Love the Bay: Which option is best for the Island Bay Cycleway?

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We’re into the consultation on the options for improving the Island Bay Cycleway. The consultation period is short, closing on Sunday 13 August. Luckily filling in the consultation form is quick and easy. Please do!

Here’s the 30-second version on what we like:

  • Option C is our favourite (with some design detail to ensure it doesn’t feel like a shared path)
  • Options B and D are OK (but both compromise cycling or walking)
  • Option A is rubbish.

We’ll be ranking C, B, D as our favourites in order. You should pick the option you like best, and give a few clear reasons with your feedback. Say why you like your favourite, and why you don’t like any options that you particularly dislike.

For some great in-depth analysis head along to Regan’s blog post on the options at Island Bay Cycle Way. Here are a few notes of our own.

Option A would be worse for cycling than today. It takes away the protection from moving vehicles – with narrow traffic lanes, trucks and buses would be right at your shoulder and unable to give you extra space. It doesn’t pass the ‘8-80’ test of being suitable for all ages and abilities. The engineering report says the whole Parade would need a lower speed limit for this option to meet NZTA guidelines, and that would likely cause motorists to ‘rat-run’ through quiet back streets.

Option B is most similar to today’s cycleway. As with all the options, Option B improves intersection safety and continues the cycleway through the shopping area. Riding between kerbs could feel like you are trapped in a narrow channel though, and will make it difficult for people to pass each other. If someone steps into the cycleway right in front of a cyclist without looking, there’ll be nowhere for the cyclist to go.

Option C raises cyclists slightly above road level, good for seeing and being seen. And you won’t feel trapped in a channel – there’ll be more room to pass, or to avoid any obstacles. It needs a tweak to keep walkers and cyclists separate though. A slight height difference with ‘friendly’ mountable angled kerbs, or a smooth drainage channel, would do this well.

Option D trades off footpath space to make room for a median (in the residential area) and more parking in the shopping area. Footpaths will be narrow. Counterintuitively, retaining angle parking could hurt some businesses – for example, there’ll be no space for outside tables outside Bluebell café. And reversing out of the angle parks into the 3m-wide traffic lane won’t be much fun.

Still here? Go and make your submission. Add in any thoughts you have – the Council are looking for useful comments as well as your preference.

 

A round-up of recent Wellington bike news: not just headwinds and political arguments

I wrote this for a round-robin of updates among the various CAN local groups, and Ron pointed out it’s been a while since we posted a general update on this blog. So, here you go! Let me know anything I missed out and I can add it in.

-James

We have some good-ish news in Wellington, though not much fresh kermit quite yet.

Local elections

New Mayor Justin Lester was the most bike-friendly of the leading mayoral candidates and has backed us in past consultation on good projects. He has a reputation for pragmatic compromise – so good for getting things over the line, but as you will no doubt know this can sometimes erode the most ambitious or controversial aspects of projects…
The body of councillors has also overall shifted towards pro-cycling, and there should be more of a consensus around the table rather than the fine balance of opposing views, and electioneering, that hampered progress over the last 3 years.
Sarah Free and new councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman have the transport portfolio between them. Sarah Free supports cycling (you may have met her at the last CAN Do) and Chris has a transport planning background and appreciates the role of urban cycling. They both came to our first post-election CAW meeting, with a council officer who explained the planned programme of cycling works. So a good election outcome overall.

Short term

Picture credit: Ron Beernink

NZTA are currently putting in a short (600m) stretch of upgraded path including a wider shared path through this underpass where SH1 and 2 meet: https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-41.24759,174.8135734,3a,75y,163.89h,83.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sY2rmw29H9BlU_0NBnhUULA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is the first element of the Wellington-Hutt improvements. The city council will begin moving light poles from the shared path south of this point this month, as the start of improvement works on the Hutt Road and (finally) the first construction work spending UCP money. Resurfacing, moving of carparks, and (fingers crossed) conversion from a shared to a divided path are to follow shortly, as well as some junction and driveway improvements.
Also in the Hutt Valley, the biggest construction thing at the moment! – bike provision at the new SH2/SH58 interchage – a big new road interchange, and SH2 has lots of road cyclist use. Construction is well under way, and we’re getting excellently designed bike provision as part of the project – no more crossing motorway-like slip lanes, rather dedicated bike-only (plus walking) paths, with a design speed of 30k plus so roadies can zip on through.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLOz0a7O_JE

Medium term

The council has a set of projects to sign off, that should get consulted in the next few months. Losts of consultation feedback to encourage! These are arrayed around the edges of the CBD and beyond because…

Longer term

…of the the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project. The project’s good because it does take active transport seriously and an integrated plan for the city will make it easier to get cycling into places where it will be a trade off against other things like parking. But it holds up the construction of any CBD cycling infra because of its longer timeline. We’re trying to get some CBD trials of traffic or parking lane conversions to cycleways, a la Quay St in AKL, as initial or temporary improvements.

