Thorndon Quay, Biketober and more – report of the CAW April 2018 meeting

bicycleJunction-37
Associate Transport Minister Julie Ann Genter presents a special lifetime award to Jan Nesbit at the Love Cycling Awards

Here are some of the things discussed at the April Meeting:

  • Love Cycling Awards: Very successful, raises the bar for future events! Great atmosphere, TV3 coverage. Diversity of people attracted. A credit to the hard work and efficiency of Jill Ford.
  • Thorndon Quay. There have been around 400 submissions on the interim solution between Davis St and Mulgrave St. Oral submissions include informal consultations with councillors on 5 April, and formal submissions to the council as a whole on 12 April. The interim proposal sets a precedent for replacing angle parking by safer parallel parking; but the painted bike lanes don’t meet NZTA guidelines. Currently there is poor enforcement of the clearway.
  • Newtown connections are “next off the rank”. Bike Newtown will be revitalised to give feedback. There is a suggested route from Wilson St/Owen St around the back of the Hospital that could provide an interim solution for people coming from Kilbirnie to the CBD, but currently involves some steep steps.
  • Ron met with NZTA. Melling to Petone is expected to start in 2018, concern about connections for hill suburbs and Alicetown. Ngauranga to Petone is still on the horizon, need resource consent for reclamation. 2021 start. In the mean time, need to keep the SH2 shoulder clear and bike friendly.  SH58 from Hutt to Pauatahanui is being widened, with a slow lane for cyclists etc on the narrow section from SH2 junction. (An existing alternative is to turn right out of the Manor Park railway carpark onto Mcdougall Grove, then pick up the Old Haywards Rd past the transformer station)
containers narrowing shoulder, SH2 Petone/Ngauranga
Containers blocking SH2 shoulder at Ngauranga on ramp
  • Ngauranga interchange: WCC is widening the cycle path under motorway and around to stock entrance/bus stop.
  • AGM – in June, ideas for speaker/event welcomed. Your chance to volunteer for the committee!
  • We feel a need for a “Voice” for CAW – someone representing people we campaign for younger, female, Interested but Concerned. Some names suggested.
  • Membership. High visibility events such as the Love Cycling Awards attract people to our web site and FaceBook Group (Instagram is suggested to communicate with younger people). But our challenge is to get people to join as financial members. If you’re not a member, sign up now – it’ll be the best $50 you spent on cycling!
  • Biketober – Krissie and WCC are working together, hope to include an open streets event from PO square to Pukeahu.
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down
    • Tory St one way – part of a VUW architecture project It’s Tory Time which will result in a shared space for cars, cyclists and walkers. [Stop Press: the shared space has been opened up – looks good and an example of urban activation as promoted by Ellie]
    • Ellie suggests making Molesworth St contraflow.
    • Mark gave big ups for John Randal’s running a very successful Good Friday Criterium.
    • Ellie saw good news in the new Government Policy Statement on transport favouring cycling, and IPENZ Christchurch backing cycleways.
    • Ride for HELP are doing a presentation on their Tour Aotearoa ride, 1730 11 April Sustainability Trust.
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CAW March 2018 meeting notes

Life

We had a busy meeting, covering a number of submissions, and a quick bike tour of Bogota and Europe courtesy of Jill. Here’s the details:

Jo talked about some CAN activities: Annual CAN Do 29 July Palmerston North preceding the 2WALKandCYCLE conference (these events are a great chance to catch up with fellow advocates), and the Vision Zero campaign (fill in the survey if you haven’t already).

Biketober. Krissie talked about a proposal for a spring month of bike activities, Biketober. This was very successful in Christchurch and Auckland last year. Krissie will talk to WCC about their spring bike promotion plans. CAW broadly supportive, can act as sponsor for grants etc.

Membership. We discussed how we could increase involvement, through both financial membership (which helps support CAN) and social media.

Submissions.

Love Cycling Awards. Nominations close 13 March, Jill welcomes more nominations, volunteers for event on 27 March.

Ngauranga Gorge. We discussed the issues with cycling this route to/from the northern suburbs. Ben has had close calls with vehicles turning across his path into Glover St, and has met with WCC staff. However there aren’t easy answers.

