This Thursday, May 12, the Wellington City Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee will meet to discuss a proposal to decrease the speed limit in Oriental Bay and various areas of the Miramar Peninsula, including the northern coastal route. Following a request for public comment, a report was completed and has been released. Review it here.
If the Committee can reach an agreement on Thursday, it will recommend to Council to proceed with the changes. So, there’s still more to be done, but I’m posting here now for the little whoop I got while reading the report.
That whoop came on page 37, in the summary of comments by Alastair Smith of Cycle Aware Wellington. When discussing the possibility of reducing the speed limit around the northern coastal route of Miramar Peninsula, Alastair casually raised the idea of closing the route to motorised traffic on one Sunday per month so that folks on bikes and pedestrians could share the beautiful route together in peace. As in, we could totally get our own Ciclovia! Just like other cool cities around the world! Oh man. Now you get the whoop, right? Wellington could give its fun-loving residents a sweet spot to share a day of non-motorised recreation. Imagine a perfect day of picnics, bike-riding, rollerskating, jump-roping, music-playing, dancing, canoodling and maybe a game of tag. Yay Alastair! There’s nothing like planting a seed. I can’t wait for the Sunday when I cruise over to the coastal route and see a ton of families wandering the route without their cars. Maybe it’ll be something like this:
Also of note– though much less fun– in the report is an apparent reluctance to properly consider reverse angle parking along Oriental Bay. The officers’ response to a number of public submissions that called out the danger to cyclists presented by angled parking, especially around Oriental Bay, is as follows:
A recent review of parking practices here and overseas shows that some cities are converting to or considering converting to reverse angle parking as there is evidence that it is safer for cyclists, however there also appears to be a backlash where reverse angle parking has been introduced as drivers have greater difficulty using reverse angle parking and choose to park elsewhere.
Changes to the parking arrangement on Oriental Parade would be costly as the kerbline would need to be adjusted and careful consideration would have to be made before making such change. At this stage it is not proposed to alter the layout of parking on Oriental Parade.
I suppose it’s decent news that parking modification is at least on their radar. For all of us who ride the route around Oriental Bay on the road, we should feel no pressure to hug the left as we pass the angled parking. I’d rather have a car behind me than a car pulling out in my path. If the new speed limits come to pass, the cars behind me will be cruising a bit slower anyway.
Patience, remember, is a virtue for all of us. If I can be patient as I wait for a Wellington Ciclovia and safer parking composition, drivers can be patient with me. Or something.