I****d B*y, or, The Cycleway That Must Not Be Named

This is still being re-litigated, but at least in a more positive way. The council has set up a participatory design project Love the Bay that looks at various aspects of the suburb, including the cycleway. Any changes will hopefully be at least neutral for cycling, rather than of the ‘tear it out’ nature some opposers had been campaigning for. And the route to join that section to the CBD is back on the table, which should help with the network effect aspect.

Social stuff

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photo credit: @bicyclejunctionnz on Instagram

 We’ve recently had some great events like community bike fix-ups and the third annual Need for Tweed ride (run by our friends Bicycle Junction – their pic above – apparently penny farthing selfies are a bit sketchy). CAW committee member Hilleke has set up a charitable trust and scored some grant funding for our project ReBicycle, rescuing old bikes and donating or loaning them to refugees and others in need. Looking forward to meeting the Dutch this Friday! Must get out my giant can of pink paint and decorate something before they get here 🙂

Other stuff

Pedal Ready is a regional bike skills programme which upskills thousands of kids and a few adults http://pedalready.org.nz/

Bikes in Schools continues to expand, with WCC fully funding three new projects each year http://wellington.govt.nz/ services/parking-and-roads/ cycling/we-support-cycling/ bikes-in-schools

Off-road, Wellington has awesome trails and ambitious goals. The Wellington Trails Trust is focused on developing a world-class multi-user trail network in the Wellington city and region http://www. wellingtontrailstrust.co.nz/

Join us at CAN Do in Wellington in March 2017 https://can.org.nz/cando2017

Keep the rubber side down!

CAW meeting report April 2016

Sorry for the super-late meeting report and thanks Peter for the notes. We discussed:

The Urban Cycleways Programme cycling improvements for the Hutt Road, CBD, and Eastern suburbs

Eastern:

  • work done so far by ‘working group’ of stakeholders including resident and business associations
  • plan to look at routes first (demand, feasibility etc) and then later what type of infrastructure
  • consultation coming up in late April – and new staff joining the cycling team at WCC to improve the consultation process

Hutt Road:

  • consultation
  • overall options the council looked at and why this was the only feasible high-level option
  • the good and bad in the proposal

Central:

  • work done so far by ‘working group’ of stakeholders including resident and business associations – only as far as important destinations and journeys – no routes picked yet.

Bike Film Festival

Planned by Ngā Taonga for April: http://www.ngataonga.org.nz/about/news/nzbff with special panel session after Bikes Vs Cars.

Planning for the AGM

AGM Tuesday 3 May at our normal meeting place/time, 6pm at Sustainability Trust. We need a new Treasurer (well before the AGM) and other committee roles will be up for grabs too.

WCC will talk us through their Eastern cycleways consultation after the AGM part of the meeting.

CANdo debrief

Regional groups presented stories, progress and ideas they had encountered. Cycling NZ came along and presented about some of their programmes such as a new one training people to bunch ride safely. They are keen to have a wider role than high performance sport. Good preso from NZTA about the Urban Cycleways Programme.

Winter is coming

We shared tips for safe and comfy cycling when commutes get get dark and wet. Great lights are getting cheaper – worth an upgrade even if yours are not terrible.

 

Awards – a closer look at ‘Most improved’

Our ‘Most improved’ category is new this year. What’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen this year: a new bike path, a great new initiative, or a change of heart?

This category replaces both our best and worst bike-infrastructure categories. We’re seeing great stuff starting to happen around the city, but it isn’t quite there yet. If we stuck to bike facilities we’d be celebrating the small improvements we’ve seen completed, or maybe calling out crap infrastructure that’s about to be replaced…

So instead we’ve opened things out — as well as bike infrastructure like parking and paths/trails, you can nominate new initiatives or people/organisations that have changed their approach to become much more bike-friendly.

Vote for someone or something you think has improved hugely in the last year.

Oh OK I know, you wanted to see what the previous best/worst winners were. In 2014, the waterfront won ‘best’, edging out Polhill MTB tracks and minor improvements around the Basin Reserve. The essence of ‘can’t beat Wellington on a good day’.

waterfront

And the gong for worst went to the Hutt Road shared path through Kaiwharawhara. It’s still there, and still injuring cyclists on a regular basis, but the improvement-vultures are circling and we should see changes in 2016. Not a moment too soon!

