Is parking a problem for you?

Long-awaited projects like Newtown Connections have been delayed for this policy, so we’re happy to see it arrive. You might think parking is boring but this policy will be instrumental in helping the council manage concerns and issues around parking in Wellington. It prioritises space for people and movement, helping you get around on a bike comfortably and easily. Let’s get submitting and make sure that the council is making the best decisions around allocating space in our city!

Start your journey here: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/managecityparking/survey_tools/have-your-say1


The Policy starts with some objectives. We think they’re all important and you should support them. The last objective of “Service Excellence” might be the least important. It’s focused on investing in making paying for parking easier. We’re not sure that’s worth spending money on.

One objective that could be added is supporting “Economic Localism”. That means giving businesses more say over the use of street space directly outside their shop. If a cafe wants to turn their car park into outdoor seating, or a store wants to have bike parking directly out front, the council should make that change as easy as possible. Good examples might be along Marion Street outside Bicycle Junction or Vivian St outside MyRide or Deco Bikes.


We’re concerned about the first principle. The full text of this principle includes: Any parking management changes will consider the effect that related changes in revenue will have on ratepayers. The council makes revenue from its car parks and so currently has a financial conflict in reducing the number of car parks in the city. This principle should make sure that the council realises the true value of the land currently used for car storage, and explores other avenues to replace the lost income. Improvements to liveability, transport choice and public health benefit us all. We think the rest of the principles are helpful.

Parking Priority

Overall we agree with the priorities for parking spaces as suggested. The movement of people and goods (cycleways!) is given the highest priority, but there are some issues.

We don’t think that on-street car parking (Short-stay, Residents, or Commuter) should ever be given high priority. This places on-street parking at the same level as bus-stops, and in many cases above mobility parking, EV parking,car-share, bicycle/micro-mobility parking or loading zones. This is counter to the council’s own sustainable transport hierarchy and objective of “Becoming an Eco-City”

The worst cases of this are in the “City Fringe” and “Outer Residential Areas”. We recommend disagreeing with the priorities suggested in these two areas, and saying why in question 14.

We would like to see bicycle and micro-mobility parking prioritised everywhere. Many Wellington houses are up loads of stairs that can make taking your bike home everyday a heavy deal. Some cities provide lockable neighbourhood bike storage and we think WCC should prioritise space for doing the same.

We think motorcycle parking should be given higher priority. Motorcycles are not allowed to park in paid car parks, and the undersupply of dedicated parking results in motorcycles being parked on footpaths and bike racks. Another option would be to open up the use of paid car parks to more types of vehicles.

Pricing Approach

We support the implementation of demand-responsive pricing as it will result in better turnover for car parks, meaning less cars driving round the city hunting for parks. 

However, we don’t think that this is enough. The value of central city land is far greater than what the council currently makes back from parking charges. If a park has low usage, we think that rather than make it super-cheap, we should find something better to do with the space.

International research has shown that pricing, rather than time limits are:

  • Easier to administer and enforce
  • Can end up being cheaper for people parking
  • Lead to more efficient parking

Residents Parking Scheme

We think all of the suggestions would be good additions to the scheme, except for discounted exemption permits. Residents’ parking is already 95% cheaper than market rates for car storage, so we shouldn’t reduce prices any further. Currently the council is restricted by the Local Government Act in how much it can charge for Residents Parking. We’d like to see the council lobby Central Government to allow aligning the price of Residents Parking with the opportunity costs of providing it. It is important to note that discounts can entrench the view that parking is a right or entitlement, this makes repurposing that space very difficult in future.

We recommend ranking the priorities for permits in the order they’re listed, but with “Existing dwellings with 1 or more off-street space” and “second permits” ranked 7th & 8th respectively.

Barriers to public transport use

Here’s your space to let the council know what makes it hard for you to get around Wellington by bus or bike?


Innovating Streets Round 1


To make a quick submission in support, please go here: https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/public-inputs/consultations/open/covid-19-response-projects—proposed-traffic-resolutions OR just email your thoughts to trfeedback@wcc.govt.nz, covering as many or as few projects as you are interested in (use the TR code to help officers line up your feedback, e.g. TR99-20 for Brooklyn Hill)

You have until 5pm on Thursday 28th May to submit


How does this work? Why are we doing Traffic Resolutions?

