At the end of last year, some of you told us what changes you wanted to see along the Golden Mile. We received around 1,600 suggestions.

Most of those who commented wanted private vehicles removed from the Golden Mile entirely (or some of the time), buses to be given priority, more cycle lanes, and closures of side streets. On the footpaths you wanted to reduce the crowding and clutter, and make sure people on bikes and e-scooters weren’t using them.

 

The Golden Mile is the route formed by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place. It is the city’s busiest pedestrian area, with around 31,000 people walking along part of it on a typical weekday, and a key shopping and hospitality area.

It is also the main route for buses, with an estimated 36,000 people travelling by bus on part of the Golden Mile on a typical weekday. On that same day, 6,500 people travel along some part of the Golden Mile in cars and over 300 people on bikes.

The Golden Mile is an incredible asset for the city and the region. It’s our high street, where we meet, and the main route for buses bringing people into the central city. We’re determined to make the Golden Mile even better and reflect the kind of city people have told us they want - a compact, liveable city that is safe and easy to move around.

We need to make a start now on moving more people with fewer vehicles. To do this, we want to make travelling by bus to the central city a faster and more reliable choice. We also want to create a better, safer environment for people walking and on bikes.

There are some things we can’t change, like the Golden Mile being a key route for buses, but there is a lot we can do to make it a safer and more pleasant place to walk, shop and dine.

Once we’ve heard what direction you want to see the Golden Mile take, we’ll be able to identify preferred option (which could be a combination of these concepts). Once this is approved by our partners we’ll develop a more detailed design.

Timeline

Late 2019

Have your say on the vision

Mid 2020

Have your say on options

Late 2020

Preferred option identified

From 2021

Detailed design and implementation of the recommended option

FAQs

Information for retailers

The key ingredient to a thriving retail centre is people. The concepts proposed would make the Golden Mile a more attractive place to visit and spend time by increasing the space available for people. By removing general traffic, with its associated noise and pollution, people would feel safer and the environment would be more pleasant. By removing other traffic, buses would move more efficiently through the Golden Mile instead of being held up.

In other places, such as London, where street designs have been changed to improve access for people walking or on bikes, research has found that people who use public transport, walk and bike spend more money in local shops than motorists.

By prioritising people walking, biking and using public transport, more people would be able to use the street space. Public space would be opened along the footpaths and side streets for people to walk, spend more time, and access businesses.

The concepts proposed relocating loading zones and taxi stands to side streets immediately adjacent to the Golden Mile. We recognise that providing for deliveries and building servicing is important. We will be talking to couriers and delivery companies, and want to hear from businesses, so we can minimise any negative impacts as far as possible.

We know some properties access off-street parking from the Golden Mile. We’re aware of these access points and, when a preferred option has been identified we will work with those impacted if the way they access their parking needs to change.

Information about parking

Yes. All concepts propose removal of carparks and relocation of loading zones and taxi stands. There will be some impact on carparks on adjoining side roads where the loading bays and taxi stand needs to be relocated. We recognise that the removal of carparks and relocation of loading zones and taxi stands will impact people and business in different ways. Through this community engagement we want to understand what people like, and don’t like, about the concepts. As concepts are further developed, we will work to minimise any negative impacts as far as possible.

The Golden Mile has been classified as a key public transport route. These concepts seek to remove on-street parking to provide for safe and efficient movement of pedestrians and public transport and to make the Golden Mile a more appealing place to spend time.

There are 28,937 parking spaces in Wellington CBD. Of these 15,437 are for public use, 11,273 are off-street private parking spaces and 4,116 are council owned. Council owned parks consist of 3,278 on-street metered parks and 838 off-street parks. There are 99 metered parking spaces on the Golden Mile. 60 of these are on Courtenay Place and 39 are on Lambton Quay. The concepts also propose relocating loading zones and taxi stands to side roads immediately adjacent to the Golden Mile. Existing car parking layouts in side streets would need to be revised to accommodate relocated loading zones and taxi stands. Once we have a preferred option (which could be a combination of these concepts), we’ll do more detailed design. Once we have that detailed design, we’ll have a more precise estimate of the impact on on-street carparking. At this stage we can only provide a range - in the concept comparisons we’ve indicated 70-120 carparks could be removed under concept one, and 100-200 in concepts two and three.

