Kia ora koutou
We’re aware things are tense right now with the legal injunction granted to pause the Newtown to City Transitional bike and bus lanes.
If you’re unsure how to respond, Cycle Wellington have created a set of Constructive Conversation Tips on our website.
In our experience we make progress not by placating or combatting naysayers. Let’s help lead the way rather than getting bogged down with the current set of affected parties representing the status quo. Expressing anger toward businesses and individuals opposed to these changes is a waste of energy. Negative action can also be highly counterproductive to our kaupapa, by giving ammunition and validation to oppositional arguments.
Often, in advocacy circles, we say: “if you’re not facing some pushback, you’re not going hard enough”. The fact that the Council is facing pushback is somewhat reassuring. It shows they are aligned with the urgency for change being sought by CW and our supporters. It shows they are taking climate action seriously. It demonstrates a commitment to a better future and more liveable, accessible city for everyone in Pōneke.
We hope that people who support cycling as an everyday mode of transport will maintain a clear, positive, constructive, and empathetic example to support the many more instances of disruption that these improvements to our transport networks will mean.
We need to consistently represent a positive vision, an appealing alternative, and an empathetic example for those same people to better identify with and gravitate towards over time.
We also recommend looking for ways to impress on our government leaders the urgent need to give local councils the tools and powers they need to undertake this adaptive work in the timeframes required.
Fortunately, such a change is imminent as part of the Emissions Reduction Plan. While improvements like this are decades overdue, it is hopeful to see they may soon be enacted.
There will be ongoing challenging changes to our cities and streets. Let’s stay kind and help that change to be as positive as we know the end product will be for everyone.
We’re all in this together.
Kia kaha e te whānau,
Alex Dyer and Linda Beatson
Co-Chairs Cycle Wellington
Calls to action
Legal action is delaying the bike lanes we desperately need to enable more people to get around safely by bike. We need your help. Please take action:
- Tell your Councillors you want action, not delays: find a way to build bike lanes and get on with it. Tell them why this matters to you. Email: [email protected]
- Donate to Cycle Wellington so we can up our game. Any donation is great, but we really 💖 monthly contributions!
- Ask your friends, family members, and colleagues to sign up to Cycle Wellington. Together, we're stronger.
- Keep riding your bike.
Please send the WCC transitional team some love
The setback to the Newtown to City transitional project is a frustrating development. We can literally see that the team at Wellington City Council have been working really hard and getting some great work done. We can even actually use some of that great work! This pause will be a big blow to everyone involved.
Please show the Council officers some love by sending in a message of support, commiserations, a drawing, a pic of you and your family enjoying what’s been piloted so far, etc.
- Twitter: @WgtnCC
- Facebook: wellingtoncitycouncil
- Neighbourly: WCC Profile
- Email: [email protected]
Transitional Cycleways Team
Wellington City Council
PO Box 2199
Know your Grocers
To avoid any confusion, Newtown Greengrocer at 100 Riddiford St by the bus stop supports bike and bus lanes in Newtown. They have great ice creams and a wide selection of well-priced fruit and vegetables.
A different and unrelated grocery business with a similar name and closer to the city centre is involved in the current legal challenge against the transitional bike and bus lanes.
Please go slow on the new Riddiford Street bus stop platforms
The first of the new innovative bus stop platforms has now been installed on Riddiford Street in Newtown! These are designed to make the route safer and easier for everyone to get around. Here is how to use them:
🚌🚶♿ Bus users and people walking have right of way. If you’re travelling by bus; remember to check for bikes when crossing the platform to and from buses.
🚴 People on bikes need to slow down and ride in single file when crossing the platform. They must give way to bus users.
🚗 People in cars need to be patient and wait behind buses while they let passengers on and off.
These important bus stops at Wellington Regional Hospital are a high pedestrian area. When riding your bike through the platforms, please be respectful and courteous the whole length.
Cycle Wellington would like everyone who rides bikes in Wellington to know that these platforms are a space where riders are expected to travel more slowly while being comfortably and safely away from heavy traffic. To enjoy that separation - we need to embody the priorities of the sustainable transport hierarchy. People walking and people with disabilities come first.
If you prefer to ride your bike at fast speeds in this area, and are a confident road cyclist, you’re still able to use the general traffic lane like usual. Please approach the separated bike lanes - and these bus stop platforms as sections that need extra care and attention. The platforms have features designed to reflect the expected reduced speed - like a bit of a wiggle to enter one of them and there is a dip half way along to encourage keeping speed down over what is quite a long stretch.
Recently, an onsite workshop was held with a group of people with a range of disabilities, council officers involved in the project, and Alex Dyer from Cycle Wellington. People with disabilities need to be and feel safe and comfortable using public transport as much as possible. When a person using a wheelchair is exiting a bus they can sometimes roll out fairly quickly down the ramp. Please be aware and prepared to stop. Travelling more slowly when buses and people are around makes it much easier to stop safely.
While the platform designs have some white stripes that resemble small pedestrian crossings - these are only helping to indicate where a boarding door of a bus will likely be aligned for people to get on. Be aware that passengers will be exiting buses and crossing the cycleway along the length of the bypass. People riding through should be prepared to treat the whole platform as a place people will cross.
You can ring your bell or call out politely to alert people you need to come through. The red lane through the platform is for cycling through. Having a positive attitude and some patience here will help everyone involved getting used to the new set up. People will usually happily move out of the way. Don’t assume anyone is intentionally blocking the cycleway. A smile can go a long way. 😊
After 6 years collecting, repairing and re-homing bicycles for people in the Wellington region, ReBicycle are setting up their own community workshop!
