The Kaiwharawhara Shambles

27 12 2010

My favourite bicycle blogger would have to be Freewheeler’s Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest. He likes to point out the disappointment of living in a borough of London where it is dominated by cars and there is no political will amongst the rubbish local politicians to make it any better (although they do tell everyone how wonderful things are, but on the ground it is far from the truth) He shows how rubbish it is in London and contrasts it with good bicycle infrastructure in the Netherlands. I like the way he says it how it is without fear. So I’m going to take a leaf out of his book and say that the bicycle infrastructure on the Hutt Road is absolute rubbish.

I’m not talking about how rubbish for cyclists the Hutt Road is between Ngauranga and Petone, which I have done before here and here. I’m talking about these bits in Kaiwharawhara where the bike path is on the footpath between the road and rows of parked cars and the various businesses. The bikepath, which is at best painted on, is in constant conflict between the parked cars and their door zones and all the vehicle movements across the path.

There’s been some recent green paint work, which is a step in the right direction in controlling cars but it effectively halves the width of the cycleway which is a bit dumb.

Then there are lamp posts in the middle of the path. Always good that one. And here a cyclist is giving up on the path after getting around the truck blocking it, and he’s going to cycle on the road.

Here’s a car blocking the path, but perhaps legally as they’re just leaving the Spotlight carpark and turning into Hutt Road.

And here’s one who was breaking the law:

and this truck (FBY573 in case you can’t read it) had their hazard lights on, which makes it all ok:

My opinion of the highly compromised Hutt Rd bike infrastructure is that it is an absolute shambles. And whilst it seems no expense will be spared on the Motorway any money spent on bike infrastructure seems a long way off. In fact the whole of the north side of Wellington is a bit of a shambles. If you arrived from the South Island on the ferry and then tried to walk into the CBD you’d think Wellington was a mess. And Tranz Metro must be really proud of the state of Kaiwharawhara station, which doesn’t even have a shelter on the platforms.

Whilst 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 along Hutt Road. I’ve previously suggested using the Cake Tin Concourse and then linking that through a new route through the rail yards (on a fully fenced, and tree-lined, 4 metre wide cycle path) which would get near the Interislander terminal near the Aotea off-ramp here.

And then heading north it would pass the ferry terminal buildings and then go under the ferry ramp and go along the seafront all the way to Petone.

So how about it, powers that be? Can we have a rebuild of Kaiwharawhara Station so it isn’t an embarassing mess? (And how about a new station on both the Johnsonville line where it branches off the N.I.M.T., and the other lines, near the intersection of Tinakori and Hutt Roads.) and can we have a designated, well built cycle route linking the Interislander and the Cake Tin concourse, linking the waterfront to the Kaiwharawhara seafront and eventually to Petone? The north side of Wellington needs a retrofit. Or are we only going to get spending on motorways that doesn’t benefit cyclists and pedestrians ones bit?

For a city, like Wellington, that has visions of grandeur, and a sense of self-importance (although it should get out a bit  more) it doesn’t mind showing its ugly side to the world.




5 responses

29 12 2010

I’ve never cycled in Wellington – too damned scared of the motorised traffic! But I have walked Hutt Road, just the once mind you. That experience and what I’ve heard my cyclist sister say, it’s a hazard testifying to my fear. So much debris on the path, the traffic, the ignorant people pulling out of Spotlight without noticing either the signs warning them to watch for cyclists, or the cyclists themselves. I don’t know how many times I’ve travelled past Spotlight, and seen a bike on the ground, a car with at least a door open, and someone in Lycra checking their limbs still all work.
Maybe once something like (your ideas for) the Great Harbour Way is in place, I might have enough balls to let my bike outside for a trip into town.

11 01 2011
Patrick Morgan

I agree. It’s a poor design that needs a complete overhaul.
More evidence of the good, bad and the ugly of this route is here:

30 01 2011
A Ngaio Gorge cycleway « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] Kaiwharawhara end is a bit of a shambles, but that could be fixed with a rebuild of the Kaiwharawhara station environs, and linking the […]

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

[…] And don’t 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 shambles. […]

9 07 2012
Please help the NZTA with understanding Petone to Ngauranga « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] it is no good stopping at Ngauranga, as it should go on through Kaiwharawhara (avoiding the current shambles), across the Cake Tin councourse and to the […]

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