Transport Achievements


 

Increased investment in pedestrian safety targeted at schools I obtained an extra $200,000 for physical works like safer road crossings included from 2015 /16 Long Term Plan (with Cr Sarah Free) Programme of works started in 2015/16 year. Aim to get more children walking, cycling and scootering to school. (better health and independence for our children)
Local Government New Zealand representation on the National Road Safety Committee I led the advocacy for some years through the NZ Traffic Institute (TRAFINZ) for Local Government to be represented in this group working with all the key Government Road Safety bodies at Chief Executive level Local Government is an essential party in road safety as Councils control approximately 90% of all New Zealand’s roads by distance.
Changes to Regional Transport Plan  – 2015 – to encourage more investment in sustainable transport Lift cycling % target from 3.6 to 4.7% and strengthen language support, lift Great Harbour Way in the priority order from #10 to #5, and lift BRT priority up to 4.  highlighted TDM measures The Regional Transport Plan sets out the Region’s strategic transport objectives over the next 10 -30 years.
Road Safety Action Plan – Speed limit enforcement and Red Light running enforcement Request Police to especially monitor speeds in areas where Council has reduced speed limits (notably 30 kph areas) and to run campaigns on red light running, Police have agreed to do this and are acting on it
Red Light Camera installation  – I want to see our intersections safer. We all know there is no excuse for running red lights and endangering other people. I led the advocacy for some years through the NZ Traffic Institute (TRAFINZ) supporting technical / trial work done by Auckland City which has resulted in Red Light cameras being approved for use in NZ. The first 3 are installed with several more planned in the near future.
Bus Lane Enforcement Powers – obtaining the ability for local authorities to enforce against illegal use of bus / bus only lanes. Bus priority is really important to our transport system operating, but not a Police priority. Previously only the Police could enforce any mobile offences. Through TRAFINZ I led advocacy for several years that has resulted in Councils having the power to warrant trained officers to enforce bus / bus only lanes. Sept 2015 – with personnel changes Council staff had forgotten we had this power, so I had to remind them. The vast majority of Wellington drivers respect bus priority lanes and this is crucial to an efficient, reasonably reliable bus service. Enforcement however does remain an important back up.
Supported Kilbirnie Shared Path (Leonie Gill pathway) Supported  and encouraged Cr Sarah Free with her initiative to develop this shared cycle/walkway, now named in honour of the late Cr Leonie Gill. A popular and attractive route across Kilbirnie – Rongotai for people on foot and on bikes
Hutt Road cycleway/walkway (shared path) Chaired committee that developed the Hutt Road shared path Agreed (May and Aug 2016) to a staged approach with the first set of safety improvements to be undertaken this year. Further consideration of parking and bus priority is ongoing.
Eastern Suburbs Cycling package consultation Chaired committee overseeing this process We completely changed the engagement process, starting with a widely representative community group (schools, BIDs, Residents’ Associations, AA, Cycle Aware etc) who identified which destinations they wanted to connect to, and which were the priorities. The process was a very good collaborative one. Particular praise to Cr Sarah Free for her work in engaging with community groups, and to Cr Swampy Marsh for his efforts in consultation meetings.
Number 21 Bus – getting weekend and evening services I advocated to Greater Wellington that Wrights Hill service warranted evening and weekend services like other ‘secondary’ bus routes. GWRC implemented evening and weekend services (and more frequent services) from mid 2018 as part of Greater Wellington’s major bus review.
Safer Roads programme  – following European models to make streets safer for people Led safer roads programme for some of the time (after Cr Ian Hutchings) particularly for Karori Controversial at the time. Crash/injury numbers are down in areas which have been treated. Traffic lights along Karori Road have undoubtedly made side road access easier and much safer .
Safer speed limits programme Leading 30 kph roll out across suburban centres and 40 kph coastal routes Monitoring speeds shows that the highest level speeds (50kph plus) have been effectively eliminated. It is internationally accepted that your chance of dying / being seriously hurt in a crash drops dramatically with lower speed limits. About 5% of people hit by a vehicle at 30 kph will die, while about 45% of people hit at 50kph will die.
Original Cycle Plan

 

