevant you’ll be writing your submission on the next Long-Term Plan, which could well be proposing a completely different budget for cycling.

What’s in the Plan?

Let’s Get Welly Moving will be responsible for delivering much of Wellington’s future cycling network. This includes the City Streets Program and routes along bus priority corridors. This means that none of these are included in the consultation or discussion around the Long-Term Plan other than WCC funding it’s portion of LGWM’s budget. We’ll need to continue to pressure LGWM for progress and make sure that improvements are beneficial for cyclists as well as for public transport.

The long term plan provides four options for funding cycling in Wellington. The recommended option, titled “High Investment” plans to spend $120 million over the next ten years. This includes $1 million per year for minor improvements and tactical urbanism. In the next three years this budget provides for the completion of the cycle path around Evans Bay and into Miramar. This would mean only a few kilometers of new cycleways delivered by the council in the next three years.


Our Recommendations

1. Support Option 4 to build a fully-connected network by 2031

Research shows that to support people cycling it is necessary to provide a fully connected network that allows people to cycle to wherever their destination is safely. Only one option proposed in the LTP has the potential to deliver this and that is Option 4: Accelerated Full Programme. Therefore we strongly recommend supporting this option.

2. Prioritise children before seawalls

One change from the previous LTP is the reduction of priority for a connected cycle network in the northern suburbs of Johnsonville, Newlands and Paparangi. This network of cycle lanes in the northern suburbs would provide a connected network to support over 2500 children to cycle to school at Newlands College, Newlands Intermediate and four primary schools in the area.

We were disappointed to see these cycleways given lower priority (6, see below) than the completion of the Great Harbour Way (5, see below) on the basis of “low value for money”. The Great Harbour Way is a largely recreational route with extremely high costs due to the road-widening and coastal defences required to provide this route around the entirety of Wellington’s coastline. These three sections amount to more than a quarter of the total budget. We asked WCC to be clear in the consultation around the co-benefits this would deliver in terms of protecting the existing road and properties from storms and sea-level rise. Only a very small proportion of the costs of these coastal projects are spent on cycleways.

We think that safe journeys for vulnerable road users such as children should be the highest priority. Churton Park and other northern suburbs currently have the highest rates of car dependency in Wellington City.

Draft cycleway priorities. Note: This draft does not include the extra funding present for option 3 in the final LTP consultation, and is not adjusted for inflation.

3. Double the Cycling Minor Works Budget to $2 million per year

Under the High and Full funding options the LTP allocates $1 million per year to this category which is no increase from recent years. This budget is where the council funds small cycling improvements all over Wellington, including cycle parking like the bike racks in Grey Street.

We’re constantly told that there’s not enough money in this budget for improvements we ask for. We also don’t think it’s a budget where the council is constrained by capacity in what it can deliver. Doubling this budget to $2 million per year would vastly improve the councils ability to provide parking and other minor improvements over the next decade.

4. Create a new dedicated funding category to deliver rapid changes to the urban environment

All around the world we’ve seen cities like London, New York and Paris react quickly and dynamically to reallocate road space for massive growth in cycling. Here in Wellington, we’re still waiting to see any significant improvements delivered for cyclists. In the next month installation of the Brooklyn Road uphill bike path will begin as part of the Innovating Streets programme.

We think cycle lanes could be delivered quicker, easier and cheaper with the addition of a dedicated fund for this type of work. Currently the LTP suggests this work could be funded out of the already limited Minor Works Budget, but we think the scale needed to deliver a connected cycle network over the next decade requires a well-resourced and dedicated fund. This fund would also deliver public space improvements outside of cycling in the form of Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods and parklets.

5. Ring-fence cycling funding

You might not have noticed, but WCC has a habit of underdelivering on cycleways. This means that while large numbers of multiple millions of dollars are thrown around in the news and social media, whole projects go by with their allocated funding unspent. In the three years since the last LTP more than $16 million has gone unspent from Newtown Connections, the Parade Upgrade and Miramar networks that were planned to have been built.

It’s not very clear where this money goes and WCC still hasn’t responded to several Official Information Act requests. Sometimes it gets carried over to the next year, other times it gets reallocated to cover budget blowouts on other projects such as the seawalls and other coastal defenses for the Cobham Drive and Evans Bay projects. We have an expectation that money allocated to cycling through an extensive LTP consultation process actually get’s spent on cycling. Even if we manage to increase the budget for cycling there’s no guarantee that WCC will actually build cycling infrastructure with the money.

