We need to talk about parking…

taxi parked in Hutt Rd Cycle Path
Parking on the Hutt Road Shared Path

Roads and streets evolved for walkers and horses, then bicycles, then cars. But cars changed how we use road space. Walkers, horses and bicycles generally leave the road at the end of the journey.  Cars needed to be parked. See how Cuba Street changed between 1910 and 1930

Cuba Street, 1910  (Alexander Turnbull Library)
Cuba Street, 1930 (Alexander Turnbull Library)

In 1910, one new fangled car is parked on the street, and the rest of the road space is available for traffic. By 1930, up to 20% of the roadspace is taken up by parked cars.

How does this relate to cycling? Virtually all cycling projects affect parking. To improve the Hutt Road shared path it will be necessary to reduce the (technically illegal) parking. In constructing the Island Bay Cycleway, some parking had to be removed to allow good visibility for residents entering driveways.

On street parking is expensive. A US report calculates that land, construction and maintenance can cost US$1000-3000 per year for a parking space. In addition, there are environmental costs – parked cars don’t enhance the feel of a city – and opportunity costs – if car parking prevents us from building a bike lane, the parking has cost us the health, social, and sustainability benefits the bike lane would have engendered.

But most on street parking is free, meaning that ratepayers subsidise people who store their cars on the street. This encourages decisions that are not good for the city as a whole.  People buy a second or third car for their household, without having to factor in the cost of storage. The more cars you have access to, the more you drive, the greater the carbon emissions you produce, and the more congestion you create.  People buy cars even though they are living in a house without off street parking, since ratepayers will subsidise their car storage.

There are people who say “I NEED to park my car on the street”. This may be true. However subsidised parking means that many people park their car on the street because their off street parking is being used for other purposes. A survey of a Mount Cook street found that 80% of garages were being used to store things other than cars. Some people park on the street simply to avoid the hassle of backing out of a driveway!

Wellington garage (Daryl Cockburn)

WCC’s Cycling Framework states that “The movement of traffic will take priority over on-street parking” and the Parking Policy says that “Street space is a scarce resource and priority for use for parking needs to be considered against other uses”.

Dealing with parking when planning roading projects should be simple. We decide how much space is required for traffic: buses, pedestrians, bikes, and cars. If there’s space left over, we can consider using this for parking.

A new approach to parking is not necessarily a bad thing for people who need to drive cars. Removing car parks enables traffic to move more efficiently, as an Australian motoring organisation acknowledges.  Removing parking doesn’t have to mean that drivers can’t park. Donald Shoup, an expert on parking policy, points out that pricing can be used to ensure that at least 15% of parking spaces on a block are available. If the free space is less than that, we increase the price, allowing people to decide if they really need to park their car, or whether they’d be better to use another travel mode. CBD carparks now have sensors that detect whether a car is present. We could allow free or cheap parking until the 15% limit is reached, then increase the charge to free up parking spaces again. This technique of “demand responsive parking” has been successfully trialed in San Francisco.

Changing subsidised parking is politically difficult. But we need to talk about parking, and change the conversation from “how can we save the parking spaces” to “is subsidised parking a good use of this road space?” That will help us achieve a livable city and sustainable transport.

CAW June meeting + AGM


It’s that time of the year again for our annual general meeting. Nothing too 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

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

  •  UCP updates
  • Sharrow shenanigans
  • Cones kerfuffles
  • Congestion Free Wellington
  • Mechanical Tempest
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

6 June at 18:00–19:30
Sustainability Trust, 2 Forresters Lane, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

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)




The land of the rising eBike: cycling in Japan

bikes, Yoyogi Park
Sakura cycling in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

I recently spent three weeks in Japan, chasing cherry blossom (Sakura) on a Japan Rail Pass. But I also tried out cycling; renting and borrowing bikes in several towns and cities. What did I find out, and are there lessons for cycling in Wellington?


As in other parts of the world, electric assist bikes (eBikes) are ubiquitous in Japan. eBikes comprise 53% of Japan’s bicycle production, although there are indications that the growth is flattening. Most have a Panasonic motor system, that I haven’t seen in NZ: crank drive, with a relatively compact battery.

