Wellington 2040 – transport cycling success

Next week Wellington City Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee will consider the recommendations contained in the nattily titled report Wellington 2040 City Strategy and Central City Framework: Feedback from Public Engagement. OK so that’s not actually a natty title.

Excitingly (yes, Council reports can be exciting), recomendation 1(b)(v) is that WCC alters the 2040 plan to “Strengthen focus on mixed modal transport options, including support for… safe cycling… infrastructure.” The report’s recommendations grew out of public consultation that expressed a number of common themes, including “desire for commitment to and improvements in public transport and cycling and walking accessibility in the city”. See, I told you it was exciting!

I haven’t read the public submissions, but I’d be interested to know whether they focussed on improving cycling infrastructure or whether there was a general desire for easier cycling and Council officers have thought “I know what that means, that means infrastructure!”

While I’m a big supporter of generous amounts of high-quality cycling infrastructure – and no-one is better placed to implement that than a council, I’d also like to see councils in our region step up to the cycling culture challenge. Infrastructure is great once you’re on a bike and riding to work or school or the shops or wherever, but what gets people on bikes is being able to identify with other people who ride for transport.

So what could councils do to give people that opportunity to think “I could do that”? How can councils work towards the cultural utopia pictured below? Suggestions so far include putting in some fun, attention-getting bike parking, and passing a bylaw making helmets optional. But what else is there? Answers on the back of a postcard, or in the comments box.

By Apoikola (Own work) [CC0 (creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

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5 thoughts on “Wellington 2040 – transport cycling success

  1. atom

    step one: start now. while a vision for 2040 is good and all, i hope to see the city (and country) notch-up their active transport games in the immediate future.

    it’s easy for these types of long-term plans to become political footballs… kicked from one administration to the next. we’ll see how it plays out in reality.

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  2. Here’s another suggestion. When publicising events the Council is involved with, such as the RWC, New Year’s Eve celebrations, WOW and what have you, include cycling as one of the transport advisory options and at every opportunity encourage people to ride to the event.

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    1. Simon Kennett

      As far as the RWC is concerned, the general feeling was that you don’t want visitors who are used to more civilised cycling conditions in Europe to be exposed to cycling on our roads, especially when large quantities of alcohol have been consumed.

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      1. You mean we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves on the international stage by highlighting crap cycling conditions here?

        I get the safety concerns but this kind of decision does make it a game of chicken and egg, which isn’t helpful. Given the ROI for cycling infrastructure, the short- and long-term benefits of same, and the amount of money available for smartening up for the RWC, I’m afraid I see it as a cop out and a lack of vision.

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