Two Dutch transport experts visited Wellington City Council at the end of November, as part of their trip to NZ to assess the new Christchurch cycling masterplan. I joined them on a tour around the city and for a meeting with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
They see that Wellington's lack of safe cycling is putting off people who would love to use active transport.
Their objectives: for cycle facilities that are 'coherent, direct, attractive, safe and comfortable'. For Island-Bay-CBD they see this means 'biting the bullet' and making good provision along the direct route - with detours possible as options but not as the core provision.
They hate mixing bikes and buses - it conflicts with their guiding principle of separating vehicles of different weights and different speeds (whether in time or space).
There needs to be a prominent masterplan, and a consistent 'cross-section' so cyclists and motorists know what to expect. They don't like the idea of mixing different styles of bike path along a route to respond to local differences.
Big roading projects should free up other roads to change their place in the transport hierarchy - such as the motorway improvements allowing private-vehicle capacity on Hutt Road north of Thorndon to be reduced in favour of bikes and buses.
There's a great article about the visit on the front page of the Wellingtonian: