Why we're making changes on Thorndon Quay – and potentially closer to the harbour
It's direct –Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road is the quickest and most direct route for people cycling to Featherston Street and the central city.
Demand – in the morning commuter peak, 80% of riders using the Thorndon Quay route continue along Featherston Street to the central city, with only 20% turning down Bunny Street to the quays.
As part of making this busy route from the Hutt, northern and western suburbs safer and easier for people on bikes, we are proposing some interim improvements on Thorndon Quay between Davis and Mulgrave streets in 2018.
New painted bike lanes are proposed between the parking spaces and traffic lane on both sides of the street. This will require changes to the parking on the stadium side of the road.
Further work to make Thorndon Quay even safer for people on bikes is possible in the future, but we are not proposing more significant changes through here until it is clearer how the Kaiwharawhara to central city transport route and area may change in the future.
It's always been our long-term aim to have better walking and biking facilities closer to the harbour, and planning for the Let's Get Wellington Moving project has provided a fresh opportunity to explore this.
Challenges to developing an alternative bike route closer to the harbour
Space along the quays is limited, with land at a premium.
The existing road along Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay is used by more than 30,000 vehicles a day. It's congested at peak times and is not safe for cycling.
At present, there is no space within the existing road corridor to build a safe, separated cycleway. However this could change through the wider Let's Get Wellington Moving project.
The land on Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay is owned by CentrePort and KiwiRail.
KiwiRail is developing a new transport logistics hub in their rail marshalling yards and the amount of rail freight is increasing.
CentrePort is focused on repairing damage following the Kaikoura earthquake and has long-term plans to further develop the port and ferry terminal area.
To date, neither has been willing to make land available for bike facilities, but discussions are continuing.
The port precinct was damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake, and the transport network is also vulnerable.
The Council is now working with CentrePort on a resilient wharf as part of the city’s response to a major quake or similar event. It is not clear yet whether a cycleway could potentially fit with these plans.
Connecting the Hutt Road cycleway to the harbour/Aotea Quay area is challenging because the route needs to go over (or under) the rail yards and motorway interchange (the southbound off-ramp and northbound on-ramp by the ferry terminal).
The majority of people using a quays route would still need to cross back into Featherston Street and other locations in the central city.
Possible long-term options
A route between Kaiwharawhara and the city centre closer to the harbour is possible in the longer term. This would form part of the planned Great Harbour Way and would be a continuation of the northern route from Wellington City to Petone and the wider region.
A significant number of people would likely still see Thorndon Quay as the most desirable route to use to get to their destination, so further improvements are possible here once it is clear how Aotea Quay and Thorndon Quay will change as part of the Let's Get Wellington Moving project.
The Thorndon Quay route will go from the Aotea Quay overbridge along Hutt Road, Thorndon Quay, Featherston Street, and Bunny Street to the Waterloo Quay intersection.
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