Even more concerning is that this use of unspent funding is being explicitly used in advance as a method to cover funding shortfalls elsewhere. For example the current plan to fix the Central Library is not properly funded and will breach the council’s planned debt limits. How do they plan on addressing this?

This breach will be mitigated by any
capital underspend being used for
the library project rather than
on new projects.

LTP Consultation Document, pg. 43, Decision 6: Central Library

In order to prevent this kind of pilfering of the cycling budget in the future we think the budget should be ring-fenced. Ring-fencing the cycling budget would ensure that any money allocated must be spent on cycling and not reallocated elsewhere. We also think the council should properly fund its projects by increasing rates or taking on additional debt.

You can help prevent this by supporting Option 2 or Option 3 for the Central Library decision in the consultation to either delay the library strengthening or fund it properly through rates.

Can we afford it?

The council has many mechanisms to increase funding for projects such as increasing rates or taking on more debt. Mayor Foster has chosen to deliver a fiscally conservative plan that we think will cause Wellington to miss out on the enormous physical, mental, social, environmental and financial benefits of investing in cycling.

Regan Dooley from Island Bay Healthy Streets has done some great back of the hand math on how much driving is costing us in Wellington: $1.3 Billion per year, and that doesn’t include the health costs or losses caused by congestion.

We support lifting the debt ceiling closer to its limit and increasing rates in order to maximise on the investment returns for Wellingtonians on cycling.

Can it be built?

The private sector needs a financial commitment from the council in order to invest in staff and equipment for the next decade. The recommended option 3 will not provide much confidence for the industry to increase workforce or capacity for the future. The council has also made it harder for themselves to deliver projects by consulting multiple times on single projects and prioritising projects requiring significant physical works such as seawalls.

In order to increase the deliverability of projects consultation needs to be streamlined and projects reallocating space rather than building new space prioritised. Not having enough money is a common excuse we’ve heard over the last decade and we want that removed as an obstacle to progress.

Submissions close May 10th, so submit now by clicking here!

March 2021 NEWSLETTER

Kia ora koutou

It is no secret that Wellington City and it’s Council face some significant challenges justnow. We have pipe problems, transport problems, housing problems, funding problems,environment problems. We could go on.

In our view, this is the time to be bold. This is the time for fixing things and adapting our city in ways that deliver the most good for the most people, and for the future.

With regards to cycling infrastructure, the Wellington City Council 2021 Long Term Plan (LTP) is not bold. We are concerned by the focus on reduced spending on active transport.The LTP is going out for consultation during April. The preferred option, now optimistically labelled ‘High Investment’, does not deliver greater investment than recent funding levels until years 4-10 of the plan when an extra $45M ($33M more than current levels) will kick in – spread out over those 6 years. But, there will be another LTP before that happens, so it’s kind of symbolic until then. We want to see the extra funding included from day one.

Things have become extremely murky for everyone involved due to more projects being sucked into the Let’s Get Wellington Moving vortex.

We hope to see some greater clarity soon from all partners collaborating to make Wellington a zero carbon city for people. And we will be working to provide some clarity about where we expect the funding for cycling in the LTP to land when it is adopted.Safe space for cycling is critical infrastructure! Keep pedaling!
Ngā mihi nui,
Alex Dyer and Linda Beatson, Co-Chairs Cycle Wellington

Calls to action

  1. Minor project ideas
    Wellington City Council have a minor projects budget and are collating a range of locations for new bike parking, ​tool stands​, and ​stair rails​. Please submit your ideas for locations using this form.

2. Climate Change Commission Draft Recommendations – Submissions close 28th March

Please send in your feedback for this critical national consultation about our shared future. Here’s a guide from Cycling Action Network:

3. Regional Public Transport Plan 2021
Greater Wellington Regional Council are seeking feedback on their Regional Public Transport Plan. This consultation has major impacts on the wider transport system funding. Watch out for a predilection for Park n’ Ride facilities. (CW would like to see more facilities that enable people to ‘Ride n’Ride’!)

4. Remutaka Cycle Trail survey
Have you ridden part or all of Wellington’s local ​Great Ride​ recently? Please share some feedback for how to make improvements by filling in this online survey.

Upcoming bikeness

Movin’ March
Movin’ March is now on so expect to see more kids getting to and from school actively.

