CAW October meeting report

Mall cycling, Takamatsu
Cyclists and pedestrians share space in Japan – but it’s not quite so simple in NZ

The meeting on Tuesday 4 October was well attended, including some new faces. We discussed:

  • Updates on WCC cycling projects
    • Island Bay. A good compromise, particularly the support from 13 councillors.
    • Hutt Road. Good progress at both ends on reconfiguring the path as separate cycle and walk ways. Parking is being progressively eliminated, including the encroachment at the BMW dealership. It would be good if the footpath was more clearly demarcated from the cycleway. Off peak road parking is proposed to replace some of the parking “lost” from the cycleway. There are plans to improve the section from Aotea Overbridge to Tinakori Rd intersection. There is a need to improve the Ngauranga intersection. WCC are requesting feedback by 16 October.
    • Thorndon Quay. WCC is delaying making changes on the main section between the motorway overbridge and Davis St, due to business parking concerns. However there are plans for cycle lanes north and south of this area. Need to emphasise that parking availability is what matters, not number of parks. Even if parking spaces are reduced, parking availability can be controlled by e.g. time limits, charging or possibly booking systems (for example for medical centres on Terrace). This is still a high priority route for CAW.
    • Central City. New cycle lane proposed on Featherston between Bunny and Whitmore. Living Streets Aotearoa (LSA) prefer that bikes use Whitmore to get to waterfront, rather than Bunny, which should become a shared space. Crossing proposed for PO Square to help access the waterfront. Some improvements to Kent/Cambridge Tce at the Basin Reserve are being proposed, but involve using footpaths as shared paths, which LSA opposes. WCC are requesting feedback by 16 October. Maybe next time the Basin Reserve is closed to bikes because of a cricket match, there should be a temporary cycle lane using one of the road lanes around the basin, to see how serious an impact this has on traffic flow.
  • Bikes Welcome. Jo Clendon updated us on this initiative, to make businesses aware of the benefits of catering for bikes. The website has an online directory of bike friendly businesses, and an interface to ask for bike parking.
  • Shared paths: we had a good discussion with Paula of Living Streets. There are differences between (a) footpaths – pedestrians only (b) shared paths where cyclists and pedestrians need to coexist (c) shared spaces – roadways with minimal demarcation and signage, where vehicles, bikes and pedestrians negotiate. On footpaths, pedestrians should be able to meander without having to look out for others. Shared paths pose a danger to cyclists: they are more vulnerable to cars at entrances, and send a message that bikes should not be on the road. Where there are separate cycle and walkways, such as Hutt Rd and the revised Island Bay Cycleway, it is important to demarcate cycling and walking, for example by grade difference or vegetation. Low or hard to see barriers can be a trip hazard. More scope for shared spaces in Wellington, e.g. lower Cuba St.
  • Roll on Cycling Awards – aiming for February 2018. Please contact Ron <ron.beernink@gmail.com> if you’d like to help organise these annual(ish) awards.
  • Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down
    • Ron: Hutt Rd cycleway, car behaviour better
    • Ben: what’s happening about Wakely Track? Appears to be delayed while WCC does more work on proposal.
    • Alex: Should we press for reverse angle parking? This also has disadvantages: best solution is to remove angle parking altogether.

 

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