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New bike parking corrals could help thwart rampant bike theft

Wellington City Council has proposed 11 new locations for bicycle parking in the city centre, like these on the corner of Lambton Quay and Waring Taylor St, but instead located in a parking space rather than on the pavement.

Kate Green / Stuff

Wellington City Council has proposed 11 new locations for bicycle parking in the city centre, like these on the corner of Lambton Quay and Waring Taylor St, but instead located in a parking space rather than on the pavement.

More bike corrals and electric vehicle chargers are on maps across the city as Wellington City Council proposes 46 traffic changes.

Five EV-only parks, fitted with chargers, are set to be installed at ASB Arena Kilbirnie, Khandallah (Nairnville), Karori and Kilbirnie and Otari-Wilton’s Bush Leisure Centers – with time limits of 120 minutes each.

Thirteen bus stops are moved slightly, one added at Churton Park and one removed at Karori.

Eleven parking lots around the city are set to be converted into bicycle parking corrals – on Abel Smith, Stout, Tory, College, at the corner of Ghuznee and Victoria streets, Boulcott, Victoria, Johnson, Waring Taylor and Pipitea, and The Terrace – and a new proposed escooter parking lot for the station.

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The changes are open for public submissions until 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, and the board will vote on the changes on September 7.

Wellington City Council street transformation manager Paul Barker said he was considering a few options, including a set of six “sheffield brackets” – large metal staples with a lower crossbar – similar to those already in place in the city.

Cycle parking, called 'Sheffield stalls' on the corner of Lambton Quay and Brandon St, Wellington.

Kate Green / Stuff

Cycle parking, called ‘Sheffield stalls’ on the corner of Lambton Quay and Brandon St, Wellington.

“What we’ve heard from the community is to stop providing parking on the trail,” Barker said. “[With bike stands] we can get 12 people to use this space, rather than just one car.

They could also remove a few stalls and mark off a space for parking scooters, he said.

Larger bike sheds, such as on Gray St, which could hold 30 bikes each, were being considered for other locations before the end of the year.

Companies affected by the removal of parking lots have been consulted, he said.

Bicycle theft is reaching worrying levels in the city centre. An official inquiry showed there were 1,435 complaints of theft between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2022, along with 58 police proceedings, 45 bikes recovered and 10 returned to their owners.

There were 74 reported robberies in May alone for central Wellington, but no successful prosecutions that month.

Cycle Action Network project manager Patrick Morgan said a lack of secure parking meant people were locking their bikes for unsecured things.

“Good to see public space reallocated to bike and scooter parking, rather than getting in the way of people on sidewalks,” he said.

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