Cycling facilities in Europe (and Bogota). Jill shared her observations from her time away. She managed to participate in the Bogota Ciclovia, which has been the model for similar events around the world. In England she was based in Bristol, the home of SusTrans, which has created a nationwide cycle network. She also managed to tour Europe from Finland to Slovenia. Here is Jill’s presentation.

And more consultation: Oriental Bay and Kilbirnie

As well as Thorndon Quay, WCC is consulting on two other cycling projects: a short stretch of cycleway on Oriental Bay between Herd St and the Freyberg Pool, and a two way cycleway on Evans Bay Parade south of Cobham Drive. Please take a few minutes to read about these, and make some comments by 19 March. Have a look at our suggestions for individual submissions. If possible, draw on your own experience of using these routes.

Here’s our thoughts:

OBay-trimmed

Oriental Parade: The two way path in the proposal is… a bit narrow at 2.5m for such a busy route (Christchurch’s Cycle Design Guidelines recommend 3.5m, with a minimum of 3m) . And for what, to keep both angle parking and a median strip? Which doesn’t seem all that bold. The parking in question mostly has a TEN HOUR limit (yup). On the city’s premier waterfront boulevard. Why not just set better time limits and pricing, so it’s available for some better purpose than commuter parking. And the median? It makes it easier to get cars into and out of garages. BUT the proposed bike path is separated from the walking path at last. It just seems a pity to have a solution that is compromised by the needs of cars rather than people.

EvansBayTrimmed

Evans Bay Parade (south of Cobham Drive) has a proposed path which is pretty good. Serves the school well, links to the waterfront path. As with the Oriental Bay bike path, it’s a bit narrow for a two way path. Needs better visual separation, and maybe a centreline. Needs a better crossing on Cobham Drive though – get rid of a slip lane maybe? The stuff around the new bus hub looks like a nice way to deal with a tricky road layout. Lots to like there.

February meeting report

Go By Bike Day: A successful, well run event, though numbers seemed a bit down, perhaps due to the public holiday, and lack of publicity through banners etc. But thanks to WCC for taking on this annual event. CAW needs to think about how to get more members signed up – topic for future meeting.

CAN Survey: Jill reminded us that Cycling Action Network is launching a major road safety campaign, the first stage of which is a survey of cyclists views. Take a few minutes to respond, if you haven’t already.

Love Cycling Awards: nominations close 13 March: quite a few nominations, but Jill would like more. Event will be 27 March at Bicycle Junction, tickets a mere $10. As well as support from Bicycle Junction, Garage Project and WCC are sponsoring.

EBikes in open spaces: Joel de Boer from WCC talked to us about the trial of allowing eBikes on selected tracks. Joel is preparing a report for Council, and welcomes feedback. People were generally relaxed about eBikes on appropriate tracks, feeling that they should in general be treated as ordinary bikes.

Lessons from the Wisconsin Bike Fed: Michelle is visiting NZ and talked about initiatives undertaken by the Wisconsin Bike Fed. They have good relations with police, who are active in enforcing laws relating to cyclists, including a mandatory 3 foot passing rule. They visit workplaces and do presentations on green lifestyles, including biking. We discussed getting Wellington Police more involved in cycling safety.

Zero Carbon Act. Ellie spoke about this campaign to make zero carbon emissions a legal requirement. There’ll be a ride from Pomare to Parliament on 1 March.

WCC infrastructure initiatives: Ron met with WCC. The modifications to the Island Bay Cycleway are expected around May. Council is hearing submissions on the Kilbirnie connections in local groups: James and Eleanor are going. The Hutt Road shared path is expected to be largely complete by March, and there are plans to extend the shared path to the northern end of Thorndon Quay.

Bits and Bobs: Peter suggested that Strava could be used to get more insightful bike statistics. Jill talked about how horrible the John St intersection is, but we’ll probably have to wait for the Berhampore cycleway project to resolve this. Peter (the other one) agreed with residents who oppose shared paths.

Kilbirnie & Evans Bay consultation tips

CouttsTeWhiti

Here are some top tips for your feedback on the Kilbirnie and Evans Bay bike path projects. Get yer submissions in folks, by 5pm Monday 11 December! There are great plans in the mix. We think some changes would make things even better. Help make it so! Support the plans and ask for these tweaks…
http://transportprojects.org.nz/

Kilbirnie

Turning from Coutts into Te Whiti looks dangerous. Provide for safe two-stage (hook) turns. Avoid the need to merge with traffic next to parked vehicles.

