Councillors gave approval to consult on a connected citywide bike network that will make streets safer and healthier for everyone, at a meeting of Pūroro Āmua – the Planning and Environment Committee – on 23 September 2021.
At the same meeting, Councillors also voted to get going quickly on two of the critical routes in the bike network - between Newtown and the city and the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and the city - and develop these using adaptable materials so people can use them, make suggestions, and help to refine the design once they're installed.
Engagement with businesses on the Newtown and Botanic Garden ki Paekākā to city routes started in November 2021.
We worked with technical experts and a stakeholder group to develop the design options and wider feedback was gathered via a public survey and individual conversations with businesses along the route. Data on things like parking use and numbers of people on bikes and buses is being gathered now so we can evaluate the changes in the future.
The bike network plan, Paneke Pōneke, was approved by Councillors on 10 March 2022 following consultation in late 2021.
Following a Council decision in 2021 to accelerate the delivery of a bike network in Wellington, we planned to use a new experiential approach that would help deliver changes faster. We planned to install the route for 12 months using adaptable materials and give the community the opportunity to experience the changes in real time, so that we could make changes in response to their feedback and data we gathered.
Councils have two powers for making and enforcing street changes:
- Traffic resolutions, which are made through bylaw under the Land Transport Act 1998 and are used for more permanent changes, where there is certainty around a proposed design.
- Temporary Traffic Management Plans, which are used for temporary and experimental changes (including things like roadworks), under the Local Government Act 1974.
A small section of the route along Riddiford Street between Mein Street and John Street/Adelaide Road was installed using a Temporary Traffic Management Plan starting in May 2022. However, installation was temporarily stopped in June following a legal challenge.
Since then, the Council has reached an agreement with the group which had sought a judicial review. The agreement included a commitment to consult using the traditional traffic resolution process, which allows us to continue progress along the Newtown to city route.
Central government has acknowledged that the current legislation the Council sought to use is outdated and not fit-for-purpose in the current context, particularly how quickly we need to act in terms of reducing harmful carbon emissions from transport. They are reviewing this legislation as part of their Reshaping Streets programme.