Tēnā koutou katoa,
A city begins with its people. So I was curious what the findings were from the Wellington City Council’s recently released annual residents survey. Two figures that jumped out to me: only 43% of Wellingtonians find the city centre “lively and attractive" (down from 80% in 2019), and that only 45% feel safe in the city centre at night (down from 76% in 2019).
Revitalisation of the Golden Mile is set to help address these concerns and more, making the heart of the city safer and more attractive, as well as improving the street space for people who walk, ride bikes or use the bus, and making bus travel times more reliable and efficient.
It is our golden opportunity to kick-start the transformation of the central city. All roads lead to the Golden Mile, so to speak, and from it. For example, the Golden Mile connects into our soon-to-begin Thorndon Quay improvements, which connects into Hutt Road.
An improved Hutt Road will in time connect into both our Johnsonville-Ngā Ūranga project and Te Ara Tupua, the shared pathway connecting Wellington with Lower Hutt. And those are just the improvements north of the Golden Mile, but the benefits are clear: a connected, safe, efficient transport network that offers travel choice into and from our city centre.
But the Golden Mile is the heart of the city, from which change radiates out from – be that bus travel time efficiencies or safe and connected cycleways. The end of this month will see the beginning of that change as we start early works on the Golden Mile (as well as Thorndon Quay).
Many thanks in advance from our entire team for your patience as we get underway. During all the planned works for the next three years, you will be able to access all shops and entertainment as normal. At times there will be an impact on the traffic flow, and you may experience a temporary access or diversion route, but at the end of those three years, we’ll have a central city that is safe, attractive and vibrant: a central city to be proud of.
Sarah Gardner - Programme Director
The wait is over as early works for the Golden Mile to begin
Works will start on the Lambton Quay side roads – Grey, Brandon, Johnson, Waring Taylor and Stout streets – and will involve the installation of mobility parking spaces and kerb ramps. We know that construction can be disruptive, so we’ve prioritised mobility spaces and footpath ramps to ensure that all Wellingtonians can easily access the Golden Mile throughout the entire construction period.
Access to side roads and Lambton Quay will not be restricted during the works. There will be a footpath diversion for pedestrians in place and less on-street parking available on the side road where the crew is working.
Construction will pause in early December, so that Wellingtonians – both businesses and shoppers – can prepare for and enjoy the holiday season without disruption. We’ll return in early 2024 to begin work at the Courtenay Place and Kent/Cambridge Terrace end of the Golden Mile before starting main works in the middle of the year on the central median on Courtenay Place.
All work is being planned to minimise disruption for the people who live, work and study on the Golden Mile, as well as those who travel through the area, and will consider current and upcoming city-wide events. Work will be delivered in segments, using both day and night shifts (where appropriate) and various construction methods to keep this important area moving when we need it the most.
Construction will at times be disruptive, but modernising the Golden Mile will make it more attractive, vibrant and a welcoming place to live, work and play, as well as easier and safer to get around.
Cable Street-Oriental Parade intersection improvement, as part of Targeted Improvements
City Streets underway with initial works
The first wave of People-friendly City Streets projects, kicked off in July with the now-complete improvements to the intersection where Cable Street meets Oriental Parade, connecting the WCC Newtown to City project with the Tahitai shared pathway along Oriental Parade.
Next up is the shared pathway alongside Ākau Tangi Sports Centre, which began in August and is being delivered in partnership with Wellington City Council as part of the work for Kilbirnie Connections. The pathway will connect Kilbirnie, Rongotai and Strathmore with the Evans Bay section of the Tahitai shared pathway by the Cobham Drive crossing. In other words, our works are well-connected with work others are doing, helping to build our city-wide transport network and provide safer, more efficient travel options.
This first wave of works involves a $9 million bundle of around 70 low-cost projects being progressively delivered over the next 12-18 months.
Work starts on Thorndon Quay
Following the recent decision by Wellington City Council’s Koata Hātepe Regulatory Processes Committee to proceed with changes to Thorndon Quay, initial work is set to begin later this month.
This project will provide safe and reliable travel choices for everyone along this route, which is the city’s busiest bus route outside of the city centre and the city’s busiest cycle route.
These changes will benefit those on public transport with a bus priority lane during the morning peak, which will also reduce congestion; safer pedestrian crossings for all those on foot; safer traffic speeds; and a two-way cycle way to connect to Te Ara Tupua. Those who live or work in the area will see better lighting, more seating, attractive planting and mana whenua inspired designs.
Plenty happening lately
Construction continues on the Aotea Quay roundabout, the first phase of the Thorndon Quay-Hutt Road project.
LGWM attends the Business Improvement District (BID) Summit, hosted by Wellington City Council.
Golden Mile Project Manager Veronica Byrne speaks at the Women in Urbanism event.
Crews work during the night on Courtenay Place as part of investigative works for the Golden Mile.
Perceptions of safety on the Golden Mile
If you missed it on our social media earlier this month, check out this interview with Emily Alleway, urban design lead at LGWM. Emily talks about a hikoi, or walk, she took part in last year, walking about Courtenay Place at night and asking how people felt. Find out what she learned and what safety improvements we are making to the Golden Mile as part of its revitalisation project.
Consultation on Karori Connection, Berhampore to Newtown coming soon
Wellington City Council is starting engagement soon on a couple of key routes: Karori Connections and Berhampore and Newtown. Some of LGWM’s work is also being included in this engagement to inform our decision-making going forward.
The consultation will share thinking on how we might create more connected, safe and efficient travel experiences for Wellingtonians who want to walk, bike or take public transport.
Head on over to the Council’s Transport Projects page prior to engagement to learn more about the projects and make sure you have your say when engagement opens.
Metlink to trial an articulated bus in September
This month’s update from Greater Wellington Regional Council highlights Metlink’s upcoming articulated bus trial.
The trial will take place in September along the No. 2 bus route, the city’s busiest - running from Seatoun to Karori.
In more good news from Metlink, 65 previously suspended bus services are set to be reinstated by early October after gains made in driver recruitment