Campaign for a Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway shared pathwaySave
By David Haxton
A last-ditch effort is ramping up to get political support for a shared pathway for the upcoming Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway.
A shared pathway for cyclists, walkers and horse riders by the newly completed Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway has been well received by the community.
But there is no provision for a shared pathway by the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway which is being designed now.
Current planning indicates a cycleway on the shoulder of the current State Highway 1 once it reverts to a local road.
Kapiti Mayor K Gurunathan said it was "not acceptable" that there was no shared pathway.
"We need to campaign for this...and we need to negotiate the same high quality design outcomes."
Otaki ward councillor James Cootes said is was "disappointing" a shared pathway wasn't included in the Peka Peka to Otaki section.
"I have lobbied since the project's announcement for us to get a proper cycleway, walkway and bridleway and the Transport Agency had assured me they would do what they could in the existing SH1 road corridor.
"However it is looking increasingly unlikely to be anything significant and I've taken the matter up with our MP Nathan Guy."
Mr Cootes said under the current Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway design and construct project there was no budget or contract for a cycleway, walkway and bridleway.
"That would have to be constructed by council as part of the State Highway 1 revocation, when the road is handed back to council.
"That means it can't be started until after the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway section is finished and will likely take two or three years after that.
"As I said to Nathan Guy when I met with him 'do you realise in 2020 when you cut the ribbon opening the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway there will be no cycleway, walkway or bridleway from Otaki to connect to the southern section?'.
"Otaki and Te Horo people will not be happy with that.
"So the matter is with the minister but if you have a strong view on this I'd encourage you drop him an email as the more people that express a view the greater chance we have of getting it through.
"We only have a short time frame as the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway team are currently in the design phase and so we need to rally together and tell the Transport Agency, Nathan Guy and Simon Bridges why Otaki needs this."
Cycle Action Kapiti secretary Lynn Sleath said the group felt it was "an oversight" that there was no provision for a shared pathway by the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway.
"We want to make the politicians aware of the importance to the local community and cyclists in general.
"The more people that contact them the higher chance we have of getting them to listen."
He noted the new 16km shared pathway beside the new Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway was already receiving 'rave reviews' from Kapiti locals.
"The pathway takes you from Raumati South up to Peka Peka, passing wildlife lagoons and over local roads, and with plenty of opportunities to link with the beachside settlements and local cafes.
"Cycle Action Kapiti, as the local branch of the Cycle Action Network, wants to see a similar facility continued north to Otaki and the Horowhenua."
The email address for Minister of Transport Simon Bridges is email@example.com, email address for Otaki MP Nathan Guy is NathanGuy.Kapiti@parliament.govt.nz, and the email address for Transport Agency chief executive Fergus Gammie is firstname.lastname@example.org