In 2016 Let’s Get Wellington Moving started a conversation with the people of Wellington about the city’s transport challenges. More than 10,000 people responded.
At the same time, we gathered extensive data about our transport network. We’re using this information to better understand travel patterns and to help build a series of transport models and assessment tools to support decisions on Wellington’s transport future.
Developing assessment criteria
Our objectives are to develop a transport system that:
- Enhances the liveability of the central city
- Provides more efficient and reliable access for users
- Reduces reliance on private vehicle travel
- Improves safety for all users
- Is adaptable to disruptions and future uncertainty
We then took our guiding principles and our programme objectives and developed assessment criteria. We will use the assessment criteria help evaluate possible options for Wellington’s transport future.
As part of the public feedback, members of the public gave us almost 2500 ideas.
Alongside this, staff from Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, together with members of the Let's Get Wellington Moving team and external consultants, held a workshop to generate ideas.
We also looked at earlier work on Wellington’s transport options. For example, public transport ideas were considered alongside the 2014 Public Transport Spine Study (PTSS). The PTSS recommended a high-quality bus rapid transit route along the public transport ‘spine’ from the central city to Newtown and Kilbirnie.
We collated and shaped almost 230 ideas into an initial long list of possible scenarios (a scenario is a package of possible interventions or ideas). Each of the long list scenarios proposed different levels of intervention for different transport modes. For example, a scenario might include a high degree of cycling intervention, a medium level of public transport intervention, and a business-as-usual approach to local roads. This diagram shows the scope of the project, and this is how they were categorised.
In November 2016 we held two MCA workshops, run by an independent facilitator. These workshops were designed to complete an initial high-level evaluation of each scenario against the assessment criteria. The notes from the workshops are available here.
The MCA workshops told us that the scenarios which scored the best in the assessment had a balanced range of interventions. This suggests Wellington’s transport problems are best addressed with a multi-modal approach – a mix of improvements across different modes such as improvements to walking and cycling facilities, better public transport, and improvements to roads, rather than focusing on improving just one mode.
In March and April we sought feedback at a mid-point in our scenario development process in a series of community and stakeholder workshops, facilitated by independent research company UMR.
We wanted to check we’re heading in the right direction. We also wanted to get people’s views on how we should present a short list of scenarios to the public later in the year.
We took the scenarios that scored well in the MCA workshops and grouped most of the large-scale interventions into four focus areas:
- Better public transport
- Improving the state highway
- Active transport improvements (walking and cycling)
- Managing travel demand
A copy of the workshop presentation is available here.
In each focus area we listed what’s already planned and possible levels of further intervention – from not doing much to doing a great deal. We also examined how each of the focus areas would be just one part of a possible transport solution, how the focus areas work together, and how they would impact on each other.
Attendees discussed some of the compromises and trade-offs that would need to be made to develop solutions. And they told us what kind of information they want to see when we present a short list of scenarios to the public. This includes things such as:
- Evidence that supports each scenario
- Which interventions we have rejected and why
- Descriptions of land use and planning constraints
- Costs for each scenario
- How each scenario fits into an integrated and holistic plan for the city and the region
- More information about specific interventions
UMR has gathered feedback from the workshops into a report here.
We’re using the feedback from the community and stakeholder workshops, along with the results of the assessment of the initial long list of scenarios, to help develop a more detailed short list of scenarios for the public to consider.
Our next steps include:
- Gathering further information that attendees asked for at the community and stakeholder workshops
- Using a range of decision-making tools, including transport models, to test and develop possible interventions
- Developing and refining possible scenarios and testing them against our assessment criteria to create a short list
- Releasing as much transport data as practicable so people can understand what our work is based on
- Continuing our conversations with stakeholder groups to get their insights into the issues important to them
We’ll then publish a short list of scenarios and run a public engagement programme so Wellingtonians can have their say.
To allow this work to be completed, public engagement is scheduled for November 2017.