CouttsTeWhiti

The roundabout on Tirangi Road is a big gap in 2 paths that will affect both routes. Consider a Dutch-style protected intersection, or at least use raised tables and crossings – to slow traffic and give a safe way to cross that follows pedestrians’ desire lines.

Tirangi

Roundabout

Evans Bay

Then, for Evans Bay (and this looks REALLY GOOD overall but the devil is in the detail):

The 2-way path narrows to 2.0m for a few long stretches. 2m with no runoff area is too narrow! Please keep the width to at least 2.5m by one of:

  • Widening the footpath with a small cantilever section
  • Narrowing the buffer kerb where there is no parking
  • Narrowing a road lane

KerbsideParking

The transitions at the start and end could be better – dooring risk if riders leave the road for the path opposite Carlton Gore Rd, and a bit of a do-or-die moment opposite NIWA if someone’s driving behind you.

OrientalPde

EvansBayPde

…and lastly, at Kio Bay the road widens just before retained car parks – a pinch point hazard for roadies (and for drivers!). Extend the wider buffer around to those parks to avoid a sudden pinch point.

We hope Phase 2 (on round to Cobham Drive) follows quickly, because Greta Point is not nice to ride through at the moment.

Kilbirnie to Newtown

Crawford & Constable looks great in a pragmatic way. Tweaks: Add a raised table across Alexandra Rd entrance, & extend protection past the previous driveway to stop people cutting the corner & slow turning traffic. Paint the bike lane all green so it’s obvious!

Crawford

And in general:

  • Planned ‘Quiet Streets’ like Te Whiti and Yule need measures to slow or reduce traffic (eg no-through-road bollards).
  • Use raised tables and sharper corners at side streets to slow turning traffic.
  • Add more pedestrian crossings.

[You’ll spot a few streets missing – there are a few where our general comments are enough, or where everything in the proposal is ka pai already 🙂 ]


[Note: this post was originally made on FaceBook by James Burgess]

Southern Ward candidates views: active transport & cycling

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WCC is holding a by-election for Southern Ward Councillor. If you’re in the Southern Ward, we encourage you to vote. To help you, we asked Southern Ward candidates three questions relating to active transport and cycling:

[A] In order to tackle the problems of carbon emissions, congestion, and obesity, we need to make more trips by cycling, walking and public transport. Do you agree, and what would you do in the Southern Ward to achieve this?

[B] How do you feel about shifting the balance between parking and movement of traffic (including bicycles) on Wellington’s roads?

[C] Do you agree with reducing speed limits to increase safety in urban areas?

We present their responses, with some edits for brevity and clarity, below. We encourage you to read their responses, and their candidate profiles. However for the really time challenged, we’ve provided a very subjective rating as to how candidates’ responses reflect support for active transport and cycling: penny farthing penny-farthing-2744762_960_720sm, 10 speedBHPROForceMedOrgSm, and eBike e-bike-green- small.

Vicki Greco and Merio Marsters did not respond.

Fleur Fitzimmons [10 speedBHPROForceMedOrgSm]

[A] I would support a balanced approach to investment in transport infrastructure for the future. We need to invest in roads, cycleways, walking tracks and public transport which meet the differing needs of all members of our community. Walking and cycling is important and I’d like to ensure that we encourage people to do it when possible. I agree that we must focus on reducing carbon emissions and that investment in different modes of transport plays a role in that. There is also a role for the Council in supporting households to do their bit to reduce emissions, this could include programmes in schools where children are encouraged to learn to cycle. I want us to ensure that we un-block the Basin Reserve which is an important issue for the Southern Ward and which requires significant investment including from central Government.

[B] My main focus is investment in transport infrastructure to ensure that all modes are fit for purpose, congestion is reduced and that safety for all users is a priority. The lessons of the Island Bay cycleway are that there needs to be significant discussions within the community including with businesses and schools before decisions are made and I support the Council learning these lessons in future projects.

[C]  Yes, if the evidence in the specific case points to that occurring.

