It’s Wellington Anniversary day today, and I was at a bit of a loss for a what to do. So I thought I’d go to Paraparaumu Station and ride in on the train and have a lazy day in Wellington on foot. I checked the Metlink website to make sure that the trains weren’t being replaced by buses, and there was no mention of it. It may have been the only sensible thing Margaret Thatcher did was to say “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.” I’m sure she meant that he’d rather be on a train or a bicycle. I can’t stand buses myself.
Needless to say, at the station, there was this sign (only one though, and I had to walk around to the other side of the station to see it):
Oh well, so I changed my plans to do some gardening.. It’s a good thing I didn’t (check the website and then) cycle to Paraparaumu and then discover the reduced service hoping to put my bike on the train. Mainly it is due to there being no safe way to ride to Paraparaumu without going along State Highway 1 north of Peka Peka. So I drove. It’s amazing how many long distance cyclists in summer are riding along the SH1 between QE Park and Peka Peka. Don’t they know there is a safer, more scenic and much more pleasant route called the Kapiti Coast Cycle Route? I’ve seen about a dozen this summer just when I’ve been driving on the SH1, which must translate into hundreds for the summer. There were another two this morning (my windscreen needs a wash):
Really these cyclists need better information. Cape Reinga to Bluff shouldn’t be an exercise in self-flagellation. From the north near the Peka Peka Road intersection it is actually signposted as an alternative route. Maybe a weather protected pamphlet stand with the local cycling maps could be attached to the pole. Long distance cyclists, please do a bit of research, get some better maps and enjoy your experience.
Meanwhile at the Paraparaumu station these are the new bike racks, installed over what was once a motorcycle parking spot. Surely it’d be better to take over a car spot than a motorcycle spot. I’m not sure why they went for the compact design. There’s lots of space at the station for an easier to use rack that doesn’t involve lifting your bike.
Still there are better bike lockers for commuters, with 4 on the east side:
and 18 on the other side:
For a grand total of 30 bike racks or lockers. Kapiti is flat and has a population of 48,000. When the train service is extended to Waikanae I hope they make more provision for cyclists. I’d still be too scared to ride the State Highway to get there, and at the other end of the line in Wellington or Porirua it’s not that convenient for my job, and I’d have to catch the train, then a bus (irk) and then walk, where a bike share scheme might be a better option. Or a new station at Glenside (where it exits the tunnel, and I rent a bike locker and chuck in an old clunker). Even for people working in the city Wellington Station isn’t that convenient and a bike share scheme in the city would be a boon. Until then the SH1 will be clogged morning and afternoon and we’ll go off spending billions of dollars on the massively overfunded roading schemes.
Because of only half measures (and massive underfunding) this remains an elusive dream (graphic pinched from this cool website):