Newtown Residents Association

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Latest community news and updates from Newtown Residents Association, Wellington NZ.

Newtown Cycleway Update:

Newtown  Safe Cycleway 2014 

This summer Red Design Architects were commissioned by Wellington City Council to convene a team of architecture and landscape post graduates and students to investigate options for the Cycleway project from Dee Street to John Street, through Berhampore and Newtown to Mount Cook.

 

The drawings and   Newtown Safe Cycleway Design Report hosted here are a summary of the cycleway research and community design work undertaken by Red Design Architects’ Urban Activation Lab team* during the summer of 2013 – 2014.

 Cover

Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 Route Network Drawings – Edition 3.9

The Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 PDF records a masterplanned network. The i page accompanying each route map summarises key details, explaining the content. The current latest copy of the book of the Cycleway Network Route Maps, which includes an outline of the safety configurations proposed, and the precedents researched can be downloaded here.

Right click on Newtown Safe Cycleway 2014 Route Network Drawings-3.9 and select “Open in a New Tab”   This download file from Red Design’s Urban Activation Lab is 46MB because of the zoom in mapping it contains. After opening in a New Tab it displays best if you select download and open in Adobe Reader / Acrobat.  For clarity when viewing the route maps the background and contours become more readable if you turn off “Enhance thin lines” which is a tick box found in the Adobe Preferences – Page Display options. Click here for step by step instructions.

TitleContentsAcknowledgements_proof2_Page_2

Based on community ideas these Cycleway Network drawings were prepared over the several months using a living document protocol. Well resolved accurate drawings were prepared and used with the designers explaining the content and facilitating meaningful consultation of options with groups of cyclists, residents and retailers.

The drawings used for discussions with locals, cyclists, and schools were then modified, re-drawn accurately embodying local refinements and suggestions. Some detailed options were retired.

The resolved scheme content arrived at is the result of an evolving community blueprint, a framework still flexible and potentially open to the inclusion of future ideas based on fine grain community knowledge and experience. The Urban Activation Lab have paused work on this for the time being but after you have had a look at the detailed mappings do feel free to email them suggestions if you have something you’d like to comment on.

The team has worked hard to fit the Newtown Cycleway into the streets and parklands it connects and would welcome additional local input before it presents this work to the WCC convened Citizens’ Cycleway Advisory Panel.

Feel free to email suggestions to newtowncycleway@gmail.com

 

Urban Activation Lab

Urban Activation Lab Cycleway team  summer 2013- 2014   Red Design* would like to acknowledge the efforts of the team of undergraduate and post-graduate architecture and landscape students from Victoria University of Wellington, coordinated by project manager Sean O’Brien,  who contributed to our Newtown Safe Cycleway project. Their dedicated work ethic and professionalism have greatly benefitted the Newtown Safe Cycleway.

The Urban Activation Lab is the community project, urban design and public and social policy group of award winning Newtown-based firm Red Design Architects. Headed by Martin Hanley and Anna Kemble Welch, the team works nationally and internationally.

The group has been actively involved in projects relating to public consultation, public events, mainstreet revitalisation, transportation, parks, public art and sculpture, school amenities, ecology, community gardens, urban pathways, community resilience, disability support and healthcare, heritage and conservation since 1979.

 

 *

Martin Hanley is the Newtown Residents’ Association President and the Newtown Festival Director

 Anna Kemble Welch was for many years an Executive member of the Newtown. Residents’ Association and is the Newtown Festival Site Architect

James Coyle is a Vice President of the Newtown Residents’ Association and the Newtown Festival Programme Coordinator.

 

 

For further information on this project please contact:

 

Anna Kemble Welch FNZIA

Red Design: Architects

PO Box 7316

Wellington 6242

 

newtowncycleway@gmail.com

 

+64 4 389 7316

Filed under: Consultation, News

Newtown Cycleway: Better screen display of the drawings

Viewing Tip 1: How to Change Adobe Page Display

When viewing the Cycleway Route Map drawings on your screen using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat you might find you need to re-set the Page display.

