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:
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
E firstname.lastname@example.org | W Wellington.govt.nz
The final consultation on the Island Bay Cycleway closes on Sunday 13 August at 9pm. If you haven't had your say yet please make sure you do! You can go straight to the online submission form by clicking this button:
If you support safe, comfortable cycling for all ages and abilities then the choice is clear. I recommend ranking Option C first, then B, then D. Any of those options would be a significant improvement on the current cycleway and make a big contribution to growing the number of people making active, sustainable transport choices. If you are concerned about the impact of lost parking at the Island Bay shops then you might want to consider ranking Option D first because under that option most of the parking is retained. You can read my full rationale in this blog: The final four options - analysis & recommendation. If you have time I also recommend reading the full Design Report and the Frequently Asked Questions.
The choice is clear. Are we going back to this?
Or do we move forward and build on this?
Choosing any other option than C, B or D would be a step backwards. Roadside bike lanes are not appropriate for a road with the volume of traffic that The Parade has and do not adhere to current NZTA guidelines. Implementing bike lanes that place a person on a bike within the 1.5m minimum safe passing distance recommended in the road code should be completely unacceptable. Just because that situation already exists in places around Wellington is no excuse. New projects must be built to current standards if there is the opportunity to do so. In most other situations we wouldn't even be questioning whether nationally recognised standards and the advice of technical experts should be ignored.
What happens in Island Bay will set a precedent for what happens across the rest of the Wellington Urban Cycleways Programme. While each area has its own set of circumstances that prevent a standard design or solution, we should always strive for the solution that maximises safety, comfort and the potential uptake along a route. Let's make sure that's what happens in Island Bay.
Thanks for your support. Let's do this!
Kia ora Councillor Eagle,
I trust this letter finds you well.
I am writing to you as a husband, a father of 3, a Wellington resident living in Island Bay, and citizen of our beautiful country.
I am eager to see more Wellington streets transformed to address what I see as unbalanced and unsafe conditions, and for more space in Wellington become more equitable public spaces for living and travelling.
I imagine a day our urban streets are safe enough to not have to worry, as a parent, about my children walking or cycling more freely about our communities. I hope for a day a majority of people prefer to walk or cycle or use public transport over jumping in their cars to get around.
I look forward to the day Wellington joins the growing number of cities around the world enjoying the benefits of a more livable city, where the human experience of our public spaces is clearly highly valued. Streets are public space.
There are many pressing reasons for these hopes, and why they need dedicated attention from politicians in all New Zealand cities.
I am motivated for these changes on behalf of many other people I talk to who consider our streets unsafe to ride bicycles. I am motivated to make the city more appealing and accessible to more people who want to incorporate more active transport in their lives, but feel excluded or unsafe.
There is a significant inequality problem due to the historic failure to adequately provision safe active travel infrastructure as well as we possibly can. Biking is vastly cheaper than most other transport modes, both to build for and partake in.
New Zealand has consistently low numbers of people riding bikes as percentage of trips. If you are used to driving already, learning to cycle appears too dangerous and street space is rarely designed to intuitively prioritise vulnerable road users.
With better facilities to safely include more people riding bicycles, walking, scootering, skateboarding around, we will be effectively addressing one of the biggest health crisis facing this country in our history. With 30% of the population currently obese, New Zealand desperately needs to make more active lifestyles a priority. This won't happen by getting more sports activity, we are already doing more than most on that front. It will happen by integrating more active travel into our everyday lives.
Air pollution from motorists is also a very large contributor to poor health around the world. With such high car dependency, New Zealand is no exception. We are being poisoned inside our cars as well as outside.
I am extremely concerned about the spectre of climate change. New Zealand is not doing enough to combat climate change. Not by a long way. We are missing out on a huge opportunity to become a relative carbon sink with our natural resources, innovative businesses and already high renewable energy sources. Lower car dependency will help reduce our energy needs, and bicycles are the most efficient way to do this.
We won’t do this, however, if our infrastructure continues to compel people to depend on car ownership or hope for some miracle self-driving car fantasy future. Even with electric, self-driving cars, we will be impacting heavily on the environment thanks to their extremely high manufacturing impacts. A recent study shows that the manufacturing of batteries for a Tesla car has GHG emissions equivalent to average driving of a regular car for 8 years.
