The NZTA review into Wellington’s cycleway programme is out. Wellington has ambitious plans and the council is 100% committed. NZTA has shown it is committed to Wellington too – it’s not going to let us miss out.
The report has identified a “loss of confidence” on the part of WCC due to “a community perception that the cycleway in Island Bay is a poor solution” This “loss of confidence” has “spilled over” to other planned projects, “inhibiting councillor confidence to take decisions in relation to further cycling projects”. NZTA is concerned that this will lead to WCC failing to meet deadlines for spending the Urban Cycleways Programme funding. Partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and WCC is needed to get things moving.
Some key points:
- It’s good to see that there is no reason to delay work on fixing Hutt Road or progress on developing options in the Eastern suburbs.
- Support for getting moving on CBD improvements is welcome too.
- It’s great to see that NZTA will support the city council when they do their review of the Island Bay cycleway. Their insight on what works, and commitment to good design, will be very useful.
- The report itself makes no judgement as to the merits of the Island Bay cycleway, and indeed comments that “Wellington is not the only city to experience adverse community reaction to a delivered cycle way (Dunedin, for example) and international evidence suggests that cycleways are inherently difficult to successfully deliver because of sometimes polarised public attitudes.”
- The report suggests putting together “a package of “quick wins” ” such as a Cobham Drive crossing.
- The report recommends that elected members should “should be careful to make decisions based on sound evidence and advice”. We hope that they take this on board.