Wellington is a cycling city

16 08 2010

An early drizzly weekday morning in Wellington and there are still hundreds of people riding on the waterfront:

There is some suggestion to make the cyclists go along Jervois Quay instead of the waterfront. No Thanks!!! I only saw 3 cyclists braving the traffic on the Quay. I saw a hundred in half hour on the Waterfront. It seems cyclists want to ride away from the noise, fumes and danger of busy roads.

The alternative on Jervois Quay:

If cyclists come into contention with pedestrians then some painted blue lines wouldn’t go astray such as here behind Shed 21, where the car lanes in the carpark could be reduced (OK it needs a safe walking route too). Tactile surfaces could keep pedestrians out of the blue lanes, and cyclists in.

Because this road ain’t safe for cycling along:




9 responses

16 08 2010
andy foster

Completely agree Matthew. The waterfront is incredibly popular for cycling as it is for running and walking, and a whole lot more attractive than Jervois Quay. There are some conflict points on the waterfront and WWL is looking at options there at the moment. Some of that may just be solved by encouraging courtesy such as Cycle Aware’s excellent and very humourous campaign recently.

Jervois Quay is still important for cyclists who may want to travel faster or who as I do are starting from a CBD location (in this instance) the Council and heading for the Western Suburbs (Karori) so don’t bother going across the Quays to ride on the waterfront for a few hundred metres (where running I generally would if going via somewhere like Ngaio Gorge)

So the Quay is not a replacement, but an alternative. The end goal is the Great Harbour Way which means being as close to the water as possible. That is if you start at Owhiro Bay and go right round the South Coast/Miramar Peninsula/Evans Bay then of course you use the waterfront, and then the new walkway/cycleway north of Shed 21 past the Port.

That is about to be extended to the cruise ships. Then comes the hard part – getting through/past the Port itself. Past the Port there seems to be enough land seaward of the rails most of the way to Ngauranga, and then its hard again to Petone. Anyway for the purposes of this blog, the Waterfront is a key cycle route, and I don’t see that ever changing. It is a key walking/running route too, and really it’s all about providing the best possible physical route for all – and courtesy which of course we should all display whatever mode we are using !

The other thing I’ve asked the Waterfront Company about is locating a ‘Bike Central’ on the waterfront – a combination cafe, bike storage and repair, showers, bike hire. Not everyone has access to these things at work. There is a modest one in Auckland. Council requires ground floors to be publicly accessible so this would work perfectly. Whether it is financially viable is another issue – but given that both cafes and bike shops seem to work – why not put them both together ?

Pedal on !

Cr Andy Foster
Wellington City Council

16 08 2010
Alastair Smith

Thanks for those photos of a wet waterfront, Matthew – reminds me of what I’m missing here in Vancouver where the main problem is carrying enough sunblock and water for a bike ride of any distance!

Good to see Andy’s reassurances of continued bicycle access along the waterfront, even if the need for fast commuter bicycle lanes on the Quays is recognised.

Just a point about the “painted blue lanes” – I’ve cycled in a number of places where attempts have been made to separate cyclists and pedestrians, and the only places it works is where there is a physical separation: either separate paths, or a kerb. A case in point here in Vancouver is the seawall bike/walk path around Stanley Park. For most of the way the paths are physically separate (and also one way for bikes) and that works OK. However on the parts where only painted lines are used, pedestrians and cyclists commonly stray onto the wrong side and chaos ensues (of course since they’re canadian walkers and cyclists, the chaos is very polite).

I think trying to create physical separation on the waterfront would be impractical and expensive, and we should continue with a shared space philosophy.

17 08 2010
Mike Stead

Thanks for the trip down memory lane Matthew. Sitting here on the 0843 to Clapham Junction, I’m 16,000 miles away on the waterfront remembering my old commute down from Newtown along Mt Vic, down Marjorybanks st to my old CBD office.

Great to read Cllr Foster’s thoughts too.


17 08 2010

The great thing that i see here is about how wonderful day to explore the town by biking… nice ….

15 12 2010
A precedent for a Kaiwharawhara to Petone boardwalk « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] South of Kaiwharawhara a cycle path could be built around the western side of the Interislander terminal, then under the Aotea Quay off ramp, and through the rail yards to the Westpac Stadium concourse and onto the waterfront. […]

27 12 2010
The Kaiwharawhara Shambles « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] I live in hope that the Great Harbour Way is on its way (hope springs eternal), between the waterfront and the Interislander terminal a cycleway route needs to be found. And it’s got to not be […]

30 01 2011
A Ngaio Gorge cycleway « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] the bike lanes across the Cake Tin concourse, and Wellington is a city of trams and ferries and bicycles we might like to consider developing this […]

12 06 2011
WCC wants work to begin on Ngauranga-Petone cycleway « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] forget my idea about crossing the Cake Tin (and going through the rail yards) to link Ngauranga to the Waterfront, because riding through Kaiwharawhara is a bit of a […]

18 08 2012
Is it time to dust of Wellington’s 2004 Gehl Report? « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] safe separated cycle lanes on the Quays will be for cycle commuting. If you want to cycle slow go on the waterfront. If you want to cycle at 20-30km/hr cycle in the cycle lanes on the […]

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