This Letter was sent to the Mayor and all City Councillors on 4 June 2014
Focus on Cycle Safety
e-mail to Wellington City Council
Island Bay Parade already has a bicycle lane. Why spend the better part of the $1.3 million budget there at all, yet alone on the most expensive bicycle lane dream option? How much does it cost to lay 1 yard of the green strip?
Bicycle Safety budgets should be spent in places around Wellington, where it is actually quite dangerous to ride a bicycle. I think the WCC should start at the city end of the route to Island Bay, where the roads are narrow, and decisions more complicated. It would be a total waste of money to remodel an existing bicycle lane along a long straight road.
A Systematic Solution:
Most of East Wellington has roads that are wide enough to cater for everyone, but there are council made obstruction to the shoulder of the road at every pedestrian crossing. To make a small ramp over these obstructions, with a green strip to indicate that it is a cycle lane would solve a very large systematic dangerous problem for commuter cyclists.
Traffic calming measures extend the curb into the road, narrowing the space for cars and make them slow down at pedestrian crossings. However, everywhere else on Earth they put a bicycle ramp over the things, but WCC overlooked that little bit. It was a long time ago when the problem was created, but now that WCC has a budget for Cycle safety, I believe that a cycle ramp over all the pedestrian crossing in East Wellington, is where the money should be spent first. Start by removing the Council Made obstructions to the shoulder of the road.
Then look at where a little bit of paint can make a huge difference to bicycle safety. 1 line of paint serves well to define a bicycle lane, save the expensive green strip for the congested areas with more danger.
Currently there is no designated place to go, causing uncertainty for bicyclists and motorists alike. Some areas are too narrow to do much with, but not everywhere. The Wellington City Council should make safe for all road users, all places that can be reasonably made safer. Please spend less money on long wide stretches of road, and put the focus on fixing many more bicycle safety dangers where the measures are needed. Motor cars are so dangerous they kill hundreds of us every year.
Mark G. Hayes