Bike network plan feedback from Kilbirnie Business Network Inc.

This submission is made on behalf of the owners and operators of the approximately 250 businesses in the Kilbirnie, Rongotai and Lyall Bay business communities.

The Kilbirnie Business Network recognises the desire to move to alternative, more active forms of transport and the need for mode shift in the coming years but believes that Onepu Road itself is not the optimal location for a cycleway for the reasons listed below.  These are very similar to points made last year which were accepted by council when it proposed a temporary pop-up cycleway and then subsequently abandoned the idea.  We are very disappointed to see that the project has been revised and consultation carried out so close to the Christmas holiday period.

The Kilbirnie Business Network opposes the planned cycle way along Onepu Rd for the following reasons: 

  1. This proposal has not been well considered.  While we don’t have specific designs at this stage, it is safe to assume that council will simply revert to their previous plan for Onepu Rd which will involve the removal of 41 carparks and re-aligning the centreline on Onepu Rd to install the cycle ways.

Why is the busiest road in Kilbirnie being chosen for the cycleway when there are far safer options such as via Ross Street and Yule Street.  Is it because of the inevitable backlash from residents and their visitors who would no longer be able to park outside their homes? Doesn’t council also have a duty to consider impacts on business owners?

  1. We note that no formal technical analysis on the proposed cycleway along Onepu Road has been carried out except to indicate that it would result in the loss of 41 on-street car parks.
  1. No consideration has been given to the impact on Kilbirnie businesses through a reduction in carparks, safety concerns from trucks (up to 100 a day) turning into Pak N Save and the access to other anchor tenants such as Countdown and the impending arrival of Chemist Warehouse and additional residential / retail developments at the corner of Rongotai and Onepu Roads.
  1. In the latest Parking Occupancy survey in June this year, it was found that there was a high occupancy rate of parking in the Kilbirnie shopping centre (the highest of any suburban centre in Wellington) – the loss of an additional 41 parks will not help this. In addition, no consideration has been given to the removal of disabled carparks required by some businesses such as the local doctor’s surgery.
  1. No evidence has been provided to support the proposal, such as cyclist numbers in the catchment area. Indeed, those numbers, if they do exist, are likely to be tiny because the catchment area is essentially only Lyall Bay.  We have had feedback from keen cyclists who indicate they wouldn’t even use this cycleway and officers and councillors have been unable to answer how the introduction of these on-road cycle ways contribute to improving social distancing.
  1. No alternative options seem to have been considered. Businesses, already badly impacted by Covid restrictions, are being asked for feedback right before Christmas and at a time when they are rightly focussed on rebuilding their businesses and their livelihoods.