Depending on your Adobe settings the contours, streets and building outlines can sometimes display overly dark, as an overpowering background.

The Cycleway drawings  become more readable if you turn off “Enhance thin lines”

Snapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_1Follow these simple steps

[Click here for a PDF download of these Viewing Tip Instructions ]

  1. Under the Edit drop down menu select: Preferences Snapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_2
  2. In Categories select: Page Display
  3. Un check the tick box for: Enhance thin linesSnapshot frm A_reader 1_Page_3
  4. Click on: OK

Viewing Tip 2: Easy Zoom in

Using the Magnify Glass ToolSnapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_1

Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_2

Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_3And snap back to full Page ViewSnapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_4

 

Snapshot frm A_reader 3_Page_5Enjoy your viewing

Filed under: Consultation, News

Wellington Bus Review

The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is undertaking a review of Wellington buses. The proposals have implications for Newtown and Berhampore residents.

This link will take you to information about the planned changes to the bus service.   http://www.gw.govt.nz/ptplan

The current proposals include the following changes:

  • Replace the Newtown Park Zoo bus (10) with the Houghton Bay (23)
  • Change the route of the Southgate (22) so that it travels along Russell Terrace – Riddford St – Constable St.
  • During the off-peak the frequency will be increased from hourly to every 30 minutes. However, passengers travelling to and from the city on the Houghton Bay and Southgate services will need to transfer to another bus at the “Newtown hub” located outside Wellington Hospital.
  • There will be 3 direct services to and from the Railway Station to Houghton Bay and Southgate at peak times.
  • There will no longer be a link from Houghton Bay and Southgate across town to the university.

Houghton Valley and Southgate residents have been involved with the Wellington Bus Review over the past two years. Christine Fowler, President of the Houghton Valley Progressive Association and Linda Cameron have attending meetings and have recently prepared a submission, with support from Newtown, Southgate and Mt Cook residents.

Linda attended the public hearing on the submission at the GRWC and councillors indicated that the details have still not been pinned down including the direct services at peak times and shelter and other facilities at the hub outside the hospital. There is still an opportunity for the community representatives to continue discussion with council officers.

Click on  Bus Submission May 2014 – Houghton Valley, Melrose, Southgate to download the Houghton Valley Progressive Association submission [which our Association contributed support and suggestions to]. This outlines the issues they have raised, that are still being worked through.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Transport Spine Part 4: – Team work with Generation Zero

Our Association is working towards developing a fine grain crafted fit of the Public Transport Spine options through Newtown.

Nwtn-Tram-stop

Newtown Tram Stop by Jonie Molloy 2012

Generation Zero have been promoting a coordinated approach to Wellington’s transport involving Safe Cycleways, Car Share and congestion free Public Transport. The same things our Association is already underway establishing.

For our November meeting Generation Zero are our feature guest speakers – presenting their ideas for the city and sharing expertise on ways the Public Transport Spine might successfully include Newtown and link to the airport.

Fast-Forward-Wellington-Mod-01

Young people are moving beyond the car. They want good choice about how to get around.

There are smarter, cheaper and better ways to solve our traffic problems.

Safe Cycleways, Car Share and congestion free Public Transport.

Smart low-carbon cities designed for people, rather than just cars, are what we need to tackle climate change and to attract young talent and keep our economy humming.

But Wellington’s current transport plan is outdated and expensive – a massive motorway expansion costing more than $2.5 billion and putting at risk the very things that make Wellington special and cool.

Part 3: Transport Spine Study – a continuing story

Part 2: Casting the devil out of the detail – public Transport Spine Study 

Part 1: Early heads-up  Wellington Transport Spine Study – implications for Newtown

Filed under: Consultation, News

Board of Enquiry on the basin bridge aka “the flyover”.