  • Temporary projects – supposed to be fast, agile
  • Traffic Resolutions (TRs) are usually for small things or last steps in the consultation process
  • Auckland and others went ahead with changes without consultation. Wellington added in this layer of consultation rather than emergency change because it is important to gather public feedback
  • The projects are supposed to be flexible and changeable throughout their life
  • Innovating Streets projects are intended to be part of the consultation process – keep in touch with the Council as you use the new street layouts, saying what you like about them
  • Things that are not easy to reverse (heaps of tarseal/concrete) or are not easy to implement at this time of year (e.g. some types of paint need dry/warm weather) are not likely to be included. Expect things like Crawford Road/Rugby Street (near the Basin), safe hit posts similar to those used outside the library and on construction projects around the city

What next?

  • 28th May – Feedback closes
  • 11th June – Council Strategy and Policy Committee meeting – Council reviews feedback and votes on the proposals
  • 11th September – Projects that were approved by Council should be implemented by this date (3 months from the meeting)

In detail, the resolutions here relate to these projects and below we’ll explain what’s being done and things to think about when writing a more detailed submission – (handy hint – copy and paste this table, then fill it in with your comments if you’re doing an email to trfeedback@wcc.govt.nz):

TR98-20 – Evans Bay Parade – Greta Point to Cobham Drive1600m temporary lane on seaside parking lane
TR99-20 – Brooklyn Hill (uphill)750m lane using plastic bollards (similar to Rugby St & Constable St)
TR100-20 – Onepu Road260m lane both sides connecting Rongotai Road to the Leonie Gill pathway along Onepu Road
TR101-20 – Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay one-way and shared path3km one-way system between Scorching Bay and Shelly Bay (in that direction). Seaward traffic lane converted to a shared walking and cycling path
TR102-20 – Pedestrian route from Wellington Station to Stout StreetClosure of angle parking on one side of Stout Street. Could consider switching to parallel parking

Hold up? What happened to Victoria and Featherston Streets I hear you shout. Well, Victoria Street and Featherston Street have been accepted by NZTA, but will be coming in a future round of Traffic Resolutions due to more complex design:

TR98-20 – Evans Bay Parade

This fills in the ‘gap’ between on-road cycle lanes at Greta Point and the new path at Cobham Drive. It’s a two-way lane and gives people on bikes space without encroaching on footpath space.

This is a good opportunity to trial this section, when the cycleway is completed from Oriental Parade all the way round to Greta Point, this could make for a complete, high-quality cycle route from the waterfront all the way to Miramar and Kilbirnie. There are some very narrow pavement areas around Greta Point and the flats, the proposal will help solve some of the potential conflict with walkers and runners.

TR99-20 – Brooklyn Road (uphill)

This is a great plan. There are some concerns around the intersections of Bidwill Street and Washington Avenue. They should be able to design these junctions not to formally have to give way by stopping protection a bit earlier (as they will be inside the kerbs). Out of those two, Washington is the bigger concern, lots of people swing around you to turn there so many riders tend to move out of the shoulder into the (left of) the lane there to make it clear that they are continuing. That helps most drivers hang back and turn behind you.

Other positives to consider when making your submission:

  • Ability to be a bit further away from the big trucks (for comfort and safety, but also studies show even a small distance makes a big difference to the pollutants you inhale)
  • Less of a worry about getting squeezed past in the narrow parts, or specifically at the crossing just downhill from Bidwill St
  • Feeling less vulnerable on the left-hand corners in the upper half of the hill (drivers often cut the corner into the shoulder space currently
  • Less risk of close passes on the corner opposite the junction with Ohiro road
  • Evidence collected in March 2019 shows that speeding is fairly prevalent on the way up Brooklyn Hill, making sharing the road with two-lane traffic quite unpleasant if you are unlucky enough to be overtaken by two vehicles at once!

