Notes from June meeting and AGM

  • A smaller crowd due to the bad weather.  
  • Our main topic was Making Berhampore, Newtown & Mt Cook safer for people on bikes
    • Important everyone has a say; we need to use our channels to get people to make their individual submissions.  Simply state why these improvements are important to you.
    • People outside this area can make a submission.
    • Good to see the number of submissions already made, including from kids!
    • WCC have published their stakeholder list but will keep updating this as other stakeholders come forward.
    • Important to the process empowers people in the community to say what ‘good’ looks like for their neighbourhoods and contribute options to make streets / areas feel better.
    • Bikes Welcome are looking how to activate Newtown-Berhampore as Bikes Welcome district.
      • Jo Clendon needs support to talk to businesses / stakeholders
      • Also looking for ideas for promotion during Biketober
      • A reminder that each  of us can refer a business to Bikes Welcome
      • Businesses can think of cyclists as “Wallets on wheels”
      • Idea of a #bikeselfie at businesses
  • We had some other quick topics
    • Alex presented some exciting artwork concepts to help rebrand CAW
      • Great timing as we need to swing into action to adopt the new “Cycle Wellington” name that the committee agreed last year.
      • Opportunity to launch the new name / brand at the Open Street event in October.
      • The Committee will look at the concepts and confirm with Alex.
      • We need to plan for example the branding changes in Facebook.
      • Catarina kindly offered to lead this work with Jill’s help.
    • Pablo discussed the Te Ara Tapere Open Streets event in October
      • Pablo is currently representing us at the planning meetings
      • Alongside a number of other organisations such as Les Mills, Living Streets Aotearoa, GWRC, etc
      • Event will be held for half a day only and will be part of a possible wider BikeTober event, similar to what is held in Christchurch and Auckland.
      • The route is a whole street closure between Post office square and Jesse Street.  Done to avoid undue impacts on bus routes and car traffic.
      • Other routes like Lambton Quay were discussed, but concluded that we give this event and the route our full support.  If it is a success, it gives license to do more and possibly other places.
      • We talked about how it ideally can eventually become a more regular larger central city closure similar to other cities.
      • Idea of activation space that people can use on the day to do performances; does not need to only be ‘official’ activities.
      • Pablo will use Facebook to ask for ideas.
    • Our submission on the Wellington 10 year plan
      • We supported the overall intent but would like to see more urgency
      • Not clear if the final decisions have been made yet – announcement still to come?
    • Updates from WCC about cycling related projects
      • Bike count showed mixed results – weather impact on some days but high numbers recorded on the one day of good weather
      • Permanent counters will help give a clearer picture without weather effects – planning to publish weekly / monthly counts online on the http://www.bikethere.org.nz website.
      • New path at Oriental Bay: we submitted that the path needs to be wider. Will this lead to conflict if crocodile bikes use the new path? To be monitored.
      • Hugh working on behaviour stuff.  Action Ron: Invite Hugh to discuss at next meeting
      • People are biking earlier and later along Thorndon Quay to avoid peak traffic
      • Noted the council investigated routing the bike and walking paths behind new petrol stations along Hutt Rd – not an option as this space would need to be purchased and would be more open to vandalism
      • All Hutt Rd exits will have judder bars
      • Council will look at danger of people exiting The Rigi onto Glenmore St without stopping.
      • Lots of project stuff happening in the background; will start becoming more visible.
  • 17:05 Our AGM items (25 mins)
    • The year that was
      • Busy with working groups and submissions
      • A number of wins, but also some losses because of car parking issues
      • Go By Bike Day taken over by WCC.  Good turn out despite weather and less publicity
      • Fantastic Love Cycling Awards event thanks to Jill’s amazing effort
    • Financial status presented by Linda and accepted.
    • Membership status presented by Sridhar.  Clear that new people getting involved are not always aware of the being able to sign up as financial members.
    • Roles
      • Proposed and formally agreed the committee and chair for the coming year
      • Alastair stepping down as secretary
      • Ron will take on role of secretary alongside continuing as the Chair – Sridhar will help with some tasks eg PO Box
      • Rest of the committee happy to continue as is
      • Nick joining the committee – has a focus on environmental law and planning
    • Our focus for the year ahead
      • Rebranding ourselves
      • Continued of focus on working groups and submissions
      • Drive for more paying members and more diverse membership
      • Using the good fit with the new Government transport policy to push our message for better, safer cycling infrastructure
      • Ensuring that LGWM supports the call for a focus on public and active transport
  • Other items
    • James talked about new bikes racks on buses;
      • Will roll out gradually – immediately for routes with new buses, then over the next few months where existing buses are used.
      • Metlink and GWRC will advertise online when this becomes available on what routes and how to use.
      • Will have a test rack for people to practice with (at the station?) and will be on show at the October Open streets event.
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June Meeting & AGM

CAW 2018 AGM

Due to Queen’s Birthday weekend we’ll move our monthly weekend to the second week of June.  Below are the items on the agenda.  Quite a bit to go through so please help by keeping discussions to a minimum and focused.

