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    • Long Read: Mass Rapid Transit in Wellington
      • 26 Jun 2019
      • Fair Intelligent Transport (FIT) Wellington
      • Posted by Kerry Wood <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > The latest version of ‘trackless tram’ (TT) has been developed by CRRC in China. A trial system has been running in Zhuzhou since 2017, and should be coming onto the market about now. It is of interest in Wellington because of potential cost-savings over light rail, but comes with corresponding problems and is barely commercial at this stage. TT is distinct from BRT but shares some important characteristics. On this page… Key messsages Route and capacity Light Rail BRT Trackless Trams Costs Key messsages The TT feature of interest in Wellington is capacity. It is the highest-capacity BRT-like vehicle on the market, presumably with a much better ride than a bus, and may be able to meet Wellington needs on a two-lane route. Any decision to adopt TT will require careful studies; Wellington has already run into costly problems created by a casual attitude to supposedly minor issues. In a more difficult situation, we must get it right this time: BRT using conventional articulated buses is well-established but an unlikely option for Wellington. High-capacity BRT is generally used in cities having wide streets, unlike Wellington. TT might be an alternative to BRT, if it can offer sufficient capacity, and when ‘the kinks have been ironed out.’ At a time of very rapid change, uncertainties are inevitable and require good management. In this case high-capacity would be a low-risk approach, favouring either light rail or four-lane BRT. Decision-makers need to bear two things in mind: First, light rail becomes cheaper than either BRT or buses at a relatively low ridership. Second, BRT also benefits from a properly segregated route, to minimise congestion, and from diverted underground services to minimise delays. Light rail may well be the lowest-risk option, or even the cheapest option. An independent conclusion comes from Matt L at the Greater Auckland transport blog: I do think that this [TT] technology is promising and definitely worth keeping an eye on, but I’m not convinced that Auckland should be so quick to jump on the bandwagon. Let’s at least wait till at least a handful of cities have successfully rolled this out and ironed out all the kinks… Let’s also wait till there are multiple suppliers with inter-operable systems. Unfortunately, even without the capacity/frequency issues that I think would be an issue for the city centre, I don’t think Auckland can afford to wait. We need to get on fixing transport in this city and so should get on with installing light rail as soon as possible. ↑ Contents Route and capacity The LGWM route has recently been challenged, with proposals for a Mt Victoria tunnel for buses, walkers and cyclists. A tunnel for walkers and cyclists seems sensible, but a new bus tunnel would be a backward step. The existing Bus Tunnel is adequate for serving Hataitai, and a much better MRT route is through Newtown, because of high residential density. Densities are too low for MRT in Hataitai and through to Miramar and the Airport. The Newtown route offers substantially greater residential density, on both sides of the route, as well as potential for future density. Adelaide Rd and Kilbirnie are designated WCC development areas. A Mt Victoria route was proposed in the 2013 Spine Study, apparently to save time, but the real time-savings come from good detail design on the chosen route. Bypassing Wellington Hospital is itself a planning error for MRT: BRT in Brisbane went as far as a stop within the Hospital building. It is not a criticism to recognise that LGWM’s modal demand estimates for 2036 contain serious errors. Ideas and assumptions in transport are changing very quickly, among professionals and through society as a whole. Engineering NZ’s latest Transport Group Conference had the theme ‘Change is in the air.’ Who could have imagined, twelve months ago, that school children would be going on strike to demand action on climate change? Will we really see a third of CBD commuters still travelling by car in 2036, as predicted by LGWM? We don’t know. With so many uncertainties to manage, LGWM might be wise to plan for generous spare capacity on primary public transport routes: rail into Wellington and MRT further south. This might even extend to purchasing delivery options, or more vehicles than needed. If world-wide demand shoots up, small orders for a city like Wellington might take too long. The combination of highly uncertain demand and high-capacity MRT suggests that mass-transit might usefully be over-provided, within reason. Under-providing seems likely to be the greater risk. ↑ Contents Light Rail At this stage, light rail seems to be the only option clearly suited to Wellington and the chosen route. It is also available from multiple suppliers; light rail is well-established and supply-competitive. BRT is also available from multiple suppliers, but TT is only available from CRRC. The example vehicle chosen by FIT is seven-section, similar to the Gold Coast (G-link) vehicle in the photo. It is 63 m long with a capacity of nominally 