Save Cycleway

Who knows what threats lie ahead

for our cycleways?

By Cycling Correspondent
John Baldwin
1st November 2009

A CyclistI was pedalling along the delightful shared pathway beside Wharemauku stream the other day thinking what a gem of a ride this tranquil trail is.

A direct and convenient link between Coastlands, Midlands and Raumati for cyclists walkers and horse riders to share and enjoy. We need more of them I thought.

My mind wandered….what will become of the Wharemauku trail if the motorway goes through the Western Link Corridor?

What about other East West links earmarked for future cycleways, walkways and bridleways?

Will we be left with no alternative other than to take few and far between detours onto busy main arterial routes at Poplar Ave, Raumati Rd, Kapiti Rd and Mazengarb Rd?

Who knows?

Whatever your views on Roads of National Significance and a proposed motorway through the heart of Kapiti, the recent consultation  has been the catalyst for much debate —  raising many questions and providing fewer answers.

Thinking and debate are good things though – indicators of a healthy democratic community.

Quality thinking and debate is another thing altogether requiring quality material. Carefully researched material takes time to prepare.

I think NZTA’s public consultation documentation was lacking in quality.

Sure, the glossy diagrams were helpful but I found little comfort in the detail and got an uneasy feeling the whole thing was being rushed through at the expense of quality.

Looking at the multitude of arguments from the community in favour of a motorway through here, there or nowhere I found myself guessing where the writers lived, how close they were to the bad option and how far from the good?

This is understandable and one sympathises with those personally affected by the Government’s determination to create an “efficient highway corridor” through Kapiti.

Now that submissions are done and dusted I wonder how much quality there will be in the evaluation  and what weight our submissions will have. Who knows?

Three things I do know though:

  • 1.  The Wharemauku pathway is an iconic Kapiti Coast asset. For it to be lost to a motorway is untenable’.
  • 2.       KCDC’s two lane community scaled proposal for the Western Link Corridor successfully embraces the Wharemauku pathway. It also embraces numerous other East/West links and features conveniently accessed shared pathways on both sides of the corridor gently weaving through delightful landscape.
  • 3.       Walking and riding across and along KCDC’s two lane WLR will be a joy for cyclists, walkers and horse riders alike, for their children and for future generations to come.

We should grasp this opportunity now and not let it pass us by.