Cuba Street bike lane from Ghuznee Street to Vivian Street

We’re proposing to make it possible for people to ride both ways in the one-way section of Cuba Street between Ghuznee Street and Vivian Street by putting in a new contra-flow bike lane.

Submissions received showed overall support for this change with 68 percent (52)submissions in support and 24 submissions against. However, as these are a new type of lane for Wellington, more thought is being given to this before it goes to Councillors for their consideration in late 2017 or early 2018. 



What would change

  • people riding in the usual direction (down the street towards Ghuznee Street) would share the traffic lane as they do now
  • this side of the street would be 3-metres wide and marked  with sharrows (the arrow and cycle symbol)
  • a 1.6 metre-wide bike lane for people riding up Cuba Street would be added on the other side, painted green and clearly marked with arrows and cycle symbols
  • all the parking would remain where it is but drivers would have to cross the bike lane getting into and out of car parks on the right-hand side (heading down Cuba)
  • a metre-wide buffer would be provided between the bike lane and the parking spaces to provide some room for car doors to be opened safely
  • drivers entering or leaving parking spaces on the Swan Lane side would need to give way to people using the bike lane
  • traffic turning right and left from Cuba Street to Ghuznee Street would share the same lane – there are separate turning lanes at the moment
  • minor alterations would be made to the planter box and paved area near the intersection of Vivian Street to provide space for people biking to wait at the lights
  • the traffic light phasing would be altered slightly to give people riding a few seconds to cross, or turn left into Vivian Street ahead of traffic (note Cuba Street above Vivian Street is two way)


How this will help

We want to make things safer and more convenient for people on bikes, and improving connections between streets is one of the ways we can do this.

Along with a change proposed to allow riding both ways in the lower Cuba Street shared zone, installing this section of lane will make it easier for people on bikes to head south up the street and across to the two-way section of upper Cuba Street. Cuba Mall is pedestrian-only but people can walk their bikes through here.

Cuba Street is not a main route but it provides a good north-south link between Mount Cook and the city centre.

There are also lots of shops, cafes, businesses, entertainment and educational facilities in this general area that people want to get to including Te Auaha, the new WelTec/Whitireia creative campus in Cuba Mall, which is due to open in 2018. We want them to be able to do that by bike more easily.

The one-way system was designed for cars, but doesn’t work so well for people on bikes. This change will provide more direct options for getting places by bike in this area.

This change is one of a series of planned changes to improve connections and make it safer and easier for people to get places in the central city by bike.  

Incremental changes like these – combined with the more substantial changes likely through the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project – will together help create a better network.


Why we’re proposing this particular design in this location

Based on experience elsewhere, this design is expected to work well in this location because the traffic volumes and speeds are relatively low. About 2400 vehicles a day travel this way and the average speed is 28 km/h.

People driving down the street, and manoeuvring into and out of car parks will have a clear view of anyone riding up.

Like the section of Cuba Street between Vivian Street and Webb Street, this part of the street was once  two-way with parking on both sides, so there is enough space to make this change.

 00291 4 987 Areas in and around Bute Street Walter Street Binham Street and east frontage Cuba Street from Garret to Vivian Street 06 Apr 1973 4


 contraflow Paris

Contra-flow lanes are used in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia. Cycling both ways on one-way streets has been standard practice in Belgium since about 2005 and in France since 2010. This image of a busy Paris street shows one of the ways lanes are marked in France.

Photo: Vladimir Zlokazov/Live streets

How we got here and next steps

  • The feedback period for the traffic changes (resolutions) related to this proposal was 25 July to 11 August 2017. Councillors were expected to make a decision in mid-September 2017, but this has been delayed for up to three months. If approved, the changes to the street are likely to be made in 2018.
  • Other changes recommended by the Central City Working Group are being considered. Some – including improvements to some existing crossings to the waterfront – may happen as part of an ongoing upgrade programmes. Others will require traffic resolutions that will be advertised at a later date. 

Supporting documents for Cuba Street - bike lane

Proposed traffic resolution

This traffic resolution outlines the improvement proposed for Cuba Street between Ghuznee and Vivian Streets.

TR 82 17 Cuba Street contraflow cycle lane Vivian Ghuznee V2 JH 03072017 (1.7 MB)

Central city

See the improvements being considered across the central city.

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