I led the writing of the City’s first ever Cycling Plan – approved in November 2008 Wellington City growth in cycling (1986-2006) – where rest of the region is generally declining. We are the tallest set of bars. The Wellington number in 2013 was double the highest blue bar too.
Original Walking Plan I led the writing of the City’s first ever Walking Plan – approved in November 2008
2009 – moved increased funding for cycling to start cycling programme After getting the first Cycling Plan approved in 2008 I then sought some real funding in the following (2009/10) budget. This allowed us to build the Ara Tawa shared path through Tawa from Kenepuru to Takapu Station. It also allowed a wide range of minor works – cycle racks, cycle friendly grates and cycle stop boxes, and has been followed by subsequent significant increases in the cycling budget.
Front Johnsonville triangle roading development I led the Council’s governance involvement with funding and design of the $12 million Johnsonville Roading triangle work completed in early 2016. Important roading works to address long standing traffic congestion and safety issues in Johnsonville and to allow for future housing and commercial development of Johnsonville.
Construction of Westchester Drive Road (Churton Park) As Transport Leader worked with officers on land acquisition, design and funding. Westchester Drive was critical to allowing development of the Churton Park Town Centre and of ongoing residential development in Stebbings Valley. Without it ultimately Churton Park’s existing roads would not cope.  

Bridge span going in over Stebbings stream

Front parking sensor trials and encourage staff to go further with applications We completed successful trials of sensor meters in Blair an Allen Streets in late 2015 – early 2016. We are now going live across the whole central city. Sensor meters open up a huge range of opportunities to be more customer friendly providing you with online information on where vacant parks are, allow top ups from your phone, support retail better, assist taxi drivers with pick up and drop off, support mobility parking, and electric vehicle charging for example. I am working with officers to scope out our upcoming Parking Policy Review to scope how we best get advantage of this technology.
Oversee implementation of bikes in schools I worked with staff and Bikes in Schools Trust visiting applicant schools and talking to trustees and principals and deciding where we should invest. We have opened Bikes in Schools tracks at Holy Cross (Miramar), West Park (Johnsonville), Karori West, Hampton Hill (Tawa), with Houghton Valley School and Amesbury School (Churton Park) to come shortly. These are wonderful opportunities for children to learn to ride safely and to gain the freedom, fitness and confidence that comes with that.
Support Pukeahu and undergrounding. Not claiming this one ! I fronted for Council on decisions related to Pukeahu but Council as a whole was emphatic about undergrounding. Fantastic memorial park. I am delighted that Government eventually came to the decision to underground Buckle Street. Council strongly supported undergrounding and we contributed $5 million towards the Park.

I did recommend 4 laning the Arras tunnel, which I think we may regret not doing in time.

Having a major road through our National War Memorial Park really would have been a terrible outcome – undergrounding was costly  but a good investment by the Government.

Got NZTA agreement to mitigation of Basin flyover proposal As part of the controversial Flyover proposal, when it became evident that the Flyover was going to be the proposal that NZTA would take to the Board of Inquiry I worked to agree a wide range of mitigation initiatives – so that we could get the best possible outcome if the flyover succeeded. Particular agreements included beautification of the Kent-Cambridge boulevard, and beautification of Karo Drive.
Lead development of City Cycling framework / strategy / NZTA applications I have lead the development of the City’s Cycling Framework and Master Plans over the last few years. We have a coherent framework to allow Council to engage with communities on details of where best to put cycleways and how best to design them. Cycling is a relatively small but growing part of our transport system and it needs to play its role in accommodating growth.
Work with Mayor and NZTA to accelerate Great Harbour Way (GHW) – provide logic and funding With the GHW Trust and the Mayor, I have consistently led the advocacy for filling the key gap in the cycleway between Petone and Ngauranga, getting it prioritised highly in the Regional Transport Plan. NZTA will apply for consent for the Petone – Ngauranga section later this calendar year. This investment will better link the Hutt and Wellington for people on bikes and on foot. It has the potential to be as transformative as the New Plymouth Coastal Path is for that city, both for residents and for visitors. The planned reclamation of land will also allow important benefits to improved resilience for the railway lines and state highway. It will link into the Hutt River Trail and thence to the Rimutaka Rail Trail and Wairarapa, which will be a fantastic tourist /recreational route.

