Wellington City Council are seeking public input for what to incorporate into the redesign and upgrade of the section of Shelly Bay Road from the Miramar Cutting north along the coast until just before the Shelly Bay development site.
Consultation closes at 5pm, Friday 27 May 2022
Nature of the consultation
This consultation is not about the Shelly Bay residential development itself. Just the road access. It does not seek feedback on specific, clear-cut options. Instead, the consultation is asking for:
- people’s insights on how they use the area now; (with questions on how and why you use Shelly Bay Road); and
- people’s aspirations for improving the road (with and without road widening) and for the future of the area.
However, officers have explored several options including having general traffic travelling in one direction. The scope of change in the options ranges from minor traffic calming through to large scale earthworks. The wider the road the more earthworks and expense.
You can see the shortlist of cross-sections explored in this document on Page 6. Of these options 2D provides the most walking and cycling amenity while still accommodating general traffic in some form. This would involve one-way traffic flow.
With the developer and other stakeholders set on a status-quo, car-centric roading approach (bi-directional general traffic), it will take a strong push to deliver a better outcome for people not driving.
Background and history
The Shelly Bay development project has been widely debated since 2017:
- April 2017; resource consent granted by Council staff under delegation ( later overturned by the Court of Appeal)
- September 2017; the Council voted to sell and lease land to the developer and agreeing to fund infrastructure costs
- September 2017 and July 2018; in response to significant public feedback on the impacts of the development on walking, cycling, recreation and wellbeing, the Council directed further work and consultation on the upgrade of Shelly Bay Road
- October 2019; resource consent granted by independent commissioners
- November 2020; the Council confirmed its 2017 decision to support and enable the development and again committed to consult on options for the upgrade of Shelly Bay Road.
Cycle Wellington was an active participant in the Council decision-making in September 2017 and November 2020 - however was excluded from the 2 resource consent processes because the application was not publicly notified.
Previous submissions made have not commented on the residential development itself, but made strong submissions that:
- the proposal for walking and cycling (then a 1.5m shared path) was inadequate
- if a development is to proceed on the site, the Council must properly accommodate the needs of people who want to be able to cycle to and from Shelly Bay and on the Miramar Peninsula
- the proposal for walking and cycling must comply with NZTA guidelines
- the proposal must accommodate safe walking and cycling, and not exclude the option to institute a one-way traffic system, speed reductions, and building a wider footpath
About the ‘baseline option’ (1.0m-1.5m shared path)
As a condition of its resource consent, the developer must at least upgrade Shelly Bay Road to provide 2 x 3m traffic lanes (i.e.: to accommodate bi-directional vehicular traffic) and a ‘shared path’ between 1- 1.5m wide on the seaward side of the road. The Council calls this the ‘baseline option’.
Following this consultation process, if Council does not specify something better by December 2023 the developer will construct the baseline option on Shelly Bay Road.
The basis for resource consent of the baseline option is focussed on a poorly formed understanding of the existing recreational usage patterns of people in the area. It does not at all account for the projected changing conditions of traffic that building new residences with so much car storage will induce. The road will go from a predominantly quiet route to a very busy road with much larger volumes of traffic.
If the council opts to encourage such car dependent housing and is comfortable seeing such large increases in traffic levels along this road, then the road infrastructure must be designed to mitigate that projected scenario. It is unacceptable to settle for a design that is based on current usage patterns when these will obviously be very different on completion of the project.
Cycle Wellington believes that new housing provision in Wellington should contribute to an absolute reduction in car dependency for the city.
Other recent changes in Government policy mean that the expectations to provide car parking at the development should be revisited. Residential developments are no longer required to meet minimum parking requirements. We realise this aspect is outside the scope of this consultation, but note the effect this has on what is decided here.
What to contribute
You are welcome to provide feedback on whatever you think is needed to improve Shelly Bay Road.
Please make clear that you feel that the ‘baseline option’ will be an unsafe and wholly inadequate solution. Especially for active transport users.
You might highlight that this section of road is now designated as part of the secondary network in the Paneke Pōneke Bike Network Plan. A secondary route is defined as:
“ provides the collector function within the network, joining local streets and roads to the primary cycle routes. They also support key local cycle movements providing connections to schools, local shopping centres, suburban workplaces and public transport. This class can also be applied to off-road cycling routes such as cycle paths through parks where the route fulfils the function of a secondary cycling corridor.”
Remember: think more broadly than how you might be travelling through this space. This is the public’s chance to reflect on how they might enjoy this place, either while travelling or dwelling.
Cycle Wellington recently contributed to two stakeholder workshops for this project. You can see our contribution to that here.
If you haven’t seen it already, the vision of The Great Harbour Way - Te Aranui o Pōneke may help you broaden your vision for this area.
Finally, when thinking about what Shelly Bay Road will be like in the future, note that when the development as currently designed is in place there will be:
- a significant increase in traffic volumes (vpd = vehicles per day) - see table below
- new traffic behaviours (i.e.: morning and evening peak traffic flows, more servicing and logistics vehicle journeys, etc)
- no legal obligation that the residential development is serviced by any public transport - either by road or sea
- 499 car parks in the new residential development (due to a now irrelevant minimum parking requirements planning policy)
2000 - 2500
5500 - 6000
Cycle Wellington's vision
A safe route and pleasant place for all users.