The Board of Inquiry is currently hearing evidence from submitters.  For those interested in following thos one there is a page on the Environmental Protection Agency website where regular updates are posted.   Check it out here.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Transport Spine Study – a continuing story

During September the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities hald a seminar on the Spine study.  This included some interesting challenges to the options evaluation that had previously been published.  You can check out the powerpoints presetned at the seminar here.  While the official study came down clearly in favour of bus rapid transit over rapid rail, it is clear that the debate is still very much a live one.

Filed under: Consultation, News

WCC Engagement Policy

Over the course of the year several NRA contributed to Wellington City Council’s review of its enegagement policy,, The resulting new policy was adopted during September.  You can check it our here.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Cityhop Parking Resolution Open for Feedback

Earlier stories have outlined the proposal for a reserved parking space for a trial Cityhop car share scheme in the Wilson St carpark.  The parking resolution is one of a number that are currently open for feedback via the WWC website until Friday 9 August.  Check out the proposed resolution.

Filed under: Consultation, News

Wellington Transport Spine Study – Implications for Newtown

Three_Modes_image

The Regional Council has just published the results of the study, and at this point its bad news for central Newtown.  The  transport spine needs to integrate with the destinations it serves, our many submissions over the years as to how this might be achieved in Newtown have been overlooked.

Background

This is a component of the larger Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan (2008).  It was commissioned jointly by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.  The sharp edged issue the study was grappling with was that continuing to rely on conventional buses for public transport from the south and east of the city was simply going to turn the central city into a permanent traffic-jam.  The study looked at 3 options for modes of public transport, whittled down from an originally larger range.     The options costed out by the study were:

  • Bus Priority – Essentially the current bus and bus lane system on steroids;
  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – Dedicated bus lanes for new bigger buses;
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT) – Lanes and tracks for new light rail vehicles.

Recommended Option

The study reports that Bus Priority would be ineffective, and the Light Rail would be unaffordable, leaving the Bus Rapid Transit as the “live” option.   At a headline level this all appears to make sense, but inevitably there will be some significant impacts on neighbourhoods along the proposed route……

Impact on Newtown

The Newtown section of the prefered BRT solution presented in the report would involve;

  • Two bus only lanes down the centre of Riddiford St from the John St intersection to Mein St.  This is identified as requiring 2m widening of the road for the short section north of the main hospital entrance, and the loss of parking;
  • One bus only lane down the centre of Riddiford St from Mein St to Constable St.   The planning assessment commissioned as part of the study notes:  There will also be the loss of some street planting and hard landscaping with the removal of parking. Overall these options will produce a significant change within the Newtown Town Centre particularly with the reconfiguration of the road and the loss of parking.” 

Riddiford BRT

  • Yes the BRT bus does drive as if on the wrong side of the road, but its not clear how zig – zagging around the median strip works……. (maybe the median strip is moveable am to pm)
  • This option effectively ends in Newtown, and (unlike the Bus Priority one) does not involve any road layout changes on the route up Constable St on to Kilbirnie, and simply has the buses mixing it with other traffic.

Cities are for people !

The planning assessment understates it. The prefered BRT and in fact all of the Transport Spine options significantly affect central Riddiford Street – removing ALL of our street trees  and demolishing our pedestrian friendly kerb extensions and central refuge islands. Expunging our suburban centre character elements through Riddiford Street (from Mein Street to Constable Street) has overlooked the safety and traffic calming reasons for which these features were created. Traffic movement is further favoured over pedestrian safety with 50% of the kerbside parking removed – putting moving vehicles hard against the gutter leaves no room for pedestrians to stumble.

Transport Spine – Newtown options Adelaide Road to Constable Streets shows changes for the spine end here in Riddiford Street and that Constable Street fares better, with parked cars remaining as a pedestrian buffer zone to live traffic lanes.

Destroying the safety and live-abilty of central Newtown is an unnecessary 315m segment at the very end of the preferred BRT option.

