Island Bay Cycle Lanes - Cycle Aware Wellington submission
Cycle Aware Wellington is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving conditions for existing cyclists and encouraging more people to bike more often. We advocate for cyclists who use their bikes for recreation and transport. Since 1994, we have worked constructively with local and central government, NZTA, businesses, and the community on a wide variety of cycle projects. We represent around 600 members and supporters.
(Note: you can make a submission at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1777270/Island-Bay-Cycle-Lane)
1. Do you support providing safer facilities for people on bikes in Island Bay?
2. Do you support the proposed final design?
Yes with changes.
3. Do you support continuing the cycle lanes through intersections?
Yes. Intersections are the most dangerous parts of the road for cyclists, and typically where the most crashes happen. A cycle lane that encourages more people to cycle, especially children, must continue through intersections to reduce the possibility of crashes.
Ideally, we'd like to see some traffic calming (such as cobbles or raised platforms) on side streets where they join The Parade, to slow cars as they cross the cycle lane. This would help to make the cycle lane safer where it's not protected by parked cars. The Mersey Street intersection, particularly, has a very high volume of turning traffic, and would benefit from this.
4 Do you support the proposal to install traffic signals at Dee Street?
We agree that the current roundabout needs to go. It does not feel safe for cyclists as it's not clear where they should position themselves to stay safe from large vehicles such as buses and rubbish trucks.
We would be happy with the cheaper solution of removing the roundabout and continuing the cycle lane through the intersection, as at the other intersections on The Parade. However, we understand that traffic lights are likely to be the more popular option for residents who need to turn into and out of Dee Street at peak times.
If traffic lights are the best solution for balancing cyclist and pedestrian safety with the needs of motorists, then we support the installation of traffic lights.
5. Do you support the proposal to install bus stop bypasses?
Yes. The current setup, where cyclists play ‘leapfrog' with buses stopping to pick up and drop off passengers, is dangerous and confusing. A cycle lane should not force cyclists to choose between waiting behind buses at every bus stop or overtaking them in the general traffic lane. Bus stop bypasses are the perfect solution, allowing cyclists to travel at a consistent pace and never having to navigate around buses.
As cyclists will be able to cycle straight through bus stops (rather than use the bypass) if no bus is approaching, we hope you'll paint a bike symbol on the road after each bus stop to make it really obvious where to get back onto the cycle lane.
6. Do you support the proposal to provide an in-lane bus stop south of Humber Street and preserve the two adjacent pohutukawa trees?
7. Do you support the proposal to combine the bus stops in the vicinity of Avon and Tamar streets?
We support the consolidation of bus stops. Bus stops on The Parade are currently too close together, making for very slow and inefficient bus journeys. We'd be pleased to see the changes made to accommodate the cycle lane benefitting bus passengers too.
8. Do you support the proposal to install a new bus stop outside the Island Bay Presbyterian Church (88 The Parade)?
We agree with the placement of the new bus stop outside the Island Bay Presbyterian Church, even though the church does not support this. We support this as the church has ample off-street parking, and this bus stop placement has the least impact on carparks on The Parade.
9. Do you support the proposal to install a new bus stop outside 101-103 The Parade?
10. Do you support the proposal to install a new pedestrian crossing and remove the northbound right-turn bay at Humber Street?
We support the installation of pedestrian crossings on The Parade. The northbound right-turn bay into Humber Street does not seem to be very heavily used, and we support reapportioning roadspace to prioritise safety over convenience.
We wonder if it might be safer to set the pedestrian crossing back from the intersection slightly, as you've done with the pedestrian crossing near Mersey Street? This would help motorists turning from Humber Street onto The Parade focus on one thing at a time, and it would also mean that pedestrians only have to look in two directions when crossing, instead of four.
11. Do you support the proposal to install a new pedestrian crossing and remove one car park at Mersey Street?
We support the installation of pedestrian crossings on The Parade. These are sorely needed and long overdue. The Mersey Street intersection is very busy and currently one of the most difficult places to cross The Parade as a pedestrian. In addition to through-traffic, this intersection has a business on each corner, so there are always a lot of cars coming and going. We'll be very pleased to see a pedestrian crossing here to benefit pedestrians and local businesses.