(please note the actual design and area of reclamation is likely to be considerably wider than the mock up image here)

Leading role in protection of Takapu Valley and Tawa (2014-15) As part of the Petone Grenada road NZTA to our surprise and that of the community, proposed in early 2015 to widen State Highway One into Tawa residential properties, or put a new road right through the rural community of Takapu Valley to connect to Transmission Gully . I worked with the Takapu Valley community to oppose this unwelcome surprise. NZTA subsequently agreed with the analysis that we did that questioned the traffic growth projections behind their proposals. They dropped both the Tawa widening and the Takapu Valley Road.

The Petone Grenada Road is able to proceed without either of these additions.

Helped get a cycleway into Victoria Street The original proposal did not include any provision for people on bikes. With several other colleagues I strongly advocated that there should be provision made. Provision has been made. It is certainly a lot better than not providing. I am still not 100% convinced by some aspects of the design, particularly the conflict between cyclists and left turning traffic into Vivian Street. That remains work to be done.
Delivery of low impact cycle safety improvements on Chaytor St – cyclists were being hit at Chaytor/Raroa junction Work with staff, supported by other concerned councillors, to respond to safety issues. Changes in signage and road marking were installed in late 2015 and are being monitored. Seem to be helping.
Encourage central government to think  about scenarios in transport and population strategy I was concerned that Government policy was putting all its transport eggs in one basket without reference to a potentially changing future. I advocated scenario planning – especially through the NZ Traffic Institute (TRAFINZ) Ministry of Transport is now doing some brilliant work in looking at possible future scenarios – with technological, environmental and social changes considered. The critically important thing is that we start thinking that the future will probably not look like the past and therefore we need to plan in a way that we don’t put all our eggs in the wrong basket but can be flexible to a range of changing futures.
Contributions to MoT Safer Journeys review – Safety Champion idea, Safe System mandating, dedicated engineering fund TRAFINZ was the first advocate for the adoption of the world leading European safe systems approach. This was adopted in the Government’s 2010 – 2020 Safer Journeys Strategy Road deaths and injuries came down significantly in the early years of the decade but remain too high, possibly with increased economic activity and tourism in the last couple of years.

Government has also recently set aside $600 million over 10 years for road safety engineering, things like median and edge barriers which TRAFINZ has advocated for over the last decade. We have seen the spectacular success of these barriers overseas and locally with our own Pukerua Bay – Paekakariki barrier perhaps saving close to 100 lives over its existence.

Cuba St cycle stands with Mark Peck Mark and I consulted local businesses after one of them had asked for cycle racks Agreed and installed in 2016.
Oversee successful bringing in house of Parking Services and ongoing operation. As Transport and Urban Development Chair I worked with officers during the process to agree the transfer and the seamless process to bring parking services in house in mid 2014. I continue to take a position that I would prefer everyone park legally, safely and courteously – so that other people can also find a carpark, and that if we could achieve that I would be delighted if there were no tickets issued at all. What is very pleasing is that over the last 5 or 6 years the Council has issued fewer and fewer tickets, and compliance is improving. So Council revenue from enforcement is down, while revenue from meters is up (no price change!) to almost cover the reduction in fine revenue.

Parking staff also performing more ambassadorial functions

Living Streets – street audit (Oct 2015) Last year I organised a ‘Street Audit’ with Living Streets Aotearoa (pedestrian advocacy group) and Councils Accessibility Advisory Group to look at disabled and general access from the Railway Station and through nearby streets. We have recommended a number of changes to be made particularly to help wheelchair access and improve directional signage. Out wheelchair users were getting stuck coming off some of the ramps from footpaths, so Council staff are getting these fixed.

I will carry on with this work. It is very important that all our citizens and visitors are safely and freely able to get around the city and enjoy being fully part of our community.