470 passengers. Shorter vehicles might be best for the early years, reducing costs, but longer vehicles might be cheaper in the long term. The costly parts of a modern tram are the control system and cabs, and operating cost-differences are almost independent of vehicle length. If lack of capacity is a risk, then longer vehicles could usefully be introduced at once. The obvious drawback of light rail is the cost of track and diverting underground services. The usual arrangement is that services running along the light rail route are relocated beside it, and services crossing it are relaid in ducts, so that they can be replaced without disturbing light rail. Large drains are generally an exception because they can be repaired from the inside. ↑ Contents BRT A new route study can be based on the ITDP BRT Standard. In 2017 LGWM’s consultant WSP recommended design to the ITDP ‘Bronze Standard,’ and gave these assumptions: Full separation from general traffic flows (dedicated lanes), except intersections. High priority at traffic signals. Requires integration with surrounding walking, cycling & traffic network. Fully electric vehicles. High frequency 2.0–2.5 min/direction/peak hour (“realistic/normal” operating frequency of BRT on Golden Mile). Less transfers/interchanges for passengers. Maximum Capacity 150+ passengers. Medium potential to attract car users to PT. Modern low floor articulated bus vehicles. Flexible/less physical infrastructure. Generally fixed route, some flexibility (if required). BRT is likely to cost roughly the same as conventional buses. In practice, BRT seems very unlikely to be satisfactory in Wellington, because lack of space in the CBD will require a two-lane route. This might be sufficient with good management, of bus lanes, but can never be enough at stations. BRT stations in Brisbane (scaled from an aerial photograph) are typically about 27 m wide, compared with a street-width of 15.1 m in Wellington’s Manners St, for all purposes. BRT stations need two lanes each way, for buses overtaking buses. Also needed are more bus-berths, dedicated berths for each route (so that passengers know where to wait), and substantial platform width to handle passenger numbers. Some principal CBD junctions may need flyovers, to allow adequate junction time for traffic crossing the busway. WSP (bullet point 5 above) anticipate a reliable maximum time between buses of two or two and a half minutes between buses on the golden mile, only 24–30 bus/hr. The only real alternatives to the golden mile are two lanes on the waterfront or two lanes on the ‘secondary spine’ proposed in the Spine Study, using Featherston and Wakefield Streets southbound, and returning on Jervois Quay. Neither is wide enough, with very poor passenger access and legibility. ↑ Contents Trackless Trams Chinese developer CRRC is now the world’s largest manufacturer of railway rolling-stock (Newman et al. (2019), p 33, The Trackless Tram: is it the transit and city shaping catalyst we have been waiting for?). CRRC’s Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (‘trackless tram’ or TT) system is now being trialled in Zhuzhou. TT might prove an attractive option, but there are surprising uncertainties here. Detailed information from CRRC is still scarce, and some sources seem very unreliable. Much of what is available is dated 2017, and an apparently official video is remarkably amateur. It is not even clear that CRRC have yet begun to market TT. TT uses digital steering of all six axles to track a pair of painted lines, with supplementary data from GPS and LIDAR. CRRC have paid close attention to ride quality, using high-speed rail technology. The vehicles are battery-powered (in fact condensers), with an anticipated range of 50 km after a ten-minute charge, backed up by an overnight ‘deep recharge’ and a brief top-up at each station (Newman et al. (2019), p 38). CRRC is offering, or planning to offer, vehicles 30 metres long, in three sections, with a five-section option planned. See the photos below. CRRC now has the largest vehicles on offer, with probably the best ride and the most effective batteries and charging systems. Other manufacturers are also in the market, including Alstom, Van Hool and Irizar (Newman et al. (2019), p 34), offering shorter, bus-based vehicles. The route capacity achievable using light rail is about 10,000 passengers an hour in Wellington, which seems a reasonable target for TT. A lower target would be more easily achieved but might risk running into capacity problems. Three-section TT vehicles are 31.6 m long and 2.65 m wide (the standard light rail width). The claimed capacity is 250–300, which seems very high. A standard figure in Europe is a preferred maximum of 4 standing passengers per square metre. Using this figure, and comparing on a floor-area basis (after subtracting two metres at each end, for the drivers’ cabs), gives a TT vehicle capacity of about 220 passengers. A further correction is needed, because TT vehicles have wide wheel-boxes for six axles (like the front wheels of a bus), and the boxing is continued beneath side-facing seats: the seats are set forward from the windows (photo above right). The full vehicle width is only available to passengers around the doors. An estimated