  • 18:00 Introductions (10 mins).  And for new people in particular:
    • What brings you to this meeting
    • Any specific concern and how you may want to help our work
  • 18:10 Headline topic (30 mins):
    • Making Berhampore, Newtown & Mt Cook safer for people on bikes
  • 18:40 Quick topics (25 mins):
    • Ideas for the Open Streets event in October
    • Our submission on the Wellington 10 year plan
    • Updates from WCC about cycling related projects
  • 17:05 And our AGM items (25 mins)
    • The year that was
    • Financial status
    • The committee and chair for the coming year
    • Our focus
  • 17:30 Close of the meeting

12th June, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, 2 Forrester Lane

MAY MEETING

Some big ticket items to discuss this month

  • A couple of wins in the bag with Oriental Bay and Evans Bay Parade
  • But what about Thorndon Quay
  • How to change our culture to make it work better
  • Submissions on the Regional Land Transport Plan
  • Consultations on the go, e.g. WCC 10 year plan
  • Other projects in the pipeline
  • AGM next month
  • Open Streets happening in October
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

6-7:30pm, 1 May, Sustainability Trust, Forrester Lane.   Invite someone new along!

CAW April Meeting

Easter-Bunny-Bicycle-Delivery

Hopefully you’ll all be energised after the Easter weekend for another exciting meeting!  On offer for discussion this time:

  • How to stay safe along Thorndon Quay during the darker days?
  • Updates from WCC and NZTA meetings
  • AGM – put it on your agenda for June
  • Having a new voice for CAW
  • Ideas for increasing membership
  • Biketober and Open Streets – promoting cycling
  • Tour Aotearoa slideshow
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

Usual time & place.   6-7:30pm, Tuesday 3 April, Sustainability Trust, Forrester Lane.

 

 

March meeting

Safety for people on bikes cannot be compromised

Already getting well into the year, with another action-packed agenda

  • Thorndon Quay: a compromised solution, compromising safety?
  • Love Cycling Awards: show your love for this great event
  • “But we’re not Copenhagen”: a perspective on cycling infrastructure in Europe
  • Ngauranga gorge & interchange: a continuing challenge
  • Helping CAN & CAW to help us: increasing our membership numbers
  • What’s happening: WCC, NZTA and other updates

Be there to be part of the movement.   Tuesday 6 March, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, Forrester Lane.

Thorndon Quay: a u-turn design

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Last year the Wellington City Council initiated a project and established a community stakeholder working group to find options for creating safe cycling along Thorndon Quay as part of the Urban Cycling Programme.   The various people on the working group represented local businesses, residents, walkers and cyclists.  Together they came up with a vision that would change Thorndon Quay from the current day ugly industrial looking commuter route to a boulevard-style destination.   A number of objectives were agreed to enable that vision including avoiding impacting on the local businesses, but also ensuring a safe traffic design.   The working group were on the same page and getting close to agreeing design options.

That is till the business representatives decided to approach the Council directly because of concerns that the parking changes for the design options would in fact impact on their businesses.  After escalating this to a couple of the Councillors, our mayor was brought into the conversation.  Justin Lester decided to pull the plug on the project (and effectively the working group) and instead go with a very watered-down design that would have painted cycle lanes at the south end of Thorndon Quay.  

The cycling representatives from the now-defunct working group met with the Mayor to discuss their concerns and understand Justin’s motivations.   This was what came out of that meeting, and our observations of that conversation:

  • Justin said that Aotea Quay was an alternative option that should have been considered by the project.  (That despite the fact that the project was asked to clarify this a number of times, and that David Chick – WCC Chief City Planner – categorically confirmed that Aotea Quay was not a consideration as it would be years away if it ever got agreement from the different authorities along that route. For more details, see the WCC document Why Thorndon Quay.)
  • He had a concern that the design options would not get the backing from the majority of his Councillors.  (It is understood that he never talked to his team to get confirmation of this).
  • He was concerned that this could turn into another Island Bay situation.  (Understandable, but this project was following a much better community engagement approach, and the working group had made good progress).
  • He felt that the Council was making great progress with the other cycling improvement projects, and did not want to put all of this at risk.  (A fair statement).

The key messages that we left him with is that his decision does nothing to address the risk of vulnerable road users on this dangerous route, but also that his action undermined the trust in the engagement process.

The Council has recently published the revised proposed design for Thorndon Quay for public consultation.   The design only deals with the section of road between Davis and Mulgrave Street.   A key aspect is that it changes the angle parking to parallel parking along the Westpac Stadium side of the street.   You can see the proposed design and get access to the online feedback form on this WCC transport project page.

Thorndon Quay hero image

Meanwhile the cycling representatives who were part of the working group have set up a “Fix Thorndon Quay” Facebook page to encourage people to have their say.   But also to highlight that this revised design proposal does nothing to address the risk to vulnerable road users along the busiest and most dangerous part of Thorndon Quay, between Davis Street and Tinakori Road.

