Contra-flow lanes are new to Wellington, and not common in New Zealand yet, but are used in many countries including Australia. They allow cyclists to ride in both directions on one-way streets. They work best in streets with low traffic flows and low average speeds.

The Wellington streets, or sections of street, where these are proposed, would remain one-way for cars but become two-way for people on bikes. People riding bikes would share the traffic lane with other vehicles to move in the usual direction. A one-way cycle lane would be provided so they could travel in the opposite direction. The design will vary depending on the location, but in most cases it is likely to be on the road.

Wellington's first contra-flow lane was installed in 2017 on a quiet service lane in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. 

 This type of lane:

  • allows people cycling to get where they want to go in the most direct way
  • saves them having to go the long way round, or potentially having to ride on streets that are less suitable for riding
  • means people on bikes can more easily get to shops, cafes, businesses and educational and other facilities located on one-way sections of street.

The proposed lanes will mostly not affect existing on-street parking.  In Cuba Street, for instance, we are proposing to put one between the parallel parking spaces and the one-way traffic lane. A buffer will be provided between the parked cars and the bike lane to reduce the risk from car doors and provide space for people getting out of cars.

In Willeston Street, where there is no parking, we are proposing a design similar to this one in Melbourne.

443A5668 Melbourne contraflow lane jpg

Central city

See the improvements being considered across the central city.

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