A few things that may be cleared up in a more detailed design, but worth highlighting as potential omissions:

  • In quite a few places, some of the pavements are extended out into the road to help people crossing the road (buildouts), these need to be factored into the design – small inexpensive ramps could be added to each side to allow people on bikes to go up and over them
  • the corner opposite the Ohiro Road junction at the top – designs extend around the corner; will either mean taking you onto the footpath OR sacrificial safe hit posts on the corner that may get taken out by a big truck or bus every couple of days or more often.
  • the scope stops just short of the Helen St turning, which is also a pinch if someone is waiting to turn right

TR100-20 – Onepu Road

This is a busy location with traffic turning into and out of car parks and the bus depot. On Facebook we saw some responses from local riders who completely avoid this area because of the multiple driveways/entrances into and out of car parks and petrol station.

If you need to visit Pak’n’Save, Countdown or Warehouse Stationery then these changes will make visits safer on a bike. Currently, visibility is hampered by street-parked vehicles making driveway entrances/exits a potentially dangerous place for people riding bikes.

There are a few other interesting ideas coming out of this area – with filtered permeability (closing streets to through traffic) a possibility in some of the streets that cross the Leonie Gill Pathway, making for a more continuous ride from Onepu Road through to the retail park, while reducing traffic for residents of those streets.

TR101-20 – Massey Road – Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay

The inland lane will allow motor vehicles to travel from Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay, travelling clockwise around the peninsula. The seaward lane will be converted to a shared path for people on foot and on bikes.

This one divided opinion on Facebook:

  • Faster riders may still use the roadway in the clockwise direction
  • Less confident riders, families taking kids out for a ride, runners and walkers welcome the increased amenity and safety from not having to walk, run or cycle along a narrow verge
  • The Ciclovia series proved that this area is incredibly popular when closed to cars – there were even some calls to consider more regular/permanent closures
  • One other alternative is to restrict through traffic at Pt Halswell (the northernmost point)

TR102-20 – Stout Street

This one’s primarily an improvement for pedestrians, but sometimes that’s us too. We support the changes to Stout Street because it’s a high-footfall route. Hopefully it will also soon be at 30km/h making it much more pleasant to cycle along too.

Removing angle parks will help reduce risk for people riding bikes slightly, eliminating some blind-spots, as well as allowing people riding bikes leaving the front of the MBIE offices a clear way off the kerb without needing to walk between gaps in cars or to the end of the block.


If you got this far, well done! Just to re-iterate:

To make a quick submission in support, please go here: https://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/public-inputs/consultations/open/covid-19-response-projects—proposed-traffic-resolutions OR just email your thoughts to trfeedback@wcc.govt.nz, covering as many or as few projects as you are interested in (use the TR code to help officers, e.g. TR99-20 for Brooklyn Hill)

You have until 5pm on Thursday 28th May to submit

Wellington City Council: Innovating Streets Recommendation

Credit: http://www.islandbaycycleway.org.nz/ – I can’t wait to bike to football!

Full text of Council Innovating Streets recommendation, passed by 13 votes to 2 on Thursday 7th May 2020, with background and commentary:

Apply to the Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets fund for the seven temporary projects to address respond to COVID-19, and for the five projects that meet their tactical urbanism criteria, in columns 2 and 3 in the table in paragraph 17 of the report.

The seven temporary projects are:

Evans Bay Parade – Greta Point to Cobham Drive1600m temporary lane on seaside parking lane
Brooklyn Hill (uphill)750m lane using plastic bollards (similar to Rugby St & Constable St)
Onepu Road260m lane both sides connecting Kilbirnie shops to Leoone Gill pathway

This proposal was extended by an amendment raised by Deputy Mayor Free, seconded Councillor Condie. The lane now extends north to Rongotai Road
Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay one-way and shared path3km one-way system between Scorching Bay and Shelly Bay (in that direction). Seaward traffic lane converted to a shared walking and cycling path
Pedestrian route from Wellington Station to Stout StreetClosure of angle parking on one side of Stout Street. Could consider switching to parallel parking
Featherston Street600m lane – involving a traffic lane reallocation
Victoria Street1400m Temporary bus lane and protected upgrade for existing cycle lane
Seven Innovating Streets proposals

Notify the traffic resolutions for the seven COVID-19 projects as soon as possible.

The lead time for traffic resolutions is 14 days and allows time for public consultation on the measures. Watch this space for how to submit your feedback.

Increase the scope of the Onepu Road pop-up cycle lane to extend from Leonie Gill pathway to Rongotai Road (an additional 200m), at a revised total estimated cost of $40,000.