12. Do you support the proposal to retain as much car parking as possible?
Yes. As long as the cycle lane is safe and continuous, we are happy for you to make other changes and compromises to retain as much car parking as possible. We want this project to work for the whole community.
13. Do you support the proposal to provide five car parks by widening the west side of The Parade near Dover Street?
14. Do you support the proposal to remove the Trent Street right-turn bay to keep two on-street car parks?
15. Do you support the proposal to restrict some car parks in Humber, Mersey, Tamar and Dee streets to short stays?
Yes. We support the installation of short-stay parking to support local dairies and takeaways. These businesses are important to the community and we want to see them thrive.
16. Do you support the proposal to provide more on-street angle car parks in Mersey Street?
Yes. This is a very wide street with plenty of room for parking, and several businesses that need it. Providing more parking here makes good sense.
Do you have any additional comments?
Well done WCC! We're pleased to see some compromises and redesigns to balance the various needs of the community. We're especially pleased you've been able to balance the needs of cyclists with access for disabled parks outside the medical centre. We think that in time even residents currently opposed to the cycle lane will come to see the benefits for everyone.
We think you need to make the shopping centre as safe as possible
We are very concerned about novice cyclists (especially children) mixing with busy traffic and buses at the shops, where there will be no provision for bikes. We feel this is a real ‘hole' in the otherwise great plans.
Unless traffic is calmed to a safe speed here, and cyclists are encouraged to ‘take the lane', there's potential for accidents, especially as The Parade is regularly used by buses, and large trucks coming from the landfill, and the shops have a long row of angle parking (notoriously dangerous for cyclists).
Many drivers currently do not slow down to the 30km speed limit. This can be easily fixed by adding some traffic calming at either end of the shops. For instance, you could raise the zebra crossing at the southern end of the shops, as this will slow traffic just before it merges with bikes leaving the cycle lane. At the north end, you'll need to add traffic calming before (to the north of) the zebra crossing, to slow traffic before it merges with bikes.
You could install cobbled surfaces (as used on Lambton Quay) or raised areas (as used at Kilbirnie shops) to slow cars. We think this is essential to allow cyclists to safely merge with other traffic.
We're pleased to see you're planning to use sharrows (once approved) throughout the shops to make it very clear that this is a low-speed shared space. It currently does not feel like this at all, despite the 30km speed limit.
We're concerned that if the road through the shops isn't safe or doesn't feel safe for novice cyclists (especially children), some will choose to ride on the pavement instead of on the road. This will cause conflicts with pedestrians and may invite further criticism of the cycle lane. No one wants that.
We would like to see you revisit this shopping area in the future, once the number of cyclists has grown in Island Bay, the community has grown used to the cycle lane, and retailers realise it can mean benefits for their businesses. We think it's likely that once parents see their children benefitting from the cycle lane, they'll demand that the road through the shopping area also be made safe for them.
Once the cycle lane has been accepted by the community, we would love to see it extended to reach the beach and local schools
We understand that adding extra sections to the cycle lane is only possible with another round of consultation, so can't be done right now. However, once the cycle lane is firmly established and well used in Island Bay, we'd love to see you look again at joining it to the beach and to Island Bay and St Francis de Sales schools.
We see potential for upgrading the current cycle lane on Reef Street to the same design as on The Parade. Currently, this cycle lane is not particularly safe or appealing to cycle in - it forces cyclists directly into the door zone, and behind angle-parked cars. Buses regularly park in the cycle lane at one point. You could easily fix this cycle lane by moving it to the inside of the parked cars and painting in the door-zone buffer.
You might also look at extending the cycle lane from the end of The Parade to the beach via the south end of Derwent Street, or making this a low speed area with traffic calming. This section of road is likely to be used ever more frequently by cyclists as The Parade cycle lane encourages more cycling.
We also see great potential for encouraging more children to cycle to school by joining the cycle lane from The Parade to the schools along parts of Avon, Mersey, and Clyde Streets.
We hope you'll add these things to your ‘master plan' for upgrading cycling facilities in Wellington.
Nā mātou noa, nā Cycle Aware Wellington
6 October 2014