Andy Foster — Vote #1 for Council
Last November Council approved the first ever City Cycling and Walking Plans, following several years lead up work. We received several hundred very supportive and often detailed submissions. The key objectives are making walking and cycling safer, more convenient and more attractive.
However Council’s proposed LTCCP in March included just $35,000 of Council money (plus $35,000 from NZ Transport Agency) for cycling. We did provide an adequate $400,000 for walking.
I’d said when we approved the Plans in November that the key would be Council’s commitment. Despite opposition from several in Council I managed to lift the money for implementing the Cycling Plan to $200,000 (half from NZTA) in our March draft LTCCP.
In the final LTCCP (16-19 June) I was delighted to succeed with an amendment
Moved Councillor Foster, seconded Councillor Wade-Brown a new recommendation 6 (i) as follows:
“Agree to include the following additions to the Long Term Council Community Plan 2009-19 (all capex):
iv) $250,000 capex (in 2009/10) and then $500,000 per annum to progress the strategic cycle walking network. (This is based on the Wellington City Council component of the agreed strategic network including the Great Harbour Way and Tawa-Porirua stream – Middleton Road and routes from the South Coast to the Central Business District).
Here are my abbreviated speech notes in moving the proposal:
· Fits WCC transport strategy and climate change policy.
· NZTA support expected.
· Regional Land Transport Programme includes - $800,000 each for walking and cycling. Current Council budget $225,000 for cycling, $408,000 for walking – therefore capacity exists.
· My proposal was driven from Greater Wellington’s agreed Regional Strategic Cycling Network, adopted Dec 2008 – but also equally useful for walking. This had strong support from all Mayors (I was deputising for Kerry), GWRC Chair and councillors.
· It’s consistent with our new Cycling Policy
· Significant amount of submissions supporting cycling, both in LTCCP and when promulgated the Cycling Plan, and specifically Tawa-Porirua walkway/cycleway.
· I suspect an older population will move more to cycling. We runners getting knee problems !
· Cycle submissions last year – a lot of professional people – just the kind of people that Council says are important economically.
· Cycling/walking are low cost, enjoyable, healthy, feeling good. Biggest barrier especially for cycling is safety.
· TDG report - shows cycling growing – despite Council doing little to date
· We have Opus Report on Tawa-Porirua Stream walkway
· Previous work done on Middleton Road – this is the only route to the city for cyclists from the north
· A lot of work also done on GHW. Component from Petone – Ngauranga expensive – see as NZTA responsibility. Can make improvements from there south and thinking is being advanced about how to get round the Port.
· Successful models around NZ
· Otago Rail Trail – very impressive set up – deliberate reason to go there
· Nelson – use of railway reserve
· New Plymouth – connections allowed by waterfront walking and cycleway. New Zealand’s latest ‘Top Town’ according to North and South.
· Coming into Wellington currently pretty hostile – I used to cycle a lot up the coast. Increasing traffic volumes are a big disincentive
· The Strategic cycle network – parts of it – would be the only areas with major capex – elsewhere it’s cycle parking hoops and grates, and political will to provide space on street.
· John Key cycle route(s) idea
· We should show commitment and get on with it
Now we can move onto implementation. My intention is that we move on both Porirua Stream and Great Harbour Way routes together.
We have an Opus report on the Tawa-Porirua Stream walkway/cycleway which would run from Kenepuru to Takapu Station and really tie Tawa together. I’ll be talking to Porirua City about linking to their existing walk/cycleway.
We’ve looked at Middleton Road before. This is the only road on which to cycle into the city from the north. I’ll be looking for a creative solution here.
The Great Harbour Way is supported by a wide coalition of community groups. A report from Boffa Miskell is due this month on routes. The most challenging bits are from Ngaruanga Gorge north and around the Port. Cr Celia Wade-Brown and I have looked with WCC officers at possible routes around the Port. It will be challenging, but again with a creative and determined approach the potential is very exciting for local use, commuting, recreation and tourism.
Win for Walking and Cycling in Budget