Proposals for Hutt Road and Wellington CBD – a quick run-down

WCC have 2 proposals open for submissions until Monday 16 October – extension of the separated path work for Hutt Rd, and a whole set of minor changes for the CBD.
Please make a submission on anything you are interested in. The council would love to hear your individual opinions; here are some starter points to consider.

Hutt Road

We think:
  • The transition to the road opposite Tinakori Road needs to be safe for travel in both directions – bus conflict heading south and crossing difficulty heading North both need improving.
  • Here (and for the whole Hutt Rd project) take care to separate biking and walking areas well. A height difference of planted / tactile boundary would help – different colours may not be enough.
  • The on-road clearway/parking arrangement sounds a sensible way to give businesses parking off the path – but MUST leave enough clearance around business driveways for good visibility between drivers and people cycling on the path.

CBD minor improvements

These cover Featherston St (the block just south of the station), Post Office Square, and crossing Kent & Cambridge Tce near the Basin Reserve.
Some context first – these minor improvements obviously don’t make a big difference to interested-but-concerned potential cyclists, or a connected network across the CBD. That has to wait for the frustratingly slow Lets Get Wellington Moving project – UNLESS someone runs a nice temporary trial…more thoughts on that soon. In the meantime, these minor changes should make a slight improvement for people who already bike around the CBD.
Now to each proposal in turn.

Featherston St

Basically, this replicates the current layout on the previous block, and shares its pros and cons. It’s preferable to what’s there the moment. However, we see this as an interim solution only.
We think:
  • The narrower traffic lanes may help to slow traffic slightly. And the green cycle lane will help to endorse cyclists’ right to claim some space on the road. We’re pleased to see the painted buffer zone to protect cyclists from the ‘door zone’.
  • WCC should add a ‘hook turn’ waiting box at the far corner of the Whitmore/Featherston intersection, clearly signposting it. This will allow a safer right turn from Featherston into Whitmore. This page has more detail: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/walking-cycling-and-public-transport/cycling/cycling-network-guidance/designing-a-cycle-facility/intersections-and-crossings/signalised-intersections/cycle-storage-facilities/. The proposal doesn’t yet provide any solution for the many cyclists needing to turn right into Whitmore Street. They still have to cross two lanes of fast moving traffic.
  • Cars entering and leaving the parallel parks on the left of the road are still a hazard.
  • The way the cycle lane leaves the left of the road to travel between two traffic lanes (at the approach to Whitmore Street) is a design that’s proven to be problematic, both further north on Featherston (at the approach to Bunny Street) and on Victoria Street (on the approach to Vivian Street). This is not a design that we want to see replicated around Wellington. It puts cyclists between two lanes of moving traffic, which can be more dangerous than ‘claiming’ the lane (where vehicles have to follow cyclists rather than pass). With moving traffic on both sides, a 1.6-meter lane seems narrow — there’s little room for error, especially considering the strong side winds that frequently gust around the streets adjacent to the waterfront.
  • Car drivers frequently block this type of cycle lane while trying to change lanes. 
  • This style of cycle lane will be a mild improvement for the cyclists who currently brave the traffic in Wellington – and who deal with having no cycle lane on the next blocks of Featherston St. But it won’t encourage many new riders.

Kent/Cambridge crossing

Info and easy submission form at: http://transportprojects.org.nz/current/central/kent-cambridge-terrace/

As an interim solution, this looks like a good improvement on what exists at the moment. However, we expect to see much more comprehensive solutions for cycling around the Basin and on Kent and Cambridge Terraces as a result of Let’s Get Welly Moving. In particular, we want to see separation between cyclists and pedestrians, as forcing them to share the same space causes conflict.
We support Living Street Aotearoa in saying that shared paths are not a good solution for busy central city routes. We recommend separated paths for cyclists and walkers, which should be do-able with the space available in this area.

Post Office Square

We think:
  • This gives you a way to get from Post Office Square to Queens Wharf  and the waterfront – at the moment you have to ride on a few metres of the square’s pedestrian space.
  • The proposal doesn’t seem to include clear marking – probably more important than the technical right/wrong difference here.
  • The dropped kerbs will smooth out your ride across the Quays road, and probably will help keep people on bikes to an alignment that avoids getting in the way of people on foot.
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CAW October Meeting

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  • Updates on WCC initiatives / projects
    • Island Bay cycle way decision
    • Shelly Bay master plan decision
    • Miramar / Kilbernie / Oriental Bay / Thorndon Quay working groups
    • Hutt Road improvements & consultation
    • Other consultations
    • Updates from monthly meeting with WCC cycling project team
  • Shared view on shared paths
  • Reflections from overseas cycling experiences
  • Getting ready for Roll On Wellington cycling awards
  • Thumbs up / thumbs down

Tuesday 3 October, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust shop, Forrester Lane (off Tory St).

