As part of decisions made in June 2020 on the city’s Long-term Plan 2021-2031, Councillors voted to invest $226m in a safe, connected citywide bike network.
They requested a new bike network plan (Paneke Pōneke) to get changes made more quickly – to make things safer and easier for more people of all ages and abilities to bike (or scoot), and to reduce transport carbon emissions as part of meeting the city’s climate action goals.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving has confirmed there are four options for future mass rapid transit routes, all of which include The Parade. This will bring significant changes in future years.
In November 2021, Councillors agreed in principle that they would like to make safety improvements on The Parade, subject to consultation, to complete the Island Bay section of the southern connection from the city to the south coast as part of the citywide bike network.
In March 2022, following consultation on the specific parking and traffic changes (resolutions) required to make the safety improvements, Pūroro Āmua, the Council's Planning and Environment Committee, agreed to proceed with the changes, starting in March/April 2022.
The expectation is that these changes will be in place until mass rapid transit facilities and stations are built, which could be 10 years away. The alternative option before Councillors was to build the agreed 2017 design at a cost of up to $14m, knowing it could be replaced by mass rapid transit (light rail or bendy buses).
The bike lanes on The Parade were installed in 2015 following community engagement and consultation.
Options for improving the bike lanes and street layout were developed with the community in 2016-2017 (Love the Bay) and a substantial redesign was agreed to by Councillors in 2017. During the design work that followed, detailed topographic information showed that rebuilding the bike paths at footpath level along the length of The Parade, which was a key feature of the 2017 design, was going to be challenging and exceed the available budget.
The improvements being proposed now will help achieve the Love the Bay objectives, which were developed in collaboration with the community to shape the 2017 design brief for The Parade. These changes will improve safety, make the layout cohesive and intuitive for all users, and contribute to a pleasant and welcoming environment.
The project was put on hold due to the funding shortfall. It did not qualify for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency funding unless it was planned and built as part of the whole southern connection between the city and Island Bay.
In 2018 and 2019, we engaged with people in Mt Cook, Newtown and Berhampore on options for this section of the city to south coast route. This work was also put on hold due to uncertainties over funding and possible mass rapid transit routes (work that was happening as part of Let’s Get Wellington Moving).
Transforming this route is part of:
- developing a modern, sustainable city
- responding to the climate emergency
- making sure our growing population has safe, healthy and environmentally friendly ways to get around.
It’s also a step towards better walking, biking and public transport networks.
Transport is Aotearoa’s fastest growing source of carbon emissions and 34% of Wellington City’s carbon footprint – so changing the way we move is by far the most effective way we can personally take action.