Island Bay residents angry over cycle path

'Cycleway to nowhere' frustrates residents

Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014
island bay cycle
MIFFED: Island Bay residents, including Jane Byrne and Guiliana de Gregorio, 2 1/2, are complaining about the consultation process By the WCC over proposed cycle ways.

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It ain't broke, but the council wants to fix Island Bay's cycle lane at a cost of $1.3 million.

Island Bay residents are furious they were not given better warning about a proposed cycleway along The Parade, to be built from August.

It is estimated the Island Bay cycle route will cost $5-10million to complete. 

Opponent Jane Byrne said a month-long consultation period in April was badly advertised by Wellington City Council, with many Parade residents failing to receive letters on the revamp.

The route and design of the cycleway had not been decided beyond Wakefield Park in Berhampore, making Island Bay residents victim of a "cycleway to nowhere", she said.

Byrne and fellow opponents will present a 400-signature petition to the council today, urging councillors to halt plans until the full cycleway has been designed.

"Island Bay is one of the most cycle-friendly areas as it stands. If we're committing so much money, we need to have the confidence that the council is getting it right," Byrne said.

Under the new cycle path layout, cyclists would be moved alongside the footpath, with parked cars acting as a buffer to the road.

The Dee St roundabout would be replaced by a give-way intersection, and about 45 parking spaces would be lost at intersections and near bus stops, although which parks would go was unclear.

Two bus stops would be lost, and nine redesigned so cyclists looped behind bus shelters.

Parade resident and mother of four Fiona Cockerill-Ghanem said that a narrowed road would mean more car congestion, and visibility would be reduced for cars turning out of driveways.

Bikes could travel at 40kmh, making the journey from parked car to pavement dangerous for children and the elderly, she said.

Francesca de Gregorio said while Island Bay shops would be untouched by the cycle path, Berhampore businesses were likely to lose customer car parks.

Island Bay Presbyterian Church representative Helen Scobie said her minister's preference for no change was misrepresented as support in a council report.

Paul Barker, the council's safe and sustainable transport manager, said that officers had tried hard to reach residents, holding a drop-in day, one-on-one meetings with concerned parties, and had changed parking plans "dramatically" to meet residents' wishes.

"There were extensive opportunities to talk to us."

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