Project Glow Wear hits the runway

GlowWear

One way to avoid the biker’s blight of SMIDSY (Sorry mate, I didn’t see you) is to wear high visibility or reflective clothing. However some people don’t like to look like road workers when they pedal around town. Project Glow Wear provides stylish options for being visible on a bike.

The Project Glow Wear design competition shows how creative you can be with reflective gear and really stand out from the crowd. Get your tickets to the Runway Show in Wellington (Sat 12 August) as this is the place to be seen!

It’s in the underground area beneath Frank Kitts Park, and kicks off at 7:30pm.

CAW August Meeting

birdirectional cyclelane

Which way for Island Bay?

Another month has flown by, and yet so much to discuss already since our last meeting!

  • Island Bay back on the front page.   Councillor Diane Calvert, and WCC officer Phil Becker will join us in a discussion about the final Island Bay community engagement and consultation process.
  • People’s thoughts on contraflow and bi-directional bike lane designs.
  • Have your say on Shelly Bay.
  • Feedback from Bike Sydney about how to start a discussion about cycling improvements.
  • Update from the monthly catch up with WCC network improvement planning manager, Paul Barker.
  • Other hot topics, thumbs up and thumbs down.

Tuesday 1 August, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust shop, Forrester Lane (off Tory St).

 

CAW July 2017 meeting notes

roadworks on Evans Bay parade
Temporary traffic management in Evans Bay. At least cycling was considered, but parked cars seemed to be more important

14 of us gathered to discuss cycling issues in Wellington. 

Ron updated  us on the regular CAW and Hutt Cycling Network meetings with WCC, Hutt City Council and NZTA.

  • Petone to Melling. People on bikes give a thumbs up for this project which will establish a cycling track between the expressway and the railway.  Plan for implementation later in 2017.
  • Riverlink project will connect Hutt CBD to a relocated Melling station with a pedestrian/bike bridge.
  • Early engagement on the Petone to Ngauranga shared path is expected in October.
  • Improvements are needed at Ngauranga interchange (e.g. vegetation, rubbish). WCC do not see as a priority, but CAW & NZTA do. Maybe we should hold a working bee, which CAW did in the 1990’s.
  • Temporary traffic management issues (e.g. construction signs in bike lanes) are being addressed but seem to be systemic. It’s a national issue: Dougal List of NZTA has been approached about holding a workshop with contractors and road controlling authorities. Some discussion of Evans Bay, where there was a sign warning that cycle lane was closed, but could have used parking lane for a temporary lane. Do you have photos of particularly good or bad examples? Send them to Ron.
  • Quick win improvements in Wellington CBD are about to go to Council. These include
    • Grey St covered bike parking close to showers
    • Contraflow bike lanes (on otherwise one way streets). Mercer, Cuba between Vivian and Ghuznee, and lower Cuba, Willeston, Pukeahu Park between Tory and Martin Square, Basin Reserve at Rugby St, Bunny St W. Are there other good places for contraflow lanes?
  • Progress on Hutt Road Improvements
    • Construction work has started!
    • Orange rugby posts at Aotea overbridge are there to stop cars, but create issues for biking. Problems with lighting on north side need to be addressed before removal of poles.
    • The staged approach to the project will involve limited removal of parking at this stage. Back in June 2016 we looked at what needed to happen.
  • Thorndon Quay and Eastern suburbs have been having early engagement workshops with the community that are producing short lists of projects for detailed design.
  • Newtown will soon start an engagement process. Still deciding on stakeholders, many groups need to be involved.
  • Next steps for Island Bay, going through the formal process.
  • Congestion Free Wellington. new coalition aimed at getting sustainable transport options from the Lets Get Wellington Moving process.  Patrick and Alastair involved, Alex also keen.
  • Bike Newtown FaceBook page has been started to get Newtown and Berhampore people involved in upgrades for the Newtown community.
  • Bike to the Future awards – discussed what and who we should nominate.
  • What’s happening about Ciclovia? An event organising company is looking at a CBD event.
  • Ellie of Generation Zero, talked about the campaign for a Zero Carbon Act, including a cycle tour.
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down…
    • Up. Alex: WCC funding for Bikes Welcome
    • Up. Ron mentioned the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress to be held in Christchurch 17-20 October.  Should CAW sponsor someone to go? Advocate rate $500 before 1 Sept. Perhaps $250 each for 2 people. To decide next meeting.
    • Down. Alex finds reporting parking infringements difficult. Have to give personal details, only through phone, not through Fixit app,
    • Ron gave a thumbs up for Simon of HCC who has been good on engagement, for example on the Beltway
    • Up. James notes a Bike fix-it stand is now at Brooklyn, also Aro Valley. Maybe carrying a repair kit will become obsolete!