Walk2Work Day Wednesday 10th of March, 2021
Ok, ok – while obviously not a bike event, you might like to join in on Walk2Work Day. Cycle Wellington loves other forms of active transport. Walk along and enjoy a free light breakfast from 7am to 9am in Frank Kitts Park.
Hosted by Wellington City Council and Living Streets Aotearoa.https://www.livingstreets.org.nz/walk2work

Urban Nerds meetup March9th-5:30-7:00pm
Fortune Favours, Leeds Street Meet with urbanists from all walks (and cycles) of life in a fun, informal catch up. The invitation setup has recently changed, so if you’re keen to be in the loop ​sign up here​.

Next Cycle Wellington Meeting Tuesday 6th April 2021
Sustainability Trust, Forresters Ln.

Project updates

WCC – More double tier bike racks for central city
WCC intends to add two more double tier bike racks (like Grey Street) in the central city. One proposed location is on Shell Lane, off The Terrace. WCC are considering where the other could go as well. Video surveillance to mitigate bike theft will be built in from the outset for these.

Jarden Mile Intersection
WCC are interested to hear how they might make minor improvements for safety at this terrible location for active transport. We discussed introducing pedestrian crossing lights, re-doing the recently poorly implemented new asphalt surface, and enforcing problematic car parking on the eastern side of the shared path.

ASBs courtesy campaign
After CW raised concerns about the effectiveness and safety of Advanced Stop Boxes in Wellington central city, WCC have said they are considering partnering with the police toraise awareness of the expected behaviour of motorists.

Kaiwharawhara Stream Bridge
Discussed visibility issues with traffic exiting the Spotlight parking lot from the mostly solidmetal fence on the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, as well as some of the overgrown foliage.

Bus marshalling area under motorway
A temporary (~2 years) bus marshalling area is being introduced to the space directly underneath the motorway at the northern end of Thorndon Quay. Not ideal, but we will belooking to ensure there is minimal interference introduced to people on bikes by this.

Cobham Drive & Miramar Ave.
Working to finish before June to qualify for funding from Govt. Ribbon-cutting event on 15 March with Greg O’Connor MP.

Innovating streets
Parklets still happening on Allen St., Marion St., and Riddiford St.. Get along and enjoy them. Work on the Brooklyn Hill trial has so far resulted in some storyboards which will be viewable at the Brooklyn Community Centre from Monday 15​th​ March until Monday 22​nd March, as well as online. Please see more and share feedback on these projects here.

Waka Kotahi NZTA/LGWM
Let’s Get Wellington Moving have produced a response to the recent Health Check findingsas requested by the Transport Minister.
https://lgwm-prod-public.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/public/Documents/Health-check-response-and-next-steps.pdf

Recent goings on

Brent Norriss’ killer gets driving license back early for work
We are dismayed to learn of the unjust leniency afforded to the driver who killed Brent Norriss while driving distracted. The license was returned on the basis of extreme hardship and the impact on the employment of the convicted driver. The case was also unusual, in that the original judge recused himself as he feared he‘would not feel appropriately neutral,’ given that he had cycled the exact route on which Norriss was killed on numerous occasions and the behaviour of drivers on the road had given him cause for concern.
We’d be worried if dangerous driver behaviour, and roads with inadequate provision for safe and comfortable active transport, did not give any judge cause for concern!
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/124297746/distracted-driver-who-killed-cyclist-gets-licence-back

WCC ePetition: Make safe space for cycling on Thorndon Quay
Thanks very much to all who signed our petition. We’re calling on Wellington City Council to change all of the angle parking on Thorndon Quay to parallel in order to make space for people on bikes to be safe. CW will attend the delivery of the petition to council in the next couple of weeks for council to respond to.

Leaders Cycling Challenge
Still collaborating with NZTA & Embassy of Netherlands to establish an event.


A Longer Term Plan for Healthy Streets in Wellington

The following was presented in person to Wellington City Council during public participation in the Annual Plan/Long-Term Plan Committee Meeting on 18 February 2021.