All public transport users are also pedestrians.  The transport spine needs to integrate with the destinations it serves – 250 metres shorter the proposal would work just as well and Newtown would be a pedestrian friendly welcoming transport hub.

Help Newtown be Heard

At this stage we can agree with this as the preferred option identified by the study, it’s the detail of how it fits the heart of Newtown  we need to influence.

Newtown’s many submissions over the years in favour of improved public transport and as to how the transport spine might be integrated through Newtown have been overlooked.

Please go to the “have your say” website where you can register and help save Newtown’s pedestrian friendly character. Encourage your friends to do the same.

The process from here will involve formal consultation by the Regional Council over the coming months with a view to decisions being made around the end of the year.

After that timeframes are quite long – construction for the new system would not be complete until 2021-22.

We plan to arrange someone from the Regional Council to come along to explain the study to the July monthly meeting. Hopefully visiting Newtown will give them a better understanding of local pedestrian safety.

Further Information

Appendix B from which the images of the Newtown section outlined here have been extracted shows the complete city layout. For those interested in understanding even more detail there is a wealth of information on the Greater Wellington website

Filed under: Consultation, News, Works

Quick Headlines from Newtown Residents’ Assn Monthly Meeting 17 June 2013

Big interest in the cycling presentations lead by Patrick Morgan, supported by Martin Hanley and Kate Zwartz.  Look out for separate postings

  • on the work done by architecture students towards the design of an Island Bay to Te Papa cycleway, and
  • on Kate’s innovative design for a Mansfield St to the Basin cycle lane.

David Wilcock’s “Clean Up Newtown” proposal: for an active community lead zero tolerance response to tagging was received with enthusiasm.  A separate posting outlining what is proposed coming soon.

The Association is involved in ongoing discussions with the Salvation Army about their co-joint proposal for a youth training scheme in association with Black Power.  Members felt this is potentially a fantastic initiative, something the suburb could accommodate subject to suitable arrangements concerning the location and level of co-production supervision by the Salvation Army.

NRA is preparing to present the John St Protocols to the WCC meeting next week.  We also heard of Capacity giving extremely short notice to businesses affected by the closure of Tasman St for major works.

Bernard O’Shaughessey reported that the WCC Strategy and Policy Committee was scheduled to considered reports and recommendations arising from the consultation on the proposed Local Alcohol Policy later in the week.  There was some disquiet that the Southern Ward seemed to have been singled out as “a problem”.  NRA engagement on this front will continue to be led by the team  of Bernard, Tom Law and Peter Cooke.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with ALCOHOL in the subject line and we will pass you on to them.    Further consultation on the WCC’s alcohol management strategy and draft local alcohol policy is scheduled to start on 2 July 2013.  A separate fuller posting on this issue coming soon.

Current Consultations

  • Our response to WCC on the review of the Truby King Park management plan will be led by Nick Jennings.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with TRUBY in the subject line and we will pass you on to Nick.  Deadline is 12 July.
  • Our response to the WCC on “Our Open Spaces” will be lead by Kate Zwartz.  Anyone interested in contributing email us with OOS in the subject line and we will pass you on to Kate.  Deadline is 9 July.

Filed under: Consultation, Local Events, Meetings, News, Works

Truby King Park – review of reserve management plan

Wellington City is reviewing reserve management plans for several reserves around the city, including Truby King Park.   Prior to revising the management plan WCC has asked  our Association for feedback on four specific questions (by 12 July):

  1. What is it about Truby King Park that makes it important to the community now?
  2. What is working well and why?
  3. What would you like to see improved and why?
  4. And how would you prioritise these improvements and why?

A city park adjoining the Town Belt since the late 1980’s Truby King House and Gardens in Melrose are Newtown’s a quirky hilltop look-out. With great views over Newtown, Evans Bay Kilbirnie and Lyall Bay this enclave is well worth a visit from the connecting Town Belt, or up the driveway at 21 Manchester Terrace.

