The aim of Wellington’s bike network plan is to create a citywide network of connected bike routes to improve safety for people on bikes, increase the role of cycling in the transport network, and improve environmental and health outcomes. At the same time, we look to make improvements for people who walk and catch the bus.

Our transport planners developed a long list of possible options for how we could improve the streets and connections in Kilbirnie, looking at things from a range of perspectives, thinking about all the possibilities and what could be achieved in line with best practice and national guidelines. 

Plans have been reviewed by various internal and external stakeholders including Waka Kotahi, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and cycling, walking and accessibility representatives. 

Tacy Street

For the length of Tacy Street, the options were whittled down to a short list of five viable options:

  • Option 1: traffic calming to reduce speeds, parking on both sides
  • Option 2: one-way bike lane on both sides, most parking removed, remaining angle parking changed to parallel 
  • Option 3: two-way bike lane on north side, most parking removed, remaining angle parking changed to parallel 
  • Option 4: wider shared path on south side (two-way for bikes), no change to the street layout 
  • Option 5: contraflow northbound bike lane and shared path (southbound riders only), parking on north side only.
     

Option 1 was selected. It wasn’t the highest scoring but as it’s envisaged most people on bikes will use the planned shared path connection alongside the sports centre, it was seen as a good way to provide an alternative bike connection, make the street safer for everyone, and minimise the impact on parking.

The sports centre shared path will provide the safer option for most people on bikes. All options included improvements for pedestrians.

Ākau Tangi connection (Kemp Street to Cobham crossing)

Once it was determined a connection through the sports centre was a viable alternative to Tacy Street, and could be delivered by Let's Get Wellington Moving, we looked at two options:

  • Option 1: shared traffic space with sharrows through the main carpark
  • Option 2: two-way shared path on west side.

Option 2 scored the highest and we’ve gone with this. It’s completely off-road, provides a dedicated shared space for people on bikes, scooters and on foot, will connect with a planned new crossing across Kemp Street to an existing shared path to Rongotai Road, and has minimal impact on the sports centre car park.

Coutts Street (Te Whiti Street to Tirangi Road roundabout)

There were four viable options for this section of Coutts Street:

  • Option 1: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on south side only
  • Option 2: two-way separated bike lane on north side, parking on south side only
  • Option 3: on-road bike lane on both sides between the traffic lane and parking, painted buffer, parking on both sides
  • Option 4: separated bike lane on both sides, all parking removed, flush median retained.

Option 1 scored the highest. It provides protected bike lanes in both directions to improve safety and encourage more people to ride. This option retains some parking, and connects well with the painted lanes planned at the quieter end of Coutts Street near the underpass and the separated bikes lanes planned on Tirangi Road north of Leonie Gill pathway. It improves safety around Rongotai College.

Coutts Street (Tirangi Road to airport underpass)

There were four viable options for this section of Coutts Street:

  • Option 1: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on north side only
  • Option 2: two-way separated bike lane on south side, parking on north side only
  • Option 3: on-road bike lane on both sides between the traffic lane and parking, painted buffer, parking on both sides
  • Option 4: slow shared speed zone, parking on both sides

Option 4 scored the highest but option 3 was selected as the width of the road makes it unsuitable for a shared zone. It was selected as traffic volumes are low. Waka Kotahi guidance recommends bike lanes in this environment. The painted buffer will help protect people on bikes from car doors opening. It includes some minor parking changes to improve safety and discourage airport-related long-stay parking.

Tirangi Road (Leonie Gill pathway to Coutts Street)

There were four viable options for this section of Tirangi Road:

  • Option 1: separated bike lane on both sides, no parking
  • Option 2: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on east side
  • Option 3: two-way bike lane on west side, parking on east side
  • Option 4: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on both sides, narrower traffic lanes

Option 1 was the safest and highest scoring option. It will provide protection for people riding in both directions, and is consistent with changes planned on the busy section of Coutts Street west of the roundabout. Surveys showed demand for parking in this section is low. The area near the roundabout had the highest number of crashes involving cars and bikes of any section in Kilbirnie so making it safer by providing more protection for people on bikes and encouraging slower speeds was important. 

Onepu Road (Rongotai Road to Coutts Street)

There were six viable options for this section of Onepu Road:

  • Option 1: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on west side only
  • Option 2: two-way separated bike lane on east side, parking on west side
  • Option 3: two-way separated bike lane on east side, flush median, no parking
  • Option 4: on-road bike lane on both sides between the traffic lane and parking, painted buffer, parking on both sides
  • Option 5: separated bike lane on both sides, flush median, no parking
  • Option 6: shared traffic lanes with reduced speed limit, flush median.

Option 5 was the safest and highest scoring option. It will help encourage more people to go by bike. The median strip provides space for right-turning vehicles into supermarket car parks and space where drivers can check for people on bikes and on foot. A survey of off-street parking showed that it is never at or over capacity – so this and parking in adjacent streets should meet demand. There was a serious crash involving several people on bikes on this section of road due to a driver not being able to see around parked vehicles. This solution will remove this safety issue.

Onepu Road (Coutts Street to Lyall Parade)

There were five viable options for this section of Onepu Road:

  • Option 1: separated bike lane on both sides, flush median, no parking
  • Option 2: separated bike lane on both sides, parking on west side only
  • Option 3: two-way separated bike lane on east side, parking on west side, small flush median
  • Option 4: separated bike lane and parking on both sides, narrower traffic lanes
  • Option 5: on-road bike lane on both sides between the traffic lane and parking, painted buffer, parking on both sides, narrower traffic lanes.

Option 2 was the highest scoring and safest option. It meets Waka Kotahi guidelines for roads with this much traffic (painted bike lanes don’t). The safety improvements can be made whilst retaining parking on one side. Over 90 percent of properties have some off-street parking, and there is on-street parking capacity in adjacent streets.

Considerations

Things that were considered through the options assessment included safety and comfort for people on bikes, safety for people walking, bus improvements, street and vehicle widths, intersections, the impacts of lower speeds, loading and servicing requirements, and the effects on parking availability.

Things that were not progressed to the short list included using other routes and digging up kerbs to widen the street.

For more, you can read the full Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) report