Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Fri 29th Sep 12:34pm

Wellington CC approves new tracks in Polhill Reserve, but they will be the last.

A compromise designed to please all users of Polhill Reserve has not gone over well with those likely to be affected by track changes.

There have been long-running tensions between cyclists and walkers using the reserve, particularly around the addition of new tracks.

At Wednesday's city strategy committee meeting, Wellington City Council voted to add two new trails in the reserve – one mountain bike priority trail, and one walking-only connector track.

However, it was also agreed that the Open Space Access Plan should be amended so that, when those are completed, no further tracks will be constructed in Polhill Reserve.

It's that component which Craig Starnes, a member of Brooklyn Trail Builders, said was a disappointing result for future users.

"I think we are disappointed, the future should look after itself.

"We were quite happy to not build any tracks for 5-10 years, but to say no to the entire future was too onerous on everyone."

Starnes did, however, welcome the decision to add the two new tracks. "We are really pleased."

The Brooklyn Trail Builders had "lots of people ready to get stuck in".

But Rod Lingard, spokesman for Walking Capital, said he was "really disappointed in the outcome".

"[We were] essentially proposing the status quo, we were asking for no further tracks."

He said the group welcomed the clause that meant no more tracks would be added there, but was worried it would mean more pressures to add tracks elsewhere.

"[We] expect council to manage these open spaces a lot more effectively than they are."

Polhill Reserve comprises 70 hectares of the Wellington Town Belt and includes reserve areas known as Polhill Gully Recreation Reserve, Waimapihi Reserve and George Denton Park.

It has almost 66,000 users annually using Transient, the main track in the reserve. It has almost a 50-50 split between bikers and walkers/runners.

Work on the new trails is expected to begin around Christmas.

WHAT WILL GO AHEAD:

The committee agreed to add a mountain bike priority descending trail, 2.5km in length.

Walking-only connector track between Karepa St to Planet Ride trail.

WHAT WON'T:

Agreed not to proceed with construction of a shared user track between Clinical Track and Highbury Fling, or close the walking-only track from Waimapihi to Transient.

The council agreed the Open Space Access Plan be amended to reflect that upon completion of those tracks, no further tracks will be constructed in Polhill Reserve.
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby Rik on Fri 29th Sep 12:36pm

That is flippin' ridiculous that they can say no never-ever any new tracks. :angry:
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby dwgknz on Fri 29th Sep 1:32pm

I think that's just a throw-away compromise to the walking group.

Its's kind of pointless, plans aren't fixed documents they adaptive. So much in the same way you can write in that you can't build anymore tracks you could change that down the track to say you can. It just creates a hurdle.

The bit that the anti-mtb groups don't get is that if Polhill was able to continue down the same path it was on in the 90s before tracks started being built by mtb'rs so much of it would have been lost to development by now.

Access and use need to go hand in hand with preservation and conservation.
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby Conners on Sat 30th Sep 7:20pm

dwgknz wrote:Access and use need to go hand in hand with preservation and conservation.

Couldn't agree more. Sometimes get the feeling that some of these walking groups just want totally isolated pieces of bush that nobody can access (except for themselves of course, because they have special rights to enjoy the bush).

Surely with well managed track building these days the environmental impact can be virtually zero, and allow literally thousands of people to enjoy these spaces.
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby michael on Tue 3rd Oct 12:40am

Good outcome to get those tracks through, but odd they don't want the connection up from Clinical to Highbury Fling to bypass the playground.
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby Velocipedestrian on Tue 3rd Oct 9:50am

michael wrote:Good outcome to get those tracks through, but odd they don't want the connection up from Clinical to Highbury Fling to bypass the playground.

The bollards by the playground isolate it from riders, and there are Saddleback nesting in the area.
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Re: Wellington Cc Approves New Tracks In Polhill Reserve

Postby gristle on Wed 4th Oct 6:39pm

And the existing pinch climb and traverse of playground would still be used for traffic to/from Highbury.
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