Standard family transport is an electric assist cargo bike, with child carriers front and rear. At a suburban rail station, I saw a family roll up: Dad pedaling, Mum perched behind, and child in a seat. Dad jumped off and ran for the train, while Mum took over pedaling to drop the kid off at daycare.

mother and child on eBike
Family transport

I’m still not sure how Japanese eBike users charge their bikes. Many bikes are left on the streets overnight, but they seem to be left with batteries on, and not connected to a charger. Maybe they have two batteries and rotate them around.

Footpath cycling

bike/pedestrian sharing
Separated cycle path, Tokyo
Mall cycling, Takamatsu
Cycling in a shopping mall, Takamatsu
No footpath cycling sign
But you can’t ride your bike everywhere

Whenever footpath cycling is mentioned, it’s stated “that’s what they do in Japan”. Well, yes and no. Footpath cycling is illegal in Japan unless signs specifically allow it. However in the 1970’s oil crisis, it seems that police made a policy decision not to prosecute footpath cycling. In 2011 the Police said they would encourage people between 13 and 70 to ride on the road rather than the footpath, but it still seems that people of all ages cycle on the footpath, including the police themselves.

Police biking on crossing
These police have just cycled down the footpath in the background

According to a paper presented at VeloCity 2014, Japanese authorities are concerned about the risks of footpath cycling, particularly to the increasing numbers of elderly pedestrians. So they are creating more cycle paths and designated shared paths, and encouraging cyclists to use them. I saw signs of this investment. One example was Yamaguchi, a provincial capital about the same size as Wellington, where major intersections had underpasses for cyclists and pedestrians – just what Wellington needs on Cobham Drive.

Underpass entrance, Yamaguchi
Underpass, Takamatsu
Underpass in Takamatsu

Does the Japanese footpath cycling regime work? As an (elderly!) pedestrian I had a couple of times that a cyclist whooshed past in a way that startled me, but I didn’t see any crashes. When I did cycle, it was often very useful to use footpaths as an alternative the busy multilane city streets.

bike lane, Tokyo
Tokyo style sharrows
Two way cycle path, Kanazawa

However, Japanese cycling style is very different from NZ. Very few footpath cyclists look like they’re training for the Tour de France – typically they’re Lycra-free leisurely commuters. Although Japanese will ignore laws, such as the one that prohibits riding with an umbrella, there’s a very strong ethos of obeying custom. Japanese pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will never go through a red light, even if there are no other vehicles around. And traffic light sequences are long – while you’ve got a lot of time to amble across a pedestrian crossing, you might have to wait several minutes for your phase to come up. Another reason footpath cycling works is that Japanese streets generally don’t have a lot of vehicle entrances, unlike NZ where every house has a driveway and the risk of a motor vehicle crossing the footpath.

We need to be careful about translating the Japanese experience of footpath cycling to the NZ environment.

Bike parking

Whenever we used bikes, we were warned to be careful where we parked them. Areas around businesses often have signs prohibiting bike parking. Bikes are frequently removed, and there’s a substantial cost to recover them. At the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto the only legal bike parking cost $3 and was half a kilometer from the temple.

Art project bike parking, Naoshima

Railway stations had huge bike parks – I suspect a hazard is failing to find your bike when you return!

Bikes on public transport

Given the ubiquity of both public transport and cycling, I was surprised that there doesn’t seem to be more use of bikes on public transport. At the weekend, we saw a number of recreational cyclists at Tokyo station with touring bikes packed in bags, heading off for a ride – an hours ride on a Shinkansen high speed train can put you hundreds of kilometers from the metropolis.

Nara - how to pack (rinko) your bike for train
Rinko instructions, Nara Station

It seems you can take a bike on a train if it is “Rinko”ed – bagged with wheels removed. You can also get pedals that pop off, making the Rinko process easier. Mini Velos, bikes with small wheels but standard frames, are common in Japan, I think because they’re easier to store and transport.

Mini Velo in Yamaguchi

Public bike hire

Many places have some sort of public bike hire, and they seemed to be well used. There’s generally some instructions in English.

Working out Kanazawa’s bike system

We used one in Kanazawa that worked well (after a bit of geographic confusion that had us riding north from the railway station rather than south). After registering at the automatic machine we punched in a code to unlock our bikes, which we dropped at a rack close to the Castle. After walking around we picked up bikes from another rack, and rode back to the station.