We desperately need to see a large scale shift away from dependence on large motor vehicles. E-bikes are comparable to regular bicycles in their environmental footprint, which is encouraging.
While there are some positive projects and intentions being progressed by WCC, I have been dismayed by the exhaustive and long running consultation marathon that has been plaguing Island Bay. The adaptation to a carbon free future must happen faster than this. We cannot waste time!
I appreciate the complex challenge of our democratic system and it’s value for improving our city. I hope future projects will be smoother and more straightforward.
I am sure you are committed to a healthy and prosperous Wellington, where people can all get around more easily without having to budget up to a quarter of their incomes to do so in a car. The Wellington brand has long identified positively with its compactness, walkability, and accessibility. Without dedicated and serious investment in reshaping many of our roads to be more equitable for active travel modes, we will lose this and will damage it's reputation.
Please help make Island Bay an example of an equitable, sustainable, and human focussed future. Please keep the cycleway in a protected, separated configuration. On road bike lanes have proven they fail to attract or safely accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Separated infrastructure is safer after all.
I was dismayed by the behaviour of many residents at the meeting last Monday night and call on you to use your influence to encourage more respect and maturity. I find your allegiance to the Island Bay Residents Association to be disturbing, and not fair to the wider community where a much broader range of views exist.
My wife, 3 children and I all very much enjoy (and frequently use) the separated kerbside cycleway and will all be submitting in favour of Option C for both the residential and business areas. The new designs look very impressive. I am very happy to see the raised intersection treatments and think Tonkin+Taylor and council officers have done an amazing job. We’re looking forward to the shops being a more pleasant place to visit more often.
Kia ora koutou!
It takes 60 seconds to provide feedback on the Island Bay Cycleway. Could you please do it? Here’s the link.
I’m a cyclist, and so is everyone in my family, including my kids. So, I am here pleading for the protected kerb side Island Bay Cycleway. The outcome of the #LoveTheBay consultation on the cycleway will shape all future cycling infrastructure in Wellington (directly or indirectly).
Don’t ask the council to build cycling infrastructure for me. I am (barely) brave enough to share the roads with cars. Instead, please ask the council to build cycling infrastructure that will work for people of all ages and all cycling abilities.
My 5 year old daughter, who just learned how to ride without the training wheels. My 8 year old son who loves to go on Mountain Bike trails with me. My mum who loves biking but is terrified of the traffic. They all love cycling. And they are all vulnerable riders when they are on the road. However, they are also hazards for pedestrians when they’re cycling on footpaths.
My vision for Wellington is for an inclusive city, with complete streets that offer multiple transport options including active transport (i.e. cycling and walking facilities) for all ages and all abilities.
Did you know that recent surveys indicated that 76% of New Zealanders would cycle if they had access to segregated cycling infrastructure? So, here’s your chance to start giving it to them.
My favourite design options for the cycleway are C, B and D (in that order). All design information about the cycleway is on the Wellington City Council website if you would like to know more about it.
Tēnā koutou katoa,
In a recent Dominion Post article on the cycleway representatives of the Island Bay business syndicate expressed concerns that the final four options for the cycleway would "have a detrimental impact on businesses already struggling to stay afloat". Businesses often worry about the impact that more cycling will have on them, particularly if it involves the removal of parking to make room for cycleways. In reality the evidence shows that increasing the amount of cycling is more likely to have positive effects on the local economy. Walking and cycling are local by default, unlike driving, and active transport users are much more likely to shop locally. They also shop more often, for longer and they leave parking free for customers who really need it.
The New Zealand Transport Agency's research report 530 found that sustainable transport users account for 40% of the total spend in shopping areas and account for 37% of all shoppers. The data indicates that pedestrians and cyclists contribute a higher economic spend proportionately to the modal share and are important to the economic viability of local shopping areas. The study also identified that retailers generally overestimate the importance of on-street parking outside shops. Shoppers value high-quality pedestrian and urban design features in shopping areas more than they value parking and those who drive are willing to walk to the shopping precinct from other locally available parking areas. You can read many more examples of how bikes are good for business here. Cycle Aware Wellington also recently summarised the research in their post: Cycleways "support local".