  • Investing properly in streets for people of all ages and abilities to make active everyday journeys is a critical part of successfully delivering Te Atakura and addressing the Climate Emergency we are in.
  • WCC needs to keep its promises and Get Welly Riding.
  • This is the time for Councillors to stand tall and support what they were elected to do.
  • Please continue lifting the vision for mobility in this city. We love the great facilities that WCC have been creating these last few years. Don’t lose this precious momentum.
  • The recommended investment to develop healthy streets is incongruous with many of the priorities outlined in this LTP.
Kirsten, Mia & Nico with their big blue family station wagon they started using a day before L4 lockdown.
Pic: Julia Hilgenfeldt

Lifting the vision

We all have a vision for a Wellington that is full of people who enjoy living and moving about. Especially those choosing to ride bikes, walk, and take public transport.

Everyone should be able to enjoy the wellbeing of healthy, active, community enhancing mobility.

I envision a city of people who are empowered by their mobility environment. Where children can travel safely and independently about their own neighbourhoods.

I yearn for the quiet, clean air filled with birdsong that we all enjoyed during Level 4 lockdown, more greenery, and places to dwell.

I look forward to a time when people’s response to urban cycling is no longer “I’d like to do that, but it’s far too dangerous!

I look forward to more households being able to get around without owning a car.

I am excited by the potential of healthier streets to increase connectivity and reduce loneliness in our communities.

WCC must invest properly in streets for people

Just as Wellington water infrastructure has been neglected to a state of disrepair, so too we have seen an unacceptable degradation of the way people can travel around.

Decades of focus on journeys by car has resulted in our streets breaking and becoming clogged with an unsustainable volume of vehicles. Addressing transport in Wellington is as key as “fixing the pipes”.

Human-scale mobility systems are critical to our health and wellbeing. Investing in our streets to perform better for people, not cars, is essential to enable this.

Incongruous priorities

The draft LTP says that safe transport infrastructure and accelerating a zero-carbon transition are priority objectives. The suggested recommendations in this draft plan are putting on the brakes.

This council has declared a Climate Emergency. Delivering a reduced programme of cycleways goes against the objectives of the plan and the commitments that this council has made to reduce emissions.

Healthy streets enabling active travel are critical infrastructure for our future.

That this LTP aims to cut the important cycling corridors to Get Welly Riding significantly undermines the impression of an organisation prioritising safe, zero-carbon, waste-free, resilient, reliable, critical / core transport infrastructure.

Not funding The Parade Upgrade means that you are walking away from the consultation and commitments made to the people of Island Bay. Councillors need to respect that contract to maintain the council’s social license and trust that it will do what it says it will. 

There are many residents and ratepayers in Wellington who are happy to pay higher rates to properly fund essential projects. Bike lanes are essential for addressing transport equity, climate change, public health, improving Wellington’s appeal, and saving ratepayers money. Cutting bike lane projects because of rates pressure is compounding the problem for our children’s generation who don’t have a voice.

I, and many others feel this way as ratepayers and are eager to pay more to make our mobility environment healthier. Space that is safe for walking, cycling and other forms of active transport is one of the most sustainable economic developments we can invest in. 

Your own website lists evidence that every dollar spent on cycling by this council would save Wellington ratepayers $20 in the form of fewer injuries, reductions in emissions, health benefits and less spending on fossil fuels. More people on bikes means less money spent on repairing damage caused by heavy vehicles. We can’t understand why such a valuable return on investment hasn’t been utilised as part of the cost savings in this plan.

What to do?

So what do we think this draft LTP should look like regarding cycling?

We don’t think that a draft LTP put out for consultation should include options that are contradictory to the council’s priorities, climate targets and legal obligations such as those in options 1, 2 or 3.

We think that the recommended option should at a minimum fulfill the entire programme of works promised in previous plans and deliver promised improvements to the Island Bay Cycleway.

Furthermore, we think that Wellingtonians should be consulted on the option of the council delivering an increased and accelerated programme. The consultation will not allow Wellingtonians to truly express their views if the best option they can ask for is that which has previously been promised. We consider that progress in Wellington is not being made fast enough, and we are being left behind Auckland, Christchurch, and cities overseas, such as Paris, that have made transformative changes under visionary leadership.

It is clear that Wellington City Council has the capability to deliver an ambitious long term plan if you choose to. 

This LTP prioritises the cutting of rates over the cutting of emissions. The same misplaced priorities left us to clean up the pipes previous generations should have maintained. We hope that you will make a choice to deliver on a Long Term Plan that ensures a Wellington and a world worth living in for our children and future generations.