Laurie Foon [eBike e-bike-green- small]

[A] I agree! One of my overarching commitments is to keep pushing for greater, safer transport choices. I would work with Living streets Aotearoa to find new ways to promote walking-friendly communities and get more people out walking and enjoying public space. I would find incentives for our local schools to keep promoting walking buses to get kids to school. I would explore Bike Bus initiatives to support those who are keen to commute by bike but are unconfident on the road or unsure of the best route. I would investigate the possibility of an electric bike subsidy, grant or incentive as Norway has done. I would develop a strategy on how to increase Wellingtonians’ use of public transport further. We are already some of the highest users of public transport in the country – how can we do better?
And of course I support the implementation of safe cycleways that will enable all ages and stages to choose a more active mode of transport.

[B] Arterial roads are mainly for moving people and freight efficiently. Where space allows, provide on street parking. Any changes to street design needs careful community engagement and to be well designed. Recognise when parking is important to businesses and work toward solutions for this.

[C] Yes I agree with reducing the speed limits to increase safety in urban areas – especially around our schools with traffic lights like Berhampore and Newtown.

Rob Goulden [10 speedBHPROForceMedOrgSm]

[A]  Yes I agree with this. I will actively promote other forms of transport such as buses, cycling and walking. I have always done those things myself.  I have voted on Council decisions to support those means of transport including an increase in cycling budget.The nature of my personal work doesn’t allow the use of those modes all the time as I sometimes  have to use alternatives with the difficult hours that I work.

[B]  I am not so concerned about the balance of parking but more where those carparks are located which should be by the curbside.

[C]  I agree with lowering  speed limits to increase safety and reduce both the impact and severity of accident s, that might occur in urban and rural areas. We all know that speed causes more damage and more serious injuries and damage to people and property.

Don Newt McDonald [10 speedBHPROForceMedOrgSm]

[A] Climate sorely vexed. [We’re going in the] wrong direction. Need to restore climate of the planet. Ao moana awa. [Solutions include] Buses, Paika cycles for ages 11-71.

Mohamud Mohamed [10 speedBHPROForceMedOrgSm]

[A]  Firstly I am a total supporter of the need for exercise.  Those of my children who are old enough to cycle do so regularly and are very keen cyclists.  While I do not cycle myself I am a keen walker.  I am also a firm believer in the need for an efficient and effective public transport network preferably electric whenever possible.

[B]  I recognise the need to cater for all our citizens including those that use cars for whatever reason.  I am supportive of more sharing of private motor vehicles and would consider the possibility of preferential parking for those who do so.

[C]  In some areas, such as Newtown, I support the idea.  Safer roads and greater use of bicycles and public transport should reduce the number of areas where there is the need to reduce speed limits.

Thomas Morgan [penny farthing penny-farthing-2744762_960_720sm]

[A] I am wanting to ask the community if commuter bicycling in Wellington should be banned i.e. none, at all!  Having said that I’m an ardent fan of cycling and spent most of my youth doing it and think it’s great and a great way to stay fit and get about, just not on Wellington streets. I’m very much in favour of creating purpose built cycle tracks and cycle ways away from roads as an alternative.  I’m all for anything that makes the activity safer and certainly can’t see how the Island Bay cycle way, of which I got a bit fixed, ever saw the light of day.  Although there may well be some (eventually) well worked cycling corridors in the city a tremendous number of other residential feeder roads and streets are completely unsuitable by either being too steep or narrow or both. To me that makes the wider concept so unworkable for so many people that it is essentially unsuitable to pursue the idea for the Wellington city population.

Laneways – Wellington’s secret bike network

Leeds-Hannah-Eva
Eva St – one of Wellington’s “secret laneways”

While Wellington’s Cycling Framework promises a network of protected cycleways through the city there are already a lot of cycle friendly routes that we can use to navigate the CBD. These are the laneways – small connecting streets between the busy arterial streets. Although they may not be as direct or as fast as the arterials, they can feel a lot more comfortable, particularly if you’re new to city cycling. This post reveals three of these “secret” routes – there are plenty of others to discover.

Note that some of the routes are on private property, or are primarily for pedestrians. Be considerate, and be prepared to get off your bike and walk. While the laneways are quiet, the routes may involve crossing busier roads – take care!


