Compromise solution proposed
Mayor Justin Lester held a press conference this morning and proposed a compromise solution for the Island Bay Cycleway. The proposal is similar to the proposal put forward by council officers on Friday but with a few more tweaks. It looks like a pragmatic, sensible solution that carefully balances the differing views and needs of a variety of stakeholders.
Here's the video of the press conference:
Here's the full media release from the council:
Solution for Island Bay Cycleway launched
A compromise solution for the layout of The Parade will be proposed by Wellington City Councillors this week.
The proposed new layout (2MB) will have a dedicated cycleway between the footpath and the kerb at the same height, with cars once again parking up against the kerb.
The lanes on the road will be widened to 3.5 metres in each direction, and unmarked car parking will be restored along the length of The Parade.
“This is a common-sense solution that will improve the Parade for everyone,” Mayor Justin Lester said.
“It will mean the lanes on The Parade will be widened, the cycleway comes off the road, drivers will park against a fixed kerb and car parks will be saved.
“The outcome is a safer, separated cycleway, wider lanes on the road, and car parking available for residents and shoppers.”
The Council’s Walking, Cycling and Public Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Sarah Free, said the solution was informed by more than 3700 public submissions and discussions Councillors had at the drop-in sessions held in Island Bay earlier this year.
“There was a real diversity of opinion from the public – it was clear people weren’t anti-cycling but for a lot of people the current design simply wasn’t working. People wanted something that was safer, that gave drivers and buses more room to manoeuvre and that protected car parking, especially for local businesses. This solution achieves all of those goals.
“We will also make further safety improvements to reduce the cycling speed on the cycleway, be removing speed humps that were scraping against buses, and restoring angled car parking by the medical centre.
The new option would cost $4.1 million and be paid for out of existing council budgets, meaning no new rates money would be needed. A further $2 million will be set aside to reseal the road once the project is completed, and for contingencies.
Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle said the solution would make the Parade much better.
“People in Island Bay absolutely love their suburb, and they’re proud of The Parade. This solution sees the beautiful wide lanes restored, and the cycleway off the road. As an Island Bay resident, I’m thrilled.
“This has been a very long saga and it’s great we’ve got something that will work and that finds a good balance for most people. Not everyone will be happy, but I think most people will see we’ve done the best job possible of coming up with something that works.”
The option will be proposed as an amendment at Wednesday’s Council Meeting. If adopted, installation of the new layout will begin in early 2018. With this solution, the new design will include:
Here's the cross-section of the proposal:
Pie in the sky
I like pies and I like charts, so I really like pie charts. Here's the only chart you need to understand the latest Island Bay Cycleway consultation.
One of the most significant paragraphs in the Island Bay Cycleway Recommendations released by the council on Friday is this one on page 172:
Despite the fact that we have consistently been told that "the majority of Island Bay doesn't want the cycleway" only 24% of Island Bay residents actually participated in the final consultation. The truth is that the vast majority of Island Bay (76%) don't care enough about this issue to take 2 mins to fill in an online form.
The council have been absolutely clear that the consultation was not a vote but if you look at the preferences of those who did participate an even clearer picture emerges. According to page 187 of the report 59% of respondents from Island Bay expressed an overall general preference for a roadside cycleway and 41% expressed an overall general preference for a kerbside cycleway. These figures equate to 14% (24% x 59%) and 10% (24% x 41%) of the total population respectively (Note 1).
What this boils down to is that a grand total of 14% of the population of Island Bay expressed a clear preference for a roadside cycleway through this consultation. That is a long, long way from being any kind of majority. In fact, the majority of Island Bay (86%) have either expressed a preference for a kerbside cycleway or no preference at all.
In addition to the council's very clear statements that the consultation was not a vote another really important thing to remember is that it was a form of non-random, self-selecting survey. That means the quantitative 'results' can't be used to infer a result for the entire population, especially not with a 24% participation rate. This is just basic maths and has been discussed on this blog previously in regard to the Island Bay Residents Association's March 2016 survey and their mis-leading interpretation of the survey results. However, if we set those concerns aside for a moment and treat both the IBRA survey and the latest consultation results as at least indicative of the entire community's preferences we can see something else that is very interesting.
The residents association made the claim that their March 2016 survey showed 87% of Island Bay residents didn't want a kerbside cycleway. They have consistently stuck with that interpretation and repeated the claim as recently as the council's June 22 City Strategy Committee meeting. If that was true then the latest consultation results show a collapse in opposition to a kerbside cycleway from 87% to 59%. That's a 28% decline over just 18 months (Note 2) and if that trend continues then we can expect opposition to a kerbside cycleway to be in the minority within 6 months, by March 2018. That's actually prior to when work is expected to start on whatever option councillors agree on at this Wednesday's council meeting!
The consultation was not a vote but even so it provides more than enough evidence to conclusively state that the claim that the majority of Island Bay residents don't want a kerbside cycleway really is just pie in the sky.
The 59/41 split is based on the Borda counting method which takes into account 2nd, 3rd and 4th preferences to determine an overall general preference. The report also includes the first preference results in a chart on page 173. This shows an approximate 70/30 split using first preferences only. Using these figures would only change the percentage of the population of Island Bay expressing a clear preference for a roadside cycleway from 14% to 18%.
If the first preference split of 70/30 is used here instead of the Borda split of 59/41 there is still a 17% reduction in opposition to a kerbside cycleway over 18 months. If that trend continued then we could expect opposition to a kerbside cycleway to be in the minority within 21 months, by June 2019. That's less than 2 years, when the council is making a 20-30 year infrastructure decision.
News from Wellington City Council...
Work is continuing on the analysis of the 3763 submissions received on proposed options for a revamp of the cycleway on The Parade, Island Bay.
David Chick, Wellington City Council’s Chief City Planner, says the level of public engagement on the project has been encouraging and that it is great to see communities so involved in the future of the cycleway and The Parade.
“The volume of submissions and the depth of information we’ve received from members of the public is rich and detailed, which means we are forming a clearer picture of the aspirations and desire submitters have for The Parade. The Council will now review and decide on the final recommendations at its meeting on 27 September.
“This revised timeframe allows sufficient time to fully analyse the submissions and to prepare a well-briefed and scoped report for the Council to consider on 27 September. It also allows sufficient time for the independent peer reviews to be completed and considered,” Mr Chick says.
Since the period for submissions closed on 13 August the following process has been undertaken:
For further information please contact:
Media Manager | Communications & Engagement | Wellington City Council
P 04 801 3578 | M 021 227 8180 | F 04 801 3010
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