Kenroku-en gardens, Kanazawa
Riding back from the castle, Kanazawa

Takamatsu had a slightly bureaucratic system where we needed our passports, and the requirement to give an address was a bit awkward as our accommodation that night was on Japan’s one remaining train sleeper service. But once we’d got our registration cards a helpful attendant set up our bikes and guided us to a natty bike escalator that took us up to street level.

Bike escalator, Takamatsu
Bike escalator, Takamatsu

It’s also fairly easy to rent bikes, generally near railway stations. There are outfits running bike tours – we did a half day with Tokyo Miracle Cycling Tour which took us around alleyways and gardens in central Tokyo, avoiding the worst of the multilane highways. Kyoto Cycle Touring Project rented us bikes and sold us a map that helped navigate the city, using the cycle path along the Kamogawa River, and the sakura lined Philosopher’s Path. Our hotel in Yamaguchi had a fleet of complimentary bikes in the foyer for guests.

Tokyo Miracle bike tour
On the Tokyo Miracle Bike Tour
Part of the useful Kyoto Cycle Touring Project map

What can we learn from Japan about cycling?

Japan shows us that you can have a very high mode share of cycling (20% in Tokyo), with everyday cycling dominating over lycra. It also shows that eBikes and public bike schemes have the capacity to be successful. But we also saw the results of the pressure – the need for large scale bike parking, and a bit less freedom to park where you want. Footpath cycling is a mixed blessing – even the well behaved Japanese cycling population includes the odd larrikin. However the sensible Japanese response seems to be to build more cycle paths, rather than force bikes onto the road. Perhaps that should be our priority rather than worrying too much about footpath cycling.

Wellington’s annual plan: tackle climate change through transport choice

Annual Plan

WCC is consulting on its 2017/2018 Annual Plan.

We say:

  • Reduce fossil fuel emissions by increasing cycling mode share
  • Reduce car trips by not subsidising on street parking
  • Don’t over consult on cycling projects
  • Move rapidly to a cycle friendly city through trial projects
  • Gather data about the use and impact of cycle facilities
  • Reduce traffic speeds
  • New housing developments should provide for active and public transport

