Hutt Road is one of the most popular cycling routes in Wellington. More than 400 people cycle this way at peak times, and the number choosing to use the shared path has doubled in the past 10 years.
The Hutt Road cycleway is a crucial link in the region's wider cycle network, providing connections to the Hutt Valley. But it has a poor safety track record and is one of our highest priorities for improvement.
Work on the first phase of upgrading the shared path started in October 2016 when we began replacing the street lights on the western side of the street. Preliminary construction on the pathway got under way in April 2017 and will continue until mid-2018. This includes widening the bridge over the Kaiwharawhara Stream, and extending the new facilities as far as the Tinakori Road intersection.
The proposed Hutt Road cycleway opened for public consultation on 16 March 2016. We also held two open days for people to come along and find out more. 991 people provided feedback before consultation closed on 18 April 2016.
Councillors heard 45 oral submissions from the public at a Transport and Urban Development Committee meeting on 5 May 2016.
In 2016 the Council approved a phased approach to constructing the Hutt Road cycleway to allow more investigation into:
Parking surveys have found that 40% of people parking along Hutt Road are commuters who continue on into the city on foot, by bike or bus. We are now investigating alternative options for parking in the area to accommodate the 60% of people who park along Hutt Road near where they work.
Traffic lights at Spotlight were investigated but not recommended.
The Council has agreed to leave the intersection as it is. While there were some safety benefits for people accessing Spotlight, the loss of parking to make room for extra lanes and the overall delays to all road users would be significant. This, combined with the narrowing of the median at the intersection, would also result in increased risk to people on the path.
We are working with the NZ Transport Agency to increase southbound capacity on the motorway. This will provide more flexibility for bus priority and how traffic lanes are allocated along Hutt Road.