February 2021 NEWSLETTER

Kia ora koutou

Great news! ​Te Ara Tupua ​-Ngā Ūranga to Pito-one path has been consented.​ We are over the moon about the decision. This is a game-changer.After decades of delays, we are overjoyed there will soon be a safe and attractive path between the Hutt and Wellington. There’s no doubt that cycling is booming, as more people discover the convenience and joy of riding a bike.But until Te Ara Tupua opens, CW are still fighting for safety measures on State Highway Two.
We’re calling on Waka Kotahi NZTA to take action to make it safer for people on bikes along this corridor immediately. Speeds should be lowered to reduce traffic risks.We are also excited to see the ​Climate Change Commission’s draft advice​ for a better,low-carbon New Zealand. Let’s make sure bicycles are a key part of the way forward.We’re working on a submission guide to help you push for cleaner, sustainable, fun mobility when you have your say.Keep pedaling!
Ngā mihi nui,
Alex Dyer and Linda Beatson
Co-Chairs Cycle Wellington

Calls to action

WCC ePetition: Make safe space for cycling on Thorndon Quay
Closes ​22 February 2021
Let’s make Thorndon Quay safe for people on bikes.
We’re calling on Wellington City Council to change all of the angle parking to parallel on Thorndon Quay in order to make space for people on bikes. This is an urgent safety change required while the longer project, through Let’s Get Welly Moving, takes its course.
Thanks to the 350+ people who have already signed the petition calling for safe space.
Please sign and share

Locky Docks sites
Locky Docks are looking for more locations they can provide bike parking around Wellington.If anyone can suggest any privately owned land that is suitable, close to the central city or in village centres in suburbs (e.g.Brooklyn, Hataitai, Island Bay… etc), please reach out and have a chat with them.

Upcoming bikeness

Picnics In Parks – PARK(ing) Day Friday 5 March
The Picnics In Parks movement is looking to hold a series of picnics during this year’s PARK(ing) Day.
The idea is to hold a set of basic picnics in parks outside select cafes around town to complement the official parklet sculptures. Please contact ​alex.m.dyer@gmail.com​ if you’re interested in hosting a picnic on the day.
More info about the main event here: https://www.sculpture.org.nz/store/doc/PARK(ing)-Day-2021-Call-for-proposals.pdf

ReBicycle Fix up
6-8pm Wednesdays​ Mechanical Tempest
Our ReBicycle Fix up workshop is back inaction on Wednesday evenings, 6-8pm.These five boys were super happy to get ‘new’ bikes this week. Loads more bikes have been donated and are waiting to be fixed up ready for a new home. If you have basic mechanical skills come on down and give us a hand. https://rebicycle.nz/

Big Bike Film Night – Wellington screenings
6pm Sunday 21st & 6:15pm Monday 22nd February Penthouse Cinema Brooklyn
Showcasing our 2021 collection that has everything a cycle-centric audience could want –action, drama, humour, and plenty of inspiration; the evening is unashamedly and utterly,utterly, utterly designed and devised for the two wheel devotee!
https://www.bigbikefilmnight.nz/screenings/big-bike-film-night-new-zealand/

Family Cargo bike Champions
Entries close on Sunday 7th of March, 2021
Bicycle Junction are running a programme of cargo bike trials for parents at a range of Wellington schools. People who take up the trial challenge can win an electric cargo bike!

Aotearoa Bike Challenge February 2021
The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is back for 2021! Gather a team at your work, track your progress riding your bike and be in to win prizes and bragging rights. Register here. ​

Urban Nerds meetup February 9th-5:30-7:00pm Fortune Favours, Leeds Street
Meet with urbanists from all walks (and cycles) of life in a fun, informal catch up. The invitation setup has recently changed, so if you’re keen to be in the loop ​sign up here​.

Next Cycle Wellington Meeting 2nd March 2021 6pm at the Sustainability Trust, Forresters Lane, Te Aro

Project updates

WCC Cobham Drive
It’s looking great. The opening date hasn’t yet been confirmed as there’s still work to do.

Miramar Ave.
Once the crew has finished on Cobham Drive they will start work on continuing the route through the cutting to Miramar Ave.

Innovating streets

A Brooklyn Hill bike lane co-design is in progress. We could see an install in a few months, depending on the materials needed.

Parklets on Marion St (Bicycle Junction), Riddiford St (Black Coffee) and Allen St (Fringe) to be installed from 9 Feb. Please use these. More at https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/innovating-streets

Bike counters data moved
The location where you can access bike counter data can now be found here.