You can read our full submission here

Notes from 2 May CAW meeting

A well attended meeting with good discussions.  Here’s the highlight

  • Alastair Smith has been nominated for an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Award!   Well deserved as Alastair has been a long time calm & collected champion for our cause.
  • AGM to be held next meeting, 6 June.
  • The first CAW meeting for Catarina who has just come down from Christchurch where she was the Bicycle Major!  She is working at Bicycle Junction, who will be moving larger and more central premises in Marion Street.
  • Let’s Get Wellington Moving
    • Concern about this being a smoke screen for NZTA to push through with the 4 lanes to the planes motorway
    • Save The Basin and others are running a public meeting
    • Needs to address concern that principles are not being upheld
    • Patrick to front CAWs concerns
  • WCC annual plan submission
    • Eleanor & James to check the plan
    • Suggestion to submit that the plan needs to address the issue of poor sealing for existing roads
  • Tender for new buses will include bike racks. Post meeting note: On Tuesday 9 May the Regional Council is considering whether to roll out bike racks on more bus routes. http://www.gw.govt.nz/committee-meetings-calend…/detail/7403
  • Update on the Island Bay community re-engagement (Love the Bay)
    • Wednesday evening 3 May and 1:30pm Sunday 7 May
    • Tonkin & Taylor will be using the feedback on design options / aspects to finalise a minimum of 3 possible options including going back to what was there before, or what is there now with some improvements
    • Note that they are on the WCC panel for roading engineers)
    • Important that people go along to give their feedback on what is good or bad about the design options / aspects
  • Updates from monthly meeting with WCC cycling team (Paul Barker)
    • Team has expanded with new officers responsible for sustainable transport, and communications.  And two replacements.
    • Hutt Rd work has started on installed triggered LED warning lights at Caltex (trial basis), path upgrade working north from Aotea Quay off ramp, installing final new lights and testing all lights (may have to retain and reposition excisting lights if new lights do not give the coverage expected)
    • Aimed to be completed by November.  Ron to confirm what is happening about the next stage to remove / reallocate car parking, and to follow up with GWRC about re-opening Kaiwharawhara railway station to help minimise need for parking.
    • Upgrade at Ngauranga Interchange now not happening till Ngauranga-Petone shared path goes in.  WCC will look at improving the path / seal, but won’t change the kerbs / bus stop.
    • Incorrectly placed new sharrows are being removed immediately and will be properly painted as soon as weather allows.  Caused by an individual who didn’t follow the contractor’s instructions.
    • No re-sealing of Evans Bay road.  The Councillors did not allocate the extra funding needed to adhere to their 2008 policy to ensure smooth surfaces for routes with high number of on-road cyclists.  In fact, a push to minimise cost of road seal maintenance.  Issue is that the Council has degraded from the quality of service that was there before.  New infrastructure will have the opex to ensure proper maintenance.
    • The team is working on the consultation material for the CBD quick win improvements, all of which will need traffic resolution.  won’t be visible till November.
    • Consultation for Featherston St North cycle path (Bunny St to Mulgrave St) has been advertised.  Will include allowing a right turn into Bunny St West for south bound cyclists.  Paul happy to consider Ron’s suggestion to have advance bike lights at the Mulgrave intersection to allow south bound cyclists to get into the right hand lane for the Bunny St turn.
    • Councillors very much aware of the need for good cycling and walking infrastructure as part of the Shelly Bay developmenment.  [Note that CAW will push for this as part of the public consultation]
    • All current UCP projects will have a final engagement over a 4 week period
      • 3 options per project
      • Aimed for July, to go back to the September Council Committee
      • Back to the community for final feedback / objections in November
      • Committee approval in February will construction starting in July after a 3 month [detailed] design.
    • Also initiating a working group to look at Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook options
      • Will take on board material from the previous Citizens Advisory Panel that proposed options for Berhampore and Newtown.
      • Will extend to Basin Reserve and Pukeahu Park this time.
      • Half the budget (4.5M) for an extended scope.  Will impact on options to address parking.
    • Report on the February Wellington bike count is still being finalised
      • Indications are a drop in numbers of cyclists
      • Follows a drop in the previous year (which could have been contributed to poorer weather than summer)
      • Does show more cyclists heading out of the city
      • Contradicts general observation that there seems to be more cyclists
  • There was a general discussion about the various WCC cycling projects working groups that CAW is currently participating in
    • Kilbernie connections, Miramar connections, Evans Bay, Thorndon Quay
    • Overall going well but obviously each with its own challenges
    • CAW has its own challenge how it resources each of these working groups / engagements
      • Opportunity to tap other working group members on the shoulder
      • CAW to put together a mentoring framework / material
  • Other initiatives / projects
    • CBD quick fixes [see WCC meeting notes]
    • Southern Corridor (Berhampore-Newtown-Mt Cook)
      • Ron to confirm timeframes with WCC so that Island Bay people have an answer on when there will be a full IB 2 CBD route
    • Melling-Petone
      • Engagement / consultation happening now
      • Build planning to start end of the year
    • Petone-Ngauranga
      • Public engagement to start
      • Planned for implementation in 2019/2020
    • Karori
  • Things to discuss at our next meetings with NZTA, WCC etc
    • Ngauranga situation getting worse
    • Truck accidents [Note that Patrick is discussing this with the ministry]
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down
    • TU – Patrick – old ghost road
    • TD – Cars not aware the extra time it takes to pass a faster ebike.  More converted e-mountainbikes
    • TU – Women on bikes exhibition at Thistle Hall (Cuba St south)

CAW May meeting

Police biking on crossing
Should we have cops on bikes, like they do in Japan?

How time flies. The May meeting is already upon us, and happening this Tuesday 2 May. By the book this should have been our AGM meeting but with all that is happening we weren’t organised in time. So here’s the official notice that our AGM will be held at our 6 June meeting.