Extends this pop-up lane to meet the cycle network at the KFC/Pak n Save intersection. The total estimated additional cost to Wellington City Council, if this is accepted by NZTA is just $4,000, NZTA picking up 90% = $36,000

Note that officers are looking into opportunities to expedite the Central City Safer Speeds Package.

This is moving through Council at the moment, see updates here: https://lgwm.nz/saferspeeds

Subject to approval of this first round of Innovating Streets applications, officers will investigate making further applications for additional temporary projects from the long list of projects already identified, subject to a clear understanding of resourcing implications, including cost and impact on existing programmes of work. Any additional application will be presented to Council for consideration.

If the first round of applications for the seven projects outlined above is accepted – Council will know by 8th June, then Officers will investigate more options for the second round of funding:

The projects that are likely to be investigated are those on this list:

  • Oriental Bay
  • Ira St to Broadway (Miramar)
  • Constable Street
  • Burma Road
  • Onepu Road (Kilbirnie Shops to Lyall Bay)
  • Middleton Road
  • Taranaki Street
  • The Quays

These suggestions were removed at this stage due to staff concerns around Risk:

  • Significant removal of parking leading to low ‘perceived’ public acceptability
  • Longer lead time to develop, design and implement – meaning the measures would not be in place for long before needing to be removed when ‘normal’ traffic levels resume

NZTA may be able to help with the latter by providing funding and resourcing for the development and design effort. This could lessen the risk aspect of the Taranaki Street and Quays cycle lanes.

Open letter: Innovating Streets proposal must create a safe Essential Workers’ Route

Full text of letter sent to Wellington City Councillors on Tuesday 5th May 2020 at 7:15pm

Kia ora Councillors,

Firstly, thank you for your work with Officers in producing the Innovating Streets proposal to be presented on Thursday 7 May.

These moves need to support physical distancing in the city centre, and a return-to-work without traffic chaos from avoidance of public transport by allowing more people to walk and bike in safety.

But the proposal is too timid to achieve these aims. The most significant ideas in the report have been excluded using a risk measure that focuses heavily on roadside parking (a small proportion of city centre parking).

Cycle Wellington proposes you add an Essential Workers Route – by reinstating some of the rejected options and extending a route to the hospital.

This route runs from Thorndon Quay to Wellington Hospital via Bunny or Whitmore St, the Quays, Taranaki St, Adelaide Rd and Riddiford St. It uses interventions discussed in the report, and other simple temporary changes, to close the gaps in current paths making a continuous, safe route from Ngauranga to Newtown.

To create this route, for modest funding assuming Waka Kotahi contribute 90%, you need to add to your Innovating Streets proposal:

  • Thorndon Quay, safe travel, by changing angle parking temporarily to parallel parking throughout. Importantly, this retains parking outside all businesses that currently have it.
  • The Quays* – convert a traffic lane on the seaward side of the Quays to 2-way cycling – riders joining at existing waterfront crossings. Faster riders will be diverted away from the waterfront, reducing conflict and helping walkers maintain distance.
  • Taranaki Street* – protected lanes either side, possibly including use of pedestrian crossing phase where cyclists cross traffic
  • Adelaide Road – Move to a 24h bus/cycle lane 
  • Riddiford Street – removal of parking at John St intersection (also supporting physical distancing around local businesses)

*Reinstated options

With these changes, Wellington could stand proud among Auckland and other cities taking bold steps to protect their people in the aftermath of COVID-19 and commence tipu toa – building back better.

Noho ora mai,

Mark Johnston & Linda Beatson

Co-Chairs Cycle Wellington

Wellington Annual Plan Consultation Document – an early look

Placing your bike over the diamonds helps trigger those traffic lights – turns out not everyone knows this (and why would they?!)

I read through swathes of Council documents so you didn’t have to! – read it in full here: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/meetings/committees/council/2020/04/30

There are some gaps in the cycling masterplan for big areas of the city, so the document may disappoint quite a few people biking in Karori, Brooklyn, Tawa, Johnsonville. If nothing else we need to get some clarity about the plans for these areas. To that end, I would really encourage anyone who would like to, to speak at the Council meeting on Thursday 30th April at 2pm. Email DemocraticServices@wcc.govt.nz before Wednesday at 2pm if you are keen.