I was at the Island Bay Residents Association meeting on Monday night where representatives of the Island Bay business syndicate reiterated their concerns. Fair enough, but as I said at the meeting please don't be fooled by confirmation bias. 200 angry people can definitely make a scene but they are not your entire customer base. The two recently released research reports on the Love the Bay process certainly point to there being a much broader spread of opinion about the cycleway, and transport issues in general, than was represented at the meeting. As another example, did you know that at the 2014 general election 26% of Island Bay voters gave their party vote to the Greens? (Rongotai and Wellington Central are the two greenest electorates in the country by far). That means that on average every 4th customer you get through the door voted Green. Your customers are actually an eclectic bunch and many of them will happily shop local if you encourage them to do so.
You can view the cycleway and the other changes proposed for The Parade as either a threat or an opportunity. I've actually been surprised, and a little disappointed, to see how little effort there has been from local businesses to try and leverage the opportunity presented by increasing levels of active and sustainable transport. Who's going to be the first business in Island Bay to try and attract customers with new bike racks or street furniture? Who's going to be the first business to purchase a cargo bike and offer deliveries? You could also contact Bikes Welcome, a really cool organisation whose mission is to help connect bike users and businesses, and who will have heaps of good ideas.
So please think carefully about the opportunity being presented before you make a submission, either as individuals or as a group. If you really can't stomach the thought of losing 17 car parks in the shopping centre, then submit in support of Option D. Or you could submit in favour of Option B or C but make a suggestion to use the business zone layout from Option D. You actually have some really exciting options open to you if you choose to see them that way.
One final thing, it's not clear to me who the 'Island Bay business syndicate' actually is. I know that there are businesses in Island Bay who are supportive of the cycleway and that there are others who are very keen to stay neutral, so it is clearly mis-leading to say, or imply, that you represent all businesses. It would be great if you could bring greater clarity to that so feel free to post a comment below. If you make a group submission it will obviously be important that there is full transparency about which businesses you are submitting on behalf of.
Thanks for reading.
Nāku noa, nā
The consultation on the final four options for The Parade is now open. Here's my take on the four options and how they stack up. I've tried to make things as simple to understand as possible but if you have time I highly recommend you also read the frequently asked questions and the summary of the proposed design options, which should take you about ten minutes each. You could also read section 4.1 (pages 18-19) of the design report which provides a good analysis of the main issues raised in the Love the Bay feedback and the designers responses. The design report is actually excellent and fully explains how the designers have used the feedback gathered during the Love the Bay process and combined it with previous community engagement, NZTA best practice guidelines, engineering guidance and council strategies to come up with the four options.
Remember - you have until 9pm on Sunday 13 August 2017 to make your submission so don't waste any time. The council have been absolutely clear that the submissions are not a vote but it is still important that no matter what your preferences are you let the council know. If you have time please explain to the council why you selected your preferred option(s) and why you would make any amendments.
The "I really don't have time for this" summary
Options B, C and D are all good and will all be a significant improvement on the current kerbside cycleway. Option A is sub-standard and will be a backwards step. It reverts back to roadside bike lanes and is only in the four options because councillors insisted that there had to be an option similar to the original layout. The designers note that Option A doesn't adhere to NZTA guidelines and it won't provide the levels of service that make it safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities to ride a bike. If you really don't have much time my advice is to go to the online submission form, fill in your details and then rank Option C as 1, Option B as 2 and Option D as 3. Don't bother giving Option A a ranking but you might want to add a comment that you don't want roadside bike lanes because they don't give cyclists enough protection from traffic and that's what makes cycling feel less safe and less comfortable. That you should take you about two minutes. Go!
The Love the Bay process has probably been the longest and most thorough council consultation in recent years. The design report written by Tonkin & Taylor and Studio Pacific Architecture is very comprehensive and does a great job of explaining how the designers used the feedback gathered during the Love the Bay process and combined it with previous community engagement, NZTA best practice guidelines, engineering guidance and council strategies to come up with the four options. The four options are a real step forward from the draft options presented at the drop-in sessions in May, which demonstrates that the designers have really listened to the feedback from those sessions.
