Transport

I want to see people able to get around in healthy, social ways.
Key action for climate response focus on our strengths and have a coordinated plan.

My policies address our big issues with local solutions that a city council can achieve in a short time.


Better climate friendly transport, building on our strengths.


The goal is that all people are able to get around in healthy, sustainable and social ways as an easy first option for everyday travel. Sustainable transport is often thought of as a hierarchy with walking (including wheelchairing) as the highest priority at the top, public transport and cycling are next. Transport serves the needs of people’s everyday lives and is an enabler of other activity.


Wellington transport strengths started with shipping as a key port and whanganui. The 1840s Wellington plan built from a walking settlement to spread out along an extensive network of public transport into the suburbs. This strength of a strong walking culture and high public transport use supported by shipping is important for us to build on for a climate friendly future.


We need to reduce our transport climate emissions. They are nearly 40% of the total for Wellington and we must do our fair share to reduce emissions rapidly. There is a 40% regional sustainable mode shift target away from private cars by 2030, we must focus on our strengths in a coordinated way if we are to meet this.


Currently Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) addresses issues with a Ngauranga to airport corridor focus, we’ve got Paneke Poneke creating dedicated cycling space, we’ve got a new Parking Policy but no plans, we’ve got an unprioritised Bus Network Plan - that may or not be addressed through the transitional bike plan or LGWM, we’ve got Carbon Reduction plans, and business as usual happening in between. Where’s the coordination? We need an overall Wellington Transport Strategy to pull it all together and fill in the missing bits.


Walking is a strength for Wellington. It is undervalued and under measured yet we love to walk or wheelchair and do it in great numbers everyday. Wellington has the highest rate of walking all the way to work in Aotearoa New Zealand, and every bus or train trip includes a walk. It’s the way to connect between the bus or train, or the car, or even cycling. It’s the way we connect with our neighbours and community. Children are independent travellers on foot, women walk more, and as we age we rely more on and enjoy a walk too. We need to value walking as part of a quality living environment. This is entirely up to the City Council who manages what happens on footpaths and how we use it.


Let’s develop on an ‘integrated approach to travel’ to meet our daily needs. Transport systems that serve the people who live in places first – making daily life in that place better is a priority.
 

That’s the context – these are my focus for the next three years

1 Let’s kick that bus priority plan into action – it’s taking too long. The city council can prioritise

  • Bus lanes whether all day or in peak times – weekend travel is increasingly an important issue.

  • Better designed bus stops so that the bus pulls right into the kerb so we can step not jump off and on with a barrier free experience.

  • Bus stop and bus shelter design is a key for the future, we need to move past simply functional places into somewhere that it is pleasant even fun for people to be.

  • Traffic light timing has got to let the bus go first with enough time for it to get across.

2 A concerted effort to get all footpaths meeting basic safety and accessibility standards by

  • Decluttering the footpaths to make them safe again. We need footpath space back for walk trips and for all the social activity that happens on them. Removing clutter means moving the weekly rubbish bags off the footpath to the road kerb; keeping sandwich boards clear of the accessible path, they significantly narrow busy footpaths along Lambton Quay for example; escooter parking located on the road like other vehicles; use small areas of kerb space for motorbike parking; and vehicle services located on the road, not the footpath – EV chargers are a good example of a new pressure, we want to encourage Electric Vehicle use while not discouraging emission free walking.

  • Decluttering means following current Council policy and is a low cost change that adds a lot of value.

  • Improve the trip from home to the bus or train so it is easy to get to the stop. Research shows you can increase the ‘walking catchment’ of stops by up to 70% supporting climate friendly mode shift by taking actions like

    • Footpaths that meet a good standard.

    • Safer pedestrian crossings.

    • Wayfinding that is simple with better signage.

    • Lighting is adequate for day or night.

    • Focus on walking to school, especially primary school so kids can feel part of their communities and learn independent travel. This ties in well with the Government’s requirement for all schools to have 30km hour zones in the next few years.

3 Cycling has already got a big boost with a plan, funding and implementation. I would add to that a cycle lane on the Quays - the big gap in the bike network plan (and Tory St - why do we have bikes on the bus lanes, better to be separated and safer)
4 Other low-cost high-value transport improvements that can be achieved quickly are (and this is just a few)

  • Start work to make Cuba St a pedestrian street all the way along, start with open street Sunday events

  • Wellington has some great off-road walkways that can add value to the daily journey with a greenways focus.

  • More drinking fountains, seating, signposting, toilets and great shade to make getting out as easy as possible for all of us.

  • Let’s do ourselves a favour and get even better at maintenance with the Build Back Better approach (every time we do some maintenance we do the little improvements to make it even better).

  • Locals can tell us how to make their communities more walkable, for example safer speeds is one first step. I want to hear from people, from suburbs like Johnsonville, Tawa, Karori, Kilbirnie to the city centre on what is a priority for them. Bay Road, Kilbirnie would be the ideal space for a Christmas market open street?

  • And let’s measure the improvements; all the GHG emissions, who, what and where is getting funded, who is using what travel mode – all of it. We need to understand how we are doing to deliver equitable outcomes.


I will work for integrated, sustainable, multi-modal transport, with decision-making building on our strengths and using local knowledge.