It is really easy if you’re fairly computer savvy, the meetings are held through Zoom. You can prep speaking notes in one window and speak to the Zoom meeting in another. Plus you only need five minutes – that’s your time limit – and there’s no obligation to hang around in the meeting.

Annual Plan – cycling details

Wellington City Council sets course every three years by reviewing its Long Term Plan. Every year, they check their tyre pressure and oil the chain in the Annual Plan review process. Everyone is invited to give feedback on this plan from 8th May – 8th June.

The Plan is broken up into various sections, with Waka/Transport making up a large portion. Firstly a section on the Covid-19 impact on transport projects:

Covid-19 Impact

The activities and work programme for transport were delayed as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, but now construction has restarted under Level 3, we are working to catch up on the backlog and build up to a busy start of the new financial year. Work will continue on the Cobham Drive and Evans Bay cycleways, Ngaio Gorge slope stabilisation as well as several minor safety projects such as the Hataitai intersection improvements and Rangiora footpath.

Page 56 Item 2.1, Attachment 1: 2020/21 Annual Plan Consultation Document

This is great, it shows that there is no appetite to slow down on projects that are in-flight. The Officers working on these projects are working really hard under trying circumstances (as we all are).

Let’s Get Wellington Moving – LGWM

The capital expenditure funding has been allocated to the early delivery and city streets areas to enable LGWM to begin programmes this year, subject to the outcomes of the business case investigations. This work will relate to walking, cycling and public transport improvement.

Item 2.1, Attachment 1: 2020/21 Annual Plan Consultation Document Page 57

So not much news here, but it is really encouraging to see that this has not slipped off the radar. Let’s Get Wellington Moving is focusing on active and public transport in 2020/21, however, there does seem to be a lot of consultation and engagement in the pipeline. We will be looking for some help with this, especially regular users of areas such as Thorndon Quay, Kent/Cambridge Terrace.

Cycling Masterplan

The cycling Masterplan refers to the staged roll-out of cycling infrastructure, more information here: https://www.transportprojects.org.nz/cycle-network/

From the Annual Plan Consultation Document:

Over the next decade, Wellington City Council is partnering with NZTA and central government to deliver a fully connected cycle network throughout Wellington. By 2028 the cycle network is expected to see connections developed to the south through Newtown, Berhampore and Island Bay; to the outer eastern suburbs, including Miramar, and Strathmore Park. This year work will continue on Evans Bay and Cobham Drive projects, as well as continued design development of the Miramar and Southern connections.

Page 58 Item 2.1, Attachment 1: 2020/21 Annual Plan Consultation Document

So to break that down:

Newtown, Berhampore, Island Bay, Miramar, Strathmore Park – by 2028
Te Aro, Mt Vic, Thorndon – Likely to be covered by the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme – still consulting

Sobering news if you don’t live in any of these places, and not fantastic news if you do, especially as the cycle network map for 2028 is supposed to look like this:

Other Highlights

For more info on the following, take a look at the Council document:

  • Karori and Marsden considered for 30km/h
  • Planning for Growth consultation
  • CBD Laneways projects to continue

Council Engagement

You can speak to all Councillors using councillors@wcc.govt.nz or see below for your local reps:

Next Week – Innovating Streets

Councillors and Officers have been working on a proposal for NZTA’s Innovating Streets funding. We’re expecting news in next week’s meeting agenda. Stay tuned here and on our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cyclewellington

Letter to Councillors in response to Covid-19 Pandemic Response Plan

The following email was sent to Councillors in response to the plan outlined in the meeting agenda here. The Council is running an Extraordinary Meeting on Zoom to discuss and vote on the Covid-19 Pandemic Response Plan. The meeting is on Thursday 9th April 2020 at 2pm and will be live-streamed on YouTube


Firstly and most importantly, I hope you and your whānau are staying safe and well at this turbulent time. Secondly I appreciate all the work you are doing to alleviate the financial and personal stress placed on people in Wellington. I count myself and my partner as very fortunate to be able to continue working almost as normal, when for some the pandemic has meant life is now anything but.