Waka Kotahi NZTA / LGWM

Te Ara Tupua consented
As described above, we are very happy about the consenting of this project and look forward to its construction. We continue to work for speed reductions to be implemented until construction is completed.

Recent goings on

Cycle Wellington Survey
If you didn’t catch the post about the findings from our survey last year, please ​check it out here​.

About CW
Cycle Wellington is a group of people who are passionate about making Wellington a better place to ride bikes.

Support Cycle Wellington
Do you love cycling? Want more people riding bikes, more often? Got a great idea to make cycling in Wellington even better? Get involved with Cycle Wellington!
Join Cycle Wellington through the ​Cycling Action Network​ by using your Wellington address.
Make a donation to Cycle Wellington
Show your support of CW by buying a shirt on our online shop
Follow CW: Facebook​, ​Instagram​, ​Twitter​, ​Blog

Wellington’s bike boom is unstoppable

by Patrick Morgan, Cycle Wellington
1 February 2021

There’s no doubt that cycling is on the up.

Wellingtonians are biking more and more, with numbers doubling in the past decade. E-bikes flatten hills, defeat headwinds, and help you go further. For those who don’t mind getting a work-out, low gears make every hill possible.

Volunteers are busy digging mountain bike trails all over the place. Most buses have bike racks, and you can take you bike on trains and ferries at no cost. NZ Cycle Trails are popular as domestic tourism booms.

Bikes mean business. Bike shops did a roaring trade during 2020 as people rediscovered cycling. A hot item is a cargo bike that can haul your kids and groceries. Families are getting rid of cars and making more trips by bike.

People of all ages love the convenience, speed, affordability and sheer joy of riding bikes.

In response, Wellington has been building bike lanes, adding bike parking, setting safe speed limits and supporting programmes like Bikes in Schools that get more kids riding, more often. Employers are installing secure bike parking and encouraging staff and customers to use bikes.

Are we moving fast enough and getting it right first time? Hell no, but momentum is building faster than a biker zooming down Brooklyn hill.

However, I accept that change is hard, and scepticism endures (Why we need more than just cycle lanes in Wellington, 1 February, )

Luckily, opponents of cycling are running out of excuses.

That’s why the Government, councils, and businesses are investing in cycling like never before. The Climate Change Commission has called for the doubling of cycling by 2035. I reckon we need to be more ambitious, to realise the carbon-crushing potential of cycling.

If you want to get on your bike, help is at hand.

Today marks the start of Bike Month, where you can log your rides at Aotearoa Bike Challenge, and win stuff by competing against your friends and workmates.

Need to sharpen your skills? Take a free Pedal Ready course

Want your kids to ride more? Visit a school with a Bikes in Schools track, or explore the great trails in our region like the Remutaka Cycle Trail, Makara Peak, Te Ara Whareroa, Te Ara Tawa, or the Hutt River Trail.

More and more people are embracing the joy and freedom as we bike to the future.

Wellington Bike Love episode 9: KAIN & JESS with their daughter

Kain, Sonja, and their daughter have been without a car for six years. It began back in Germany with the problem of finding a parking spot and cycling was a good alternative. With the move to Wellington, this did not change. Although a good infrastructure does not exist here yet. “Our daughter doesn’t ride her bicycle here alone as she was used to in Berlin. There is not enough space, cars passing by too close, ”mentions Jess.

Still, cycling is their favorite mode of transport. “Healthier. An easier way of getting around. No hassle with parking ”describes Kain the main motivators. Their daughter says happily: “It’s good for the environment. Cars aren’t fun. ” And the closeness to water and beaches adds another positive layer for cycling in Wellington.

While the whole family has their own, unique relationship to their bikes, Kain describes it as a close bond. “It is an extension of me. A part of my personality.” For their daughter it is a toy to have fun with and Jess sees it as something functional. But all of them agree that cycling has become an important part of their lives.

[Credit to Stephen Templer and Sean Duffell for the mural artwork that served as background.]

[ By Julia Hilgenfeldt. All stories of the project can be found here: https://julsontheway.com/art-projects/wellington-bike-love.]

Bike to the future

As a year like no other draws to a close, what’s ahead for cycling in Wellington?

Cycle Wellington needs to be responsive to our supporters, so recently we surveyed you. Thanks to the 404 people who had their say.

