Tēnā koutou katoa,
It has been heart-breaking to see so many lives upended by the February storms and devastation.
We’ve been thinking a lot about the communities struck by flooding. Wellington was lucky to come through February mostly unscathed. Seeing this devastation and how it impacts lives makes us understand more than ever that good planning and resilient infrastructure are vital for our future.
Improving resilience is one of Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s key objectives, and investment by our partners will help ensure our transport system is adaptable to disruption and future uncertainty. Our Transformational Programme, for example, includes mass rapid transit from the central city to Island Bay, along with improvements at the Basin, an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel and bus priority to the eastern suburbs.
However, these large projects aren’t just about transport. They’ll also bring the opportunity to upgrade our underground utilities, stormwater systems, buildings and community facilities, and to help make our communities more resilient to natural disasters and climate change.
You can read more about our progress on the Transformational Programme and our other projects in this update. As always, we welcome your input. Drop us an email on email@example.com or follow our social channels and on our website at lgwm.nz.
It’s shaping up to be a busy year for Let’s Get Wellington Moving, so it was nice to kick off 2023 on a positive note with the opening of the Cobham Drive crossing.
Cobham crossing’s smart tech tipped for improved timing
The new crossing on Cobham Drive is an important safe passage for the communities around Evans Bay, providing access to the city for cyclists and pedestrians around Oriental Bay along Tahitai – the coastal connection between Miramar and the central city.
The crossing supports intermediate and secondary students who move around the peninsula on weekdays, as well as people heading to the regional sports stadium and regional aquatic centre, other sports and cultural facilities, the beach and shopping areas.
It crosses the busy four lane-wide route to the airport, and any savings in time are appreciated not only by those crossing but by drivers too. That’s where the crossing’s technology comes in.
It’s a staggered crossing that works on demand only – when called by someone on foot or bike who wants to cross. It takes people into a centre median, where they wait to safely cross the remaining two lanes of traffic.
There are different call buttons for cyclists and pedestrians. Each is programmed to allow different crossing speeds – so those on foot, taking kids to school, or are mobility-impaired have additional time to cross safely, compared with a shorter time for cyclists. The call buttons for people on foot are positioned at the yellow pavers and the green pavers for cyclists.
There’s also a call ahead feature to minimise wait times. When a user pushes the button on one side of the crossing, the centre median automatically calls ahead for the allocated crossing time for the second part of the crossing.
The data gathered from the crossing will play an important role in understanding route selection and travel choices along this corridor. As we monitor, we can also assess any minor tweaks needed and provide useful information for future crossings.
Early works underway on the Golden Mile
We are excited for construction on the Golden Mile to get started later this year.
During February, early works took place on Willis Street and Manners Street to explore what is beneath the surface of the road and footpath. This work completed the first phase of the Golden Mile early works, with the second phase to come later this month.
The investigation work is to improve our understanding of the environment beneath the surface, including the location of utilities, state of infrastructure and geotechnical aspects in advance of the Golden Mile project.
The work on Manners and Willis streets has unearthed some valuable findings. A number of previously unknown or unidentified services were located, with ground conditions different than expected. The findings will result in some minor tweaks to design, such as the relocation of a proposed bus shelter. While we haven’t found any buried treasure (yet), the findings reinforce the need for these early works so that potentially problematic issues can be identified before construction begins, mitigating delays, disruption and unnecessary cost increases.
The early works will soon move on to Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place. We’ll talk with businesses and residents along these routes well before this investigation work starts.
To mitigate the disruption to the city as much as possible, the early works are being conducted between 7pm-5am Sunday-Thursday, with no work Friday or Saturday. Much of the noisy work will be undertaken in the early evening, with less noisy work continuing throughout the night. Noise from the works will be mitigated with acoustic mats and screens, while dirt will be excavated using a vacuum truck instead of a digger.
More information on the early works can be found here.
The revitalisation of the Golden Mile – the city’s busiest pedestrian area and our prime employment, shopping, and entertainment destination – is an important first step towards a city that is friendly to all its people on the move, not just those in cars.
We will keep you posted as we progress along the Golden Mile. If you need to get in touch, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aotea Quay roundabout to start construction in Q2
The construction of a roundabout on Aotea Quay is an important first step towards improving travel volumes and safety along the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road corridor.
