A bikeable Wellington: finally the wheels are turning, give it a shove

After becoming a byword for cycleway SNAFUs, Wellington’s been quietly getting its act together. Now a big step forward: a network, guiding principles and clarity about who it’s for. Submit to help get the wheels turning – by 14th Dec!

Ok, we promise, no more bike-related puns!

Submissions are due soon – TOMORROW Tuesday 14th December (just before the final Urbanerds gathering of the year).

Cycle Wellington, bless ’em, have a great submission guide.

If you’re time-poor, just follow Cycle Wellington’s tips – and if you’ve only 2 minutes use the superfast quick-submit that they’ve provided for A City for People (just click “next page” at the bottom of the “quick submit” pane to get to the bike network one).

Your kids too can have a say – a totally excellent initiative by WCC.

In the full submission template on Council’s website there’s a middle section to give input on the individual routes. If you’re not familiar enough with a suburb, you can EITHER skip, OR just say “I support Cycle Wellington’s position” for any you don’t know about.


Here’s why we’re excited…

WCC are finally doing the right thing: setting the foundations of a bikeable city in a London Tube-style map approach, so we can then have constructive local-scale debates about how best a street or road can be made bikeable, not whether it should at all.

No question: new riders, like these women getting lessons and bikes through ReBicycle, should be able to ride safely in their city.

As we move into that “how best” phase, some bits of the network can have live trialling (essentially an experiential approach to consultation rather than pictures-based). At this stage, locals and those passing through can debate details like driveways, turning radii on corners, and sequencing the crossing priority at intersections.

Including a “tactical” “interim” approach improves the normal process in some important ways (covered here). But in theory, this process means the outcome is also better: members of a local public on a cycleway route no longer will no longer be able to override the needs of the wider public, for a street that’s safe enough to bike or scoot on.

With other bits of the network (e.g. in places where retaining walls are needed) there’ll be far fewer options for their design, so local and wider publics alike can expect to have less design input. But this “boosts uptake” with interim treatments is excellent and is the secret sauce to getting loads more people willing to jump on a bike where they hadn’t before.

The principles of Pāneke Pōneke are really great.

Especially good: the stuff about “all ages and abilities” and “future-proofing”. This, plus the principles on which officers vs councillors can make decisions (see here [PDF] reduces the risk of what we’ve had time and time again: safe-cycling proposals being diluted (by fear of “Affected Residents”) to the point where all they do is give a marginally better experience for people who’re already confident enough to ride our grotty roads.

This is a good start! There’s more info in this good summary on why it deserves your solid thumbs up.


(and don’t forget to whack in a District Plan one while you’re on a roll!)

Banner Image credit: Berhampore dad Pablo

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