City cycling demand analysis

Tom Pettit and Nadine Dodge, both with our Resilient Urban Futures research programme, have explored how people would like to cycle in Wellington City. Wellington City Council funded their report and will use this research in deciding how to develop a cycleway from Island Bay to the central city.

Cycling demand analysis – full report (pdf)

Data from a 2014 survey is analysed to determine the trade-offs and cycleway features that most influence people’s decisions to cycle in Wellington. In addition, the potential demand for the proposed Island Bay to City cycleway is assessed. The results show excellent demand potential when the features of the cycleway are tailored to people’s needs, especially their requirement for safety.

The research shows:

  • Cycleways which physically separate cyclists from other road users and risks (moving cars, pedestrians, doors of parked cars) will encourage substantially more people to consider cycling than either shared road spaces or cycle lanes that are just painted lines on the road.
  • The chief barriers to cycling in Wellington are a lack of safe cycle infrastructure and concern about drivers. Across the city, 76% of the population over age 18 would consider cycling in some circumstances when safe, separated infrastructure is provided.
  • There is a strong preference for cycle routes that are relatively flat and direct, because people want a safe, convenient route. Choosing the ideal cycle route can greatly increase cycling numbers.
  • More than 75% of those surveyed support the development of cycleways, including many non-cyclists. However, that strong support is dependent on what trade-offs are proposed. Removing parking on one side of the road, making more streets one-way and using Town Belt space is very well supported. The research suggests most people would oppose removing parking on both sides of the road.
  • Specifically in Island Bay, about 60% of cycleway area residents might cycle on the road for any purpose during a given year (up from 39% today), and as many as 11.5% of trips might be made by bike (up from around 4.5%), if good quality cycling infrastructure is provided on a convenientĀ  route.