11am - 12:30pm weekly on Fridays
Every Friday (nearly!) we meet up somewhere in central city Wellington in an on-street parking space. Join us for a chat and coffee, and sometimes: knitting, board games, and puppies, and help passers-by rethink the use of public space. We’re usually near a cafe, so come support a local business for your lunch as well.
Next Cycle Wellington Meeting
6pm Tuesday 5th July 2022
Sustainability Trust, 2 Forresters Ln. and online. Sign up to CW to receive online meeting details closer to the time.
Wellington City Council
Riddiford Street completed but Newtown to City paused
As you may be aware, a number of businesses lodged a judicial review to halt works on the Newtown to city route. Last Friday, on World Bicycle Day no less, the court granted an application for interim orders, meaning that work on the bus and bike improvements should be stopped pending a hearing set for September, other than making sure the completed work is safe.
While work to complete the Newtown to city bike and bus improvements is now on hold, the changes already in place along Riddiford St between Mein St and the John St intersection will remain in place. The new bus and bike lanes will be fully operational from Monday 13 June. This means that anyone parking in the bike or bus lanes may be ticketed and towed from then on, as doing so presents a serious safety hazard for people using the bike lanes.
Car parking in the area is available on side streets and at Countdown. For hospital visitors, parking is available within the hospital, including a new car park at the end of Hospital Road.
For more information about the legal situation, have a read of this Stuff story by Erin Gourley.
Improvements to the Brooklyn Road route are being progressed with preferred options and a business case. This will include options for improving how to connect to the Victoria Street bike lane and a better connection at the top of the hill.
Newtown and Berhampore
A parking management plan for Newtown and Berhampore is being worked on
will involve Cycle Wellington as a stakeholder at some stage.
Council is investigating to coincide with upcoming resurfacing work, which is a standard approach. The team are already recognising that a larger project will be needed on this road, beyond what might be achievable with just the resurfacing. There are a number of pinch points where more work and space will be needed.
Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-one
The project is in the Interim Project Alliance Agreement (IPAA) phase, with Te Ara Tupua Alliance. This is a design and construction planning stage, which is expected to continue through the middle of the year.
This phase involves developing the engineering design of the project to a much higher level and developing a method for construction and logistics. Different approaches are explored to ensure the best value for money. The phase includes a thorough review of the costs by an independent estimator to ensure a fair price for the work. Doing this due diligence means we have a higher level of certainty about costs before moving to the start of construction.
The next phase of work including detailed design and the start of construction will take place under the Project Alliance Agreement (PAA). This is also when the Project Liaison Group will be established. More certainty about the timing of the next steps is expected within the next few weeks.
The Environment Court hearing on resource consents for the RiverLink Project took place in the last week of April. The Court heard from the project partners, regulatory authorities and representatives of cycling groups and walking advocates like us - who want to see further improvements for healthy and climate friendly transport to be better included in the project.
Later in May, closing submissions and a final set of conditions for the proposed works will be filed with the court with a decision expected in August. Procurement documentation to select an Alliance team, made up of consultants (technical design) and contractors (physical works), for RiverLink is being developed and will be finalised shortly.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM)
Thorndon Quay / Hutt Road
Ahead of the work on the main Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project, LGWM are planning a roundabout on Aotea Quay. From mid-June until mid-July, designs will be shared and consulted with communities and stakeholders on the traffic resolutions needed this.
LGWM Board has approved “KidZone” trials on Hutt Road, subject to funding approval. For these trials they would like to work with cycle groups, accessibility groups and local childcare centres in the next couple of months to co-design some trials. These trials will be designed to test different interventions that:
- Enable parents and children to pass over the cycle path swiftly and safely; and
- Create an environment that contributes to safe cycling speeds and encourages considerate behaviour.
The results of these trials will be fed back into the detailed design.
Recent goings on
World Bicycle Day
This year’s World Bicycle Day on June 3rd was a bitter sweet affair. It was really inspiring riding bikes with families and meeting up with our wonderful supporters at three great events throughout the day. Learning that the injunction was granted to the Newtown to City transitional route was an ironic dampener. A persistent amount of literal dampening from rain wasn’t as much of a barrier though…
Cycle Wellington is encouraged to see the wonderful new focus on Mode Shift being produced by The Dominion Post at Stuff.
Anna Fifield, Editor of the Dominion Post, introduces the series:
“Having an efficient and reliable public transport system – in conjunction with a good bike network – will be great for people in cars because it will reduce congestion, making it easier for those driving, whether for work or leisure, to get around. It will also be easier to park for those who do drive into the city.
This series, which will continue for all of June, is about enabling people who want to use different modes of transport to do so.”
- For this mum and two kids, biking is freedom - By Bill Hickman
- Newtown locals on their new cycleway: 'It’s amazing, I love it.' - By Bill Hickman
- Long-term e-bike loan opens up new life of freedom for mum - By Lauren Crimp
- Mode shift will unlock Wellington's potential - By Roger Blakeley
- Happy commuters have sense of control, and two wheels, not four - By Rachel Thomas
- Why we need to limit the number of cars passing through neighbourhoods - By Simon Louisson
- Why a ride to work sets up the day for one of the Beehive's busiest ministers - By Matthew Tso
- The Dominion Post gets real on climate action - By Hayden Donnell on Mediawatch
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