But plenty of other exciting things to talk about for Tuesday’s meeting

  • Updates from the various WCC cycling projects working groups (Kilbernie, Miramar, Evans Bay, Thorndon Quay, CBD quick fixes)
  • Update on the Island Bay community re-engagement (Love the Bay)
  • Updates from monthly meeting with WCC cycling team (work in progress, e.g. Hutt Road, issues)
  • Things to discuss at our next meetings with NZTA, WCC etc
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

Everyone welcome

Tuesday 2 May, 1800-1930, Sustainability Trust, Forresters Lane (off Tory St)

CAW April meetup

Mayor Justin Lester addresses CAN Do 2017

Come along to our CAW meeting this Tuesday 4th April. Be part of the discussion on how to get more people biking in Wellington, more often. Things to talk about:

  • Highlights from the CAN Do national conference
  • Progress with WCC cycling projects including the Hutt Road
  • Pressing concerns
  • Rebranding ourselves
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down

6-7:30pm, Sustainability Trust, Forresters Lane off Tory St

Cobham Drive – have your say on Wellington’s eastern gateway

A proposed layout from WCC’s project page

Is there a project that could definitively say that cycling has arrived in Wellington? Wellington City Council has opened consultation on the Cobham Drive project, and this could be a chance for a cycling and walking facility that creates a positive image for active transport, in the same way that Auckland’s Lightpath/Te Ara-i-Whiti and Taranaki’s Te Rewarewa Bridge have done.

Light path at night
Te Ara-i-Whiti
Te Rewa Rewa bridge on coastal walkway
Te Rewarewa Bridge

Why is Cobham Drive an important cycling project? First, it’s a key link between the eastern suburbs and the city. Secondly, it’s a project that requires few compromises with parking and businesses. But it’s also an opportunity to do more than just create cycling and walking paths. It’s in a stunning geographic location, with a view up Evans Bay to Mount Victoria and the northern ranges. It’s what many people travel along from the Airport on their first visit to Wellington. It’ll be visible from Mt Victoria, where most first time visitors to the city are taken. We’ve got the opportunity here to create a statement: Wellington is an active place.

Wellington Sculpture trust have already enhanced this stretch with the Meridian Energy Wind Sculpture Walk, so many people associate Wellington with the iconic Zephyrometer that they see bending low over SH1 after their charmingly energetic airport landing into a slight northerly breeze (known outside Wellington as a “gale”).

The big gap in the current plan is the lack of a safe crossing of Cobham Drive, for example to the Sports Centre.  We should be challenging WCC to include this in the project.

Apart from that the proposals are good but not perfect, and some of the detail needs to be clarified.

  • The cycling and walking paths need to be physically and visually different, to discourage people from using the wrong path for their mode. Auckland learned this lesson on Beach Rd, where a section that looked like a footpath was used by pedestrians despite “no cycling” signs. The sections that look like roadway don’t have this problem.
Beach Road cycle path
Beach Road, Auckland – it’s clear that it’s a cycleway, and people don’t walk on it
  • The connections at the ends need work – it’s not clear how people biking the Mount Victoria Tunnel will connect to the cycleway, and the path comes to an abrupt halt at Miramar Cutting (although the connections to Miramar are the subject of a separate project). There’s no detail on the proposed signalised crossing of Evans Bay Parade for people biking north to the CBD.
  • The proposed 3m width for the cycle path should be a minimum. Where possible it should be 4m or more, to provide for comfortable passing without conflict with oncoming cyclists.
  • It would be good to have some features that break the wind, which (very occasionally) crosses the path.
  • The current plans include some parking east of the Troy St roundabout. This is unnecessary: people can watch planes from a parking place on Calibar Rd, and Evans Bay Marina is better for launching boats. If this parking is retained, the cycle path should be on the seaward side of it, to avoid conflict with vehicles entering the park.
  • There should be parking provision at Evans Bay Marina for, for example, wheelchair users, and families that want to bike the route but aren’t able to bike to it.
  • The shoreline is currently made up of concrete debris from a power station that was demolished in 1941. It’s time to clean this up, and make the shoreline attractive. Indeed the design of the path should draw users attention to the seascape, rather than to the busy SH1 that runs on the southern side.
  • It needs a good name. It’s part of Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke of course, but it should have a specific name. The name “seaway” has been proposed, but there are a lot of paths beside the sea. Perhaps a name like “Te Ara Ūnga”, the path of the landing place, would (with permission of the relevant iwi) reference the idea of a gateway, and the proximity to Wellington airport.

Above all it needs a “wow” factor – that will attract the attention of people coming from Weta Workshops and the Airport, or looking across from Mt Victoria, and have people saying “I want to bike that”.

