The Government is investing a lot of money helping to make New Zealand cities easier places to get around by bike. To take pressure off other transport modes and achieve health benefits, it wants to see improvements that can be used by the widest number of people.
This fits perfectly with our aim to make Wellington an even more people-friendly, attractive and sustainable city.
Wellington City’s population is growing and there will be increasing pressure on our roads. To help manage congestion, we need to encourage more people to take public transport, walk or ride a bike.
Investing in making biking safer and easier is one of ways we can give people more choice in how they get around. The Government is willing to fund two-thirds of the cost of improvements that will help us develop a connected cycle network.
There are few places in Wellington City at the moment where beginners or less confident riders can cycle and feel safe. We know more people would like to ride, but choose not to because our roads are often narrow and busy with fast traffic. Legally, people cannot ride on the footpath, and shared paths can create conflict between people on foot and those on bikes.
We want people to have good transport choices – and this includes having safer ways to get places by bike
The more we can develop a connected network, and safer facilities for less confident riders, the more people are likely to make some trips by bike.
It’s no good just doing the route around Evans Bay. People need to be able to get there safely from their homes to make it a viable route for more commuters.
There is a national proposal going through Government, which if approved, will allow children under 12 and adults over 65 to ride on the footpath. It is against the law at the moment.
Other young people and less confident riders of other ages would still have to ride on the road.
We aren’t building bike paths for confident road cyclists. They will most likely bike on the road anyway and are able to keep up with traffic. The investment is being made to encourage more people to ride bikes, especially less confident riders, so it’s easier and safer for them.
Better infrastructure will benefit people who already ride, but the biggest gains will come from attracting new riders.
This kind of bike lane provides some protection from moving traffic. The lane can be designed in a range of ways – including with raised buffers, marker poles, parking lanes, or a combination of measures.