Knights Road Connection Project

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The Knights Road Connection Project is one of several pilot projects funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency that aim to create more people-friendly spaces in our towns and cities. The Innovating Streets programme provides the resources and support for Councils to work with their communities to find solutions that work for the people that use the streets and spaces the most.

Creating streets and spaces that are more people-friendly make it easier to choose active modes of transport. This is important because New Zealand has a goal of 40% mode shift towards active transport and public transport by 2030

The Knights Road Connection Project is one of several pilot projects funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency that aim to create more people-friendly spaces in our towns and cities. The Innovating Streets programme provides the resources and support for Councils to work with their communities to find solutions that work for the people that use the streets and spaces the most.

Creating streets and spaces that are more people-friendly make it easier to choose active modes of transport. This is important because New Zealand has a goal of 40% mode shift towards active transport and public transport by 2030. Working towards this goal will reduce congestion, help to meet climate targets and improve health. It's a big shift in a short time, and so this iterative way of working allows solutions to be tested quickly and cost effectively in the real world by all affected road users while change to the layout can still be made.

The aim is for more people to feel comfortable using active non-motorised modes of transport (bikes, scooters, e-scooters etc) for some of their shorter, regular journeys, or for the last kilometre after public transport. This will reduce the congestion and pressure on off-road parking, freeing up space for people for whom active modes are not practical. For people to feel comfortable using active transport there needs to be a safe, convenient and connected network that goes to the places people need to go to.

We’re trialling a new road layout along Knights Road connecting Waterloo Station to the Lower Hutt CBD. The aim of the trial is to make the journey a safer and more attractive connection regardless of how you choose to get around.

The new layout will create better connections between the Lower Hutt CBD, local schools, homes and workplaces and the public transport and active transport facilities at Waterloo station. The purpose of trialling these changes on the road is so that everyone who uses the road can see and feel the new layouts while there is still the potential to change them. We want to hear what is working, and what is not.

Our vision

Our bold goal is to find, through temporary trials, a design that becomes an attractive, well used shared-mode connection between Waterloo Station and the Lower Hutt CBD. We want students from local schools, and staff at local businesses to use the new road layout for commuting, improving the experience of all those that use the route.

Through the trial we are working with road users to find a safer layout for all modes of transports. Children on bikes, people on e-scooters and people walking on the footpath should feel safe using thing key connection, creating real transport choice.

Why did we choose Knights Road?

In Lower Hutt and across Wellington there is a lot of investment in shared paths and off-road cycleways, such as the Wainuiomata Shared Pathway, the new Beltway route under construction, the increasingly popular Hutt River Trail and the Melling to Ngauranga cycleway. These types of facilities are generally seen as safe, and allow travel between local suburbs and are close to public transport. What is missing is connections between these key routes, at key points, to the places people want to go - especially schools, shopping areas and workplaces.

  • Knights Road is the connecting road between the public transport hubs at Waterloo Station and Queensgate.
  • It is the link between the new Beltway route and Lower Hutt's CBD.
  • There are six local schools on or near by Knights Road, and congestion at pick up and drop off times is an issue for all of them.
  • Speed data along Knights Road showed that an unacceptable number of vehicles are exceeding 50km/h and some are driving at very high speeds for an urban environment.
  • It is a wide road with enough space to trial changes to the road layout.

On this basis, a Knights Road connection to improve the connectivity of existing and planned shared paths and cycleways was first proposed as part of an urban cycleways package that included the Wainuiomata Shared Path (completed 2019, the Beltway Cycleway and the Eastern Bays Shared Path.

What has happened so far?

From July to October 2020, the Knights Road Connection project team ran a series of workshops and engagements with residents, schools and the local community to better understand their experiences on Knights Road, what is working well and what might need to change to make the connection work better for more people.

The most common and consistent feedback we received was that the intersection outside Waterloo Station was of key concern. Vehicle speeds, and turning movements, with high numbers of pedestrians, children on bikes and e-scooters, and people with disabilities were listed as the main concerns. On this basis, the scope of the project was extended to include this intersection.