Here’s your chance to get a good outcome, by making a submission by 4 April. You can “have your say” online, or make a paper based submission.


Kruising Te Ara Kapiti

cyclists and expressway
Te Ara Kapiti, aka “Kapiti Cycle Route”

On 24 February the Wellington region’s newest cycling path opened, at a cost of around $600 million, twice the UCP budget. Well, that cost includes the accompanying expressway, but it’s still quite a nice cycle route.

First step was to find it. We got the train to Paekakariki, and rode north on the rolling Te Ara Whareroa through QE 2 Park. I didn’t see any signage directing us to the next stage north, but fortunately we’d had local advice, and knew to go east on Poplar Ave to the start of the Kapiti Cycle Route, the cycling (and walking and horse riding) route alongside the expressway. This seems an odd name – there’s already a well established Kapiti Coastal Cycling Route, so why not go for something easily distinguishable? For the rest of this post I’ll refer to the route beside the expressway as “Te Ara Kapiti”.

Once you’re on Te Ara Kapiti, there’s generally good signage. The southern part to Waikanae is sealed, although there is some loose chip to watch out for, and bits which need touching up. North of Waikanae, the surface is reasonably smooth gravel. The path is generally 2.5-3m wide.

Rongomau bridge
Rongomau cycling/walking overbridge

The Rongomau overbridge crosses the expressway to the old SH1 and the Paraparaumu shopping centre, but we headed north. You pass through nicely landscaped wetlands, almost expecting to see some rice paddies and Vietnamese farmers. There are concrete and wooden seats every so often, some with the concrete surroundings only just drying.


Although the cycle route is nice for cruising, I expect dedicated roadies will want to keep to the expressway, which is of course legal. At the overbridge across Kapiti Road, cyclists are advised to exit on the off ramp, presumably on the reasoning that it’s safer to do this cross the off ramp exit. However this involves crossing Kapiti Road at the lights, conflicting with left turning traffic, then climbing back onto the expressway on the on ramp. Personally, I’d stick to the expressway.

Kapiti Rd intersection
Signage on the expressway directs roadies down the shoulder, and into potential conflict with traffic turning left onto Kapiti Rd

There’s a bit of a climb up to the turnoff to the Makarini St footbridge in Paraparaumu, I gather because there wasn’t enough room for a level bypass route.

nice view of expressway from seat
Strategically placed seats provide an opportunity to admire the expressway

North of the Waikanae River there’s a short deviation to avoid Wahi Tapu, then the route rejoins the expressway at an imposing concrete bluff.

abandoned Tandem
The riders of this tandem were looking for a cycle friendly Kapiti route around 1986, but gave up waiting…

Although the route signs are to Otaki, the cycle route comes to an abrupt end at Pekapeka, fortunately within easy reach of the cafe at Harrison’s garden centre. However there’s still work going on here, and it’s not yet clear how a cyclist heading north would get back onto SH1, and there doesn’t seem to be any signage directing a southbound cyclist onto the Te Ara Kapiti.

signage to Otaki
Signs rather hopefully direct you to Otaki, but there isn’t yet a good cycle route beyond Pekapeka

Similarly, at the southern end the work to connect cyclists heading south on SH1 onto Poplar ave and Te Ara Whareroa doesn’t seem to have been completed.

Raumati end
The connection to the old SH1 at Raumati is still to come

Interestingly, the expressway project has created two cycle routes, Te Ara Kapiti, and also a high quality road with minimal traffic: the old SH1, which will be a good cycling option between Pekapeka and Raumati. There’s still significant traffic on it, but I suspect that will decrease as drivers adopt new habits, and have their GPS’s updated (at the time of writing, Google Maps did not show the expressway).

“Now, THAT’s what I call a cycle path” – old SH1 north of Waikanae

Overall, it’s great that NZTA have included a cycling and walking route in a major roading project. However the real question for Wellingtonians is: why is it so difficult to get an equivalent route from, for example, the Hutt Valley to the Wellington CBD?  Watch this space…

Stop Press: Cycle Action Kapiti are holding a ride  on Saturday 18 March to press for action on the Pekapeka-Otaki cycle route. It’ll be a good chance to sample the northern bit of Te Ara Kapiti, and the weather forecast is good!