Waterfront to Marion St via Opera House Lane and Leeds St. From the waterfront, cross Jervois Quay at the traffic lights by St Johns Bar. Cross the Michael Fowler carpark to Wakefield St and cross to Opera House Lane, just by the pedestrian overbridge. At Manners St, cross Te Aro (Pigeon) Park to Dixon St, and pick up Eva St which leads through the Hannah Factory Laneway to Leeds St and Ghuznee. You can turn right to Cuba St, or left to Marion St (check out the coffee and bike bling at Bicycle Junction)

DunlopKaro

Vivian St to Karo Drive via Dunlop St and Wigan St. To the west of the VUW Architecture School, Dunlop St leads down to a parking area that exits onto Wigan St, handy to Lighthouse Cuba with its bicycle corral. Wigan St takes you to Abel Smith St. Turning left and then right takes you on to Kelvin Grove which has a ramp at the end leading on to the Karo Drive shared path by Third Eye Tuatara Brewery, leading east to Pukeahu park, or west (with a crossing to the south side at Cuba St lights) to the Aro Valley and Brooklyn.

BullerAro

Ghuznee to Aro Valley via Buller and Palmer. Although Victoria St has bike lanes, some people find the multiple lanes of traffic daunting for heading south from the CBD. A quieter alternative is to head up Ghuznee to Buller St, just west of the motorway. This leads to Oak Park Ave which has a shared path heading towards the Karo Drive shared path at Willis St, or if you’re heading for the Aro Valley, a short detour through a car park at Inverlochy Place, crossing Abel Smith St to a narrow lane to Palmer St and the Aro Valley Community Centre (If you want to know what really goes on in this innocent seeming complex, check out Danyl McLauchlan’s Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley!). Through the park, you can get on to Aro St at Garage Project Brewery. You can also access this route from the Karo Drive shared path.

That’s just three possibilities. Next time you’re planning a route, have a close look at the map for laneways that might go where you want, or just keep your eyes open for interesting alleyways that might lead to where you want to go.

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.

 

Bike share: Uber for bikes?

Mtshare bike outside WP
Mtshare bike

Bike share is a key way to get more people on bikes. Starting in Lyon, France in 2005, there are now hundreds of schemes around the world. Bikes are left at locations around a city, and users can register to get a code to release a bike and drop it off at another location. In Aotearoa, NextBike has pioneered bike share in Auckland and Christchurch, and NZTA is getting involved.

What about Wellington? With a flat, compact CBD, Wellington seems ideal for bike share, but so far it hasn’t happened. That is until July, when a private startup Mtshare, inspired by bike share schemes in Shanghai, began leaving bikes around the CBD. A smartphone app (for android or iOS) lets you register and get a code for the combination lock on a bike.

Screenshot_20170921-102310
Mtshare app, showing available bikes

Mtshare is a “dockless” bike share scheme – bikes can be left anywhere, not just at a purpose built docking station. This has the advantage that you don’t need to find a free space on a docking station to return a bike, but the disadvantage that bikes can end up in non public places, or in some cases create obstructive heaps of bikes at popular destinations.

How does it work in practice? I fired up the app outside the central library. The map showed the locations of available bikes – none at the central library, but three close by in Cuba St. However two of these were not on the street. A closer look at the map showed that the bikes appeared to be located in apartment buildings – Mtshare say they’re working with customers to persuade them not to appropriate bikes for personal use. The third bike was conveniently parked on a bike rack, but unfortunately the app gave me the wrong code to unlock the bike.

The app showed more bikes down at the railway station – a convenient location, so I headed there and this time the bikes were accessible, and I was able to get the correct code for a lock. The bikes have a small frame and 507mm (24″) wheels, and the seat height is fixed. Most adults would find them uncomfortable to ride for any distance, but at 1.7m I found it OK for a ride along the waterfront, and indeed it felt a bit like rediscovering BMX as a kid. Mtshare has plans for larger bikes, with adjustable seats.

The helmet attached to the bike was a bit small for me. Some people don’t like the idea of using a helmet that other people have used, but to me it seems no different from using the headrests of airplane seats.

The bikes have stands, which means that they can be left anywhere, even if there isn’t a fixed bike stand. There is a bell but no lights. The next batch of bikes will have baskets.

At the moment, there is no charge for using the bikes, and Mtshare would like to continue this, instead supporting the service through advertising. Similar schemes have also been mined for location data.

With more bikes, and better sizing, Mtshare could be a good way for bike-less people to experience the convenience of biking. And with good management we can hopefully avoid the downsides that have appeared in some other places.


see also…