CAW June Meeting & AGM

Image result for cycling agm
Roll on up for our meeting!

AGM items

It’s that time of the year again for our annual general meeting.  Nothing to painful.  We’ll keep the official stuff short!

  • Reflecting back on the year that has been
  • Our financial state of affairs
  • Confirming the committee
  • Our key focus for the year ahead

Other items

And then back to the business at hand of discussing what cycling changes are happening

  • UCP updates
  • Sharrow shenanigans
  • Cones kerfuffles
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

Tuesday 6 June, 6-7:30 pm, Sustainability Trust, Forresters Lane (off Tory St)

 

 

 

Pledging to make Bikes Welcome

 

i-bike-i-buy

One of the issues with getting bike facilities is the reaction of businesses. When parking spaces get replaced by bike lanes, business owners ask where their customers are going to park. Of course, this isn’t really an issue – people patronise businesses, not cars, and there’s plenty of evidence that building bike lanes helps businesses on the route.

A new group, Bikes Welcome, is working on this issue. By providing a range of education and publicity initiatives, Bikes Welcome aims to change the perception of biking, and promote a bike friendly business culture.

If you’d like to help (and who wouldn’t?) Bikes Welcome is running a Pledge Me campaign. You’ve got until 28 February to pledge your support, but why wait till then, when you can do it now?

Electric assist bikes trial on Wellington tracks

Old coach road: eBike and horse rider
eBike and horse rider on the Old Coach Trail to Ohariu

Electric assist bikes (eBikes) are a great innovation in Wellington, but until recently WCC has ruled that they are motorised vehicles, and not allowed on the Open Space reserve tracks. However WCC is now trialing eBike access to a selection of tracks for one year.

The tracks include:

  • Hataitai to City Walkway (commuter link track)
  • Newtown to Hataitai Walkway (commuter link track)
  • Te Ahumairangi Hill (commuter link track)
  • Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park – downhill tracks north of Snake Charmer, and restricted to uphill on the 4WD tracks. (Not open to e-bikes: Koru, Sally Alley, Nikau, Leaping Lizard and Possum Bait Line, as these cannot be accessed from the 4WD tracks)
  • Skyline Walkway from Makara Peak to Old Coach Road, including 4WD tracks at Chartwell and Sirsi Terrace
  • Old Coach Road
  • South coast (Te Kopahou) along coast line and the Tip Track and Red Rocks Track
  • Spicer Forest Road and through to Tawa (Chastudon Place) and Broken Hill Road, Porirua
  • Sanctuary Fence Line, through to Wrights Hills via 4WD tracks only

See here for Maps of the tracks

As part of the one year trial, WCC is surveying track users about how they have been affected by eBikes. Please fill out the survey whenever you use one of these tracks – as a walker, bike rider, or eBike rider.

For the trial, an eBike is defined as a bicycle that is mainly powered by human energy but assisted by a maximum continuous rated electric motor of up to 300 watts. The power assistance is limited to 25 km/h. eBikes complying with the EU Pedelec specification, e.g. have the Bosch motor system, will already have this limit built in.  If you don’t have the power cutoff set on your eBike, you can probably set it on the controller of your eBike.  It’s best to consult your user manual. As guide, here’s how you do it on the common King-Meter controller:

  • Hold both + and – buttons down for 2 seconds to enter user settings
  • Hold both – and M buttons and enter password 0512 (this step may not be necessary, or the password for your controller may be different)
  • Select “Limit Speed” and set this to 25
  • Hold M for 2 Seconds to confirm

It’s great that eBike users, who are often older mountain bikers like me who no longer have the fitness to tackle the big hills, will be able to enjoy the Open Space reserves. The trial will also open up some useful commuting routes.

It’s important that we respect other users so all get to enjoy the trails.

 

CAW December meeting

15134800_10210261650313100_2871298643292876810_nCelebrate your favourite cycling moments / events of 2016 at our final monthly CAW meeting on Tuesday 6 December. Email 3-5 photos to info@caw.org.nz together with a caption or let us know if you want to say a few words about the photos.

Also, bring along your ideas on quick fixes that would make the Wellington CBD better to bike.

Tuesday 6 December, 6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, 2 Forresters Lane (off Tory Street)

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!