width-correction of 300 mm reduces the capacity to 200 passengers, or 330 on a five-section TT, about 50 m long. This is about 70% of the assumed light rail capacity of 470 (FIT example vehicle). An animated video suggests that two TT vehicles can run in convoy only about a metre apart. If such an option becomes practical, TTs might be capable of running together without coupling, matching light rail capacity and eliminating the need for a four lane route. However, stop-length is another consideration. Finding space for platforms longer than about 50 m becomes progressively more difficult, and extremely difficult beyond about 70 m. Two potential TT risks are: A typical modern European tram (Siemens Avenio, 63 m long) weighs nearly three times as much as a full load of passengers, but TT vehicles weigh only about 15% more. The risk here is that long vehicles need adequate ‘buffing strength’ to protect passengers in the event of a crash. The whole vehicle needs to be strong enough to absorb the kinetic energy of the rear end with minimum risk to passengers. TT in New Zealand will need careful checking for compliance with regulations, regardless of whether the system is treated as bus or light rail. In either case, new regulations will be needed, and may need legislation. Wellington would gain a dual advantage from choosing ‘the same as Auckland’: no regulatory costs, and cheaper vehicles and equipment because of repeat orders. In Looking past the hype about trackless trams, Wong (2018) points out that TT is not really revolutionary, and alternatives to light rail have been available for years. However, Wong also challenges TT’s ride quality, which might be unfair, but his paper is still of interest. A guide and manual with application to Trackless Trams, a paper by Peter Newman et al. (2018), develops a new method of assessing public transport, specifically with TT in mind: Traditional transit planning does the transport engineering first and then adds the land use planning as a supplement after finding government funding; the approach being presented here starts with the land development planning and then does the transport engineering after achieving the funding/ financing from the land development potential. [p 6] Four approaches to capital are used: broadly, all-public; mostly public; mostly private; and all-private. While the paper seems very useful (and note the BCR below), explicitly applying it to TT seems doubtful: By integrating higher value into land development within cities, rather than having further land development on the urban fringe, there are significant public and private benefits that vastly outweigh the costs. Some BCR calculations have seen a simple light rail project with a BCR of 1.5 increase to around 7 because of the increased land development. This not only saves public money in infrastructure costs (usually 1.5 times as much as redevelopment) but also provides transport time savings for those living in the [Transit-Oriented Development areas (such as WCC’s plans for Adelaide Rd)] (based on all transport usage). Thus, it is important to ensure land value increases are integrated into the full transit and land system upgrade process. [p 6] Clearly, the model also works with light rail, but perhaps more worrying is this: Towards the end we show that a Trackless Tram is likely to be the new ‘rail’ system for cities as it does all the things light rail does but costs one tenth of it. This low cost makes it possible for entrepreneurial developers to build such systems as it will unlock their developments. [p 14] TT at a tenth of the cost of light rail is implausible. While the four-level model is interesting, other sources suggest that saving 90% of light rail costs is unrealistic. One of Newman’s errors has been picked up by Matt L: The press for the trackless train claims the vehicle can hold 300 people. This seems highly unlikely given the vehicle is only about 30m long. As a comparison, AT say that a 66m light rail vehicle will hold up to 420 people. The interior of the vehicle doesn’t suggest a huge amount of standing space either and a capacity of 180–200 people seems more realistic. But even if it could hold 300 people, it’s not enough, which is why AT are going for higher capacity vehicles. Newman himself notes (Newman et al. (2019), p 39) an Australian estimate of a third of the cost of light rail, which seems a reasonable starting-point; real-world costs must cover more than painting double white lines. Trackless trams, like BRT, look tempting because they seem far more cost-effective than light rail. This has gone on for a long time, and Wong (2018) refers to a 1994 paper, by Henscher and Walters, titled Light rail and bus priority systems: Choice or blind commitment? Perhaps the largest single risk when adopting alternatives to light rail is the simplest. Decision-makers have repeatedly demonstrated how easily they can convince themselves that anything without tracks must be better than light rail. An example is that UCL, in Innovative technologies for light rail and tram: a European reference resource Briefing paper 1 Tyre innovation–rubber tyred trams (a 2015 review of earlier versions of trackless trams), commented: All (BRT) systems installed to date have been more expensive than conventional tramways. At least two of those systems were replaced by light rail. A related blind-commitment temptation is assuming that only light rail needs to disturb underground services. The ignored risk is that underground services can disrupt TT, just as they have always disrupted present-day motor traffic: TT/BRT proponents, including CRRC, claim the benefits of being able to avoid a crash by manually steering around the obstruction. This is as much a disadvantage as an advantage, because the converse is motor vehicles running on TT/BRT ‘tracks.’ Light rail experience in Britain is stoppages when parked cars obstruct the track, and TT/BRT must also address these risks. The light rail photo on page 3 shows a kerb outside the tracks (at right), with prominent ‘TRAM ONLY’ signs painted on the road, to discourage motor vehicles. Light rail has to maintain an exclusive corridor, and effective TT will need to do the same. If TT/BRT is seen as not needing underground services diversion, decision-makers have unwittingly accepted the risk of delays or damage when underground services fail. Motor traffic is frequently delayed in this way, and drivers manage it by travelling at other times or taking an alternative route. Road signs warning of future disruptions are commonplace. Neither management option is available to either TT or BRT, and Wellington has recent experience of the effects. When the Hutt railway line was washed out in 2013, motor traffic also came to a standstill, for several days. Ignoring the need for services diversion for TT/BRT will tend to have the same effect, rarely over days, but even ten minutes can be very disruptive. Wellington decision-makers need to face facts here. Two major studies, the 2011 Bus Review and the 2013 Spine Study, were wiped out by ill-considered cost-savings. Ten years after the problem was first identified, Greater Wellington still has a heavily overloaded bus route and no plans for improvement. This process, of unconsciously working towards a substandard outcome, is well-known; blind commitment is one term, but Wikipedia calls it BRT Creep: BRT creep comprises several types of gradual erosions in service that sometimes affect a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, resulting in a service that is not up to the standards promised by BRT advocates. In its ideal form, BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of a light rail system with the flexibility, cost and simplicity of a bus system. BRT creep occurs when a system that promises these features instead acts more like a standard, non-rapid bus system… The most extreme versions of BRT creep lead to systems that cannot even truly be recognised as “Bus Rapid Transit”. This is what happens when the bus lobby sidles in and whispers, “we can do exactly the same for half the price.” They do, and they can’t. ↑ Contents Costs Costs for TT vehicles are roughly comparable with light rail; say about $80 million to run a five-minute service. Other cost estimates vary wildly, but real-world costs must cover more than painting double white lines: Road re-grading as needed; TT videos show well-levelled surfaces everywhere. TT vehicles use the same low floor-level as light rail, and will tend to need similar large-radius vertical curves. Heavy-current, high-voltage power at all stops, termini, and especially the depot. Stations, including platforms, shelter, passenger access; ticketing machines and connections at hubs. A depot, with scope for expansion. Motor traffic realignment to make room for TT. Integration with traffic signals for TT priority. Any TT cost-estimates for Wellington will need great care, using data from existing users. Ensuring a dedicated and separated corridor would future-proof TT to support fully autonomous operation when the technology matures: light rail is future-proofed by design. The first light rail line in Montpellier opened in 2001, and in 2008 was carrying 30 million passengers a year. A cost analysis from Marc le Tourneur (2011), Making the case for trams and regional trams, showed that buses and BRT both cost about 45% more than light rail: light rail (actual figures) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.93 Operating cost per passenger€ 0.53 Total€ 1.46 buses (actual figures) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.49 Operating cost per passenger€ 1.61 Total€ 2.12 bus rapid transit (simulated using data from Nantes) Investment cost per passenger€ 0.84 Operating cost per passenger€ 1.27 Total€ 2.11 Montpellier (populaton 290,000) now has four light rail lines, with a total length of 60 km. Data from Transport for London gives equal costs for buses and light rail at about 3200 light rail passengers an hour; a little higher and light rail is cheaper than buses, and a lot cheaper when light rail is running at capacity. One reason is that savings on operations cost are sufficient to pay for greater capital costs. Roughly 70% of operating costs are driver’s wages, for either buses or light rail, but one light rail driver replaces some four to six bus drivers. ↑ Contents
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    • WMTBC December Newsletter
      • 3 Dec 2014
      • WMTBC
