Just when you thought it might be over, the Island Bay cycleway saga rolls on – with another attempt by a group of city councillors to delay construction.
Councillors Coughlan, Woolf, Ahipene-Mercer, Eagle, Marsh, Peck, Ritchie and Young have called for an extraordinary council meeting on February 3 to discuss another Notice of Motion. The motion is very similar to the one that was defeated at a council meeting in August.
The new motion aims to move all decision making power on cycleways from the Transport & Urban Development Committee to the full council and also requires a master plan for the entire Wellington City cycling network to be included in the council’s 2015-25 Long Term Plan. These requirements will almost certainly ensure that work on Stage 1 of the Island Bay to CBD cycleway cannot begin early next year as intended.
The extraordinary meeting is timed to occur two days before the next meeting of the Transport & Urban Development Committee on February 5. If the Notice of Motion is passed, it will stop the Committee agreeing to the Island Bay cycleway traffic resolutions (changes) which are currently being consulted on and which are the final formality before work on the Island Bay section of the cycleway can begin.
This is the second attempt within a few months to use the rare tactic of a Notice of Motion to try and overturn a decision to proceed with the cycleway that has now been made three times – twice at the Transport & Urban Development Committee and once at the full council. Apart from the immediate impact on the cycleway it raises a number of questions about how the council works in general and their ability to make any decisions at all. The implications of this situation would seem to reach far beyond Island Bay and the subject of cycleways.
The eight councillors involved have been asked by the pro-cycleway Island Bay Cycle Way Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IslandBayCycleWay) to make their reasons for taking this action publicly known by answering three questions:
1. What are your personal reasons for supporting the Notice of Motion? Please be as specific as possible. If you support the motion in full please say so. If you have specific reasons for supporting the motion please identify them.
2. What would need to happen between now and the extraordinary meeting on February 3 for you to withdraw your support for the motion?
3. If the motion succeeds and decision making on cycleways is passed to the full council what specific information or reassurances will you then need at the next full meeting of council in order to support Stage 1 of the Island Bay to CBD cycleway proceeding without delay?
Hopefully the eight councillors involved will accept this invitation to communicate directly with the large number of people interested in this subject and make their reasons publicly known.
You can read the requisition for an extraordinary council meeting here.
You can read the notice of motion here.
Originally posted on Wellington.scoop.co.nz