Why we proposed making changes on Thorndon Quay rather than a route closer to the harbour
It's direct –Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road is the quickest and most direct route for people cycling from the northern suburbs to Featherston Street and the central city.
Demand – in the morning commuter peak, 80% of riders using the Thorndon Quay route continue along Featherston Street to the central city, with only 20% turning down Bunny Street to the quays.
Challenges to developing an alternative bike route closer to the harbour
Space along the quays is limited, with land at a premium.
The existing road along Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay is used by more than 30,000 vehicles a day. It's congested at peak times and is not safe for cycling.
At present, there is no space within the existing road corridor to build a safe, separated cycleway. However this could change through the wider Let's Get Wellington Moving project.
The land on Aotea Quay and Waterloo Quay is owned by CentrePort and KiwiRail.
KiwiRail is developing a new transport logistics hub in their rail marshalling yards and the amount of rail freight is increasing.
CentrePort has long-term plans to further develop the port and ferry terminal area.
To date, neither has been willing to make land available for bike facilities.
The port precinct was damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake, and the transport network is also vulnerable.
The Council is now working with CentrePort on a resilient wharf as part of the city’s response to a major quake or similar event. How a cycleway could potentially fit with these plans will be a part of the wider discussion.
Connecting the Hutt Road cycleway to the harbour/Aotea Quay area would be challenging because the route needs to go over or under the rail yards and motorway interchange (the southbound off-ramp and northbound on-ramp by the ferry terminal).
The majority of people using a quays route would still need to cross back into Featherston Street and other locations in the central city.
The Thorndon Quay route will go from the Aotea Quay overbridge along Hutt Road, Thorndon Quay, Featherston Street, and Bunny Street to the Waterloo Quay intersection.