In September I noted that the Wellington City Council was consulting on its recreation activities policy. This has now progressed, and the warm and fluffy press release branch of the Wellington City Council has now announced that three new policy documents have now been adopted, respectively for Walking, Cycling and Track Recreation.
In summary, the press release claims that the adopted policies are a beneficial improvement over the old policies, and that the “majority” of tracks around Wellington will now be shared for walking and cycling. Although I’m not personally involved in cycling, this sounds like a sensible idea to me, certainly as far as off-street tracks are concerned. People already ride mountain bikes in many places where they haven’t officially been supposed to according to local rules that (I think) are out of date, and it works out quite well, at least as far as I’ve seen.
I meet a lot of cyclists out and about around Wellington tracks, and without many exceptions they’ve nearly always been happy and smiley and polite and very respectful to other track users. Furthermore, mountain bike enthusiasts in particular often tend to help with keeping some of the less popular walking tracks walkable… both actively and simply through using uncommon tracks more frequently. This includes a few that I like walking myself and would probably be overgrown with gorse much more quickly if they didn’t have the odd bike pushing through.
The actual policies aren’t yet available for objective review because the changes are still being inserted and formatted and prepared for public view, and so on, but they should be available in due course. It’ll be worth taking a proper look at them when they’re available.