Submission to Wellington City Council on the Safer Roads Newtown and Berhampore Proposal - Cycle Aware Wellington

Submission to Wellington City Council
on the Safer Roads Newtown and Berhampore Proposal

Submitted by Cycle Aware Wellington, PO Box 27-120, Wellington 6141
tel: 04 972 2552

About CAW
Cycle Aware Wellington (CAW) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving conditionsfor cyclists and encouraging more people to bike more often. CAW is Wellington's advocacy group forcyclists, with more than 100 members and 700 people we are in regular contact with. CAW representspeople who use their bikes as a means of transport. Formed in 1994, CAW works with local and
regional government, police and other agencies for a better cycling environment.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposals for the Safer Roads programme inNewtown and Berhampore. We support many elements of the proposed work, but there are someaspects that cause us significant concerns for the safety of cyclists. We ask that you consisder havingthe plans reviewed by transport planners who are experienced in designing roads for cyclists, toensure that neither the safety nor the level of service is reduced for cyclists, and that opportunities to
improve both are taken.

In particular, we would like to see consistent lane widths marked throughout the area and anytransition between different lane widths made gradual, not sharp (as happens at kerb extensions).

Providing lane widths of 3.5 metres is not recommended, as it can cause motorists to think that theyare able to pass a cyclist within the lane, which they cannot do without driving too close to the cyclist.

We ask that lane widths be marked as 3 metres, and have made some specific suggestions about thisbelow.

Speed limits
We appreciate the proposals for 40 km/h areas but would like to see them reduced to 30 km/h on thenon-arterial routes plus the main shopping area on Riddiford St, with the arterials set at 40 km/h. Wewould define arterial roads as Adelaide Road, Russell Terrace/Mt Albert Rd, Manchester St/HornseyRd, and Constable St.

With the new traffic signals on Constable Street (Owen and Coromandel Sts) the lights should be
phased to suit the desired speed. When drivers see a row of green lights ahead, it encourages them to
hurry, to try to get through all sets of signals before they turn red. This may seem a small detail, but itmakes a big difference to the functioning of the system.

Luxford and Rintoul Streets should definitely be reduced to 40 km/h, so that cyclists have analternative to Adelaide Rd. This would also provide a connection from Island Bay to the Newtownshopping area. Waripori St and Roy St are other places where a speed reduction to 40 km/h is a highpriority.
In addition to the points raised above, we ask that you reduce the speed to 30 km/h around schools.
We ask you to look at the Australian example, where 'school zones' operate during school terms and
daytime hours. It is great that you are working on 'safe routes' programmes with schools, but reducing
speeds is critical if parents are to feel confident about allowing their children to bike or walk to school.
Designated cycling routes
There are several routes that are considered good cycling routes, and some of these have been
recognised by the Council for a long time (e.g. Wilson St was marked as a preferred route on the
Council's cycling route map in the mid-1990s).
We ask that those routes be formalised. We are aware that the Council's Cycling Plan is about to go
out for consultation, but it makes no economic sense to ignore obvious routes during this Safer Roads consultation and then have to retro-fit later.
We would like these routes sign-posted as cycling routes, with particular consideration given to making
them more pleasant for cycling on.

The routes in question are:
1. Wilson St
Priority should be given to cyclists travelling up Wilson St at the intersections with Daniel, Owen and
Coromandel Sts. It should be signed as a cycling route, with information about where it leads. It should
preferably be a two-way route, with good right-turning facilities for cyclists coming from Kilbirnie (at the
Constable-Coromandel intersection lights).
The design would have to include ways to stop cars from using it as a rat-run, e.g. by having a road
closure with cycle bypasses, probably between Owen and Coromandel Sts. A nearby example of road
closures can be seen on Carrington and Howard Sts between Wallace and Tasman Sts (though they
don't have good cycle bypasses)
We are strongly opposed to having angle-parking on Wilson St (beside Daniell St) - it is lethal for
cyclists. Our observations are that competition for parking spaces is not that critical on Wilson St. If
there is any pressure, it would be from staff working at the hospital, and we think it is unacceptable to
compromise cyclist safety to accommodate commuter parking.

2. Luxford-Rintoul Sts
Many cyclists from Island Bay will use Adelaide Rd, but the hill puts some current (and probably many
potential) cyclists off. There should be a good alternative route available, and this one is much flatter,
and has the advantage of connecting with the Newtown shops. It should definitely not be a 50 km/h

3. Adelaide Rd-Stoke-Hanson Sts
This is used by many cyclists already, particularly when travelling from the city towards Berhampore.
Cyclists often use Adelaide Rd in the other direction, connecting with the northern part of Adelaide Rd
at John St so they can use the bus lane.
We would like the proposed kerb extension on the western side of Adelaide Rd just before Stoke St to
be removed from the plans, as that is potentially right at the place where cyclists going to Hanson St
would be slowing to turn at the same time as they are vulnerable to being 'squeezed' by traffic from

Kerb extensions
These create a potential hazard for cyclists in the way they are currently proposed. We do not believe
it is acceptable to make the extensions stick out as far as a parked car merely in order to enable car
parking to be allowed right up to the extension.
A parking survey of parking should be undertaken to determine whether there is significant pressure
for space or not. If it is not heavily parked, then the extensions as planned are very likely to cause
difficulties for cyclists because they will be tempted to ride in the (empty) parking area and then
squeezed out into the traffic lane at the extension.
We ask that the extensions do not stick out any further than would allow for a 1.2 metre cycling space
(marked as a cycle lane) plus a 3 metre traffic lane between the extension and centre line. In addition,
we ask that all central islands be removed in places where these widths are not achievable.
Having a smaller extension would enable pedestrians to gain better sight lines, and the parking should
be pulled back from the edge of the extension to increase visibility. If there are cars parked near to the
extension, the pedestrian is protected by that anyway. The danger to cyclists is when there are not
many cars parked, and in that case the visibility for pedestrians is not an issue.

