Kapiti Coast proposal

This video shows the proposed Sandhills Motorway Expressway up in Kapiti, which would run from Mackay’s Crossing to Peka Peka. Interestingly, the fly-over shows a cycleway running next to the proposed road route.

The project is now entering the design development phase. This is an excellent opportunity to influence the design of the cycle path, and I encourage you to make a quick submission to the NZTA even if you don’t live in the area. Good cycle infrastructure is hard to find, so let’s lobby for it wherever we can.

My observations are:

  1. The cycleway climbs a few hills while the motorway is levelled flat. It’s harder to get up a hill on a bike than in a car, so this is something I’d like the planners to either justify or take another look at.
  2. The cycle path ought to be suitable for proper riding, not just by families out on Sunday morning but by people commuting and roadies who want a fast, smooth ride.
  3. Cycling and walking paths should be separated. While I’ll take a shared walking/cycling path over no cycleway, I think that the fewer barriers to cycling for transport the better. As we know from the waterfront, a shared path with heavy pedestrian and cycle traffic isn’t ideal for either.

Wellington Cycleways has critiqued the cycleway thoroughly but concisely, making some points based on specific knowledge of the area. Go over and take a look, and then make your submission to the NZTA before the 27th of June.

via Wellington Cycleways


4 thoughts on “Kapiti Coast proposal

  1. Simon Kennett

    The proposal is for an Expressway, rather than a motorway. This means that cyclists will be allowed to use the 2m+ shoulders (although it looks like the bridges will be a squeeze). Bunch riders will probably be on the road, not the cycleway.


  2. Lisa

    Should they have to? Are there compelling reasons for making them ride on the road rather than providing a cycleway that works for them as well?


    1. Simon Kennett

      They won’t have to ride on the road, but I suspect they’ll want to. A roadie doing 40 kph wouldn’t want to share a dedicated cycle path with riders cruising at 15 kph.

      A cycleway that worked for competitive sports cyclists as well as commuters and cruisers would probably be about 8 m wide. The cost and environmental impacts are hard to justify. Having a wide shoulder available to bunch riders is easier to justify because it is also a breakdown lane and offers a safety margin for drivers.


      1. Lisa

        That begs the question then whether the expressway would be required if there was sufficient cycle infrastructure, public transport, and freight infrastructure along the route.

        The answer may be yes, of course, but if it’s no then that changes the cost and environmental impact assessment. I’d rather build an 8 metre wide cycleway than an 8 metre wide road, from both those perspectives. It’s the requirement to move cars and trucks that changes the equation and I don’t reckon that’s a given. We’re just used to assuming it is.


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