      • In this newsletter:     Race report: WDHS Rd 2 - Karori     Juvie & Duel Slalom Track Opening     South Coast Kids Track Update     Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan     WDHS Round 3 - Maidstone     WORD Bike-a-Polooza     Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro     Klunkers, Chainless & Kids Bike Dual Slalom     Trail Building Updates Wellington Downhill Series Round 2 - Karori The second race in the Wellington Downhill Series went down last month on the revitalised 98DH aka K-Hole. Historically, racing at this venue has been in the wet, and under these conditions simply getting a bike down the track becomes a game of survival. But on this occasion, Karori turned it on for riders. At the end of racing - Daniel Meilink took out the Open Men category ahead of Michael Mells and Bryn Dickerson. In Masters 1 & 2 - Nathan Timoko and Ali Quinn claimed the top spots respectively. And the juniors were dominated by the Macdonalds - with Finlay taking out under 17 and brother Lachie, under 15. Current National Champ Sarah Atkin recorded a very respectable time that would have put her just outside top 10 in Open Men, and Finn van Leuven also put down a solid time in Hardtail. We’ll catch everyone at the final WDHS round this Saturday, 6th December at Maidstone. Race Results & Series Points Juvie & Duel Slalom Grand Opening Crews and contractors have been hard at work at Miramar of the past months and we’ve recently seen the completion of two new tracks - Juvenile Delinquent, and the Kids Duel Slalom. The sum of these, combined with the pump track and dirt jumps is a great zone for kids and beginners to hone their skills, only minutes from the City. The grand opening of Juvie and the Kids Duel Slalom last weekend was a huge success. About 150 people turned up to mark the occasion on Sunday, including City Councillors and Mayor, Celia Wade Brown. Once the tape was cut, Mayor Celia spoke positively of the Club’s recent work at Miramar and Island Bay. South Coast Kids Track Wins Another Award You may recall that earlier this year, the Club received a Wellington Airport Community Award for its work on the South Coast Kids Track. Well last week the Kids Track did it again - this time at the 2014 NZ Recreation Association Awards. The annual awards recognise excellence in the recreation and leisure industry, and the South Coast Kids Track was named Most Outstanding Project. Thanks once again to Wellington City Council, Trail Fund NZ, Bike Wellington, Revolve Cycling and Southstar Trails.  Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan Submissions close this Friday 5th on the WCC Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan. This is the last opportunity members of the public will have to share their views on the future management of Wellington’s suburban reserves - between Khandallah and Miramar (including Makara). This plan will have a significant impact on the future of mountain biking in our city, and the planning process only comes around once every 10 years. So, if you have a few spare minutes and a desire to see the WCC supporting mountain biking in our suburban reserves, get in there.   Upcoming Events WDHS Round 3 - Maidstone - THIS SATURDAY The final round of the 2014 Wellington Downhill Series will take place THIS SATURDAY, 6th December at Maidstone, Upper Hutt. Check the WMTBC website for details and online registration. Online registration closes Friday, 5pm. Enter online >> The Club would also like to welcome Adrenaline MTB as the event’s major sponsor. **VOLUNTEERS** Race marshals and drivers are urgently needed for this event. We greatly appreciate any help offered. If interested - please contact events@wmtbc.org.nz. WORD Bike-a-Polooza - Sunday Dec 7th This Sunday at the Wainuiomata Trails - WORD invites you to join them for the first Bike-a-Polooza - New Zealand's best, super fun, and raddest kids mountain bike event ever! There will be four great courses to choose from on the day - so something for all the 3-17 year olds. Cost: $15 individual, $40 family of 3 kids. For more info and online registration check out WORD Bike-a-Polooza Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro - Jan 19th, 2015 The third annual Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro is upcoming - Wellington Anniversary weekend, January 19th. We’ve run the annual fundraiser for the Miramar Track Project for the past couple of years, and 2015 will undoubtedly be the biggest yet. As per last year, we’ll be running two classes - Misdemeanor and Felony, plus the Sufferfest hill climb, and we’re throwing in a Kids Mini D for the little rippers. Also, in breaking news - Yeastie Boys have just come on board as a sponsor. This is great news if you like beer.   