Hutt City Council has released it's annual plan - with no change to the level of cycle funding.
At our last meeting a number of people offered to make submissions. Would you all consider doing so? This is a numbers game.
Making a submission is easy - see http://www.huttcity.govt.nz/annualplan and go down to "tell us what you think". You have to create and verify an account. There's a survey which you can complete or not as you wish. Typing only a couple of sentences in the "any other comments" box is what we're after.
Even easier: email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at Draft Annual Plan, Freepost 100039, Private Bag 31-912, Lower Hutt 5040.
Write in your own words - but issues you may want to raise are:
1. Proposed budget is $351,000 this year, no increase for several years. Note that this is total spend, inclusive of NZTA subsidy, so ratepayer spending is only $147,420
This "cycling budget" cover utility & recreational cycling as well as walking projects.
2. No significant project has been carried out for 5 years, i.e. one that makes a significant difference to a good number of people
Last project was in previous Mayor's term, sealing Ewan Bridge to Kennedy-Good Bridge.
3. Have not completed sealing of the Hutt River Trail - this should be completed this year, but at a total cost of around $650,000
4. Additional spending is on recreational MTB paths, but not on utility (commuter etc) cycling.
* Cycling should be an important focus for the council - it leads to better health, reduces traffic congestion, and is environmentally without parallel. Spending on cycling has far better cost-to-benefit ratios than projects for cars (or, for that matter, for conference centres and stadiums!)
* The current budget will take more than 10 years to cover projects already identified as high priority by council - and in our view these projects only get us to the start line
* We lag far behind neighbouring councils in terms of cycle spending and initiatives
* Increased spending also needs to be matched by better co-ordination and commitment within council to cycle initiatives
- Wellington is lifting its game with $4.3 m budget for 2014-14, raising expectations
- with the opening of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail, more riders are expected, esp. tourists.
- In Wellington cycling is up 73% 2006-2013. Many of these new riders want to cycle in the Hutt, and expect cycling infrastructure
- good on the Council for improving the Hutt River Trail, now we need to improve connecter routes
- safer speeds are a popular, low-cost, high-value improvement
- adds to resilience
Some of you offered to speak to your submission - please also do this if you can - it involves turning up for a 5 minute slot in front of council where you can speak to your submission (or just read out what you've already written), with councillors asking polite questions if they're awake! Showing up is another very "time-effective" way of getting the message across to the whole council in a way that would takes months to orchestrate via any other means - so it's a bit of a gift.
The submission forms offer a tick box for "I want to speak to my submission" - please tick this.