Cycleways are Go!

It’s been a busy week for the City Council, with the sign-off of their Three-Year Plan and agreement with the Govt on cost sharing of various planned “anchor projects” around the central city. What might have snuck under the radar somewhat is the fact that Council confirmed its intention to invest nearly $70 million over the next five years on major cycleways around the city – yay!

Suggested priority cycleways near the CBD (click to enlarge)

Bring it on…

I must admit I almost had kittens when I saw the initial headline in Wednesday’s Press newspaper: “Cycle track must wait – Council”. But no, the story was simply referring to the fact that Cr Yani Johanson had pushed for the cycleways to be constructed in just three years instead of five (as mentioned by him at the Spokes AGM), but that move had been voted down.

While some like Cr Tim Carter thought it made sense to tie the work in with the reconstruction by SCIRT, Cr Claudia Reid opposed the fast tracking, noting “We’ve already delivered a miracle and that the miracle is this: in five years time we will have 13 dedicated, safe, top-quality cycle routes that will connect neighbourhoods and the city centre in a way they have never been before.” Well, I can’t really quibble with that sentiment; it’s certainly faster than anyone dared to hope. I’ll reserve judgement on the “miracle” until we actually see it on the ground…

Time to deliver "the miracle"...

Time to deliver “the miracle”…

Meanwhile, the City Council also decided to confirm investment of $9.9 million to help make the Coastal Pathway between Ferrymead and Sumner a reality. The fantastic work by the Pathway project team has clearly made an impression with both the Council and the local community. The route will also connect with the major cycleway planned between the city and Ferrymead.

Proposed Coastal Pathway route (c/ Chch Coastal Pathway)

Proposed Coastal Pathway route (c/ Chch Coastal Pathway)

And let’s not forget also that in amongst the various central city projects being proposed are significant improvements for walking and cycling, including The Frame and Avon River corridors and lower speed limits in the core. Actually, the details on all this are still to see the light of day – since the “Accessible City” transport plan was put out and submitted on, we’re still waiting to hear whether the Earthquake Minister is happy with all of the proposed bits in it. But given all the goodwill going around this week, we’ll assume for now that this will also be another piece in the puzzle to creating a cycle-friendlier new city…

Key cycling routes - are these all logical?

Potential key cycling routes into the city

 What do you think? Time to break out the champagne?

 

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16 Comments

  • Cyclomaniac
    30 June 2013, 10:24 am

    I will wait with the Champagne until the rubber hits the road but will definitely open a really nice craft beer. Many thanks to Spokes and council staff for pushing this so hard !!! I am reasonable optimistic that this will be delivered within the time frame as I think people will hold the council to it. I also hope other councils will take notice as Selwyns cycling plan looks rather bleak for the coming years:

    http://www.selwyn.govt.nz/__data/assets/image/0006/34989/Cycleways-Aug09-Small.jpg

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  • Robert
    30 June 2013, 12:55 pm

    Champagne , yes most definitely . From now the focus may shift but there is still plenty of work to do . The hardware may be coming but there is a culture change required which will need to be managed. To realise the true potential of a cycle-friendly city the journey has just begun . Add-ons to this great start will involve public encouragement campaigns ( and education in cycling etiquette ) , smart thinking to enhance the experience in terms of parking , and integration with other modes of transport . Reading about the Vienna experience in the Press yesterday I wonder if a potential central city residential developer will bite the bullet and offer more affordable housing by reducing car parking spaces , yet include a convenient area for cycle storage . Perhaps even time to consider an affordable car sharing scheme within central city residential developments .

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  • Alex Drysdale
    1 July 2013, 9:42 am

    After being knocked off twice I now use a hi-vis steel protection suit. It is so heavy it has its own wheels, engine, horn and hazard warning lights. It makes a real mess of anything that tries to run over it. But the best part is I get to block up the road and slow down cars and trucks that are in too much of a hurry to take care near by cyclists.
    The second best part is I get to my destination without getting squeezed, cut off or run over. And I can take this protection on any road, not just the new cycles.