Online entries opening later this month Event Details >> Klunkers, Chainless & Kids Bike Dual Slalom - Jan 24th, 2015 After a successful event earlier this year, Klunkers is back! The aim of the race is simple: dig out your old kit and 90s race weapon, do as many timed runs of Jailbrake as your body (or bike) will permit within 2 ½ hours, and heckle like you’ve never heckled. There will be four categories: Klunkers, Chainless, proKlunkers and Klunkers (under 12), and an additional Kids Bike Dual Slalom race. Entry is by donation of old (useful) bike parts, cash, or your bike. All proceeds go to Biketech and the Mechanical Tempest. Event Details >> Trail Building Updates Clinical (Polhill Reserve) As you may recall from the last Polhill update, The Brooklyn Trail Builders reported significant progress on Clinical. When it’s complete, the track will round off a grand loop of the Reserve. Most of the track is now rideable, and it’s set for completion sometime during early 2015. Currently, contractors are finishing construction of bridges on the trail, and volunteers are working on approximately 200m at the bottom. Although this section is incomplete, there’s a steep track that can be used to bypass it. The next dig is this coming Sunday, 7th December at 3pm. Details over at Brooklyn Trail Builders. There will be an event to commemorate the official opening of Clinical, tentatively around April 2015. We’ll keep you posted. We would also like to congratulate BTB whose work was this week recognised at the Roll on Wellington Cycle Awards. Mt Victoria Thanks to all those who contributed recently to the Mt Victoria trail user survey. We’re currently compiling the results, but feedback was largely positive. In case you missed it - here’s the full rundown. But in short, the WCC has requested that changes be made to the lower part of the Super D line. The Club, in consultation with trail leaders and the Council, has come up with a plan that involves essentially realigning the trail, from the SPCA south. In addition, the plan includes work around busy junctions to reduce the risk of conflict with other trail users. No major work will take place on Mt Victoria until the new year. We’ll keep you updated.  Want to keep in touch? For up-to-date Club news, updates and media - follow WMTBC on Facebook or check the Club page at WMTBC.org.nz
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    • WMTBC December Newsletter
      • 3 Dec 2014
      • Wmtbc
      • In this newsletter:     Race report: WDHS Rd 2 - Karori     Juvie & Duel Slalom Track Opening     South Coast Kids Track Update     Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan     WDHS Round 3 - Maidstone     WORD Bike-a-Polooza     Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro     Klunkers, Chainless & Kids Bike Dual Slalom     Trail Building Updates Wellington Downhill Series Round 2 - Karori The second race in the Wellington Downhill Series went down last month on the revitalised 98DH aka K-Hole. Historically, racing at this venue has been in the wet, and under these conditions simply getting a bike down the track becomes a game of survival. But on this occasion, Karori turned it on for riders. At the end of racing - Daniel Meilink took out the Open Men category ahead of Michael Mells and Bryn Dickerson. In Masters 1 & 2 - Nathan Timoko and Ali Quinn claimed the top spots respectively. And the juniors were dominated by the Macdonalds - with Finlay taking out under 17 and brother Lachie, under 15. Current National Champ Sarah Atkin recorded a very respectable time that would have put her just outside top 10 in Open Men, and Finn van Leuven also put down a solid time in Hardtail. We’ll catch everyone at the final WDHS round this Saturday, 6th December at Maidstone. Race Results & Series Points Juvie & Duel Slalom Grand Opening Crews and contractors have been hard at work at Miramar of the past months and we’ve recently seen the completion of two new tracks - Juvenile Delinquent, and the Kids Duel Slalom. The sum of these, combined with the pump track and dirt jumps is a great zone for kids and beginners to hone their skills, only minutes from the City. The grand opening of Juvie and the Kids Duel Slalom last weekend was a huge success. About 150 people turned up to mark the occasion on Sunday, including City Councillors and Mayor, Celia Wade Brown. Once the tape was cut, Mayor Celia spoke positively of the Club’s recent work at Miramar and Island Bay. South Coast Kids Track Wins Another Award You may recall that earlier this year, the Club received a Wellington Airport Community Award for its work on the South Coast Kids Track. Well last week the Kids Track did it again - this time at the 2014 NZ Recreation Association Awards. The annual awards recognise excellence in the recreation and leisure industry, and the South Coast Kids Track was named Most Outstanding Project. Thanks once again to Wellington City Council, Trail Fund NZ, Bike Wellington, Revolve Cycling and Southstar Trails.  Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan Submissions close this Friday 5th on the WCC Draft Suburban Reserves Management Plan. This is the last opportunity members of the public will have to share their views on the future management of Wellington’s suburban reserves - between Khandallah and Miramar (including Makara). This plan will have a significant impact on the future of mountain biking in our city, and the planning process only comes around once every 10 years. So, if you have a few spare minutes and a desire to see the WCC supporting mountain biking in our suburban reserves, get in there.   