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Watch out for our next post — and go and vote!

Awards – a closer look at ‘Most bike-friendly shop or café’

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Votes are rolling in for this year’s Roll On Wellington Awards. (what, you didn’t vote yet? Now’s your chance!)

Here’s a closer look at our ‘Most bike-friendly shop or café’ category. It’s a new category this year, bringing together our categories for bike shops, other shops and cafés that go out of their way to make people feel welcome when they arrive by bike, sell your favourite bikes or accessories, or do other great stuff to support Wellington’s biking community.

The competition’s tough — from restaurants and cafés that provide great bike parking, to bike shops that fund and support trailbuilding and kids’ biking initiatives, to cafs that are also bike shops (or should that be the other way round).

Last year’s winners were:

Moore Wilson, for ‘A large lobby in the grocery waiting for bikes, and a bike veranda in the main entrance’ mw
Floyd’s, for ‘Friendly service, bike art and lots of help with community trails projects’ fc
Bicycle Junction, for ‘Friendly staff. Lots of help for the cycling community and a focus on utility cycling’ bj

Past winners also include iRide (and their café Pura Vida), La Boca Loca, and Commonsense Organics.

Who do you fancy for the crown this year? An old favourite? A new kid on the block? Get your vote in, and watch out for Awards night and the announcement of this year’s winner.

Roll On Wellington Cycle Awards 2015 – enter now!

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Entries are open for our Roll On Wellington Cycle Awards 2015! This is where we reward the great and good for the things they do for Wellington’s biking community.

Fill out this short entry form to tell us who deserves to win this year. We have six categories, from shops and employers to drivers and champions of the cause.

Entries are open for the next couple of weeks, and we’re holding the awards night on Tuesday 1 December.

We’ll pick the winners by quality not quantity of entries (our super-secret judge is clever like that). And you can vote for anything or anyone – it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a link to the things you think deserve to win.

Fish and chips ride!

Add some crunch to your #friding this Friday (9 October) with a short ride down the Parade and a picnic by the bandstand in Shorland Park. 5:45 at the chip shop (to place your order) or 6:15 at the park.

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Salt & Batter is at 67 The Parade, Island Bay. A few of us will ride out to Island Bay from the CBD – be at Volunteers Corner at 5:10 if that’s you.

Fish optional. Bring your lights for getting home, and we might ride round the coast afterwards if you’re keen.

Sign up to the Facebook event …or just turn up 🙂

 

Why we support WCC creating new low-speed zones

'thirty' text from James Burgess. CC free to use.

Wellington City Council are consulting on whether to introduce 30km/h speed limits in several suburban centres. The consultation is open until 12 October. Have your say!

We think it’s a great idea. Our CAW committee member Andy Gow is writing our submission. Here are some of his key points.

  • The Council’s own statistics make it clear that 30km/h limits make a massive difference to injury rates in crashes. Analysis of crash data comparing statistics from 2007-2009 to statistics from 2012-2014 showed:
    • 82% reduction in injury crashes within the shopping centres where the 30km/h speed restriction has been introduced, but:
    • 24% reduction in the shopping areas where 30km/h restrictions have been approved but not introduced.
  • All of these places are currently busy and narrow with limited or no alternative routes for cyclists.
  • Our experience of riding in 30 km/h zones such as Aro valley and Miramar is that car drivers tend to treat other road including cyclists with more respect, and dangerous overtaking is much less common (bike riders tend to be going much closer to the speed of the cars, which is the main benefit).
  • None of these places have yet benefited from improvements to facilitate easier cycling, and we would still strongly encourage that even with a 30 km/h limit, cycle provision is considered in accordance with the WCC Cycling Framework 2015. Where these zones would already benefit from being a ‘Shared 30 km/h zone’ under the framework, we recommend that the zone is designed as such at the same time.  Where other alternatives (quiet routes, protected lanes, alternative routes) are available we recommend that these are built expediently in addition to the 30 km/h zone.

The proposal relates to six Wellington communities – a portion of Happy Valley Road (reducing the limit from 70km/h to 50km/h) and the shopping areas in Berhampore, Khandallah, Ngaio, Northland and Wadestown (all from 50 km/h to 30 km/h).

We’d love the proposed 50km/h limit for Happy Valley Road to extend through to fill the whole of the current 70 km/h zone.

  • As it stands, a mere 700m or so will be left at 70km/h, so time savings for drivers will be negligible.
  • The road is busy with heavy vehicles heading to and from the tip, and is popular with recreational cyclists (especially at the weekend) as well as commuters.
  • The remaining 70km/h zone includes Carlucciland, houses, and two bus stops.

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