Another of the themes of the early engagement was the community’s desire for a physical space featuring local art, native birds and seating that could act as a place to stay informed about the project. The Birch Street pop-up park was created to meet this need. Artwork has been created from students from Hutt Intermediate School, Sacred Heart College and MIX. Materials have been donated from local businesses and are recycled or upcycled.

This space is for community to use and over time will include updates about the project through signboards and events.

Pop-up park at event on Friday 4 DecemberEngagement at Queensgate

During our engagement we asked for feedback on a proposed layout (shown below) which came from previous engagement and consultations about layouts for different modes of transport.

From our early engagement based around this layout option we heard:

  • The median strip was of critical importance to residents turning into and out of driveways.
  • The on-street parking on the south side was used much less than the north side, and often by people commuting by train to Wellington. The median strip was a higher priority to residents than on-street parking on the south side.
  • Layout of a separated path for bikes and scooters inside of parked cars was 'Island Bay' and would cause problems for people exiting vehicles, especially with the camber (curve) of the road.
  • Having bikes, scooters and people on other quick wheeled modes on the footpath made pedestrians fell unsafe and residents worried about them when backing out of their driveways. The preference was to have these modes off the footpath.
  • That 'paint is not protection' and that without a physical separation of the marked pathway it would not be seen as safe by less confident people on bikes and scooters and therefore not used.
  • That parents, children, less confident riders felt that vehicles on Knights Road were moving too fast for it to be safe to use it to ride to work, school or for daily journeys.

We have been working with experts in road design and safety regulations to translate the views and ambitions of those we engaged with into a design that can be safely trialled on the road. The trial layout design has been created by experts in temporary trials and traffic management reviewed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The first trial layout was installed between 14 and 25 February and is now complete with the exception of minor tweaks including additional signage.

What is being trialled?

Waterloo Station Intersection

Speed and movements at this intersection were identified as being of key concern for the safety of people using all modes of transport. Treatments being trialled to improve this include:

  • Speed cushions before each pedestrian crossing
  • Green flexi-bollards to prevent vehicles (including cyclists) cutting the corner at Pohutukawa and Oxford Streets at speed
  • Redding of the pedestrian crossings to improve visibility
  • Extension of the bus stops outside of Waterloo Station to give buses the space to pull in completely.

Layout and delineators

On the basis of the feedback received to date, the trial layout:

  • Retains the median strip
  • Off-street parking has been removed on the southern side of the trial section
  • Two different types of delineators are being trialled. The ‘wave’ is a new style of delineator being trialled on the south side as a more attractive and adaptable option compared to the more traditional flexiposts on the northern side
  • The driving lanes have been narrowed from 3.7m to 3m
  • The median strip has been narrowed slightly in some locations to 2.3m
  • Installation of two 1.5m micromobility lanes with a buffer on either side of 0.4m intended for use by e-scooters & longboards and all bikes
  • The northern off street parks changed to be 2.4m buffer between parks and new micromobility lanes.

What's next?

With the trial now fully installed we are starting the next monitoring and feedback phase.

During March, we are repeating counts and measures taken prior to the trial installation. These include:

  • Counts of pedestrians, people on bikes, scooters and other modes of transport
  • Vehicle counts and speed assessment
  • Monitoring of movements at Waterloo Station Intersection
  • Counts of bikes & scooters at local schools
  • Surveys at local schools

We’re engaging directly with local business and with service providers along the road to ask for their feedback on what is working and what isn’t.

Getting feedback from the people using Knights Road on how the trial looks, feels and is being used is really important.

There are different ways to share your feedback and experiences including online surveys below, hard copy surveys, social media polls, pop in sessions and workshops.

Details of all the face to face events are listed on our Facebook page and in the calendar opposite. Please note these are subject to change depending on Covid Alert Levels.

The data and feedback we receive, alongside real-time traffic monitoring during the trial will inform whether the initial trial layout is amended, extended down Knights Road or elements are removed.