You told us you like what we do, but we need to up our game and work harder. We agree. So we’ll be
– improving the visibility and branding of Cycle Wellington
– upgrading how we communicate with you
– amplifying the voices of disadvantaged people
– launching a membership programme to improve our effectiveness
– hitting the streets with more actions
– reaching out to businesses
– broadening our agenda
– riding our bikes.

This work has been made possible by a generous donation from a Cycle Wellington supporter, who funded the Alastair Smith Memorial Award.

Alastair Smith, who passed away in November 2019, was a passionate and effective powerhouse in our efforts to make Wellington better for people riding bikes.

In 2020, the Award recipient is Tom Hovey. Tom is a cycling advocate with extensive digital engagement experience. He owns his own digital consultancy and understands the cycling environment.

“We’ve seen some improvements, but there’s much more to do to make Wellington a better city for people who want to ride,” said Tom.

“I’m delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to apply my skills, and look forward to making more progress in 2021.”

Season’s greetings to you all.

Make safe space for cycling on Thorndon Quay

We all deserve safe streets. Let’s make Thorndon Quay safe for people on bikes.
We call on Wellington City Council to change angle parking to parallel parking on Thorndon Quay, to make space for people on bikes.
Thorndon Quay is a key route in Wellington’s cycling network, linking the city with northern suburbs. Sadly, it has a high crash rate. That needs fixing urgently.

Please sign our petition today.

FAQ
Q: What about Let’s Get Wellington Moving plans?
A: The LGWM project is considering an upgrade of Thorndon Quay, but these could be years away.
Q: Does Thorndon Quay need proper, protected bike lanes?
A: Yes. We expect these will happen in the LGWM upgrade, but in the meantime we need to make Thorndon Quay safe.
Q: Is there a risk that a change to parallel parking means we won’t get bike lanes?
A: No.
Q: What about parking?
A: A WCC study has shown that even at peak demand, there is plenty of unused car parks on Thorndon Quay. Wellington has more than 29,000 car parks in the central city.

Join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/fixthorndonquay

Wellington Bike Love episode 8: SANKET

The buses were too crowded, the streets full of traffic. A bicycle was the solution for Sanket. A way to get easily to and from work with the added benefit to save some time. Even during the time of Covid, to stay safe with the right amount of social distancing.

One of the frustrating factors of using the bicycle, he mentions instantly: “If it’s windy then that is Wellington”. After a long pause, he adds “The bus drivers are a bit harsh” This is the scary and annoying bit of commuting for him, but the excitement outweighs the discomfort of those situations.

Here’s what he likes most about cycling in the city: “The whole fact I am able to commute,” he says. The convenient locations of both his home and work. Every day he looks forward to riding home to enjoy the views along the waterfront.

Sanket views his bicycle as a very close part of his life. Since he moved to Wellington he used it more than his car. “It is definitely a wonderful loving relationship,” he says.

[Credit to artist Tess Sheerin and Island Bay youth for the mural artwork that served as background.]

[ By Julia Hilgenfeldt. All stories of the project can be found here: https://julsontheway.com/art-projects/wellington-bike-love.]

Wellington Bike Love episode 7: KARIEN

With cycling in her blood, Karien brought her bicycle over from the Netherlands. She put it to good use for years, until she moved to the top of a hill, and it became an ornamental piece in her living room.

A few years ago the bus system changed, the convenience of public transport was gone and travel stress increased. The bicycle looked appealing again!

Being used to cycling on flat terrain, the hill was a challenge though! An e-bike was the solution. Since then, Karien commutes and cycles around the city in any weather in any clothes. “From normal clothes to a dress and high heels for a good night out.”

From her perspective, cycling in Wellington is “fairly dangerous, especially on rainy days or at night.” With a healthy dose of awareness, she passes parked cars, looking out for doors that might open unexpectedly.

The Mt. Vic tunnel is by far the worst part of her commute, she says. But once Karien rides through Roseneath, looking at the sunrise over the mountains, or along the calming water at the waterfront, watching people rowing, she nearly forgets the risks. The amount of freedom in return is totally worth it.

Her bicycle is her most prized possession with an indescribable love towards it, she explains.

[Credit to artist DSIDE for the mural artwork that served as background.]

[ By Julia Hilgenfeldt. All stories of the project can be found here: https://julsontheway.com/art-projects/wellington-bike-love.]