Island Bay to city cycleway back on the drawing board for Wellington
Wellington is preparing to have another go at extending the Island Bay cycleway into central Wellington - and the latest ideas have already come under fire for being impractical and dangerous.
Wellington City Council is seeking public feedback on possible routes connecting the Island Bay cycleway to either the Basin Reserve or Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
The chosen route, which will start from Dee St in Island Bay, will form the final three sections of the four-section route connecting the two areas.
A public notice on the council's website outlined some potential routes, although the council said these were not concrete proposals and were "reflective of the options available".
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Two of the potential routes run along residential streets through the suburbs of Berhampore, Newtown and Mt Cook, while a third option would take cyclists off-road through Berhampore Golf Course and Martin Luckie Park.
The fourth would see them travel via Stanley St, Macalister Park, and Hanson St.
Completing the Island Bay to City cycleway had been on the council's agenda for years. It was put on hold after the first section through Island Bay, which was completed in early 2016, came under fire from some people for its design that places the cycle lane between the kerb and parked cars.
Funding was reallocated towards other cycleway projects in the interim.
A subsequent review into the Island Bay fiasco, commissioned by the New Zealand Transport Agency last year, recommended funding be put back into the southern network, so the project is now kicking on.
But some Berhampore business owners say while they support cycleways, putting one through the suburb's narrow shopping area along Adelaide Rd would be impractical.
"I don't know how they'd do it," Natty art studio co-owner Cat McKay said. "It's pretty impossible, really. There's not even enough room for cars."
Fellow owner Fiona Gibb said the consultation was a chance for the council to look at the wider transport issues affecting Berhampore.
Parking was "abysmal" in the area and many people did not obey the 30kmh speed limit, she said.
She had seen two pedestrians get hit by cars in the past year. "It just needs slowing down."
Clayton McErlane, who owns Baron Hasselhoff's boutique chocolate store on Adelaide Rd, said he supported cycleways but not if it meant losing car parks.
"There's no way we can afford to lose the little car parking we have out here."
Paul Barker, the council's planning manager for network and improvements, said no definite routes had been proposed yet.
The issue of space along narrow routes such as Adelaide Rd had not been discussed yet, he said.
"That's what the next piece of work is determining - what is practical, what does it have to be to make it fully safe and welcoming for new cyclists and commuters."
A community working group will be formed next month to develop possible routes, with a range of proposals presented to the public early next year.
The group will involve the Newtown, Berhampore and Mt Cook residents associations, as well as housing providers, business groups, pedestrian advocates Living Streets Aotearoa, and Cycle Aware Wellington.
Cycle Aware Wellington spokesman Patrick Morgan said he was ecstatic that work was beginning again on the cycleway.
The best route would probably be via Adelaide Rd, Luxford St, Rintoul St, and Riddiford St, he said.
"This is inevitable. The question is not, 'are we going to do it?', the question is, 'where and how?'."