    Some thing else will have to give before the traffic density falls below the critical level and there is again enough room to cycle safely on all roads.

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  • ****ing Andrew
    1 July 2013, 9:49 pm

    I’m sorry to be a wet blanket but I don’t see how some of these routes and proposed spending makes cycling a more viable alternative or in the case of the coastal walkway a viable alternative to the road. Some of these routes I ride now and don’t seem particularly needy or worthy.

    I’d rather see cyclists accommodated at controlled intersections and all those places where we’re needlessly put in conflict with cars identified and fixied.

    That said for the most part it makes sense and I’ll toast Spokes people’s fine work.

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    • Lennyboy@****ing Andrew
      1 July 2013, 10:22 pm

      Andrew, maybe you’re not the target audience because you’re already cycling? Most non-cyclists tend to be more picky about what they’re happy riding on (at least initially). I think you’ll also find that the major intersections & crossings along these routes will be a big part of what gets improved – have a look at some of the examples in the CCC Cycle Design Guidelines.

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  • ****ing Andrew
    3 July 2013, 9:50 pm

    Lenny, I’ve looked at some examples and the more I think about it the more reservations I have, Some of that stuff only moves the hazard or replaces it with another at great cost. Take a look at the Wrights Rd cycleway crossing if you havn’t and tell me why I should have any confidence in contemporary design.

    I wonder why is there no rail corridor path Waltham to Lincoln Rd or Brougham St? It’s a direction with no viable alternative routes, the grid south of Brougham running at 45 degrees. NZTA or whoever is responsible for that torture track should have their cycle accreditation revoked, some quickcrete and paint to mark the safe alt route would go a long way there.

    $3m seems a ridiculous amount to spend on the Heathcote leisure route, if a novice doesn’t feel safe riding that now they’ll never feel safe anywhere. How can Humphries Dr-South Brighton bridge be described as a major route? Cuthberts Rd is far more worthy of a sealed cycle path and major route status, there’s huge potential there for an attractive alternative to Dyers and Pages roads.
    I’m sure routes that actually take people places they want or need to go make cycling a viable alternative to cars and increase the uptake far more than meandering dawdles that seem to encourage people to carry bikes around on cars any fair sunday.

    REPLY
    • Lennyboy@****ing Andrew
      4 July 2013, 1:17 am

      Andrew, I would agree with Wrights Rd (more on that in a post very soon); the problem with this one was that it was an NZTA project, so didn’t go through the usual CCC consultation processes where problems with the design are generally sorted out – a common problem with State Hwy projects historically I might add.

      Also agree with Waltham-Lincoln; some kind of line here would be handy (Hazeldean/Harman could work). This route was identified in Spokes’ BUMP project routes (which is ultimately much more comprehensive than the initial CCC cycleways, so isn’t going to happen overnight). Again, NZTA haven’t exactly worked hard to make Brougham St very cycle-friendly, but I think you would struggle to get it to a level that current non-cyclists would be happy.

      The Heathcote River route is a very long route and the biggest issues at present are crossing the main roads; a bit of work needed there. Plus some of the path sections need improvement, so $3million will be easily used up there.

      Not sure what you mean by Humphreys-Sth Brighton bridge route; the BUMP project identifies it but CCC doesn’t have it on their current list of cycleways. For anyone living in Northeast Chch I think this is a very popular route towards the Port Hills. Again BUMP has also identified a likely route via Cuthberts Green towards Woolston.

      The pulling power of less direct routes for current non-cyclists also needs to be acknowledged (as we identified in research here a couple of years); many people will happily go a bit out of their way for a route they’re more comfortable with (at least to start with). And in some cases they may need to start with some recreational rides before working up the courage to bike for other trips like work.

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    • Andi@****ing Andrew
      11 July 2013, 3:43 pm

      ****ing Andrew – you are on to it, couldn’t agree with you more!

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