Wellington City Council has approved changes to Evans Bay Parade between Greta Point and Cobham Drive that it says will create more space for people, and a harbourside walking and biking route Wellingtonians can be proud of.
Pūrora Āmua, the Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, voted to complete Tahitai – the key commuter and recreational route around the bays to the city from the east. This section of Paneke Pōneke, the planned citywide network of safe biking and scooting routes, will connect the new paths already in place on Cobham Drive and elsewhere on Evans Bay Parade, and to Miramar and Kilbirnie shops.
Deputy Mayor, Sarah Free said it was wonderful to see so many people using the paths along Cobham Drive and around Ōmarukaikuru/Pt Jerningham.
“Completing this connection is an important part of building a city where it will be easy to get around in low carbon ways, and to see and enjoy the places that make the city so special. It will also be part of Te Aranui o Pōneke/the Great Harbour Way,” the Mayor said.
“Evans Bay is used by many Wellingtonians for recreation and water sports, as well as being a busy transport route, so a balance is needed to make the area more accessible for more people as the city grows. We have to give people more high-quality travel options and make sure it is a safe environment for everyone.”
The committee also agreed to the changes proposed by officers in response to public feedback on parking in the vicinity of Hataitai beach and Evans Bay Yacht Club. By slightly narrowing the traffic lane and bike path in several places, more parking can be provided to maintain access to the yacht club and Hataitai beach than was originally proposed.
Council is also looking at ways to make more space available near the dog park and at the off-street public boat ramp and marina to increase parking for recreational visitors, particularly for water-based activities at busy times during weekends and events.
Pūroro Āmua/Planning and Environment Committee Chair, Councillor Iona Pannett says changes to make it possible for more people to change the way they move are critical to achieving climate action goals.
“It is a step towards a biking network, lower emissions and a future where more people of all ages and abilities can opt to bike, walk, scoot, skate or take public transport more often,” she said.
The te reo name gifted by Taranaki Whānui for this section of the route is Te Haerenga Roa o Te Aro (Te Aro’s long journey). This ingoa wahi conveys the history of the journey of peoples of Te Aro, from their arrival in Aotearoa, journey to Taranaki, and then on to Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
As well as the new paths, the changes will include:
- raised pedestrian crossings including two new crossings in the Greta Point area;
- an extra mobility car park near the café and time restrictions for on-street parking;
- better bus journeys, with fewer bus stops where these were too close together, and improvements to remaining bus stops;
- changes to the intersections of Rata and Belvedere roads to make them safe for all users and easily accessible for people getting to or from the new paths;
- improvements to the landscaped area between Cog Park and the Evans Bay Patent Slip, to make it more accessible and contribute to telling the story of this significant heritage-listed site.
The next step in the project will be to complete the detailed design. Construction is expected to start in 2023.