I’m contacting you on behalf of people who cycle in Wellington, and people who have tasted the joy of cycling thanks to newly traffic-freed streets. Perhaps some of you have managed to get out on the quieter streets with family. I have been out on some short bike rides and it has been wonderful to see parents teaching their kids using our cul-de-sac street to practise riding downhill, fortunately one of the less steep streets in Wellington!

These scenes are playing out in neighbourhoods around our city as more people begin to realise the value of their local areas as places to live, work and grow up in, not simply places to drive through.

More than ever we need to think about the future for which we are responsible. Council needs to be consistent  with the transport, economic, zero-carbon, and liveability commitments that it has made with strong public support. This is not the time for U-turns on these core issues because of the pandemic. It’s understandable that there’ll be a degree of panic amongst the ordinary citizenry, especially amongst cafe owners and small business employers who will be hit hard. As our leaders we trust you to be evidence-led and level-headed in times of crisis.

Plan items #6, #15 – Free Parking & Retail Stimulus

The research is unequivocal: free parking does not create lively streets nor stimulate retail and hospitality. Council knows this very well, from the officers to councillors, thanks to all the evidence from offshore and New Zealand, introducing parking charges here in Wellington in 2018 did not slow down business spending:


Removing parking fees not only fails to help the cause of re-invigorating the city; it also removes a revenue source of which every cent seems crucial right now.

Your Council officers have worked tremendously hard and have conducted a comprehensive parking policy review over the last 12-18 months. The FAQ section of the LetsTalk webpage relating to the parking policy addresses this topic: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/managecityparking/widgets/235014/faqs#40151

Free parking, even with a time limit, results in a lower turnover of vehicles  and means that fewer people can use the space each day. Low vacancy rates lead to localised congestion as cars have to drive around for longer searching for a free parking space.

I can understand the appeal to get people back into the city quickly, but this approach will result in worse outcomes for all street users, creating gridlock at weekends.

Free parking in Wellington would reduce revenue and incentivise driving. Officers, consultants, and enlightened groups such as First Retail have comprehensive toolboxes of vastly more effective ways to attract people into the city which don’t involve sacrificing millions of dollars of revenue. From boosting sustainable and active travel around the city, to interim enablement of business operators to enliven streets with activations and activities. These other options have a positive return on investment and reduce congestion. They also deliver benefits for health, climate, economy and happiness.

Public Transport patronage

Cycle Wellington members support Public Transport as a great addition to getting around the city by bike, however Public Transport patronage may take time to recover as fears of virus transmission remain in people’s minds. Now is the time to bring walking and cycling forward as the best ways to get around, stay healthy and maintain distance, lowering the risk of transmission. 

Plan item #17 – Get People Active

Thursday’s agenda states:

“As we move out of lockdown it will be important to encourage people to get out and about.”

We have seen during the lockdown that thousands of Wellingtonians have been getting active walking and cycling around their local areas. We would like to see the Council continue to encourage this activity by making our streets safer for active users. Offering free or discounted entry to facilities is great, but this section needs to offer real measures to make it easier to walk and cycle around Wellington. This would keep the response aligned with the sustainable transport hierarchy in the Wellington Urban Growth Plan and the Regional Land Transport Plan.

Worldwide Cities’ Response

Cities around the world have responded in different ways to the pandemic, but the following are great examples of cities that have made walking and cycling easier:

Philadelphia, USA Closing a major route to cars to allow people riding bikes to maintain safe distancing.

New York City Emergency bike lanes added to two busy bike corridors. Counts of people riding bikes have increased 50% over 2019 numbers. Some central city streets closed during the day to give residents space to engage in physical activity.

Bogota, Colombia –  The city added 76km of temporary bike lanes to the cities existing 550km of permanent bike lanes. 22km of these new bike lanes were installed overnight (Google Translate link from Spanish) by repurposing existing traffic lanes. Leaders aim to help residents get around at a time when they are discouraging taking public transportation to reduce coronavirus transmission

In summary, we should support people who now feel safe and comfortable cycling in Wellington to continue riding, to do this we should:

  • Continue the implementation of the LGWM Safer Speeds and Golden Mile improvements without delay
  • Bid for funding (up to 90% co-funding!) from NZTA for the  “Innovating Streets” programme to make temporary improvements to streets by opening lanes for bikes and increasing bike parking.
  • Keep parking fees in place, considering the impacts on traffic congestion and the likely reduction of amenity for cycling and walking that would result

Let’s make smart investments, support all our people, and keep making our city better.