Upcoming Events WDHS Round 3 - Maidstone - THIS SATURDAY The final round of the 2014 Wellington Downhill Series will take place THIS SATURDAY, 6th December at Maidstone, Upper Hutt. Check the WMTBC website for details and online registration. Online registration closes Friday, 5pm. Enter online >> The Club would also like to welcome Adrenaline MTB as the event’s major sponsor. **VOLUNTEERS** Race marshals and drivers are urgently needed for this event. We greatly appreciate any help offered. If interested - please contact events@wmtbc.org.nz. WORD Bike-a-Polooza - Sunday Dec 7th This Sunday at the Wainuiomata Trails - WORD invites you to join them for the first Bike-a-Polooza - New Zealand's best, super fun, and raddest kids mountain bike event ever! There will be four great courses to choose from on the day - so something for all the 3-17 year olds. Cost: $15 individual, $40 family of 3 kids. For more info and online registration check out WORD Bike-a-Polooza Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro - Jan 19th, 2015 The third annual Escape from Mt Crawford Mini Enduro is upcoming - Wellington Anniversary weekend, January 19th. We’ve run the annual fundraiser for the Miramar Track Project for the past couple of years, and 2015 will undoubtedly be the biggest yet. As per last year, we’ll be running two classes - Misdemeanor and Felony, plus the Sufferfest hill climb, and we’re throwing in a Kids Mini D for the little rippers. Also, in breaking news - Yeastie Boys have just come on board as a sponsor. This is great news if you like beer.   Online entries opening later this month Event Details >> Klunkers, Chainless & Kids Bike Dual Slalom - Jan 24th, 2015 After a successful event earlier this year, Klunkers is back! The aim of the race is simple: dig out your old kit and 90s race weapon, do as many timed runs of Jailbrake as your body (or bike) will permit within 2 ½ hours, and heckle like you’ve never heckled. There will be four categories: Klunkers, Chainless, proKlunkers and Klunkers (under 12), and an additional Kids Bike Dual Slalom race. Entry is by donation of old (useful) bike parts, cash, or your bike. All proceeds go to Biketech and the Mechanical Tempest. Event Details >> Trail Building Updates Clinical (Polhill Reserve) As you may recall from the last Polhill update, The Brooklyn Trail Builders reported significant progress on Clinical. When it’s complete, the track will round off a grand loop of the Reserve. Most of the track is now rideable, and it’s set for completion sometime during early 2015. Currently, contractors are finishing construction of bridges on the trail, and volunteers are working on approximately 200m at the bottom. Although this section is incomplete, there’s a steep track that can be used to bypass it. The next dig is this coming Sunday, 7th December at 3pm. Details over at Brooklyn Trail Builders. There will be an event to commemorate the official opening of Clinical, tentatively around April 2015. We’ll keep you posted. We would also like to congratulate BTB whose work was this week recognised at the Roll on Wellington Cycle Awards. Mt Victoria Thanks to all those who contributed recently to the Mt Victoria trail user survey. We’re currently compiling the results, but feedback was largely positive. In case you missed it - here’s the full rundown. But in short, the WCC has requested that changes be made to the lower part of the Super D line. The Club, in consultation with trail leaders and the Council, has come up with a plan that involves essentially realigning the trail, from the SPCA south. In addition, the plan includes work around busy junctions to reduce the risk of conflict with other trail users. No major work will take place on Mt Victoria until the new year. We’ll keep you updated.  Want to keep in touch? For up-to-date Club news, updates and media - follow WMTBC on Facebook or check the Club page at WMTBC.org.nz
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    • Motorway Patrol
      • 13 Dec 2012
      • Eye of the Fish
      • I’ve been really impressed by the pace of construction of the sparkly-new bypass-of-the-bypass since I’ve got back. Apparently this started in late October, and as I walked by today the road was just about ready for sealing. The new NZTA website doesn’t seem to offer any drawings or maps of this, so for those who haven’t had the chance to see it, I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago to give you an impression of the route.
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      • Buckle Street, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington Region, 6011, Aotearoa New Zealand


    • Te Karo Park
      • 8 Aug 2008
      • Eye of the Fish
      • Following fast on the footsteps of the previous post on Courtenay Park, which some are labeling as ‘grim’, I’d like to put forward another contender for the title of ‘grim urban park’: yes, that of the SLOAP that is the ‘park’ of the Bypass.
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      • 327 Willis Street, Wellington


    • Art at your feet
      • 30 Jul 2007
      • WellUrban
      • While there's a lot going on around the Buckle St section of the bypass, Karo Drive itself is going to take a long time to integrate into the texture of the city (sad, empty buildings don't help). Some citizens have taken things into their own hands and decided to give that most anonymous and downtrodden of icons, the pedestrian walkway pictogram, a bit of individuality.