Cycle lanes
We are very concerned about the proposed cycle lane on Adelaide Rd. A cycle lane of 1.2m beside
parked cars is dangerous. It sends a message to cyclists that this is a safe area for them, but it puts
them right in the path of car doors opening with nowhere to escape to. Please do not implement the
1.2 metre cycle lane beside parked cars!
We ask that you move the parking to the eastern side of Adelaide Rd, reduce the lane beside the
parked cars to 3.0m and mark a 0.4m 'buffer zone' between the parked cars and the lane, and reduce
the lane width on the western side from 3.5m to 3m, thus giving another 0.6m to add to the cycle lane
(to bring it up to the recommended width of 1.8m).
To clarify, the cross-section would be:
[Eastern side] - 1.8m parking with edgeline - 0.4m buffer with edgeline - 3m traffic lane - centre line -
3m traffic lane - edgeline then 1.8m cycle lane with 'no stopping' lines beside kerb - [Western side]
Where the cycle lane crosses side streets, it must be well-marked with cycle symbols and coloured
asphalting, to alert drivers entering or exiting the side streets to the fact that cyclists may be there.
We also ask that you look for other opportunities to put in cycle lanes of a recommended standard,
such as on Luxford St. These help to remind drivers that cyclists are using these roads too.
Where there is no space for a standard cycle lane, we ask that you move the inside lane marking in
towards the centre line (leaving just a 3 metre lane width). This gives cyclists a little space and the
narrower lanes help to reduce driver speeds. It would need to be done in conjunction with yellow 'no
stopping' lines, so motorists don't think they can park there. This can be done on all streets: it is just a
lane marking, so over-dimension vehicles (e.g. on Constable St and Adelaide Rd) can use the extra
width when needed.
We would also like you to consider designating footpaths as shared pedestrian-cyclist spaces on
narrow, winding and hilly roads, for uphill cyclists only. The speed that a cyclist travels up is not much
different from walking pace. Hornsey Road is a good example where this might work.

A comprehensive 'share the road' campaign, to educate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be
aware of each other's needs, is a high priority. A 'don't burst my bubble' campaign aimed at drivers, to
show them how to behave around cyclists, should be run each year.
Bus, taxi and truck drivers in particular need an education and awareness programme. All these
drivers are professionals, and should behave better than the average motorist.
Campaigns to remind drivers and car passengers to look behind before opening doors should be run
as part of this Safer Roads programme and as part of driver license testing.
Cyclists also need to be educated about issues like riding predictably and not skimming alongside
parked cars (in case drivers open their doors without looking). This is particularly important right now
(with high petrol prices and an awareness of emissions and personal activity levels) as there are a lot
more cyclists around and not all of them are experienced in urban road riding.
Drivers should be regularly re-tested, at least on their knowledge of the road code. While we realise
that this is not something that Wellington City Council can make happen, we ask that you raise this
issue with central government. It affects the well-being of our city.
The 'driver feedback' signs are a good idea, but speed cameras and red light cameras also need to be
an integral part of the Safer Routes programme.
Provision for cyclists at signals
Advance waiting boxes for cyclists at traffic signals (with a lead-in cycle lane) should be installed as a
matter of course. Particular places to start are the Constable-Riddiford intersection, Luxford-Adelaide
intersection, Waripori-Rintoul intersection (particularly on Waripori St where there is a separate left turn lane), and Rintoul-Riddiford intersection. Also at Constable-Coromandel intersection, particularly
for traffic heading west, to make it easier for cyclists to turn right into Coromandel St to access Wilson
St (and the cycle route, as above). These markings are also better for pedestrian safety, since they
pull the cars back further from the pedestrian crossings.
Along with the advance waiting boxes, there should be a cycle-specific green light that gives the
cyclists a couple of seconds lead time to get through the intersection ahead of the motor vehicles.
Intersections are a particular danger point for cyclists, and anything that makes them more visible to
motorists and gets them out of the way of turning vehicles is good.
At all traffic signals, the detector loops should be sensitive enough to pick up the fact that a cyclist is
waiting. Signal phasing should be much quicker (preferably the whole cycle should happen within a
minute) so that waiting times are not so long - it isn't such an issue waiting for 1.5 minutes if you are
sheltered by a car, but it can be unpleasantly long if you are a cyclist or pedestrian.
Speed control measures
We agree that just putting up signs to reduce speeds is not a good idea - speed reductions need to be
encouraged by better design of the space we all share. Making it clear that the roads are shared by
cars, pedestrians, trucks, cyclists and buses and educating all to use the space responsibly will create
a more durable safety environment.
Speed humps are often an effective way of slowing motorists, but speed cushions (as proposed for
Rintoul St near Blythe St) are preferable to speed humps for cyclists, as they give the option of riding
between the lumps to avoid bumping up and over.
Rumble strips should not be used unless there is a clear, smooth path through for cyclists. The ones in
Lambton Quay are a hazard for cyclists.
We note and support the comment (Section 7.1, page 19) that:
"The overriding principle in local street design is ensuring that motorists understand that they
are using a space which has not been solely designed for motor traffic. The objectives of any
traffic calming scheme must include improvements to pedestrian and cycle safety and
amenities as well as improvement of vehicular safety. They must also include improvements to
the safety of the street network and a reduction of dangers perceived by parents whose
children walk or cycle to schools in the area."
Designs should ensure that parents, children and other responsible users of these street networks are
protected when moving around the area.

Cycle Aware Wellington
PO Box 27-120
Wellington 6141
tel: 04 972 2552