Safer Speeds – 30km/h is the stepping stone to a central city for people

As a partner in the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme, Wellington City Council is committed to making the city safer and more attractive. Introducing a 30 kmh speed limit across the central city is a key element. A few arterial streets are excepted, the Quays, Kent and Cambridge Tces, and SH1 on Vivian St.

The Council will consult on the plan early this year, and plans to introduce changes in mid-2020.

There’s more detail at https://lgwm.nz/our-plan/our-projects/central-city-safer-speeds/

30km/h on Featherston?

Safer speeds on central city streets could be a stepping stone towards a city that works for people travelling on all modes. By restricting most streets to 30km/h it is possible that more drivers will choose those streets that are still at 50km/h, reducing the traffic volumes on those streets at 30km/h. The LGWM programme will be assessing the impacts of changes, which will allow recommendations to be made on redesigning streets like Featherston and Taranaki, reducing the number of car lanes and allowing more space for people on foot and on bikes, buses and rapid transit. An even bolder approach would be to move one step further, closing off more streets to through-traffic. Birmingham has announced plans based on earlier tactics employed by Groningen in the Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium to make their city centre slightly more difficult to drive around, reallocating space to public and active transport in the process:


The idea here is to create quadrants, or zones, dividing up areas of the central city. Private vehicles are not permitted to cross between these zones, but people on foot, buses or bikes can. The result is that places in Ghent that are 1km apart on foot or bike become 3km apart by car, making the bicycle the fastest way to get around, meaning more people opt to use a bicycle. Driving isn’t a particularly slow option, it just takes a bit longer and you need to drive further. People who need to drive still can, and the way the city is laid out pushes them onto outer roads that are more capable of handling cars, leaving those central streets free for people.

Wellington could apply similar thinking. It already has a ‘ring’ road of sorts. Imagine a car journey from the Michael Fowler Centre to Pukeahu Park didn’t involve going up Taranaki Street because it was now a no-through road. Your alternative route would be via Cable St, Kent Terrace and the Basin. Perhaps you’d decide to cycle there instead because now, Taranaki St is a residential area with fewer car lanes, a 30km/h speed limit, more seating, street trees and a cycle lane and you’d be there just as fast, (raging southerly wind notwithstanding!)

Taranaki St – unrecognisable

These ideas are almost incomprehensible at the moment because Wellington’s central city has so many lanes for cars that it can be very difficult to imagine where they would all go. However 30km/h streets will start to push us towards a Wellington where walking, shopping and living in our central city becomes much more pleasant. Driving will become just one of the ways you can get around easily, comfortably and conveniently, but not quite as quickly as by bike.

Quieter, slower streets become much more attractive to people on bikes and escooters where fewer cars pass and at slower relative speeds. Of course, crashes can still occur at 30km/h, but the outcomes are vastly improved for people of all ages. Cycling on slower streets will also ‘feel’ more comfortable and natural, which will attract more people to give bikes a go where currently the road conditions can feel more risky and scary.

Cycle Wellington fully supports the plans for 30km/h streets and looks forward to safer riding throughout our central city.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving

There’s some incredible stuff coming out of LGWM at the moment, with the first two rounds of in-depth consultation focusing on changes to make the central city much more people-friendly. This consultation closes this Sunday, 15th December. Have your say to make sure that the LGWMers know that this is what Wellingtonians want.

NZTA have gone with their funky map-based feedback machine to get feedback on Let’s Get Wellington Moving, which is amazing if you have a while to spare poring over maps of Wellington. However, it’s Kirihimete/Christmas so if time is not on your side there’s a TL;DR version

Hit these links which jump you straight through to the easy form-based feedback sections:



These are great for overall feedback. The simplest comment you could put here is “Yes, do it already!”, both for improving the Golden Mile and for bringing city centre speeds down to a safer 30km/h. Two minutes and you’re done.

