WCC consults on Thorndon Quay - safety improvements for cyclists

Please support the Council's proposal to improve cyclist safety on Thorndon Quay. Make a submission  - it only takes a couple of minutes.


Over the past 10 years, the average number of commuter cyclists on Thorndon Quay has increased from 75 to 300 per hour during peak hours. The average reported crashes between cycles and vehicles have also increased from one to six per year, making Thorndon Quay one of the most dangerous roads in Wellington for cyclists.

Most cycle / vehicle crashes occur in the southbound direction between 7.00am to 9.00am, usually resulting from drivers turning into parking spaces and driveways.


To improve road safety for the increasing number of cyclists commuting on Thorndon Quay, the Council proposes removing southbound parking between 7.00am to 9.00am Monday to Friday to increase distance between turning vehicles and cyclists (after 9.00am usual parking resumes).

Patrick Morgan from Cycle Aware Wellington says that although this isn't a perfect solution, it shows that WCC is taking our concerns seriously.

"With more than 400 people biking on Thorndon Quay during rush hour, this is a top priority. Please take 2 minutes to let the Council know you support this proposal."

"We talked to businesses on Thorndon Quay, and most don't open until 9am, so their customers won't be affected."


To give the Council your feedback on the proposed Thorndon Quay parking changes, read the traffic resolution and Strategy and Policy committee report, view the map, then complete the feedback form. The deadline for feedback is 5.00pm on 23 March 2010.

More at: http://wellington.govt.nz/haveyoursay/publicinput/thorndon-parking.html

Here's CAW's draft submission:

Submission to Wellington City Council, 23 March 2010


Given the opportunity, CAW would like to make an oral submission on this proposal.

About Cycle Aware Wellington

Cycle Aware Wellington (CAW) is the cycling advocacy group for the Wellington region, with a particular focus on the bicycle as a means of transport and recreation. Our goal is more people biking more often.

CAW speaks for its 700 members.

We also represent 14,000 Wellington residents (7% of the population) who have travelled to the CBD at least once a week using a bicycle in 2006, according to WCC Residents Satisfaction Survey (Wellington City Council 2007), and 40,000 Wellington residents who have cycled in Wellington in 2006, according to WCC Residents Satisfaction Survey (Nielsen, 2007).

This submission was prepared by:

Claire PascoeCycle Aware Wellington
PO Box 27120, Wellington 6141

Cycle Aware Wellington strongly supports this proposal.

CAW is encouraged that Wellington City Council is addressing the highest safety priority area for cyclists in the city, so soon after the Cycling Policy was released.

Top priority
Parking along Thorndon Quay has long been a significant safety concern for cyclists in Wellington. Improving the layout of the road is the top priority for Cycle Aware Wellington. Since 2001, when a proposal to change the angle parking to parallel was rejected, there have been more than 30 crashes involving cyclists along that stretch of road – the highest of any in the city.

Concerns about angle parking
The main safety issue relates to the angle of the parking, which makes it hard for drivers to see cyclists. Cars turning across the road to park also presents a hazard for people on bikes.

Significant safety benefit
While Cycle Aware Wellington does not see a clearway from 7-9am as the perfect solution to the problem, it would offer a significant safety benefit and is still warmly welcomed. This issue is so pressing that it cannot afford to wait any longer, risking any more crashes, before improvements are made.

Balance between safety and parking
Given that most crashes occur between 7-9am and in the southbound direction, this proposal strikes a good balance between improving safety for people on bikes and continuing to provide parking for businesses along Thorndon Quay.

CAW’s survey of businesses on the southbound side of the road revealed that most of them are not open before 9am, therefore not impacting their customer parking requirements.

Several remarked on their own dissatisfaction with the angle of the parking, commenting that it was unpleasant and frightening for drivers reversing out. The proposed pedestrian crossing will provide access for those that are open before 9am.

Thorndon Quay a missing link in cycling network
A CAW cordon count, undertaken on March 2, 2010, found that 383 cyclists rode along Thorndon Quay in the southbound direction between 7-9am. This number has quadrupled since 2001 and indicates that the need to address this stretch of road is urgent. Cycling is continuing to grow in the region and Thorndon Quay is the major missing link in the city’s cycling network between Hutt Rd and the waterfront.

Consistent with WCC cycling policy
Approving the parking changes recommended in the Thorndon Quay report would also be consistent with the Wellington City Council’s cycle policy. WCC was hesitant to actively encourage more people to ride bicycles in Wellington given the safety concerns around cycling. It was thought that the highest priority for the Cycling Policy should therefore be improving safety, and once progress had been made, future policies could promote cycling more actively. As Thorndon Quay has been identified as the most dangerous road in Wellington, these changes should rightly be one of the first actions Wellington City Council takes in relation to cycling.

CAW acknowledges and thanks the WCC officers and councilors who have worked hard to get this issue on the agenda. We see this proposal as real progress for people who cycle in the city.

Groups audience: 


A huge thanks to all who wrote to the Council to support the proposed 7-9am clearway on Thorndon Quay in the city-bound direction.
Removing parking from 7-9am has little impact on retailers but makes this busy route safer for 400 people on bikes.
Thorndon Quay is Cycle Aware Wellington's top safety priority.
I attended the Council meeting on Thursday. There were 143 submissions in support and just 9 against. Your support makes a difference.

Pleased to report Janie, Patrick and I went along today to support THorndon QUay parking changes. Strategy and Policy committee chatted about it.

 Andy Foster, Ian McKinnon, Helene Ritchie in support.

Ray Ahipene Mercer in support but wanting to point out that Council officers and Cycle Aware Wellington should think creatively about how to encourage good cyclist behaviour

Iona Pannett disappointed its not a big enough step,

The Mayor (in response to others' comments about it being the first step of many) wanted to point out that the deputy mayor of Copengagen doesn't think Wellington's good for cycling.

 In the end all voted AYE - and Paul Barker is confident there'll be no other changes to go through Council (they're the same people anyway) so all ready for implementation.

 Party time!