Boffa Miskell report on Great Harbour Way

23 11 2009

Over on the Great Harbour Way there is the Boffa Miskell Report with some great maps, and some great ideas. It’s really worth a look. I’ve only had a cursory glance so far, but I like a couple of their ideas straight away. One is that the waterfront path and the Hutt Road path can be linked under the railway lines at the Kaiwharawhara Creek.

Another is that the path goes around the outside of the little bit of land that juts out into the harbour at Kaiwharawhara just north of the Interislander Terminal. You can see it here in a photo I took from Fort Buckley above Kaiwharawhara. It is at the moment a bit inaccessible and degraded, but could be spruced up into quite a nice park.

And then how nice would it be to ride along the coast on the seaward side of the motorway here and the railway line further north, and all the way onto Petone and then up the Hutt River and over the Rimutaka Rail Trail down to the Lake Domain and onto Martinborough?:

There is still a bit of  a detour around the container port at Aotea, and I wonder if the forecourt platform and bridges around the Cake Tin can be used (and extended) to have bike routes above the railway lines, but that is a post for another time.


From Ngaurunga or Newlands to Johnsonville heading North

23 11 2009

This entry deals with this part of the world:

From Ngaurunga which at the moment means from Hutt Road, but someday will be from the waterfront on the Great Harbour Way, it is a steep climb up the Gorge. There is a footpath off the side of the Centennial Highway to climb up in granny gear. And after much huffing and puffing you get to the somewhat inobvious signs saying drop down left through the tunnels to get to Johnsonville, or keep on the footpath to Newlands and East Johnsonville.

Through the tunnels:

Then you continue north to where the footpath narrows on the Johnsonville exit:

and near certain death.

But if the Ngaurunga – Newlands goat track path was upgraded to a cycle track then cyclists could climb that away from the highway noise, then turn west along Newlands Road and then drop down onto the northbound path viathe Newlands northbound on-ramp. The left side of the road with the white painted bars could be painted green as a bicycle lane:

and it circles down to where a new ramp could be cut to get up onto the footpath here:

and then you head north into Johnsonville (and onto Porirua and Cape Reinga)  if the near certain death doesn’t get you first.

Fixing the Fraser Ave, Johnsonville deathtrap

21 11 2009

The Wellington City Council as part of their Johnsonville Shopping District Over-intensification efforts were discussing how to make the J’ville centre a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists. Have a look here for the WCC Strategy meeting and in particular point 5.

It is good to see them thinking about pedestrians and cyclists, but it is also pretty clear they’ve never ridden a bike through Johnsonville. This is after all a vital part of the link between Wellington and Porirua and as such is part of the route of the National Cycleway. As part of this they propose to rejig the Fraser Ave intersection. Here is a detail of what they’re proposing:

The half moon-about is a good idea, but let’s improve this for cyclists:

Firstly lets put an off ramp for the cyclist coming up from the south on the footpath alongside the  J’ville off ramp, and protect it with not only red painted markings on the road, but a raised kerb, with a safety railing on top. The green painted cycle lane will then continue all the way to Middleton Road. The vehicles on the J’ville off ramp, if they want to turn left into Fraser Avenue or Corlett Street will have to give way to cyclists in the marked cycle lane.

Next notice the exit from the RSA Bottle-O is a left turn only, with a raised median preventing any fancy manoeuvres getting across to Fraser Ave.

The halfmoon-abouters coming from Fraser Avenue or Corlett Street can turn left or right at the give way sign. There should be room for one vehicle in the centre refuge for those turning right.

Next there is a raised median the whole way up to Disraeli Street stopping people turning right from the north into the Shell Station, and all people turning left into or left out of the Shell Station have to give way to cyclists in the marked cycling lane.

Heading south there should be a ramp just past the auto electrician to get onto the footpath just before it enters the tunnel to head down to Newlands. The cycleway should be on the footpath from there on.

What is the extra cost of that? Two ramps to get on or off the footpaths, and a bit of green, white and red paint. How very much safer, real and perceived would it be? A whole lot.

That’s why cyclists should help design cycle infrastructure.

And here one more time is where that ramp should be put:

Frank van Kampen Memorial Ride

21 11 2009

This morning in a wet fog about 90 or 100 riders gathered at Kapanui School in Waikanae for the memorial ride for Frank van Kampen who was killed in Te Horo by a drunk driver on his ride home from work almost a year ago. Some speeches were had and we were briefed about safety, and we set out following the route of his last ride.

The pace was fairly leisurely, and the car and truck traffic slowed down for us too. We made our way under police escort to Te Horo.

Some words were said to remember Frank and we had a minute’s silence (except for the Harley’s on the highway) and a memorial garden was opened in his honour.

After that most headed back under police escort again down to Peka Peka and onto Waikanae, and a few rode north to Otaki, finishing Frank’s ride for him.

Two Scary Things

20 11 2009

Here are two scary things you probably don’t want to be doing.