Here are the main points of interest:
Overall, Options B, C and D are all a significant improvement on the current kerbside cycleway and any of them would be acceptable. Option C probably comes out on top for me because it gives cyclists a little bit more room to maneuver, provides for 3.2m traffic lanes and gets rid of angle parking at the shops. It also retains generous footpath widths. Option B comes next because it also maintains generous footpath widths and gets rid of angle parking at the shops, but it has slightly narrower traffic lanes and doesn't give cyclists quite as much wriggle room. Option D comes next because it provides room for cyclists to maneuver and provides for 3.2m traffic lanes, plus a 1.0m median strip. However, it significantly reduces the western side footpath width and retains angle parking at the shops.
Option A doesn't provide the separation from traffic that is needed to make all ages and abilities feel safe and comfortable while riding along a busy road. Even the design report admits that Option A doesn't adhere to NZTA guidelines for a road with the volume of traffic that The Parade has. If the intent of the Wellington Cycling Master Plan & Framework is to increase the levels of cycling by all ages and abilities then it simply shouldn't be acceptable for Option A to proceed.
Here's my take on the individual options. I've included a brief description of each option from the design report and then my own commentary. I've focused largely on the differences between the options and how I think the options stack up against each other. Factors which are common to all the options such as extending the cycleway through the shops, and the reduction of parking are not discussed in any depth.
"Prior to the construction of the Island Bay Cycleway, The Parade south of Medway Street had kerbside parking, a roadside cycle lane, and traffic lanes separated by a central flush median. Option A proposes a layout that, as close as safely possible, reflects the original design. Changes have been made to reflect the recommendations of the 2016 post-construction safety audit and peer review, and current NZTA and engineering safety guidelines that the original design did not include. It is these requirements that preclude a return to the exact original layout."
Let's be absolutely clear here. The only reason we are talking about Option A and roadside cycle lanes is because when councillors initiated the Love the Bay process they made an amendment that a design similar to the original design had to be included (along with the current design). This was nothing more than political interference in the process, before it had even started, to placate a section of the community. It also demonstrated a lack of confidence in the process itself to identify roadside cycle lanes as appropriate, which is telling. The fact that the two options the designers came up with where they were free of any constraints are just variations of the current design speaks volumes, and is a huge endorsement of the work originally done. The designers are effectively saying that the only appropriate cycleway treatment for The Parade is kerbside cycle lanes. In fact, the proposed design options document actually states on page 14 that:
"Option A, the original layout option with roadside cycle lanes on The Parade, would not adhere to the most recent recommended guidance above. However, the guidance would suggest Option A could potentially be appropriate if operating speeds and traffic volumes were reduced to around 30km/h and less than 9,500 vehicles per day along the whole route"
The council could drop the speed limit to 30km/h all along The Parade but that would be hugely controversial in itself and would likely require an entirely new round of consultation. The proposed design options document also points out on page 48 that reducing the speed limit:
"may however lead to the related transfer of traffic to side road routes and would need to be considered in regards to the road function of The Parade as a high volume Principal Road. The facility also may not appeal to the target market of “interested but concerned” cyclists and may not have the same effect on increasing cycling uptake as alternative options"
In short, Option A is a lame duck that comes with so many other issues and problems that it is unimplementable. I've included some more information about why roadside bike lanes should be avoided in Appendix 1 below.
"Option B retains the current layout of a separated kerbside cycleway at road level. Design refinements include a raised concrete kerb separator between the cycleway and parked vehicles, and a consistent layout and design of the cycleway between the residential and business zones to achieve route continuity.
This option requires the conversion of the current angle parking to parallel parking on the western side of The Parade, within the business area between Medway Street and Avon Street, and removal of the flush median."
Option B is the option intended to be similar to the current design, and it is, but it is significantly better. The kerbside cycleway stays at road level and the main improvement is the introduction of a raised concrete traffic island between the cycleway and parked cars, which replaces the existing painted buffer zone. This will give cars a kerb to park against and stop cars encroaching into the cycleway. The islands will be 0.9m wide, a significant improvement over the existing buffers, which are only 0.6m along most of the cycleway. That should keep cyclists well away from open car doors and give people getting into and out of cars plenty of space.
One downside with Option B is that the cycle lane is only 1.5m wide. That's just about the minimum possible width and won't easily allow two cyclists to ride side by side. A cyclist riding the cycle lane won't be able to veer in either direction without hitting a kerb. A 'forgiving' or angled kerb design could lessen the impact but at times it could feel like riding down a channel and over-taking will be difficult. However, because of driveways and intersections (where there won't be any concrete islands) there should be plenty of places where overtaking is still possible.
Option B is my second favourite option.
"Option C also provides a separated kerbside cycleway, with the cycleway above road level, either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath or at footpath level. A kerb will separate the cycleway vertically from the roadway (and footpath if at half-kerb height), and a horizontal buffer space separating the cycleway from the adjacent parking door zone is provided by a 1.0m kerbside safety strip.
The design provides a consistent layout of the cycleway between the residential and business zones to achieve route continuity.
This option requires the conversion of the current angle parking to parallel parking on the western side of The Parade, within the business area between Medway Street and Avon Street, and removal of the flush median.
This option results in a reduction in the existing pedestrian footpath width to 2.4m on the west side of the residential area. Within the business area, the west side pedestrian footpath reduces to 5.2m width, the east side increases to 3.5m width."
Option C shares many features with Option B but with two really key points of difference. The first is that the height of the cycleway is either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath or at footpath level. This will mitigate against some of the issues highlighted in Option B regarding riding between two kerbs. If the cycleway is at footpath level, or even at mid-height but with a 'forgiving' angled kerb, a cyclist will be able to use the footpath or safety buffer to avoid a collision or for overtaking if it is safe to do so. The downside of this arrangement is that it may look and feel more like a shared path, which the design report makes clear nobody wants. However, the cycleway is will be clearly demarcated and if properly designed and implemented there should be no real issues. This is actually a design that is quite commonly used overseas.
The other main point of difference in Option C is that the traffic lanes in the residential areas are increased from 3.0m to 3.2m. This results in a minor reduction in the width of the western side footpath, but at 2.4m it is still fairly generous.
Option C is my favourite option, just edging out Options B and D.
"Option D is similar to similar to Option C, providing a separated kerbside cycleway, with the cycleway above road level, (either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath, or at footpath level). A kerb will separate the cycleway vertically from the roadway (and footpath if at half-kerb height), and a horizontal buffer space separating the cycleway from the adjacent parking door zone is provided by a 900mm kerbside safety strip (600mm at the angle parking area).
The design provides a consistent layout of the cycleway between the residential and business zones to achieve route continuity.
The footpath width is significantly reduced to 1.6m on the western side in the residential areas. Within the business area, the west side pedestrian footpath is also significantly reduced to 3.4m, resulting in a loss of space for footpath tables and seating.
A central flush median and wider traffic lanes are provided in the residential area. The majority of the existing western kerbside angle parking remains between Medway Street and Avon Street."
Option D shares many features with Option C including the key points of difference from Option B of the cycleway either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath or at footpath level, and 3.2m traffic lanes in the residential areas.
However, Option D has two major downsides. The first is that it reintroduces a 1.0m median strip in the residential area. This creates more space for cars, in addition to 3.2m traffic lanes, but results in the footpath on the western side being reduced from 3.0m to 1.6m. This really isn't necessary or acceptable.
The other downside is retaining angle parking at the shops which requires the footpath on the western side of the shops to be reduced from 5.5m to 3.4m. Business owners are obviously going to have mixed feelings about losing parking but angle parking is dangerous and also creates a lot of visual pollution. I'd encourage business owners to read this blog from Cycle Aware Wellington, Cycleways "support local", before they make a submission.
Option D is my third favorite option.
The proposed design options report signals in several places that the parking arrangement from Option D could possibly be used within other options. This is obviously to placate business owners who might be nervous about losing parking and some of their customers might have sympathy with that. It could mean adding the Option D business section to the residential sections from Option B or C, which would then avoid the loss of residential footpath space that Option D requires. If you feel strongly about this being considered you don't have to rank Option D higher than you would otherwise but make sure you mention using the Option D business design as part of Option B or C in your qualitative feedback.
