Why improve cycling along Thorndon Quay and not Aotea Quay?
It's a more direct connection – 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.
Business – people who commute by bike, also shop. Most travel by other modes at other times. Coming this way, they have the option of visiting shops and cafes. Even if they don't routinely stop going to or from work, they will be aware of the shops, cafes and businesses here. They will be customers at times and may also tell friends and family about businesses in this area.
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.
There is no space within the existing road corridor to build a safe, separated cycleway. The already narrow traffic lanes will have to accommodate more vehicles and wider trucks in future (the legal width of heavy vehicles is set to increase to 2.55m).
A separated cycleway along Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay, from Hutt Road to Bunny Street, would require a 5m-wide strip of land along the 1km route (5000sqm).
People on bikes would have to ride beside the very busy road with lots of fast traffic.
The land on Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay is owned by CentrePort and KiwiRail. To date, neither has been willing to make land available to the Council at this point.
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.
A cycleway would have a direct impact on CentrePort and its tenants (relocating port facilities would be an additional cost).
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 at this stage whether a cycleway could potentially fit with these plans.
The route would require a 6-8m-high bridge to be built over the railway lines to connect the Hutt Road cycleway to Aotea Quay. This would also create an uphill climb for people on bikes.
Connecting the Hutt Road cycleway to Aotea Quay would be difficult because of the motorway interchange (the southbound off-ramp and northbound on-ramp by the ferry terminal).
Many people using a quays route would still need to cross over into Featherston Street and other locations in the central city.
Possible long-term option
A route on Aotea Quay could be possible in the longer term. This would potentially be part of a Great Harbour Way and a clear continuation of the northern route from Wellington City to Petone and the wider region.
However, even if it was built, we believe a significant proportion of the growing number of people cycling this route would still want to travel via Thorndon Quay, particularly those who live in the western hill suburbs like Ngaio and Khandallah, or north of the city.
Initial cost estimates
Aotea Quay route: $4.8m–$6.2m (not including any relocation costs on CentrePort land).
Thorndon Quay route: $2.2m–$4.2m (not including any potential parking mitigation).
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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