Truby King Arch

Originally home for Sir Truby and Lady Isabella King this heritage-listed estate was the heart of the Plunket Society they founded. Established in the 1920s the garden setting the King’s planted were a utopian vision for home, work and maternity care.

The public gardens meander past the historic ex-Karitane Baby Foods Factory (which has become apartments) to connect with the (now privately owned) former 1925 Karitane Maternity Hospital and its 1960’s nurses home just outside the park.

As well as their life’s work improving the welfare of mothers and babies the King’s, particularly Truby, had a mad passion for constructing zany landscape features and walkways. The “Thunderbirds are go” style Nurses home, Truby’s and Isabella’s mausoleum and the ex-hospital’s derelict cliff top tennis court vie for the title of weirdest structures in, or  nearby, the public reserve.

But don’t take our word for it, come explore the semi restored house and gardens, and sneak a peek at the accompanying privately owned remnants of the Plunket empire.

We are keen to your hear ideas  for how WCC might showcase and curate this picturesque, eccentric, rambling slice of nationally significant history.

Comments and suggestions  emailed  to newtownwellington@gmail.com (with TRUBY in the subject line) will be included in our Association’s Truby King Reserve DRAFT Submission

Filed under: Consultation

Our Capital Spaces – Consultation

Wellington City Council has recently consulted on “Our Capital Spaces”, which is the draft plan for managing the city’s open spaces over the next 10 years.   It covers parks, playgrounds, sportsfields tracks and other outdoor facilities.

It attempts to balance four stated goals.  These are:

  • Getting everyone active and healthy;
  • Protecting our birds, nature, streams and landscapes;
  • Contributing to Wellington’s outstanding quality of life; and
  • Doing it together.

You can download the plan and a shorter summary document from here

Read the NRA Submission on Our Capital Spaces June 2013

Filed under: Consultation, News

Local Alcohol Policy Submission

Wellington City Council is developing an Alcohol Management Strategy for the city. Input has been sought through meetings with community groups, the hospitality industry and via a series of community workshops.

Members participated in the WCC community workshop at St Annes Hall in March. As an organisation we have discussed the issues widely at many of our monthly meetings, and we advocated strongly over many years for our streets and parks becoming a Liquor Free Zone.

Key aspects of the Association’s latest submission to WCC were agreed at the April meeting.

Thanks to Peter Cooke, Tom Law and Bernard O’Shaughnessy for all their work collating the submission. You can read it here: ALCOHOL PLANNING POLICY- Newtown Submission_April13

And you can read the Mount Cook Mobilised submission here:   MCM_Alcohol_submission_Apr2013_FINAL

Filed under: Consultation, News

Lessons from John St Works – draft paper for feedback

By far the most important issue dealt with by the Association over the past year has been the impact of the major works around the John St / Riddiford St / Adelaide Road intersection on the Newtown business community, and in particular the retailers in the immediate area.

The Association’s draft paper draws some lessons from the John Street upgrade experience and makes recommendations to Wellington City Council that could help the council to more effectively manage the relationships with affected communities when undertaking similar large and ongoing public upgrade projects.

We accept the need for WCC to undertake such major works in the broader interest of the City.  However we believe that more attention could usefully be given to understanding, managing and mitigating the negative impacts that may arise for the neighbourhoods where these large scale works take place.

The main points in the paper were endorsed at the April members meeting.

A big thanks to the hard working volunteers who contributed to this, particularly Jeanie McCafferty.

Constructive and pro-actively attempting to make Wellington a better place: Newtown Works Draft Paper

Filed under: Consultation, News

Alcohol Management Strategy Community Workshop St Annes Hall 21 March

As part of its process for developing an Alcohol Management Strategy, Wellington City Council is holding a Community workshop at St Annes Parish Hall Newtown on the evening of Thursday 21 March from 7:00-9:00pm.

This is your chance to get information about the process and input your views at an early stage in the process.

download

Filed under: Consultation, News

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