In conclusion, I can't emphasise enough how much of an upgrade any of Options B, C, or D would be over the current cycleway. The end result will be truly best practice and provide safe, comfortable cycling for all ages and abilities, not just a hardcore few. It will put active and sustainable transport on an equal footing with motor vehicles and be utterly transformational in terms of the liveability of Island Bay.
Regardless of your point of view I hope you've found this analysis helpful. Remember to make your online submission supporting Option C, B or D before 9pm on Sunday 13 August.
Appendix 1 - why roadside bike lanes should be avoided.
There are multiple issues with roadside bike lanes:
The multiple problems with roadside bike lanes can be neatly summed up by asking a very simple question: if it's not OK to walk it, why is it OK to cycle it? Cyclists are just as vulnerable to motor vehicles as pedestrians so if you wouldn't want to walk on the road between parked cars and moving traffic why would you expect cyclists to bike there?
This blog from Dutch-based cycle advocate David Hembrow argues that on-road cycle-lanes are not the best way to keep cyclists safe and concludes:
"On-road cycle-lanes are not the best way to keep cyclists safe. They are also rarely, if ever, the best way to improve convenience for cyclists. If on-road lanes are a preferred option in your part of the world then your planners are aiming for something rather lower than the best standard possible. Aiming for a lower standard of infrastructure means aiming for a cycling modal share which is lower than the highest possible given your demography and geography. You set a ceiling on what is possible by building inadequate infrastructure."
Wellington City Council have outlined the final four options for the Island Bay Cycleway and reconfiguration of The Parade.
Four options for future configurations of the Island Bay cycleway have been unveiled today (Thursday 27 July) and the community is being asked to make its views known on the different designs.
The options have been drawn up following almost a year’s work by local residents, interest groups, traffic engineers and Wellington City Council as part of the ‘Love the Bay’ process that followed controversy and disagreement over the cycleway built along Island Bay’s Parade.
Details about the proposed options, including images, will be available on the City Council website from this Saturday 29 July. From Monday 31 July you can give feedback online at wcc.govt.nz/theparade or email your thoughts to email@example.com
Wellington’s acting Mayor, Councillor Paul Eagle, is urging Wellingtonians – particularly residents in the Island Bay area – to get involved in the two-week consultation on the options which begins on Monday 31 July.
“The Love the Bay process has been a good example of getting the community genuinely involved in important and high-impact decision-making that affects the community. Now it’s time for the wider community to say what they think of the designs.”
Councillor Diane Calvert, the City Council’s Community Planning and Engagement Portfolio Leader, share’s Cr Eagle’s views. “Considerable hours of discussion, debate and analysis have led to the final four options up for consultation. They all deserve consideration so we are providing as much detail and clarity as possible for people to have an informed say.”
Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Public Transport, Cycling and Walking Portfolio Leader, adds the Council has committed to improved cycling facilities across the city and that the new Island Bay options are just part of a “great range of cycling initiatives” that are under way or starting around the city.
The four options:
The four design options incorporate extensive community engagement, the results of the Love the Bay project, transport engineering practice, NZTA guidelines and Council strategies, including the Urban Growth Plan, Cycling Master Plan and Framework, and Long Term Plan.
Option A - roadside cycle lane - original layout with enhancements
Option B - one-way Separated kerbside cycleway - road level - current layout with enhancements
Option C - one-way separated kerbside cycleway - above road level
Option D - one-way separated kerbside cycleway - above road level, with angle parking.
Each design summary includes an indicative cost for implementation. These costs are estimates for the purpose of guiding your preference and will be refined once detailed design is completed. The costs reflect community feedback to address safety concerns, environmental considerations, landscaping, and broader urban design opportunities along the length of The Parade.
Prior to the construction of the Island Bay Cycleway, The Parade south of Medway Street had kerbside parking, a cycle lane next to the parking, and traffic lanes separated by a central flush median. Option A proposes a layout that, as close as safely possible, reflects the original design. Changes have been made to reflect the requirements of the 2016 post-construction safety audit and peer review, and current NZTA and engineering safety guidelines that the original design did not include. It is these requirements that preclude a return to the exact original layout. Changes also extend the cycle treatment along the length north of Medway Street to the Dee Street roundabout, which the original design did not include. No reduction in the current pedestrian footpath width is expected.
