Oral Submission to WCC Draft Cycling Policy

Presented to the Wellington City Council Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on June 18th 2008.

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Submission to Wellington City Council


Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission.

My name is André Cymbalista, I am speaking on behalf of Cycle Aware Wellington.

We represent the interests of wellington cyclists. I am speaking on behalf of 7 % of residents who come into central Wellington on weekdays - using a bicycle (Wellington City Council 2007, p.13) and 22 % of residents who use Wellington's on-road cycleways (Wellington City Council and Nielsen, 2007, p. 11).

I would like to acknowledge you for the leadership you are demonstrating, supporting this Cycling Policy. I would like to present you with our views regarding what has been proposed.


I would like to acknowledge the council staff, Paul Barker and his management, and Councillor Andy Foster for having put together this Policy, which, in our view, has the potential to improve significantly the convenience and safety for Wellington cyclists.

We are particularly supportive of the general approach of the policy, with special provisions for cycling to and from the CBD, to and from suburban centres, to and from education centres, and along recreational routes.

We believe that this approach is quite comprehensive and provides excellent guidance in regard to which are the most important action areas.

We are also glad that this policy incorporates a wide range of actions in four categories: engineering, encouragement, education, and enforcement.

However, we are not suportive of certain elements of the policy. We are somewhat dissatisfied with the targets and with the implementation plan.


We believe that the proposed targets are not comprehensive enough. Targets proposed are exclusively concerned with improving safety. We believe that improving safety is a valid concern, and by all means, we support those targets. But we believe that other targets should be set so as to allow evaluation of performance across all range of proposed activities in the four categories of engineering, education, encouragement, and enforcement.

We believe that increasing numbers of cyclists should be aprt of the objectives of this policy, particularly considering that this policy exists in the context of travel demand management. TDM is about changing travel patterns towards more sustainable tranportatoon modes, and this involves increasing mode share of cycling.

We are surprised with this omission, and we noticed that this is inconsistent with the Annual Plan, which establishes a target of 7 % of residents who come into central Wellington (on weekdays) using a bicycle, as well as other other targets for user satisfaction (Wellington City Council 2008, p.28).

Decision sought:

1) Alignment with WCC Annual Plan, and inclusion of target a target of 7 % of residents who come into central Wellington (on weekdays) us a bicycle.

2) Inclusion of other targets against which achievement is measured, including satisfaction levels regarding cycle facilities (also present in the Annual Plan), cycle facilities objective conditions, completion of the cycle network, continuity of the cycle network, level of service improvements, proportion of school pupils trained to basic competence each year.


The level of funding established at around 625,000 per year in the first three years is a significant advancement when compared to previous years. However, that represents only about 1.6 % of the total transport budget. This seems to us unfair, considering that 7 % of resident cycle to the central area on weekdays, according to the 06-07 Annual Report.

We acknowledge that there are items budgeted for elsewhere, such as the Bus Priority Measures, but then, it is only a fraction of all users of the bus and cycle lanes who are cyclists.

Decision sought:

Increase funding for cycling to 7 % of the transport budget, to approximately $ 2.5 million a year.


Our analysis if the Implementation programme demonstrates there there is a disproportionate amount of money allocated for activities "3.2 Provide regular sweeping of cycle network and cycle friendly routes" and "3.13 Provide where possible a suitable road surface on key cycling routes as identified in the key cycle routes map".

We can't see any justification for allocating 60 % of the budget to cleaning the streets and smoothing the surface, whereas other important activities such as Education and Encouragement were budgeted at 5.4% each - less than one tenth of what has been allocated to network maintainance!


Category% AllocatedAction IDs
Education5.4 %1.3, 1.4, 1.10, 3.12
Encouragement5.4 %1.5, 1.6, 1.10, 1.13
Enforcement2.0 %1.10
Engineering - Non Capital Items17.9 %1.10, 2.2, 2.4, 2.7, 2.10, 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 3.11
Engineering - Capital Items8.9 %1.10, 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 3.12
Maintainance60.3 %3.2, 3.13

We would like to see a more balanced approach to the allocation, in where we can see funding spread evenly to all of the five categories. (items 3.2 and 3.13).

A good starting point for the consultation would be to allocate as follows:


Category% AllocatedAction IDs
EducationIncrease from
5.4 % to 23.7 %
1.3, 1.4, 1.10, 3.12 (and possibly new ones)
EncouragementIncrease from
5.4 % to 23.7 %
1.5, 1.6, 1.10, 1.13 (and possibly new ones)
Enforcement2.0 % (unchanged)1.10
Engineering - Non Capital Items17.9 % (unchanged)1.10, 2.2, 2.4, 2.7, 2.10, 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 3.11
Engineering - Capital Items8.9 % (unchanged)1.10, 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 3.12
MaintainanceDecrease from
60.3 % to 23.7 %
3.2, 3.13

This proposal is more affordable to rate payers. WCC gets a subsidy of only 45 % for activities in the category Maitainance and Engineering - Capital Items, whereas all the other get subsidies of 75 % under the Community focused land transport activities funding process (Land Transport New Zealand, 2006).

The following table compares the budget allocation of the Draft Cycling Policy with the Cycle Aware Proposal:


WCC Draft Cycling Policy

WCC Draft Cycling Policy

$ (thousands)
Cycle Aware Proposal

Cycle Aware Proposal

$ (thousands)
Funded by Rates46 %28835 %220
Funded by Subsidy54 %33365 %401

Our proposal represents an economy of $ 68,000 for rate payers.

Decision sought:

Increase funding for Proposed Actions 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.10, 3.12, 1.13, and decrease funding for Proposed Actions 3.2 and 3.13, according to proposal above.


Land Transport New Zealand (2006). Community focused land transport activities funding process 2007/08 Handbook 1, available from http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/funding/nltp/docs/funding-process-2007-... .

Wellington City Council (2008). Draft Annual Plan 2008/09.

Wellington City Council (2007). Annual Report 2006/07.

Wellington City Council and Nielsen (2007). Commentary on Highlights from Survey of Residents–February 2007. Available from http://www.wellington.govt.nz/about/overview/pdfs/rss07.pdf.


Thanks for putting together such a thorough response at short notice.

My thoughts:
There are some good intentions here: a commitment to a cycle network,advance stop boxes, cycle detectors at lights, cycle-friendly sump gratings, bikes on buses, considering effects on cyclists of roadworks, etc.

However the concrete actions seem to be things the council would be doing anyway: sweeping the roads (though we shouldn't underestimate the importance of this to cycling!), bus priority lanes (while it's nice to have the option of cycling in a bus lane, many cyclists don't feel comfortable having a big yellow rumbling along behind them)

I'm also concerned that the danger of cycling is seen as an excuse not to encourage cycling, and would like to examine the figures in more detail. We should put the arguments for the health benefits of cycling outweighing the accident risk; that increased cycling ultimately lowers the number of cars and therefore the accident risk, etc.
Alastair Smith
5 Durham Crescent, Aro Valley, Wellington 6021, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Ph +64 4 934 8315 | Wk +64 4 463 5785 | Mob +64 21 036 4443 | http://www.vuw.ac.nz/staff/alastair_smith