How to get involved

We are trialling the temporary changes in real time, using your recommendations to find the best solution for the space and the community. We need to hear from you about what works well and anything that isn’t working from the trial layout.

We'll be posting regular project updates, running surveys and Facebook polls, and collecting your ideas on how you want the space to work.

Thank you to the more than 300 of you who have filled in the online surveys. These are now closed, so that we can collate and understand your feedback. You can still share your ideas on the project page, attending a workshop or pop in session and/or emailing us.

Share your idea here

If you would like to help out with the project please let us know by email.

Your feedback will be used alongside real-time traffic monitoring to help inform what might happen next.

  • Amended Knights Road layout trial to get underway

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    09 Apr 2021
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    We are preparing to start a second road layout trial in Knights Road, with an amended layout. The layout has been informed by community feedback and data from the first trial including concerns about the loss of on-street parking, and visibility getting into and out of driveways.

    The purpose of the second trial is to test a layout that aims to provide safer journeys for all modes while making sure the road still functions well for all users.

    What did we learn from the first trial?

    Results from the first trial showed perceptions of safety improved. People have felt safer when using active modes of transport such as cycling to get to school and work. At the Waterloo Station intersection, our data showed drivers slowed down when approaching all pedestrian crossings and were travelling at more consistent speeds. The changes to the layout at this intersection made traffic flow more predictably and efficiently. Journey time for drivers down Knights Road remained unchanged overall.

    The feedback from the first trial also showed that the community supports having a separate pathway to provide a safe space for people on bikes, scooters and other micromobility modes in Knights Road. However, the pathway separator did not provide enough separation and created some problems for some road users. The loss of on-street parking was a problem for lots of people during the trial. Another strong theme was the need for a better connection between the beltway, the central city and other shared paths and cycleways.

    Knights Road connection trial – phase 2

    The trial of a new layout in Knights Road and a boardwalk connection to the beltway is scheduled for late April until June 2021. Data and community feedback will be collected during May, and then a decision will be made in June about whether the trial layout remains in place, is adapted or is removed. There will be lots of opportunities for you to share your views about the trial, and we will keep you posted on that.

    What are we trialling this time?

    The second trial will provide a separated pathway on the south side of the road positioned between the footpath and the parking spaces. A one-metre buffer between the pathway and parked cars will be added and the median strip will be retained but reduced in width. The north side of the road will revert to the pre-trial layout. This illustration shows how the new layout will look.

    Layout for phase 2 trial

    There will be a small (50mm) raised kerb installed between the parking spaces and the buffer to provide a physical indication of the protected space.

    This layout aims to:

    • provide better protection for pathway users
    • provide easier access to driveways
    • enable rubbish collection and street-sweeping.
    • restore most of the on-street parking on the south side of the street. Some of the parking space will still be required to allow for rubbish collection and turning movements.

    Trial connection to the beltway

    We are also exploring trialling a three-metre wide timber ‘boardwalk’ to provide a clear and safe link from the end of the current beltway to Waterloo Station and Knights Road. This should provide a safer route for pedestrians, cyclists and users of scooters, e-scooters, mobility scooters and wheelchairs. The proposed trial layout is similar to one in Nelson.

    Boardwalk solution in Nelson

    Waterloo intersection trial

    The new pedestrian crossing layout and speed cushions at the Waterloo intersection will remain in place for the second phase of the trial.

    The pop-up park on Birch Street will also stay in place for the next phase. It’s the ‘home’ of the project and a place to stay informed about what’s coming up and how you can give feedback.

  • Read the latest e-newsletter

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    31 Mar 2021
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    Our latest e-newsletter provides an update on what has been happening in the project. This edition shares the main themes from the community engagement on the trial layout.

  • Thanks for completing the surveys!

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    12 Mar 2021
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    A big thank you to the more than 300 people that have filled in an online survey for the Knights Road Connection trial.

    We are now collating all of your feedback, alongside the hard copy surveys, emails and ideas.

    We'll be sharing the themes from that feedback at this Sunday's drop-in session, and online from next week.

