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.
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?
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!
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 (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
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.
Celebrate your favourite cycling moments / events of 2016 at our final monthly CAW meeting on Tuesday 6 December. Email 3-5 photos to email@example.com 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.
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.
We have some good-ish news in Wellington, though not much fresh kermit quite yet.
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.
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
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…
…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.
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 🙂
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/
How wonderful it has been to have had a Mayor who cycled the talk! Celia Wade-Brown has done a fantastic job at helping to set a vision and strategy for Wellington that ensures strong support for cycling and walking. She helped to secure a$35 million budget to help deliver the Wellington Urban Cycling Plan that will make cycling in Wellington safer and more pleasurable for people young and old. And Celia set a good example, cycling to work each day on her trusty electric bike. How many Mayors around the world (other than in Copenhagen or Amsterdam perhaps) would have cycled to the airport to meet the United States secretary of state? She helped to normalise the image of cyclists – moving us on from being seen as the Lycra brigade.
Cycle Aware Wellington would like to sincerely thank Celia Wade-Brown for her good work that she has done. We wish her well for the future.
Personally, I admired Celia’s strong vision and had she kept her hat in the ring, I would have voted again for her on that basis. Unfortunately projects like the Island Bay cycle way tarnish her legacy. She was ultimately accountable for the impact that it has had, but it must be pointed out that she wasn’t solely responsible. That sits collectively with the Council and the WCC operations. Hopefully the lessons learned will translate in improved and different ways of working, including better engagement with the community over any proposed changes.
It now falls on a new Mayor and a significantly changed group of Councillors to keep the ball rolling and deliver on the strategy and plans that have been set out for Wellington. Hopefully we will see an end to the unprofessional in-fighting and political grandstanding of recent years. The Council can only do the hard stuff by working together.
Who of the mayoral candidates is most likely to be successful in bringing a good team together? And which one has a real vision and the backbone to stand by it? It is easy to dangle carrots to win votes. For my money, I don’t think there is a stand-out candidate. There appear to be three strong contenders. Justin looks like someone who can harmonise the team. He may not have a strong vision, but is probably the right person to progress the vision that Celia created. Both Jo and Nick clearly have a vision for a motorway but are not clear on how they see this translating into cohesive transport solutions that are people and planet friendly.
Cycle Aware Wellington wishes each of the Mayoral and Council candidates all the best with their campaigning. Whoever gets in, Cycle Aware Wellington looks forward to working with you in helping to grow Wellington as a cycling and walking friendly city.