Following my recent post on fixing cyclist infrastructure, I received a reply that questioned the rationale of pushing cyclists into pedestrian space:[tweet https://twitter.com/Windynell/status/584636398495346688]
Since I didn’t know how or why cyclist restrictions happen, I emailed WCC to ask.
Cyclists can use all roads except for motorways, lanes reserved for Buses Only, pedestrian malls, and some tunnels. Cyclists are banned from these places due to safety concerns which derive from conflicts very high volumes of other users who have been formally given exclusive priority. Cyclists may use all normal Bus Lanes, but not Bus Only lanes.
Motorways in Wellington City area are:
- State Highway 1 from the Karo/Willis intersection to Ngauranga
- State Highway 1 from Johnsonville to Porirua
Bus Only lanes are:
- Throndon Quay southbound centre lane into Lambton Interchange
- Lambton Quay from Bunny St to Whitmore St (Lambton Interchange site)
- Lambton Quay southbound from Brandon St to Featherston St
- Hunter St-Customhouse Quay-Willis St southbound from Featherston St to Manners St
- Manners St from Willis St to Cuba St both directions
Pedestrian Malls are:
- Cuba St from Ghuznee St to Manners St
Tunnels where cyclists are banned are:
- Arras Tunnel (State Highway 1)
- Mt Victoria Tunnel road lanes (State Highway 1)
- Hataitai Bus Tunnel.
I’m sure that there are plenty of points that could be contested within that list, but I’ll only touch on a couple. For the road tunnels, the conditions of the road are identical to normal urban roads, with the exception of ventilation and lighting. It’s not clear how or why the Arras and Mt Victoria tunnels would create an actual safety risk beyond that of normal urban cycling. If there is some exceptional risk, wouldn’t it be better to educate the motorists that cause the risk?
The decisions are the responsibility of the appropriate Road Controlling Authority. For all urban roads Wellington City Council is the RCA, for the entire state highway network it is the New Zealand Transport Agency. The timing of decisions result from safety and management reviews on an as required basis.
Both tunnels are part of SH1 and fall under NZTA’s authority. I’ve just sent an OIA request for justification of the exclusion. They have until May 15 to respond.