draft news release: Cyclists welcome Wellington's first cycling stop boxes

Cycle Aware Wellington news release ** draft **

18 March 2009

Cyclists welcome Wellington's first cycling stop boxes

Adelaide Rd stop boxesAdelaide Rd stop boxes

Green rectangles painted on the road have appeared near traffic lights in Newtown. But these aren't street art, they are Wellington's first advanced stop boxes, designed to help cyclists get a smooth start at traffic lights.

Cycle Aware Wellington chairperson Illona Keenan says the stop boxes are a welcome safety innovation for both cyclists and drivers.

Stop boxes make cyclists more visible to motorists, and help cyclists get through the intersection smartly.”

Left-turning motorists won't have to wait for cyclists on their left who may be going straight through the intersection.”

Stop boxes ensure right-turning cyclists are properly positioned. They reduce exposure to exhaust, which is especially heavy from cars idling or accelerating from a stop.

Stop boxes are already in use in Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch and other towns, where they have been successful. 

Cycle Aware Wellington says it has never been more urgent for the city council and business to invest in cycling.

As petrol becomes less affordable more people are looking for alternatives to driving.

We urge councils to meet the demand for safe and convenient cycling by investing in cycle lanes, traffic reduction, bike parking, cycle training, driver education, and safety campaigns.”

Cycling costs 7 cents a kilometre compared to about 60 cents for a car. Cycling provides exercise that helps keeps people fit, healthy and happy, therefore reducing costs to the health system. Cycling also decreases pollution and congestion, both of which cost New Zealand over a billion dollars each per year

Ms Keenan says high fuel prices are driving people out of their cars - and they are rediscovering the convenience and fun of cycling.

"New Zealanders love cycling. Bikes outsell cars, and there are more than a million people already riding for recreation, fitness and pleasure.”

Many would like to use their bikes to get to work, school or the shops, but are deterred by traffic or perceptions of safety.”

Advanced stop boxes and lower traffic speeds are steps in the right direction. We congratulate the Wellington City Council on these sensible innovations.”


Illona Keenan, Cycle Aware Wellington

tel: xxx xxxx
(email address)

Stop boxes have been marked at the Adelaide Rd and John St intersection, and at Riddiford and Mein Sts.

More info: http://www.nelsoncitycouncil.co.nz/services/road_transport/transport-cycle/advance-stop.htm


Good stuff.

Couple of suggestions: maybe add something reminding motorists not to encroach on them (as in the photo!), and point out they're already in use (successfully) in several other NZ cities.

Robert Ibell
04-972 2552

Very good, thanks Patrick/Illona. Only thing you might want to add is that the green boxes aren't just a safety tool when the light is red: they also remind motorists (as they drive over the green) that cyclists are using the road too.

I think they are fantastic, by the way. They make me feel like WCC actually does want us there!

Jane Dawson

Nice article, looking forward to using them.

Couple of little typos I think:

3rd paragraph: “Stop boxes make cyclists are (REMOVE ARE?) more visible"

5th paragraph from bottom, not sure if this is a typo. "keeps people fit, healthy and happy, so (THEREFORE INSTEAD OF SO?) reducing costs"

Also you may want to add that people who cycle to work are proven to be more productive workers, and have less days off (a couple of Danish studies proved these points). But then it might get a bit full on promoting cycling.

Looks good, thanks.

Excellent positive response Patrick/Illona,

Also adding to Robert's point--these boxes are widespread on London's streets ( & probably elsewhere in urban UK). When I ride there I feel a lot safer, as I can be seen by motorists: also I am not partially suffocated by their exhaust fumes.
These boxes are an important sign that transport authorities here are starting to recognise that cyclists need special consideration in the car-dominated urban environment. A great step forward for Wellington's street planners.

Russell Tregonning.