This option requires the conversion of the angle parking to parallel parking within the shopping area between Medway Street and Avon Street, and removal of the flush median.
Removal of some 40 parking spaces in the residential area is designed to address the safety issues identified with visibility and vehicle manoeuvring to and from The Parade at driveways. Within the shopping area, the conversion to parallel parking will remove some 17 spaces in order to support a consistent cycleway design along The Parade.
The indicative cost for Option A is $4.1 million.
This option retains the status quo layout of a kerbside cycleway at road level. Design refinements include a raised concrete traffic island between the cycleway and parked vehicles, parking removal to address safety concerns at driveways, and extension of the cycle treatment along the entire length of The Parade to the Dee Street roundabout. No reduction in the current pedestrian footpath width is expected.
Removal of some 40 parking spaces in the residential area is designed to address the safety issues identified with visibility and vehicle manoeuvring to and from The Parade at driveways. This option requires the conversion of the angle parking to parallel parking within the business area between Medway Street and Avon Street, and removal of the flush median.
Within the shopping area, the conversion to parallel parking will remove some 17 spaces in order to support a consistent cycleway design along The Parade.
The indicative cost for Option B is $5.2 million.
This option also provides a separated kerbside cycleway, with the cycleway above road level, either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath or at footpath level. A kerb will separate the cycleway vertically from the roadway (and footpath if at mid-height), and horizontal separation for cyclists from parked vehicles is provided by a 1.0m safety strip. Kerbside parking removal to address safety concerns at driveways, and extension of the cycle treatment along the entire length of The Parade to the Dee Street roundabout is proposed.
Removal of some 40 parking spaces in the residential area is designed to address the safety issues identified with visibility and vehicle manoeuvring to and from The Parade at driveways.
This option results in a reduction in the existing pedestrian footpath width to 2.4m on the west side of the residential area. Within the shopping area, the west side pedestrian footpath reduces to 5.2m width, the east side increases to 3.5m width. This option requires the conversion of the angle parking to parallel parking within the business area between Medway Street and Avon Street, and removal of the flush median.
Within the business area, the conversion to parallel parking will remove some 17 spaces in order to support a consistent cycleway design along The Parade.
The indicative cost for Option C is $6.0 million.
This option is similar to Option C, providing a separated kerbside cycleway, with the cycleway above road level, either at mid-height between the roadway and footpath, or at footpath level. A kerb will separate the cycleway vertically from the roadway (and footpath if at mid-height), and horizontal separation for cyclists from parked vehicles is provided by a 900mm safety strip. Kerbside parking removal to address safety concerns at driveways, and extension of the cycle treatment along the entire length of The Parade to the Dee Street roundabout is proposed.
Removal of some 40 parking spaces in the residential area is designed to address the safety issues identified with visibility and vehicle manoeuvring to and from The Parade at driveways.
This option retains the existing eastern side kerb line and footpath widths. This option results in a reduction in the existing west side pedestrian footpath width to 1.6m, and provision of a 1.0m flush median between traffic lanes within the residential area. Within the business area, the west side pedestrian footpath reduces to 3.4m width, and the majority of the western kerbside angle parking remains between Medway Street and Avon Street.
Within the business area, the retention of angle parking, and provision of a consistent cycleway design along The Parade will require the removal of 2 spaces.
The indicative cost for Option D is $6.2 million.
Where did these designs come from?
All of the feedback obtained through the Love the Bay drop in sessions, workshops, and other channels were used to develop a set of design statements describing what is important to the community and how people interact with The Parade. Along with engineering best practice, the design statements were used to develop these design options. The designs retain the status quo with refinements, return to the previous layout with refinements, and introduce two other options. Refinements to the current and previous cycleway designs have been included to address safety and broader urban design ideas arising from engineering practice as well as community input.
