Letter to Wellington City Council re: Island Bay cycleway

21st April 2021

Ms Barbara McKerrow

Chief Executive

Wellington City Council

Dear Ms McKerrow,

Re: The Parade, Island Bay

The Island Bay Residents’ and Businesses Association (IBRA) would like to see the concerns related to The Parade in Island Bay resolved.

The Wellington City Council will be aware that design changes made to The Parade in Island Bay by the Council in February 2016 with little consultation continue to be a major concern for many Island Bay residents and businesses and an embarrassment for the Wellington City Council.

IBRA’s major concern is safety. The current road configuration which includes a cycleway next to the footpath, then car parks and a very narrow roadway, compromises the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers and passengers and users of public transport.

Island Bay has one of the best and most frequent bus services in Wellington yet two buses travelling in opposite directions on The Parade cannot pass without moving into carparks. Drivers alighting from their parked car need to negotiate a very narrow roadway. Passengers alight from parked cars directly into the cycleway. Cars backing out of driveways, need to negotiate pedestrians, cyclists, parked cars and then a very narrow roadway.

The Council has acknowledged problems with the design and in July 2017, asked the Community to make submissions on 4 options “to fix The Parade”.  IBRA offered a 5th option referred to as Option E. This option essentially returned The Parade to its pre-February 2016 design. Option E had the overwhelming support of many Island Bay residents and businesses (the people who use The Parade daily). It is now 4 years since Council sought Community submissions and nothing has been resolved. 

Wellington City Councillors preferred Justin Lester’s Mayoral Option which was initially costed at $6.1 million but has now blown out to an estimated $14 million. A cost that neither the Council nor the residents of Island Bay could justify.

We understand that Council is under increasing financial pressures and will be seeking to increase rates and fixing The Parade is not a high priority. Returning The Parade to its pre 2016 configuration is by far the cheapest option. Council is soon to reseal The Parade. Resealing will wipe out existing marking and all that would be required is new markings.

Essentially IBRA is proposing: 

  • Move the car spaces back to the roadside curb.
  • Put the cycle paths on the outside of the cars. (This configuration is quite common

throughout Wellington and the rest of the country). 

In addition, IBRA would suggests the Parade could be made even safer by:

  • Reducing the speed limit for all vehicles (including cycles) for the length of The Parade to 30kph.
  • Allow the footpath on The Parade to be used by children under the age of 10 riding bikes.

The footpaths on both sides of The Parade are reasonably wide. Council could simply put a white line in the middle of the footpath to guide young cyclists and pedestrians.

These changes would provide more space for buses and large vehicles travelling in opposite directions to pass and improve the safety for all those who use The Parade at a reasonable cost to the ratepayers of Wellington. New options for The Parade could be explored when the Council is in a better financial position.

IBRA supports Councils’ desire to increase the use of public transport, walking and cycling, but it cannot support this position when it compromises the safety of other road and footpath users.

When incorporating cycleways into existing roadways, international best practice indicates there be 5 key objectives safety: – directness, comfort, coherence, and attractiveness. Cycleways should connect people and places, be safe and perceived to be safe, provide personal security and limit conflict between cyclists and other route users. The current design of The Parade in our opinion fails on all these counts.

This issue has been debated long and hard in Island Bay. Two of our committee members do not support this submission. We do however believe we have the overwhelming support of Island Bay Residents and Businesses. 

We would be happy to meet with yourself and Council staff to discuss further suggestions to The Parade as we are wanting the safest and the best outcome for all users be they cyclists, pedestrians, users of public transport and motorists. 

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Byrne 


Island Bay Residents Association (IBRA)

Committee members for: Jane Byrne, Lorraine Edwards, David Bolt, Pat Vinaccia, Janine Hyde and Bruce Gadd

Committee members against: Ben Everist, Stephen Day.

Cc:  Chief Executive NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi – Nicole Rosie

Cc:  Chief Infrastructure Officer at Wellington City Council – Tom Williams

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