A separated two-way cycle lane not less than 3m wide at any point and a separate walking path not less than 1.8m wide at any point on the seaward side.
This corridor will need to safely accommodate all sorts of people making everyday journeys by bicycle and other active transport modes such as walking, skateboarding, scooting, etc. People who live at Shelly Bay must feel empowered to safely travel to school and back, do their grocery shopping, go out to socialise, etc, without feeling like they must drive.
We do not support the use of a shared path for this project and would like to see a continuation of the quality similar to the Cobham Drive footpath and cycleway.
People must be encouraged to continue using the peninsula for recreation. If the road is unsafe and unattractive - people will stop using it.
Any space required for general traffic - either one or two way - must be found after safe space for higher priority active modes is provisioned.
Cycle Wellington does not hold a strong preference for one or two ways for general traffic, aside from concern at the extra cost and emissions that gaining the required space will demand.
A one way general traffic lane (southbound / anti-clockwise) will be far less expensive and faster to deliver than two-way traffic.
One-way general traffic with required space for active modes within the existing corridor.
Projected sea level rise must be accounted for and mitigated in the design. We suggest that the new corridor be elevated several metres higher than the current high tide mark. We recommend that council officers refer to specialist data that can advise on projected medium-term sea level rise and build once for at least 75 years, not ten year requirements.
Consider that a second lane for general traffic could be cut into the hill at a higher level. Cutting this higher lane could presumably provide some of the required raw material to lift the lower road to be less prone to sea level rise.
Existing road layout with hillside excavation indicated.
Split level layout with excavation material used to lift the road and active paths level.
Lifting the corridor will also gain more horizontal space sooner and impose less impact on the foreshore. The increased elevation will help mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and will increase the width of the total current road as there is a 45 degree slope down to the road.
That there be consistent signage and marking that follows national roading standards.
Lighting on the path that is appropriate. People of all ages should feel safe walking and cycling this route at all times.
A drinking water fountain at the entrance near the Miramar Cutting and another at Shelly Bay would be great.
Provide quality seating every ~200 metres and green space with native plants for people to stop and lunch or dine with unobstructed views over water. At least 1 rain and sun sheltered seating structure along the section.
The pathway should maintain unobstructed views over the shoreline. It would be great if there is minimal fencing to obstruct the view. At most just a low wooden beam / path edging that can hold mounted downlights to light the edge in the dark.
Room for sculptures at three points that allow local talent to reflect the seaward nature of proposed pathways.
Quiet and safe for penguins - especially at night. Having a one-way general traffic lane will assist this objective.
Minimise the encroachment of the new development into the sea with new seawalls. Footpath platforms can be built out over seawall edges to allow better penguin access to the shoreline underneath.
Provide safe access to the water’s edge where appropriate - such as at the small beaches along this stretch. An accessible, ramp approach should also be provided where appropriate too.
If a one-way traffic system is used then the two-way cycleway will need to accommodate emergency vehicle access heading in the opposite direction to shorten response times for Shelly Bay residents or those recreating in the area. In order to do this, people on bikes must have a safe, easy means of moving off the cycleway - preferably towards the footpath.
No heavy vehicle parking on the seaward side. Only in places where space allows on the landward side. Where they can fit - bike parking on the seaward side - in between the cycleway and the footpath. The point is to avoid having parked vehicles of any kind obstructing people’s access and view of the sea when on the footpath.
Prioritise car parking spaces for people with disabilities.
Speed and noise
We would like to see speeds of all traffic where the noise level is kept low. Over around 30kph - the rolling noise of cars and trucks becomes louder than combustion engines. This is also the case with electric cars as they are heavier and have very quiet engines. The choice of road surface material can play a big role in minimising rolling noise as well.
Some people on bikes often travel at speeds higher than 30kph - especially sports cyclists. Speed limits should apply to large and heavy vehicles only, as these are more dangerous and loud, as well as more damaging at higher speeds.
We are not a huge fan of speed bumps along this road. We would rather that the primary speed reduction measures used are keeping lane widths narrow along the whole section.
The cycleway will also require some form of physical separation which can act to emphasise the width of the traffic lane and calm traffic.
We have no strong opinion about the localised one-way approach if there is adequate separation of cycling already factored into the design. But if people on bikes are expected to share general traffic lanes, this system could lead to some unsafe encounters and passing by motorists. Especially if there are a large number of pinch points.
How to submit
You can submit online here:
You will be guided through more information on the project, and the considerations and opportunities in the area that have been explored.
As noted above - please make Councillors aware that the currently consented baseline option is unsafe and does not help achieve the climate and active transport objectives of the council. There will be considerable pressure on the Council to allow the baseline option to be used as an adequate solution.
At the end share your feedback and answer questions on how you use and/or travel through the area.
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