Minor safety works arranged response – MacAlister Park crossing (e Petition Nov 2014), We received a community petition asking for a safer crossing near MacAlister Park (Berhampore) I arranged staff to undertake work to provide a safer crossing
Minor safety works Highbury I received a community request for safety improvements to allow pedestrian access to Highbury and safer vehicle access to Highbury Road. Implemented pedestrian crossing and roundabout. Especially valued by children coming from Kelburn School
Broderick  Road parking issue (2015), Worked with residents of Broderick Road – Johnsonville – to address parking issues that caused safety concerns Completed 2015
Public Transport Spine Study – Bus Priority, Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail (etc) I insisted the study recommendations had to come to Wellington City Councillors rather than just being decided by a small hearings committee. At my committee I included a resolution to protect the potential corridors for light rail if it occurs in future.
Bus routes – early advocacy of a double spine and kept focus on needing whole route right to suburbs Ongoing advocacy for the importance of reliable service to the suburbs, not just the route from the station to the airport.
Strengthening wall by Karori tunnel as part of the project I advocated to management that the bank on the city side of Karori tunnel be included in the tunnel strengthening project because the original bank was crumbling badly. Work undertaken in 2012 on both the wall and the tunnel
Taxi parking bylaw – to allow Council to stop taxis taking metered parking spaces set aside for the general public. I got the taxi bylaw on the table and through consultation despite officer reluctance and reluctance of many colleagues. It was widely supported by submitters and we implemented it in 2012/13 Taxi drivers were routinely occupying large numbers of spaces allocated for ordinary members of the public. (metered parks) That was frustrating for shoppers, retailers and Council. The bylaw allows Council parking enforcement staff to effectively deal with taxi drivers who abuse the space.

Our general philosophy is that we provide taxi parks in sufficient numbers and appropriate locations so that people wanting a taxi can find one easily. We do not and cannot provide free parking for all taxis because the space obviously does not exist.

A leader in Manners street bus way With Kerry Prendergast and the majority of Council. The upgrade to Manners Street and Willis Street was an essential component in improving bus efficiency and reliability through the city. Over 30,000 people use buses through the heart of the city and it is important that we provide as reliable service as we can.
Lead 30 kph speed limits for Golden Mile – reject 20kph Following a pedestrian fatality I led the implementation of 30 kph speed limit through the Golden Mile beginning in 2006 – completed by 2011/12. A coroner concluded that the 2006 fatality would probably not have occurred had the vehicle concerned been travelling slower and recommended slower speed limits. Council agreed.
Recover cut to retaining walls budget ($1 million a year added to LTP 2015 – 25) includes Karori Wall. Senior management recommended reducing the amount allocated to retaining walls and sea walls in the 2015/16 Long Term Plan. I disagreed and councillors supported me in reinstating the cut. The first beneficiary of the retention of funding was the Karori Road wall below Lancaster Street. This extra funding allowed the road to be widened at its narrowest point, future proofing it, where building a cheaper wall would have meant a narrow road was retained for the next 100 years, with attendant traffic and safety issues. It has also much improved visibility from the difficult Lancaster Street exit.
Inner City Bypass As then Transport and Infrastructure Chairman it was my responsibility to work with Transit and appellants to try to get agreement to allow the Bypass (Karo Drive) proposal to proceed. The Bypass process was tortuous. It was never going to be possible in those days of limited national transport funding (half the petrol tax funding went into the Government’s consolidated fund until 2008) to underground the road. Karo Drive an Vivian Street replaced the dog legged arrangement using Ghuznee St – Taranaki St – Vivian St eastbound and Buckle St – Taranaki St – Vivian St westbound.
Bond Street closure and Pedestrian Safety furniture along Golden Mile Led the engagement process that closed the Bond St exit onto Willis St – addressing a significant safety problem and allowing Bond Street to become a much more pleasant area. Worked with officers to install safety furniture to reduce the likelihood that people would run/walk onto the road without looking. Safety is much improved and Bond Street is a much nicer street which people enjoy sitting and eating and socialising in.
Hunter Street bus priority I got the extra slip lane from Lambton Quay into Hunter St. Previously buses were held up by a traffic light there and when buses were allowed to go cars on Featherston St were held up. The rearrangement makes travel quicker for both buses and cars.
Bowen St clearway I led making Bowen Street a 9.30 clearway Bowen Street was previously getting badly clogged during morning peak. A single parked car and the traffic turning into the Terrace was enough to block all traffic heading down to the Lambton Quay – Whitmore intersection.
Glenmore St bus priority lane and cyclelane My idea Seemed very logical – the space was available and Karori bound buses were getting stuck in general traffic at evening peak, so I proposed a bus lane (usable by bikes and in service taxis and emergency vehicles too) Officers agreed and we implemented it. It has been highly successful. It also allows cars to safely overtake slower trolley buses and cyclists safely.
Bus priority through CBD I have led all the bus priority work through the central city and to the south Not easy to get in but bit by bit we are getting there. Some bits like Courtenay Place still need improvement.
Shared walkway – cycleway to Cruise ships I led the Council in developing this shared path in time for Rugby World Cup 2011 It is now a more attractive route for cruise ship passengers and people working in Harbour Quays or getting to the Stadium. In time I want to extend the shared path along Aotea Quay to connect to the Hutt Road and hopefully over the Port as part of a Port Access project and north along the coast to Ngauranga.
Lead push for review of WCC PT transport rate (with Tony Randle – 2015) I advocated with Public Transport Advocate Tony Randle for a review of GWRC’s Transport Rate. We showed that Wellington City was disadvantaged (ie Wellington subsidises other parts of the region) GWRC agreed with the points we made and have undertaken to review the settings.
Bus shelter increase budget Cr Iona Pannett and I got an increased budget for installing new bus shelters on an ongoing basis. C 2010/2011 More city bound bus shelters being delivered all over the city
Thorndon Quay clearway safety improvement I led the second attempt to get a morning peak clearway in. This was the highest crash / injury road in the city for people on bikes. Crash numbers have dropped dramatically.

