Councils across the country will receive funding to accelerate changes to key streets for active transportation.
The shortlist for $30 million in Waka Kotahi funding was announced Tuesday morning – one project to be funded is the final section of Wellington’s long-awaited cycleway between Island Bay and the city.
Waka Kotahi chief executive Nicole Rosie said the projects were funded based on community support for safer streets and lower emissions. Many projects focused on walking and cycling around schools.
“By opening our streets to everyone, we can reduce our emissions, make travel safer and easier for people, and improve the physical and mental well-being of people in our communities.
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Wellington City Council will receive funding to complete the cycle path from Newtown to Island Bay. The Island Bay Cycle Path, built in 2016, was still scheduled to extend into the town centre, but the section connecting the northern tip of Island Bay to Newtown was not built.
Various routes have been proposed for the route, including one that avoids narrow roads through Berhampore by passing Berhampore Golf Course.
The Newtown-to-city test section of the cycleway was recently installed in parts but, after a legal challenge from local businesses concerned about a loss of parking, the consultation period was extended.
This year, the council voted in favor of the $334 million Paneke Pōneke bicycle network plan, which will be rolled out over the next five years. It would see bike lanes to downtown from Tawa, Johnsonville, Karori, Ōwhiro Bay, Island Bay, Lyall Bay, Seatoun and Miramar.
While the Island Bay and Newtown bike lanes have caused controversy, others installed around Wellington – such as one towards Brooklyn and another next to Cobham Dr – have received positive reception.
“We saw some great results from our projects last time around, like the Brooklyn Hill project, where 64% of people think the route is now safer for everyone using it, so we jumped on the opportunity to get involved in the Streets for People program,” said Claire Pascoe, board transition program manager.
“We are working at a steady pace to deliver transitional transport projects in Wellington as part of our cycling network plan and we are delighted that our Newtown to Island Bay project, as part of the Streets for People program, is helping us to get there. »
Other municipal projects across the country will receive grants under the Streets for People scheme, including cycle links to schools in Hutt City and shared space on Gloucester St in Christchurch.
Several dangerous intersections in central Hawke’s Bay will also receive funding to make them easier for pedestrians to cross.
“Right now, the main street in Waipawa is not a street for people,” said Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker. “We all want to see healthier, friendlier streets, so everyone can get to where they’re going safely.”
Carlyle St in Napier will also benefit from improved security, and Featherston St in Palmerston North will benefit from a cycle lane.
The scheme builds on the experience of the Innovating Streets scheme, where 32 councils were encouraged to use tactical town planning to make streets more pedestrian and cycle friendly.