  • Flipcharts and notes from Resident workshop 7 March

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    10 Mar 2021
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    A big thank you to the 47 people that joined us over three workshops on Sunday 7 March to talk about the Knights Road Connection Project.

    We appreciate you sharing your experiences of the new trial layout and your thoughts on what could be done differently as we move forward.

    Photos of all the flip chart notes created by the groups as well as a typed version of the flipcharts are now live in the documents section of this project page. Transcripts of the discussion will be added once completed.

    The next face to face opportunity to feedback is at Queensgate Mall on Thursday 18 March between 9am and 9pm. We'd love to see you there!

    Please spread the word so that everyone has an opportunity to participate.
  • You can feedback now on the trial layout

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    01 Mar 2021
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    Online feedback surveys on the first temporary trial layout along Knights Road are now live. Click the links below to give your feedback. Please fill in the surveys relevant to you.

    Link to residents survey

    Link to school community survey

    Link to general public survey

    Hard copies of these surveys will be delivered to schools and residents next week.

    If you have an idea that you'd like to discuss, or want to post a photo, please Share your idea here

  • Upcoming Workshops

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    23 Feb 2021
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    We have a series of workshops, displays, and drop-in days planned to ask for feedback from all users of Knights Road, in addition to the surveys and polls which will go live after the launch event on Friday 26 February. See this document for all of the information.

    Sunday 28 February - Cancelled due to Covid Level 2 - to be rescheduled

    With New Zealand going back into Alert Level 2 at 6am on Sunday 28 February, as announced at 9pm on Saturday 27th we have made the difficult decision to postpone the two resident workshops that were to be held at the Dowse on Sunday 28 February.

    While the number of people that RSVP’d for the workshops are within limits, we are taking a cautious approach as we are unable to practically manage physical distancing in the workshop setting at short notice.

    It is also important for all residents that want to participate to have the opportunity to attend the workshops. The move to Alert Level 2 may impact attendance for some in the community.

    Alternative plans will be posted here and on our facebook page as soon as we have worked through the options. We will work directly with the resident organising these as we look at options, and those who RSVP'd by email will continue to be kept informed through email.

    Please spread the word to others that may be planning to attend that aren't regular computer users.

  • Save the date - Official Trial Launch 26 February

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    18 Feb 2021
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    The launch event is next Friday 26 February at 1pm. Please see the invitation document below - we'd love to see you there! Please RSVP to allow us to prepare properly, and to communicate should anything change due to the weather or Covid Alert Levels changing.

  • Communicating with you survey

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    19 Feb 2021

    Getting feedback and continually adapting is a fundamental part of the Auaha Evolving Spaces Projects. We've been listening to your feedback and comments and want to hear more about the best ways to communicate with you. Click this link to fill in the quick survey and let us know.

    Materials still to be installed due to rain delay earlier this week are speed cushions around the pedestrian crossings outside Waterloo Station and the final on-road 'furniture' to better signal the new layout and protect vulnerable road users. Also to come is the chalk stencils and signage connecting Beltway to this trial.

    Once the trial is in place, there will be a number of different ways to give feedback. We really want to hear from you and your communities, so please help us to get the word out and make sure everyone has a chance to share what is and isn't working for them.

  • Catch up on the latest in our e-news

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    17 Dec 2020

    Catch all the latest news and updates about the Knights Road Connection Project in your inbox by signing up to the e-news.

    Read our February e-news to find out more.

  • Pop-up Park Celebration Friday 4 December

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    25 Nov 2020
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    We're reimagining Knights Road with you to create a safer and more people-friendly pathway and connection to Lower Hutt's CBD. The pop-up park will be the 'home' for the project and a place to stay informed about what's next and ways you can feedback. The design has come from community feedback requesting more seating, more attractive spaces and a physical space to stay informed. It's been created from recycled materials from local businesses, with artwork done by Hutt Intermediate and Sacred Heart students supported by local artists.

    The event is a celebration of their work. There will be activities, music and an opportunity to see what a temporary pathway trial along Knights Road might look like.

    Stop by on your way home from school or work, or while you're out and about to meet the team and enjoy the new space.