What is new in 2020?
Since Walk2Work Day just 6 weeks ago a lot has happened in Wellington and New Zealand.
#Covid19 level 4 lockdown has just finished and we wait for the response from councils around the country to show how they will keep pedestrians safe, with adequate physical distancing possible on our public streets. Share your ideas with your councillors. Wellington needs to act (see the initiatives happening in Nelson and Auckland - action on the ground already). Here is a short piece I wrote about how we can make Wellington better.
The Accessible Streets road rules change proposals are proceeding, with a late extension for submissions until 20 May. This is the most significant road rule changes for years and will adversely affect pedestrians. Please make a submission - check out the short guide to Living Streets Wellington submission. Even a short email will help to accessible.streets (a) nzta.govt.nz
Walk2Work Day was Wednesday 11 March 2020. The day to get out and celebrate walking, part of our daily activity. See our Facebook page for photos
National elections this year - what will be the issues?
Will the poorly introduced escooter, a major disruptor for walking be an issue for the elections? It should be. The (in)Accessible Streets road rule package will cause a stir if passed.
Check out this years Tuesday walks timetable - these walks are on hold until walking together is back! Please continue with the walks on your own, see details:
Here is the new timetable for walks in 2020 - try one out on Tuesdays.
See links on bottom of the page for other Walking Groups
Meetings and events
Want to get more involved in walking and advocating for our slice of the transport pie in Wellington? Living Streets Wellington hold a meeting every month contact wellington(a)livingstreets.org.nz for more details and to come along - all members welcome.
We look forward to seeing you at a future event.
Check out our submissions here - Wellington parking policy is the latest submission. Good parking management is essential for liveable cities, and obviously off the footpath.
And if anyone has some time to make this page better please let me know.
What happened in 2019
News from WCC - the scourge of escooters joined the parking pains of ONZO bikes on our footpaths in Wellington in June 2019. Let your councillors and MPs know what you think about this new vehicle tech. Serviced by underpaid, petrol-car using juicers these motorised scooters are parked taking up to one third of the footpath (if parked well!). Escooters are not allowed on the Golden Mile footpath so if you see them there please complain.
The slightly better news - this is a trial for 6 months (extendable) so any feedback received should go into the mix as to how they are managed in the future. The real culprits in this fiasco are the government, who in October 2018 declared electric motorised scooters not to be motor-vehicles and therefore allowed to use the footpath as recreational vehicles. Do let your MP know what you think about this. Do remember this at the local body elections - only 5 councillors voted against them being ridden on our footpaths.
2019 Local body elections
Local bodies make all the important decisions about walking, footpaths and pedestrian infrastructure and priority on our roads.
We asked local body candidates 5 questions:
- Improved pedestrian service has been signalled as a first priority for LGWM. What is one project to improve walking or pedestrian infrastructure that you will take action on if elected?
- Do you support safer speeds for Wellington roads? That means 30km hour for the central city, in every shopping centre, and outside every school.
- Do you agree that footpaths are for pedestrians?
- Now that NZTA gives a subsidy for footpath maintenance, name two footpaths in your area that need improvement?
- How do you see walking will help tackle climate change?
We got these responses at the bottom of this page:
We asked do you agree footpaths are for pedestrians? In the recent February 2019 vote to allow escooters onto Wellington footpaths (that have so far mostly affected central area pedestrians), five councillors voted to continue to prioritise footpaths for pedestrians and not to allow escooters, they were Sarah Free, Nicola Young, Brian Dawson, Simon Woolf and Diane Calvert.
We've also had a go at making a 'traffic light scorecard' of the 'improved, sitting still, and going backwards' actions of the Wellington City Council over the last triennium. Have a look at the attached and let us know if you agree, or have more to add.
The second New Zealand Walking Summit was held in Auckland in June 2019 with a focus on public transport connections, and the walk to school and play. Check out the presentations on this page.
What we did in 2018
Open Streets - Te Ara Tapere ki Pōneke Sunday 28 October 2018
Join us at the corner of Hunter and Victoria Streets for our Living Streets 'Make a Place' as part of the Open Street event. Use our props or bring your own to create your own space in this public place!
Check out the facebook event
On 26 June 2018 we held the national Golden Foot Walking Awards hosted at Parliament, by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. This was a great night and so inspiring to hear about all the wonderful finalists and winners. People who are out there making walking better for all of us. Read more about Golden Foot Walking Awards.