On average, just over 600 cars park in the 60 parking spaces on Courtenay Place each day; each spot being used by around 10 cars per day. Usage is relatively evenly split between people staying under 30 minutes (42% of cars) and people staying between 30 minutes and two hours (49% of visitors). About 9% of cars exceed the two hour time limit. Overall, people parking represent about 1% of people using the street space, while parking uses about 19% of the street space on Courtenay Place.

On average, around 300 cars park in the 39 parking spaces on Lambton Quay each day; each space being used by around seven cars per day. The majority of visitors (54%) stay between 30 minutes and 2 hours, with a minority (37%) staying under 30 minutes. About 9% of cars exceed the 2 hour time limit. In sections of Lambton Quay with metered parking, people parking represent about 1% of people using the street space, and parking uses about 19% of the street space.

People would be able to park on side streets and in parking buildings. Check out the Golden Mile map that details where carparks and parking buildings are currently located on and around the Golden Mile.

Information about loading zones and taxi stands

There are around 21 taxi stands on the Golden Mile – some of these on Courtenay Place serve as loading zones during the day. The concepts propose relocating these to nearby side streets.

Taxi stands are spaced out along the Golden Mile. Nine are on Lambton Quay and 12 are located on Courtenay Place. There are also taxi stands on surrounding streets in the area, including on Mercer St, Whitmore St, and Dixon St. Check out the Golden Mile map that detail where taxi stands are currently located on and around the Golden Mile.

Taxi stands do not have parking sensors installed, so we don’t have complete data about usage of these spaces over time, however this is something we want to better understand. Through this engagement we want to understand how these taxi stands are used. As concepts are further developed, we will work to minimise any negative impacts as far as possible. 

There are around 21 loading zones on the Golden Mile. The concepts propose relocating these to nearby side streets.

The majority (11) of the loading zones are located on Lambton Quay. There’s six on Courtenay Place, three on Willis Street and one on Manners Street. Check out the Golden Mile map that details of where loading zones are current located on and around the Golden Mile.

Loading zones do not have parking sensors installed, so we don’t have complete data about usage of these spaces over time however this is something we want to better understand. Through this engagement we want to understand how these loading zones are used. As concepts are further developed, we will work to minimise any negative impacts as far as possible. 

The concepts proposed relocating loading zones and taxi stands to side streets immediately adjacent to the Golden Mile. We recognise that providing for deliveries and building servicing is important. We will be talking to couriers and delivery companies, and want to hear from businesses, so we can minimise any negative impacts as far as possible.

Information about mobility parking

Most of the mobility access to the Golden Mile is via side streets. There is only one mobility park directly on the Golden Mile, on Courtney Place (near Cambridge Terrace). This would be relocated as close as possible to the Golden Mile. There are 55 mobility parking spaces in the central area which equates to 1.7% of all metered spaces. This is a shortfall of around five spaces relative to the 2% target. Check out the Golden Mile map that details of where mobility parks are currently located on and around the Golden Mile.

Information about general traffic

Around 6,500 people travel in vehicles along part of the Golden Mile on a typical weekday.

Concept one shows what we can do when we limit only some general traffic on the Golden Mile.

Given it is surrounded by buildings on both sides, the Golden Mile has a limited amount of space to share amongst all the different users. The width of the road corridor varies from 15m at the southern end of Lambton Quay, to 60m at the eastern end of Courtenay Place. If we don’t reduce or remove general traffic and parking there is no extra space available for pedestrians and other active modes, such as cycling, or to enable buses to move through more reliably.

At this stage all the concepts propose relocating loading zones and taxi stands to nearby side streets. However, we want to understand the needs of individual companies and businesses in order to make the best decisions on where these should be located. In addition to this we would like to understand what people think about providing access to these vehicles at various times of the day or night.

For all concepts, emergency services will be able to access the entire length of the Golden Mile.

Yes, this could be possible. These concepts are just that, and we want to know what people think of these ideas. If there appears to be a benefit to providing general traffic access during certain times, then this is something we’d consider as the preferred option is developed further.  

With your feedback we’ll be able to develop concepts further and assess opportunities and impacts of options. This could include allowing vehicles to utilise one bus lane during certain hours or identifying areas that could be maintained for drop-off zones.

Network wide modelling has been completed and, as expected, shows an increase in traffic on rerouted roads. Overall, this increase can be accommodated within the existing capacity of the road network. Some alternative routes are set out on in the alternative route maps. The best alternative routes would differ depending on where people are coming from and going to.

