The cycleway that keeps costing money

The Taxpayers Union point out:

An official information response shows the Wellington City Council has spent more than a million dollars on the Island Bay cycleway since its completion in 2016.

In 2016, the Wellington City Council installed a 1.7km cycle-way along The Parade in Island Bay. A lackluster consultation process saw the preferences of local residents shunted aside by a loud minority of lycra activists and the resulting cycleway failed to provide safety for motorists or cyclists.

Despite its completion, an additional $1,093,759 has been spent on the cycleway in recent years – apparently on consultation and planning. 

The cycleway is hated by many residents – it has actually made the road less safe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and destroyed some local businesses due to the loss of car parks.

I’m a fan of cycleways, when done right. The best example is the planned one between Wellington and Petone along the Hutt Road. It is going to be on the far side of the railway tracks and totally separated from the road. It will be safe, and it won’t be destroying current car parks which businesses need for their customers.

But for some people they hate cars so much, they don’t just want cycleways – they want fewer carparks. They want to make it harder for people to drive and park.

 Last November, the Council promised to spend $2 million to $14 million more addressing safety concerns arising from the cycleway’s poor design. Changes include painting the bike lane green and slightly widening the lanes with concrete ‘buffers’ between motorists and cyclists. The “improvements” mean motorists will lose 60-80 car parks on The Parade. The changes have been opposed by 66% of those engaged with the brief three-week consultation, with 57% strongly opposed.

So rather than remove the Island Bay Cycleway, they will spend up to $14 million more on “fixing” it, which will means up to 80 fewer car parks for residents and businesses.

Meanwhile, Cycling Action Network, the lobby group that pushed for the installation of the cycleway, has been given $23,420 by the council since 2015.

Lobby groups should not be receiving ratepayer funding.

On average around 400 trips are taken on the cycleway per weekday. That’s just 200 commuters, or 2.9% of the suburb’s population. Based on the so far, someone who’s regularly commuted using the cycleway since its installation has enjoyed a $13,000 subsidy from ratepayers. Forking out millions more is madness.

$13,000 per cyclist!

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