The high level designs here are intended to convey the general layout of the road. During the community feedback process a number of issues have been raised, including parking, locations of bus stops, and costs for each design. Given their significance, these topics are more fully discussed online at wcc.govt.nz/theparade. Detailed designs for the entire length of The Parade will be developed after the Council decides on an option.
What happens next?
The results of this consultation will be presented to the City Strategy Committee on 14 September. The Council (Mayor and Councillors) will consider the consultation feedback along with the outcomes of the Love the Bay process, NZTA guidelines, budgetary implications, and council strategy when making their decision.
The Council will then agree on the preferred option with the intention for implementation to begin before the end of this year. This will require detailed design and construction plans for the entire length of The Parade. When making changes to road layouts like this, the detailed plans must first be approved by the Council and accompanied by public consultation. The diagram below outlines the indicative timeline to undertake design and construction.
Go to wcc.govt.nz/theparade to find detailed design reports for each of the options, frequently asked questions, and information about other designs that were considered.
Tell us what you think by 9pm Sunday 13 August. This will be your last opportunity to have a say on your preferred option for The Parade. You can give feedback online at wcc.govt.nz/theparade or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The designs will also be on display at the Love the Bay drop-in shop at 132 The Parade throughout the consultation period (31 July-13 August).
Councillors will be on site at the shop at appointed times if you would like to discuss your preferences with one of them directly. Visit wcc.govt.nz/theparade to see when councillors will be in attendance, frequently asked questions, detailed design reports, or to make an online submission.
While we encourage and appreciate comments and discussion on social media, these will not be taken as formal submissions. Please also make a submission online at wcc.govt.nz/theparade or using the enclosed paper form to ensure your view is heard.
You can read or download the consultation document here:
We'll have our own analysis of the four options here after the council have published more detail on the weekend.
Everybody is welcome to make a submission on how The Parade should function in the future
This is Ada. Some people say Ada shouldn't be able to make a submission on the Island Bay Cycleway and the future configuration of The Parade because she lives in Palmerston North. Those people are wrong.
Here's the thing - Ada has two adult granddaughters and five great-grandchildren (aged between 5 and 11) living in Island Bay. So is Ada a stakeholder in the cycleway discussion and the Love the Bay process? Of course she is. In fact, you could say she's got a bigger stake than some Island Bay residents.
One of the more specious arguments during the Island Bay Cycleway debate has been that only Island Bay residents should get a say in the outcome. This recently manifested itself in a demand from the Island Bay Residents Association, supported by Councillor Paul Eagle, that residents should get a weighted 90 per cent of the 'vote', with 10 per cent going to other Wellington City Council constituents.
Aside from the fact that it would be logistically difficult to run a local referendum, and would set a terrible precedent, the example of Ada shows how short-sighted and inappropriate it would be. As the debate rolls on more people, including the council, seem to be beginning to understand that a community isn't defined solely by geographical boundaries but is actually made up of many different communities of place and interest. Communities are often nested within each other and people can live in multiple different communities. In the case of Ada she may not live in the place of Island Bay but she certainly has a legitimate interest in it.
As far as I'm concerned you have a legitimate interest in the discussion if any of the following apply to you:
I'm sure there are many more but you get the point. Just about anybody living in Wellington, and many people from further afield, are stakeholders in this discussion.
Are you local? Many different stakeholders have an interest in the cycleway discussion
Thankfully, in the approach to the final consultation just announced by WCC there appears to be no place for any parochialism. In fact, Councillor Diane Calvert, the City Council’s Community Planning and Engagement Portfolio Leader, is keen to emphasise that the consultation submission process is not a vote that will determine the cycleway option result – however it does aim to give the mayor and councillors a good sense of community preferences and feedback on options.
“Ultimately my colleagues and I will consider a broad range of information - including feedback from the many different communities interested in the outcome - decide what weight we apply to officers’ recommendations and hold responsibility for the final decision.”
So, as a resident of Island Bay, and a freshly minted member of the Island Bay Residents Association (it's true!) I would like to personally invite you to make a submission when the final consultation begins on Monday 31 July. The more submissions there are to help councillors make a fully informed decision the better. The only qualification you need is having an interest and something thoughtful and constructive to say. Submissions close two weeks later on Sunday 13 August. Check back here on 31 July for links etc.