With the darker and wetter winter months, the danger from cars pulling into or reversing out of the parking is unacceptably high.  The angle parking forces cyclist on to the main road in the path of cars, trucks and buses; particularly with a number of cars now too long for the parking space.   There is a real risk of a cyclist being seriously hurt or killed.   

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But also for walkers this part of Thorndon Quay poses a significant challenge and risk, with the lack of pedestrian crossings.  Often we see people dashing between angle parked cars, cyclists and traffic on the road.  Again an accident waiting to happen.

Pedestrian crossing TQ

We have waited for years for the Council to resolve this situation.  We don’t want to wait longer.  Even if an alternative route via Aotea Quay would become a reality, then Thorndon Quay would still be used by a high number of cyclists and walkers as the most convenient route to get to their work or to get to the local shops.

We urge people to submit their feedback to the Council.  Tell your own story, how the proposed design may help to address your concerns, and what concerns it does not address.  Guidelines on writing your individual submission can be found here.

Have your say!

Writing an individual submission

The Council relies on advocacy groups but also individuals to make submissions on design proposals like for cycle ways.  Below are some tips on how you can put together an effective submission.

  • Introduce yourself and explain why the particular route or location is important to you personally, e.g. for your daily commute, or getting your kids to school.
  • Give your story that best describes the key concerns are that you experience today, e.g. cars pulling in and out of parking spaces.
  • Explain how the proposed design will help to address your concerns.
  • Detail what concerns it does not address, or what issues the proposed design may create for you.
  • Give your view of what more can be done to make this a great solution not for you right now, but for the future and for others.

Below is an example.  Don’t copy and paste, but use this to create a submission that is uniquely yours.

“My name is Shirley Bessy.  I can be classed as a concerned but keen cyclists, and I use Thorndon Quay most workdays as the most direct route to get to or from my work on The Terrace, and sometimes to visit one of the shops on Thorndon Quay.   Cycling has helped me enormously with my fitness.

Thorndon Quay is the most dangerous part of the route.  I have had a few too many close calls where cars pull in and out of car parks, and each day I am really worried that someone will suddenly reverse out of one of the angle car parks and force me into the path of other traffic.   I am sure that if I have an accident or too many more close calls that I will stop cycling for my commute.

The proposed Thorndon Quay changes will go a little towards making it safer.  It will avoid the illegal angle parking along the clearway that currently continues to happen between the VTNZ building and the lights by Mulgrave streets.  The road side painted cycle lane will however probably do little to make my commute in the event any safer as drivers will no doubt still pull in and out of car parks without looking for cyclists.

The proposal sadly does nothing to make the main part of Thorndon Quay any safer and I am really disappointed that I have to continue to risk my safety on the evening commute back home, particularly during the darker and wetter winter days when I’ve come closest to having an accident and feel really worried.

I am desperately waiting for a Thorndon Quay that is safe enough for less confident cyclists like myself.  I understand that the Council is considering Aotea Quay as an alternative option, but I would not use that as my commute option as it would add considerable distance and time to my journey.  I am not sure why the Council would want to force me to do so, when in fact in should encourage cycling by providing a network of convenient routes.    I see Thorndon Quay as an important connection for people commuting between Wellington and the northern suburbs and the Hutt Valley.”

It does not need to be perfect.  The important thing is that you have your say!

CAW February Meeting

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Welcome to our first CAW meeting for what will be an exciting year with lots of cycling related initiatives happening around the city.  But also challenges.  So some of the hot topics for this month are

 

 

  • How did Go By Bike Day go?
  • Celebrating cycling: the upcoming Love Cycling Awards
  • e-Bikes on tracks around Wellington
  • Share and be Aware: a Wisconsin perspective
  • Lessons learned from 2017
  • Giving CAW a fresh voice
  • Holiday raves, thumbs up, thumbs down

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday 13 February, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, Forrester Lane.

Submissions: Make your voice heard

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Making personal submissions on cycling related improvements is important!

That is the clear message that we have been hearing from initiatives like Let’s Get Wellington Moving and the various Wellington Urban Cycleway programme initiatives such as at  Kilbernie and Evans Bay.

We are against voting by numbers as this will always disadvantage the needs for minority groups, and we are all for voting through good reasoning.  The more reasonable submissions by individuals, the better the outcome for all.

CAW obviously makes submissions on behalf of all of you, but that doesn’t mean that you should not have to submit your own comments.   Whether it is to explain why the proposed improvements are important to help your own cycle journeys more comfortable, convenient and connected.  Or what aspects you feel are a concern and can be done better.

It only needs to take a few minutes, but can make a long term difference.  So be heard!

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Let’s get Wellington Moving: have your say

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WCC Transport Projects: Have your say on Evans Bay phase 1, and Kilbernie Connections

End of Year CAW meeting

St Nic on bikeLet’s make this a fun final one!

  • PechaKucha-style stories of overseas cycling experiences
  • CAW photo competition results
  • Highlights from 2017 and,
  • Our wish list for 2018

Who knows, Saint Nicolaas (the original Santa Claus) may put in a guest appearance!

Come dressed for the occasion (e.g. lycra santa costume).  All welcome!

Tuesday 5 December, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, Forrester Lane