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      • bypass

    • Toytown
      • 10 Jun 2007
      • WellUrban
      • I've been wondering when the houses relocated for the bypass would be re-inhabited, thus bringing some life back to a ravaged district. Surely it wouldn't be long before they were snapped up? But no: Karo Drive and Tonks Grove are going to look like toytown for quite some time to come.It turns out that under the Public Works Act, Transit has to look for the original owners or their descendants, and then offer the properties to them at market prices.
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    • In Memoriam
      • 24 Apr 2007
      • WellUrban
      • I can finally mention what I've known about unofficially for a while: it's been publicly announced that New Zealand Memorial Park will be built in front of the old Museum on Buckle St. It's not quite what I originally speculated about when demolition of the service station first started, since it will be where Buckle St is now rather than on the north side of it, and there's an additional nice touch in that the "Greening the Quays" project will be extended up Taranaki St to the park.
      • Tagged as:
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      • bypass

    • U-turn
      • 1 Apr 2007
      • WellUrban
      • In a surprise decision, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast today announced that the inner-city bypass will be scrapped. "We had faith in roads to solve all life's problems, but it hasn't turned out like that at all. It seems that while east-west commuters are saving a few minutes, north-south commuters have had to pay for it with increased delays, and overall, the project hasn't been worth all the money and hassle."The council and Transit NZ are now working to repair the damage.
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    • Bypassed
      • 25 Mar 2007
      • WellUrban
      • Well, it's done. The changeover to the southbound leg of the bypass happened without incident at just after 6 this morning, and while it's hard to tell for sure, there don't seem to be any major snarl-ups around town. Tomorrow will be a bigger test, once commuters hit the new layout in force, but we'll still have to wait for a while before we can see whether it achieves what it set out to do.
      • Tagged as:
      • bypass

    • Bypassing Ghuznee
      • 19 Mar 2007
      • WellUrban
      • The moment of truth is nearly here: in less than a week's time, the bypass will be complete. Well, sort of. When the southbound route opens at 6am this Sunday, SH1 traffic will finally have been diverted out of the city streets and onto ... some other city streets.
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    • Car-o drive
      • 18 Dec 2006
      • WellUrban
      • As I said I would, I took a walk along the bypass on Saturday. I was too late to see the protests, but some of the protestors were still there chalking slogans on the pavements, and there a certain tension remained in the air.There's a lot of things I don't like about the bypass, but the thing that struck me the most about it on the weekend is that it just doesn't look like Wellington.
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    • Bypassing the truth
      • 23 Nov 2006
      • WellUrban
      • How sweet. The competition to name the Inner City "Bypass" has been won by Te Aro School, with the name "Karo" Drive. Apparently, "The K represents the kids, Aro their school. Karo is also a small native New Zealand tree that produces sweetly scented red flowers in Spring and grows very well in Wellington". Maybe it's just me, but I don't usually associate "sweetly scented red flowers" with a bloody great arterial road that's been shoved through a city neighbourhood.
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    • Bypassing the truth
      • 23 Nov 2006
      • WellUrban
      • How sweet. The competition to name the Inner City "Bypass" has been won by Te Aro School, with the name "Karo" Drive. Apparently, "The K represents the kids, Aro their school. Karo is also a small native New Zealand tree that produces sweetly scented red flowers in Spring and grows very well in Wellington". Maybe it's just me, but I don't usually associate "sweetly scented red flowers" with a bloody great arterial road that's been shoved through a city neighbourhood.
      • Tagged as:
      • bypass

    • “Bypassâ€? Evictions Today
      • 26 Feb 2002
      • Campaign for a Better City
      • Today is eviction day for a group of residents and businesses in the path of Transit New Zealand’s proposed inner city “bypassâ€? through Wellington’s historic Te Aro district. Yet Transit said last year this would not happen until the project was funded
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    • Street Festival Supports Bypass Appeal
      • 22 Aug 1998
      • <P><IMG align=right alt="" border=0 height=146 hspace=5 src="http://newstand.wellington.net.nz/images/lo/spritl1.jpg" style="HEIGHT: 146px; WIDTH: 196px" width=196> Fire jugglers, drums and jazz all performing in Arther Street
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      • bypass

    • Students Association opposes Bypass
      • 25 May 1998
      • The <a href="http://www.vuw.ac.nz/ stunion/vuwsa/">Victoria University Students Association</a> has this week contributed two thousand dollars to <a href="http://better.wellington.net.nz">Campaign for a Better City</a>. CBC are attempting to raise the e
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