New Plan for old SH1 at Waikanae

Council vote for road safety delights advocacy groups 

— and an apology from KIN

By Alan Tristram

Advocacy groups say the Kāpiti Coast Council’s decision to create safe cycle lanes on the former SH1 at Waikanae is good news for locals, the town centre and the environment.

There were two options on the table the council’s March 15 meeting: one for 32 parallel carparks, cycle lanes and a buffer zone between them (Option 1), the other replacing parallel carparks with angle parking (a total of 41 parks) and no cycle lanes (Option 2).

Note: KIN’s story yesterday got this wrong. We reported that cyclists had been missed out. We were wrong and apologise for this.

Kāpiti Cycling Action and Low Carbon Kāpiti had called for the council to do the right thing for road users’ safety, cyclists and the environment by voting for Option 1. The Waikanae Community Board had earlier voted in favour of Option 2, on behalf of local retailers.

Major support for Option One

The New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Police, Kāpiti Older Persons Council, Te Ati Awa Town Centres Working Group, Doctors for Active Safe transport and the Cycleways, Walkways and Bridleways Advisory Group also all recommended Option 1 over Option 2.

An NZTA safety audit concluded the angle parking arrangement of Option 2 was unsafe for cyclists and other road users due to the lack of space for parked vehicles to reverse out.

Cyclists thrilled

Lynn Sleath from Kāpiti Cycling Action welcomes the decision, saying it’s a vote for common sense.

“It’s great to see the council thinking broadly about what’s best for the whole community, not just today, but for years to come.

“Encouraging more cycling is a major opportunity for Waikanae. Our vision is for a vibrant community to which cyclists can safely travel from all over Kāpiti via a network of cycleways and cycling lanes, spending money in local businesses as they go.”

‘Big win for community’

Jake Roos, from Low Carbon Kāpiti, said the decision is a big win for the community.

“We worked alongside Kāpiti Cycling Action in this campaign because we want to see the district implement climate change solutions, especially those that bring additional benefits to the community.

“Cycling is one of these. It’s good for our health, our economy and our environment and it’s great to see the council taking positive steps to make it safer. Option 1 will also benefit other road users, who obviously do not want to be involved in collisions either.

“More and more people are taking to bikes and e-bikes to get around. Providing better, safer facilities will encourage even more people to ride. “

Lynn Sleath, Kapiti Cycling Action, phone: 04 9052230

Jake Roos, Low Carbon Kāpiti, phone: 022 6871980

I believe there was a split voting decision by Councillors on this matter. It would be interesting to know which Councillors supported the Police, NZTA and the Older Persons Council and those that did not!

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