Yes. The proposals relocate loading zones and taxi stands to nearby side roads. Existing car parking layouts in side streets would need to be revised to accommodate relocated loading zones and taxi stands. Some streets would also need to be adjusted to allow for vehicles to turn around.

There would also be additional space to create more places for people to walk, sit, spend time and access businesses. We already have some great examples across our city of public spaces. We’d like to know how you’d like to see this additional space used. What do you like and not like about some of the spaces around Wellington (or in other cities)?

Information about buses

The Golden Mile is the main route for buses – with around 80 buses travelling along the Golden Mile per hour in the peak (7am-9am). An estimated 36,000 people travel by bus on part of the Golden Mile on a typical weekday.

The Golden Mile is already near capacity for buses, so changes need to be made now to accommodate current demand and help make buses a reliable choice for people.

In addition, over the next 30 years the demand for travel to and from the city centre by public transport is expected to grow by between 35% and 50%.  Analysis suggests the current transport system cannot accommodate this increase in demand.  The programme is also developing a Mass Rapid Transit network, to run on a second public transport spine through the central city to increase public transport capacity and improve service reliability.

Northbound bus travel times range between 12 and 17 minutes depending on time of day. Southbound travel times range between 11 and 15 minutes.

Along the Golden Mile there are currently 15 bus stops in total, seven northbound and eight southbound, spaced between 140 and 400 metres apart.

International best practice suggests that bus stops should be not more than a 5-minute walk for someone walking at an average speed. This is usually around 400 – 500 metres apart.  Five minutes between stops, means buses won’t need to slow and stop frequently, while maintaining a convenient level of access for most people.

We currently have 15 bus stops (seven southbound and eight northbound) spaced between 140 and 400 metres apart along the Golden Mile.

Every time a bus stops it takes time to load people and then move into traffic and start up again. By reducing the number of stops, buses can travel down the Golden Mile more reliably.

We can also relocate stops to best meet demand and locate them in places that will reduce crowding on footpaths and make it easier to provide shelters without getting in the way of pedestrians walking along the Golden Mile. 

These changes will help with crowding at bus stops, make buses arrive at bus stops more frequently and reliably and therefore reduce the number of passengers waiting for buses.

We are very aware that these changes may make bus stops less convenient for some people, and more convenient for others.  The spacing of the proposed bus stops has been kept so that someone  walking at an average speed  on the Golden Mile will have no more than a five-minute walk to reach a stop. We know that for some people the stop might be slightly further away, and for some closer, than it currently is.

Once we have a preferred option (which could be a combination of these concepts), we’ll develop design further. This will include how we can improve the convenience and comfort for people waiting for, and getting on and off, buses.

The Golden Mile is the main route for buses and a critical link in the wider bus network throughout the region. An estimated 36,000 people travel by bus on part of the Golden Mile on a typical weekday, and demand is expected to increase as the city’s population grows. Changes are needed to improve bus travel time, reliability, convenience and comfort for people waiting for and getting on and off buses.

Information about walking and cycling

The Golden Mile is the city’s busiest pedestrian area, with nearly 31,000 people walking along part of it on a typical weekday.

For concepts to be considered they needed to meet the outcomes and investment objectives of the project. A key objective for the project is to improve bus travel times and reliability. Creating a completely pedestrianised Golden Mile would not meet this objective.

Reducing traffic and the number of side streets that vehicles are turning into and out from, will make it safer for pedestrians walking along the Golden Mile.

Over 300 people cycle along part of the Golden Mile on a typical weekday.

Yes, cyclists will still be able to use the Golden Mile in the areas currently permitted. All concepts would provide improvements for cyclists through the reduction or removal of traffic and side street closures. Courtenay Place is part of Wellington’s central city cycling network so we’ve looked at how we could create a dedicated or shared space here. There could also be opportunities to create more space for people on bikes on Lambton Quay, north of Panama Street. The wider Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme will consider how best to provide a dedicated cycling network in other parts of the central city.

Cycling is not permitted on the sections of Willis and Manners Streets that are the ‘bus-only’.

E-scooters are currently not permitted to be ridden or parked on footpaths on the Golden Mile, though they can be ridden on the road on some sections of the Golden Mile. Within the Golden Mile, there is currently no road space dedicated for faster active modes, such as bikes, e-scooters and segways. The requirements of fast active modes is something that is currently being considered Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency following their recent Accessible Streets Consultation.  

Common alternative route maps

Final Version Status: Draft June 2020

Purpose: These maps set out the alternative routes for general traffic for the three concepts being proposed along the Golden Mile