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With the KCDC and NZTA proposing to eliminate a traffic lane in each direction through the Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centres to create space for cycle lanes, we made a trip to view firsthand what only a few Wellington City Council politicians and a small number of locals don’t consider to be a disaster there.

First an article on the North & South website on the history of it.

A news item on the stuff website from last December on a day of protest begins:

The Parade in Island Bay rang with chants of “paint it back” as hundreds of protesters marched against plans to spend an additional $4.1 m revamping a Wellington cycleway.

Protest organiser Vicki Greco, of the Island Bay Residents’ Association, told the crowd on Sunday that residents were working to bring legal action against Wellington City Council, which opted for an eleventh-hour “common sense” solution from Mayor Justin Lester despite the majority of residents supporting a return to pre-cycleway design.

Councillor Diane Calvert, who holds the council’s community planning and engagement portfolio, said Lester’s solution satisfied 31 of 34 requirements, as laid out by the residents’ association.

Full story

And here is the Get Rid of the Island Bay Cycleway Facebook page.

Not all Island Bay people are opposed to it, however; a survey by the residents association found there was a small minority (about 13%) in favour of it.

The obviously bizarre feature of this cycleway is that instead of the designated lanes being between parked cars and other road vehicles as is normal, the cycle lanes on each side of the road are between the parked cars and the curbs.

All the vehicles in the pics, except the buses, are parked, but they don’t look it.

Most cars are furnished with outside door mirrors on the driver’s side so a quick glance should reveal if a cyclist is approaching before opening the door.

But not all cars are fitted with passenger side door mirrors, and if they are, they are usually aligned to suit the driver’s vision, not the passenger’s.

Someone opening their door on the passenger side may not expect a cyclist to come whizzing along; and there have been collisions; both from cyclists crashing into an open passenger side door, and from cyclists crashing into passengers stepping between the car and the footpath.

Another obvious problem is that the cycleway doesn’t go anywhere: once you’re north of the fairly wide Island Bay Parade and get into Adelaide Road the road is too narrow for the lanes and these cease to exist.  So apart from the brave, it’s unlikely too many in Island Bay will want to treat the Island Bay cycleway as an alternative to getting the bus to work.

Our view on the elimination of traffic lanes in Paraparaumu and Waikanae (and angle parking on the west side of the Main Street in the latter) — “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”