Walk2Work Day on 14 March was our first event in 2018. Living Streets hosted two walks and WCC councillors led 6 other walking talking opportunities.
1 Northern gate at the Basin Reserve, look for the sign - join a walk along the Canal Reserve (as much as possible) taking in the interesting sights, look at the uses of this public space, and how we can use and improve it - lots to see but we expect the walk will take about half an hour. On the flat and should be accessible to all. Councillors Iona Pannett and Brian Dawson will be joining us.
2 VUW Kelburn Parade, under the walkway look for the sign - join a walk down Mount St, Flagstaff Hill to Perretts Corner on Willis Street with Chris. Lots to see along this heritage walk. Its all downhill but steep with steps.
Wellington City Councillors are really getting into step for Walk2Work Day - join them at one of these walks and talk walking Wellington with them along the way
3 Kilbirnie Sports Centre for a walk through the town belt to Civic Centre with Councillor Sarah Free
4 Wellington Railway Station main entrance, to walk to the Civic Centre with Councillors Jill Day, Peter Gilberd and Malcolm Sparrow
5 Caribbean Cafe, Brooklyn Village to walk down through Central Park with Councillor David Lee
6 Shorland Park to walk to Island Bay and St Francis schools with Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons
7 Wellington laneways with Councillor Nicola Young meet at Big Save in Tory Street at
8 Wellington City Council, Committee Room 2, Councillors Sarah Free and Diane Calvert invite members of the public to talk about opportunities and challenges for walking in Wellington 2018
2017 was a busy time for us at Living Streets Wellington group with our involvement in many initiatives some of which are reported here. We attended the public places bylaw workshop early in the year (the bylaw is important for regulating what can be done in public spaces like footpaths), we participated with a guided walk on Walk2Work Day, and Paula Warren created a Park(ing) Day site, we participated in the Walk and Cycle the Hutt advisory group, and the Upper Hutt Have a Go Day, we attended the Wellington Safe and Sustainable Transport Forum meetings, the Regional Land Transport Plan review, and made many submissions and presented many time to Council about them.
Living Streets has been actively involved in the cycleways work programme in Wellington - from one meeting on the CBD area, to many meetings about Oriental Bay, Thorndon Quay and Eastern suburbs. It is important that the walking voice is heard to protect our valuable pedestrian spaces, footpaths! Surprisingly many folk think footpaths are safe to cycle on despite the evidence to the contrary and so see this space as available for bikes. We would like to see some NZ independent research on the impact of vehicles on footpaths for pedestrians.
The Our City Tomorrow programme is looking out 30 years to identify issues for Wellington that need to be addressed, including a significant increase in population and where they might live, and of course how they will move around - by foot of course! This has strong links to the high-profile Let's Get Wellington Moving joint project of WCC, Greater Wellington and the NZTA. I hope you managed to get your submissions in to ask for walkable design. The LGWM decisions will determine whether we see some priority for walking and public transport or more road building for Wellington. You can see what we submitted on that here.
A highlight of our year was being part of the first ever New Zealand Walking Summit held in Wellington on 28 July. Our four point plan evolved from the Summit and gives us a good direction to pursue with the new government. We want 1% of the National Land Transport Fund for pedestrians and walking, we want the New Zealand Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide and RTS 14 for blind and vision impaired to be turned into standards that must be followed, we want slower 30 km hour speeds around all schools and retail centres, and we want a focus put on walking to school with a target to reverse the decline.
As mentioned above we have been busy on the submission front - check out all our submissions on the link below. Traffic resolutions are a means to make small changes that can benefit walking (at times) however we have concerns about the quality of information provided to decision-makers, and the lack of assessment of effects on pedestrians. The latest lot of traffic resolutions propose a number of changes to allow for more cycle facilities - however we still do not have an overall cycle network (which we support) so it is hard to see how they all fit together, and not all of the resolutions have been well thought out, some will adversely impact pedestrians. We will be talking to this submission on 14 September at the WCC meeting - come along and support us.
Some of our 2017 submissions were on the various Councils annual plans, WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and a low emission economy.
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- Wellington Walkers Groups
- Tuesday Lunchtime Civic Walks Meet at 12.30pm for free walks from CBD and back. See the 2018 programme
- Lunchtime Walks choose your own walk
- Walk Wellington guided walking tours (messages can be left on (04) 473 3145)
- Shortcuts to Victoria University