Cycle Safety – East Wellington


Conditions

  1. It is a human right to walk and ride a horse or bicycle.
  2. Driving a motor car is not a right of passage, but a privilege that can be taken away
  3. Cars are highly dangerous devices that kill about four hundred of us, every year.
  4. A Cyclist has the right to minimum standards of safety, with regards to road design.
  5. Consideration must be given for all road users in the NZ Road Code.
  • Wellington is a very dangerous City to ride around on a bike.
  • So is Auckland.
  • Motorists behave differently where there is a clearly defined cycle lane.
  • There are many solutions to these issues, in both the Short and Long Term.
  • The reason there are not more fatalities, is because to ride a bicycle around here you must have eyes in the back of your head and be on full alert all of the time.
  • In a car v. bicycle collision, the car might dent a panel, but for the cyclist it will hurt.

 


Council Proposal

To separate  fast and slow traffic in the flatter areas, where the roads are wide enough. The Photo below depicts one workable solution. Part of the WCC. Island Bay Bike Path project. Putting the parked cars between the fast traffic with a cycle lane next to the footpath, in my opinion is a workable option to roll out, with a few modifications.

From this concept, dividing footpaths that are wide enough, with few people on them is a less expensive way to achieve the same result. Rather than doing this to an entire length of only 1 major road in each area (when the concept is eventually rolled out), targeting the areas that are dangerous would be more useful, from a cycle safety perspective.

Cycle Lane next to the footpath

WCC. proposal for part of the Island Bay Bike Route.    Only Island Bay  Parade is quite this wide?

There are clear safety advantages

  • Provides a clearly defined area to ride a Bicycle.
  • Reduce the current prevailing dangerous conditions for cyclists by a large factor.
  • Safer to be away from fast traffic when the road narrows, blind corners and hill crests.
  • Most cars have no passengers to get out of the car, without warning.
  • Reduce chances of getting hit by an opening car door, motorists seldom look.
  • With clearly defined cycle lanes, pedestrians will become aware and share the space.

 


 Summary of Expectations

As an International Eco-Tourist Destination, most backpackers are as alarmed about the conditions for cycle safety, as are parents who will not let their kids ride a bicycle to school. The dangers are as real, but also avoidable and without huge expense or time. It would be a good thing if those who design our roads, were to ride a bicycle for them selves, so they can experience the effects of what they do, or neglect. There is nowhere to go at the end of almost every cycle lane. My questions, “Where is the shoulder of the road now?” How long will it take to do something to fix these obvious problems?

 


In-expensive Systematic Solution at Crossings

According to the New Zealand Road Code (Ministry of Transport), the designated place for a bicycle is the shoulder of the road.  All around East Wellington at every pedestrian crossing there is a footpath curb sticking out to narrow the road and slow motorists down.

The problem in Wellington, is that the WCC neglected to include a ramp for bikes to be able to navigate through the crossing. This could be quickly adjusted to international standard with a jack hammer and clearly marked with the currently standard green cycle lane strip.

Bicycle Obstructions

Outside Rongotai College on a very busy main road   .

Bicycle Obstructions at all Pedestrian Crossings.

To make a ramp for cycles to get over these obstructions, with clear signage as a Cycle Lane (the green strip), would solve this dangerous safety problem at every pedestrian crossing, without great expense. A Ramp for cyclists, is what happens with these things in most other cities on the planet. All those years ago when this was being rolled-out here, sadly the city designers must have forgot about the bike ramp part of it, but this danger can and should be resolved, and quickly.

 


posted by Mark G. Hayes
updated 22 May 2014

 


Further Reading

[ Wellington City Council – Bicycle safety Policy ]

[ NZ Road Code – for Cyclists ]

 


 

 

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