Your handy submission guide: LGWM City Streets proposals

LGWM has 4 surveys open for feedback on city streets changes they’ll make soon! This is good stuff that should’ve been done years ago, so take a couple of mins to whack in your feedback by midnight TUESDAY 23!

The City Streets programme is the fastest-moving part of LGWM with good basic street changes for bus priority (yup, that classic) and safer biking and walking (gosh how innovative) that should’ve been done ages ago.  

The current surveys cover:

  • Featherston St and Southwest Te Aro (Victoria, Dixon, Ghuznee and Willis Streets)
  • John Street to Taranaki St (Newtown and Mt Cook to waterfront)
  • Miramar to City (through Kilbirnie, Hataitai and Mt Vic)
  • Golden Mile  (Lambton Quay to Courtenay Place)

This handy submission guide covers:

  1. Why submit now
  2. What’s this about again?
  3. Guide on <5 minute submission! Scroll to the Typing Cat
  4. Nek level submission guide 
  5. Backstage background – why we’re suggesting this

1.Why submit now   

This first lot “phase 1” of non-Golden-Mile projects are being consulted on now (Golden Mile is a bit ahead, see below). 

The next time for public input is traffic resolutions. This is the hyper-ultra-localised traffic resolutions (“this 14-metre section of shoulder at to become 6.5 metres of dotted yellow line and 7.5 metres of 10-minute time limited parking”, etc) that WCC councillors must vote on individually.  

a traffic resolution in all its glory (WCC)

Yes, this is a bonkers way to get governance decisions about whole transport routes (where’s that promised law change in Reshaping Streets, to give councils more options?!)

Traffic Resolutions are also where the watering-down of good street changes always happens, as councillors go in to fight for keeping that street carpark they promised Energised Constituent Barry, who’s worried people won’t come to his shop / visit his house if Council Takes Away His Street Carpark. 

Golden Mile – a bit ahead

This suite of changes has already had its “whole route” consultation (resounding support for the most progressive changes), and it’s now at the “Traffic resolutions” stage.  

For all the consultations currently open: YES SUBMIT NOW!

2. What this is all about 

Phase 1 – first lot of city streets improvements (LGWM)

Bus priority is good.  End of story.  

It’s immensely powerful for a huge number of people, frees people from having to use a car for those medium-length journeys, and it’s cheap cheap CHEAP. Nobody should need reminding why it needs doing. 

Safer biking or scooting for transport is good.  End of story.  

It’s vastly liberating for people wanting to travel short trips, including to connect to other transport. For kids and older people. Anytime, in your own time. Doing complete bikeable networks (without gaps or black spots) is the single most powerful investment cities can make. 

Nicer and safer walking and wheeling is good. End of story.  

It’s the most universal, fundamental mode of human movement – including when our legs don’t go the way we want. It’s no accident that the most liveable, nourishing neighbourhoods in the world are focused around the 15 minute walk or wheel (yes, for tens of thousands of years, because fundamentally humans are the same notwithstanding innovations in the 1910s).

Nicer streets and public realm are good. End of.

Places where people actually want to hang out and spend time with their city, rather than the “booty call” type interaction of, say, Porirua city centre. Streets that everyone likes being on!

3. Guide on <5-minute submission

At a minimum, you can do a great submission by just clicking “support” on everything in one or all of the 4 surveys! You needn’t put anything in the text boxes.

These proposals all move us in the right direction as they’re based on making the city nicer and easier to get around by reallocating some road space from the private car (in motion, and stored) to other types of goodness.   


4. Guide on nek-level submission! 

There are some ways the proposals could be improved – so here’s some guidance on comments you can put in the surveys that create an even better submission.

There are a few crappy forced tradeoffs in particular “constrained” areas.  See “backstage background” below, on our thinking behind this advice. 

Comments on surveys

Your submission will be stronger with personalised versions of these comments:

On all surveys

Support reallocation of road space away from general traffic and private car parking to sustainable transport modes and nicer street environments

Cycling/scooting routes should form clear, coherent, convenient, fast networks. Avoid conflict and confusion by having dedicated space – not shared paths or shared space.
Like Christchurch’s Major Cycle Routes for city-scale movement on bikes & e-bikes:

Not like Wellington’s current fragmented and confusing patchwork that treats cyclists as wheeled pedestrians with tight 90-degree bends, random kerbs, and sudden pedestrian conflicts:

Walking and wheeling should be made safer and more comfortable everywhere by putting in more raised zebra crossings, narrowing side roads, and continuing the footpath across side roads.
Like Woodward Street:

Not like Ballance Street

Wellington’s unreasonably long traffic light phases need to be changed so people can cross roads much more frequently (and remove traffic lights where possible – replace with raised zebra crossings)

Street amenity improvements are vital too – including temporary ones! Make city change cheerful, not just “lots of safety gear stuck everywhere”. Like Queen Street in Auckland:encourage transitional tactical urbanism techniques (get it in quick, show what’s possible, see how it works, tweak with experience)

Strongly oppose anything that undermines the experience for people moving by sustainable modes (bus, cycling, scooting, walking, wheeling) in favour of private car parking. In the short term, creative solutions must be found for businesses’ loading and servicing; medium term, businesses need to sort out their logistics (hand in hand with council).

Go submit you good thing!

Backstage background

Why we’ve suggested you do you

Retrofitting good transport into poorly-designed streets – and doing so fast, without bringing in the diggers and moving kerbs – is genuinely hard.  And in the short term it’ll be a bunch of “least worst” tradeoffs between good things. 

Do you put people cycling and scooting in with the buses, to keep them away from slower people (and more vulnerable) walking and wheeling? 

  • Knowing this will dissuade plenty of people from cycling, because being passed (even courteously) by a bus is pretty scary?  And slow down buses trying to safely navigate people cycling?

Do you put people cycling or scooting on the footpath, trying to make them go really slowly, when it’s all too easy to whizz along (because you’re just trying to get somewhere) and give horrible frights to people walking or wheeling?  

We don’t envy the folks trying to get it as right as possible.

We looked for guidance! 

  • Cycle Wellington have a submission guide for each section, that’s firmly pro-cycling (and pro-scooting, cos scooting in cycle lanes). 
  • Living Streets Aotearoa have a submission coming out imminently with a pro-walking/wheeling (anti-scooting) vibe, but no guide yet as we publish. 
  • Bus folks in Wellington haven’t an advocacy group that gives submission advice, sadly!

So we’ve done our best – and be reassured: with submissions that riff on the theme of “support”, you can know it’s all moving in broadly the right direction. 

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