1. Underwear shopping in Korea with your girlfriend, or you’ll forever be asking “What underwear are we going to be wearing today?”

and 2, bunny hopping down the kerb onto the Johnsonville Off-Ramp:

but more on that soon.

8 years + and the NZTA have made a decision, nearly

18 11 2009

As seen in the Dominion Post today an article about Taupo cops on Segways and how they’re not legal on roads or footpaths so the Taupo cops will only ride them on grass verges and in parks. I can remember getting excited about Segways when they were first introduced in 2001, or maybe even 2000. The excitement soon faded when I saw the prices which haven’t come down one bit. The NZTA hasn’t quite made a decision yet on how to classify a Segway. Well done NZTA. 8 years and counting.

There are a plethora of ways of conveyancing oneself, but I want to make it simple for them, so I’ll classify things into 3 categories.

1. Things that can be aligned with walking – ie walking, jogging, electric old-timers scooters, Segways, scooters, skateboards and kids under 12 on bikes. These are the only ones who can use footpaths, unless it is signposted for bicycles too. When there are no footpaths then they can go on the road. ie country roads and backstreets without footpaths. On busy roads it’s called jaywalking.

2. Bikes, including pedal electric bicycles, but not bicycles with any form of combustion engine. Something that can be powered by the legs or by the legs and a supplementary electric motor. If someone puts a 2-stroke on a push bike it should be classed as a motorcycle. If someone puts an electric motor on a push bike it should be a bicycle. Mopeds definitely should not go in this category, as you can’t power them with your legs. Same with skateboards – combustion engines and get off the bikeways, please. Electric engine on a skateboard, and you’re welcome on the cycleway. In NZ the motor size maximum is 300W. In Australia it is only 250 Watts. Canada’s is 500W. A horsepower, from memory, is 768 W. The maximum should be either 500W or 768W. This category shouldn’t be defined by a top speed, as a good pedal cyclist can reach over 40km/hr on the flat.

Bikes get to go on cycleways and all roads, except Motorways, and under 12s get to ride on the footpaths.

3. Anything heavier or with a combustion engine. Cars, trucks, mopeds, motorcycles, buses go on the road and definitely never on a footpath and never on a cycleway.

I can do in 5 minutes what the NZTA can’t do in 8 years. It wasn’t hard.

Wharemauku Stream

18 11 2009

It is interesting to note this post at Kapiti Independent News about the Wharemauku Stream pathways. I concur that it is a pleasant ride, except for these bastards as noted here.

John has some thoughts whilst he rides happily along, and I am rude enough to give some thoughts in red underneath.

  • 1.  The Wharemauku pathway is an iconic Kapiti Coast asset. For it to be lost to a motorway is untenable.
    It is pleasant yes. Iconic is stretching it a bit. The Otago Rail Trail is iconic. The Nation Cycleway will be iconic. A path that dumps us at the back of Coastlands isn’t going to make the 101 things to do before you’re a dead kiwi list. Still it would be a shame if the link was lost. It’d also be a shame if it went under any new road in a graffiti covered tunnel, but that may be the best we can get. Some tree and shrub plantings would be great too.
  • 2.  KCDC’s two lane community scaled proposal for the Western Link Corridor successfully embraces the Wharemauku pathway. It also embraces numerous other East/West links and features conveniently accessed shared pathways on both sides of the corridor gently weaving through delightful landscape.
    There is no funding for a 2 lane WLR. NZTA aren’t paying, KCDC aren’t paying. So tip-toeing amongst the tulips of the fantasy dreamscape is hoo-haa language. Even if a 2 lane WLR was built and there were bike lanes I’d still ride the Rosetta Road, Marine Parade, Manly Street, Otaihanga Bridge route anyway. In fact that route and the Matai, Rimu and Arawhata Roads route is pretty much why there should never be money wasted on a 2 lane WLR, as parallel existing roads exist. I reckon the noise from road traffic on either a 2-lane or 4 lane WLR would make the ride unplesant anyway. In the event there isn’t a 4 lane WLR, there should be a zero lane WLR, but still with the walkways, bridle ways and cycleways. Now that would be pleasant.
  • 3.  Walking and riding across and along KCDC’s two lane WLR will be a joy for cyclists, walkers and horse riders alike, for their children and for future generations to come.
    There already is a pleasant bike route  along Rosetta Road, Marine Parade, Manly Street, Otaihanga Bridge to Peka Peka and it’s called the Kapiti Coastal Cycle Route. Efforts should be made to put in a commuter bikeway across QE Park, sealing the Waikanae River cycleways and linking them in an off highway (and off beach) link to the Otaki River cycleways, which we should also seal. Then there’d be a safe pleasant route the length of Kapiti, and we have our part of the National Cycleway. Wharemauku can be a marked local spur to Coastlands, but it won’t be anything but of minor importance.

I’d like to see more from John. The more of us enjoying cycling and promoting it amongst those currently missing out the better.