We will soon need to engage further with businesses on Thorndon Quay about cycling and bus priority and work out how to ensure they have good parking provision too.

Samuel Parnell Road This Karori ‘link road’ was on the books for some 50 years. I got it built and opened in 1999. Samuel Parnell Road provides another access from south Karori to the Town Centre area especially in an emergency, and gives us options for future Town Centre planning, possible cycleways, allows people to get off the main road.

(Samuel Parnell Road is named for Samuel Parnell, the creator of the 40 hour week, whi once lived in Donald St, Karori)

Cycle Forum Organised and ran major Cycle Forum in May 2013 attended by over 200 cyclists The forum has helped us guide future cycling delivery and development of our Framework and Master Plans
Basin traffic lights cut crashes enormously Chaired the engagement to address high crash statistics at the Basin Reserve Public working party concluded that traffic lights were the best option for reducing crashes and they have worked very well. Many crashes used to occur as a result of lane changing manoeuvres.
CBD intersection review to reduce pedestrian wait times (c2013 forward) I proposed a resolution that Council agreed to task staff to review traffic light settings across the Central City to aim to reduce pedestrian waiting times This work is progressing intersection by intersection, with incremental reductions in wait times as each intersection is considered and light phasing reviewed. We have also started to install Pedestrian Countdown Timers to show us how much time we have remaining to get across the road.
Kenya St (Ngaio) road safety Worked with residents and officers to improve safety Installed driver feedback signs to slow at corner, changed parking – to be completed Sept 2016
Birdwood St cycleway My idea Uphill cycleway into Karori allows cyclists to get off the road where visibility is poor – also improves the situation for motorists
Campbell Street Kea Crossing Responded to school requests and got crossing installed
Karori West School 2015 safety work (parking, vegetation, fence) Work with staff, school and Karori By Bike to improve access safety to school for pupils
Push back against 6 laning Ruahine St and Wellington Road Leading role in saying to NZTA that 4 laning was acceptable but 6 lanes is not (impact on Town Belt)
Newlands Flyover – resolved appeal Resolved appeal allowing the Newlands flyover – overbridge to be expedited and built earlier than otherwise might have been the case
Leading push for plans for Kent and Cambridge Terrace I want to see Kent and Cambridge Terraces as a beautiful boulevard, ideally with Waitangi stream restored, while fulfilling its transport functions. Budget has been agreed (2015-25 Long Term Plan) and I have got urban design and boulevards as a key consideration on Let’s Get Wellington Moving.
Sunshine Avenue traffic resolutions In response to resident requests – a series of traffic safety road markings and traffic calming with a little more to come