Currently this corridor is the busiest bus route outside of the Golden Mile, as well as the busiest cycle route in the Wellington Region.
The roundabout on Aotea Quay will reduce heavy vehicle and ferry traffic on Hutt Road by providing alternative access to the Kaiwharawhara ferry terminal from State Highway 1. It will also provide a safe turning location for large vehicles wanting to travel north from a property on Hutt Road. As a result, it will help deliver improvements for public transport and active travel.
Carrying almost 3,000 heavy commercial vehicles a day, Aotea Quay services the port, the Interisland ferry terminal, and several freight depots, in addition to being a primary route into the city.
Construction on the roundabout is scheduled to begin by mid-year, with construction taking nine months to a year.
People-friendly City Streets projects on the go
Get ready, Wellington! In early April, we’ll be coming to talk to you about some more people-friendly City Streets projects across some of the key routes to and through the city. Within the next few weeks, we’ll have lots of information on our website and a link to our surveys.
We want to hear from as many people as possible, and we’ll be providing plenty of opportunities for you to do so.
If you live in the south or east of the city, or in the city centre, make sure you sign up, and we’ll send you an email reminder when the website information is live and the survey is open.
Contact us at email@example.com with ‘Sign me up!’ in the subject line.
Johnsonville and Ngā Ūranga
You may remember we came to talk with you about how we can improve the journey for people who travel between Johnsonville and the city via Ngā Ūranga Gorge. There are some real challenges here, especially in the Gorge where pedestrians and cyclists share a path which is quite narrow in parts.
Our project designers are working on some ideas and changes based on what they heard, and we’ll be sharing that with you in April, too.
If you’d like us to send you an email when the engagement report is published, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Engagement Report’ in the subject line.
Good things are on the way
Last year we let you know about some smaller low-cost, low-risk and easily implemented improvements across four key areas around Wellington – Karori and the inner city, as well as the southern and eastern suburbs. These get underway very soon, with all of them due for completion in 2024.
These improvements focus on making journeys safer and more enjoyable for people walking, riding bikes, or travelling by bus.
Make sure you sign up for updates and be first to get the latest news, see the plans and hear when any consultation opens.
We’re here for any questions, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving heads back to school
In late February, we kicked off our youth engagement push during Orientation Week. We really enjoyed talking to uni students in Wellington about their needs and wants for the city. We had some great conversations about what’s planned for the future of Wellington, and we opened the door to them having their voices heard.
This is just the beginning for us as we’re looking to further our relationship with young people across a range of events in the year ahead, while also connecting with primary and secondary school students later in the year.
Young people are the future of Wellington, so we want to make sure they’re as involved in the city’s future as possible. We can’t wait to connect with more young people this year and make sure they have the chance to have their say.
Transformational Programme starts detailed investigation phase
It’s a big year for the Transformational Programme – which includes mass rapid transit (MRT), Basin Reserve improvements and the proposed second Mt Victoria tunnel – with the detailed investigation phase already underway. First up will be a series of geotechnical investigations, which will help us to examine the options for the MRT route and alignment of the proposed Mt. Victoria tunnel.
We also plan on doing further sub-surface utilities scanning along sections of the proposed MRT route. The data collected from this survey will help inform our future planning and design work, while a framework used to assess the options based on certain factors is currently in development. This analysis will help us as we weigh up the different alternatives and options we are considering for the Transformational Programme.
There will be plenty to come in this space throughout 2023, so make sure to sign up on our website for all the latest updates.
Intersection improvements continue along the waterfront
Five down, one to go on intersection improvements down Vivian Street! These upgrades will make it safer for people to cross, while also making the road safer for cyclists by installing cycle boxes so cyclists are more visible to cars.
Yellow pavers have been installed to make the crossings safer for people who are blind or have low vision, while the crossing time has been extended, allowing for a more relaxed crossing experience.
The work along the waterfront route is well underway, with the completion of the first intersection – down Jervois Quay and Harris Street – to be completed by mid-March. There are six more intersections that we will be upgrading, currently scheduled for completion in June 2023.
These changes will make our city streets safer and easier to navigate, improving access to and from the waterfront, and will encourage more people to get around the city on foot, reducing our reliance on private cars.
We chose these intersections because many people use them, they intersect with some of the busiest roads in the city, and they involve long delays to cross.