A Ride Through Johnsonville

Greetings readers. This is my first post on this blog and hope to continue to post semiregularly going forward.

I commute to and from Tawa on a weekly basis, so I thought I’d share some photos from what used to be the roughest part of my ride home, Johnsonville. This section is still not ideal for cyclists and far from accommodating the ‘8 to 80’ demographic, but it’s much better than it was. As part of the Johnsonville Triangle project, Wellington City has installed some cycle lanes and a shared path along Johnsonville Rd through the town centre. Allow me to share my homeward journey with you:

First you arrive in Johnsonville from SH1 on the Ngauranga Gorge, where the path to the Jville ramp looks like this:

SH1 near Jville ramp

But further along the offramp it widens to this:

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Moving to the Fraser Ave intersection, a smooth curb means an easy transition to the street environment…much improved from before.

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The Fraser Ave intersection itself has been made much safer with new signals and cycle lanes before and after the intersection.

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A cycle lane continues along the curb (parking prohibited) to the Broderick Road intersection. After Broderick Road, the lane runs on the traffic side of parked cars:

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Unfortunately this means you must ride on or nearly on the cycle lane’s right edge to avoid the car door opening zone, a common safety hazard in Wellington. Further up after the pedestrian crossing, however, the lane disappears completely for a distance.

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A bit further north, however, after the McDonalds entrance, the shared path begins just before Moorefield Road:

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Notice the black colour of the path which seems to be the distinctive feature of the shared path to distinguish it from a footpath. However the path soon ‘ends’ at a no-priority crossing:

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And then begins:

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The shared path then continues uphill to the second crossing at Ironside Rd, where again the shared path again ends and begins. But here there is a zebra crossing:

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The path draws you a bit far from the roundabout, but provides a much safer alternative than the road, particularly in the uphill direction. After this crossing the path continues to the top of a crest where it ends:

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Overall the improvements are a move in the right direction and definitely improve the experience of riding through Johnsonville Rd. from what it was before. The next section to improve would be Middleton Rd through Glenside and Churton Park. This road has high traffic volumes in the morning peak, a 70 km/hr speed limit, no street lighting, and very little shoulder space. It also some scary warning/speed signs!

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