Still reading and have time for an in-depth submission? Here are some pointers, please let us know in the comments if you spot anything we’ve missed:

Golden Mile

This consultation gathers your ideas but doesn’t set out any concrete plans.
They say:

We want to make it better for people walking and on bikes, and give buses more priority

We say:

  • Separated cycle lanes to keep less confident riders away from buses, with well signposted, comfortable alternative routes where space is limited
  • Intersections are too intimidating for vulnerable road users and these people need safer means to change lanes and turn into other roads with clear right of way to drivers behind them. A suggestion is to make protected intersections with dedicated space and priority lights for people on foot, bikes, and scooters.
  • Giving people riding e-scooters and bikes a safer road space helps to keep pedestrians out of harm’s way
  • Make the Golden Mile for buses, bikes, scooters and people on foot
  • Allow goods deliveries in time windows outside of peak hours
  • If the Golden Mile is made car-free then design and enforcement will need to work together to make this a reality
  • Continuous walking along the route wherever possible – by closing side-street ends like Bond and Grey streets, and where a street crosses with through traffic give green walk signals with minimum interruption (like some of Featherston side streets)
  • Changing flow around Boulcott/Willis/Mercer/Victoria somehow to make life better for everyone

Te Aro Park, Golden Mile – what would make you more likely to ride here?

Safer speeds

This consulation proposes a 30km/h limit for the city centre – effectively everything within Karo Dive/Cambridge Terrace/the Quays apart from Vivian Street, extending North as far as the station.

We say:

  • This should be implemented for non-arterial CBD roads, and is already or is becoming the norm for cities around the world
  • Lower speeds make it feel safer or will make it more feasible for people on bikes and e-scooters to share the road
  • This needs to go hand in hand with road design features that naturally slow down the speed and clearly tell drives to give priority to vulnerable road users
  • Clearly there is a push for priority bus lanes through the CBD and this is where we expect separated cycle lanes
  • No easy suggestions how to deal with this but consideration needs to be given to people on bikes (e.g. road and electric bikes) and e-scooters who can and typically will try to travel faster than 30km/hr. This will give frustration to other road users who are keeping to the speed restrictions
  • Some roads feel too fast for 30km/h today, but these streets also have plenty of people living on them, walking on them and biking on them. They deserve safety too, and road design changes will help the lower speeds feel more natural here. The LGWM programme needs to show that these streets will be used for living, working, shopping and playing in future, so lower speeds are appropriate.
  • For central streets that remain at 50km/h (eg Quays, Kent & Cambridge, Vivian) use protected bike lanes to achieve 2 things – safer biking, and more separation between footpaths and moving traffic
  • Enforce new speed limits with cameras at high traffic volume / high risk places – do the same on the 50km/h arterial roads too
  • Green-waves for traffic lights so that people travelling below 30km/h don’t need to stop as often – making speeding futile

Taranaki Street – lots of space for living, working, playing, eating, partying – 30km/h makes sense to pave the way for new uses

Stay positive!

It’s tempting to use a consultation exercise as an opportunity to vent. However, we think a good submission should be really positive and future focused, try to imagine the Wellington you’d happily take your mates for a ride around next summer!

From all of us at Paihikara ki Pōneke/Cycle Wellington, Meri Kirihimete, Merry Christmas and enjoy riding your bike over the holidays. Looking forward to an amazing 2020!

We shortened our name!

New Cycle Wellington logo - letters C and W in a bike design with label in English and te reo.

We’re changing our name (slightly)! From Cycle Aware Wellington to the shorter Cycle Wellington. We already do more than just advocate for better conditions for people on bikes, we organise events, rides and just generally enjoy getting out there in the wind and rain and of course, on those days you just can’t beat Wellington!

Big thanks to Alex for the new logo to go with it. Wheee!

If you’re keen to get involved in our mahi, or just have fun on bikes with us, we’d love to hear from you. Join or donate here: https://cycwell.wordpress.com/join/ or come along to a meeting or event.

Pop up bike lane on Featherston St opens

Pop up bike lane
Pop up bike lane on Featherston St

Wellington’s newest bike lane popped up on Featherston St today – just for an hour. 40 people lined the clearway to build a people-protected bike lane for two blocks.

People on bikes deserve protection, says Patrick Morgan. “We love the protected bike lanes Wellington City Council has built, but progress is far too slow. So we’re taking action into our own hands. If the city won’t protect us, we will protect our own.”