Meanwhile, in cycling news back in Christchurch…

So while I’ve been trekking around the US, things have continued to tick on in Christchurch cycling-wise. Here is a quick summary of some of the recent items of note:

    • It has been revealed that the expected costs of the Major Cycleways have more than doubled, from ~$68 million to ~$156 million. Truth be told, I was aware of this privately for a while, so it was only a matter of time before it had to be out in the open. There’s some controversy and confusion about what exactly is being planned for, and who is to blame. Saying that all of the cycleways would “mostly be off-road” (e.g. separated bikeways along arterials) is a bit simplistic, as there will still be on-road neighbourhood greenways on quieter routes, and I see that Cr Clearwater has subsequently clarified this. But the bar has certainly been lowered about what is an acceptably “quiet” street for this type of on-road treatment, whilst also being raised to ensure acceptable intersection solutions. Predictably the comments section online is full of people saying that the cycleways are not a priority and should be scrapped or delayed (and the usual “cyclists don’t pay” rubbish), but there’s probably just as many people expressing their continuing support for them. It’s probably worth remembering too that a doubling of the costs would mean that the estimated benefit:cost ratio for the programme would now be “only” 7:1…
    Major Cycleways - what price for safe, convenient cycling?

    Major Cycleways – what price for safe, convenient cycling?

    • On to better news: a while back we mentioned the exciting plans for a new mountain bike park in the Port Hills (subsequently one of our most viewed posts). Just the other day, the Environment Commissioners approved the consent to develop it. The $25 million, 360 hectare plan by private developers Select Evolution will feature various walking and biking tracks, a chairlift up the hill, as well as lodge accommodation, restaurant, shops, rock climbing, pump track and zipline rides. Developers hope to start this year, to be up and running by mid-late 2016, and local tourism bods are pretty excited about the potential of it to attract people to Christchurch.
    Coming to some hills near you...

    Coming to some hills near you…

    • Some of you may have watched the Cycling National Champs held recently in Christchurch, for the final time here for a while. A man who crashed into car whilst riding in the Tineli Grand Prix Recreation ride has been fined $150. The rider unsuccessfully tried to avoid a car turning at an intersection and spent 10 days in hospital. But Police have given him an infringement notice for “overtaking on the right at an intersection”, as he tried to go around the waiting car. Hmm, perhaps trying to take a shortcut?
    Perhaps the owner of this poodle should have also been fined? (c/ Iain McGregor)

    Perhaps the owner of this poodle should have also been fined? (c/ Iain McGregor)

    • For those waiting to be able to ride between Sumner and Lyttelton again over Evans Pass, it looks like you will be waiting a few more years; 2018 on current plans. Lucky that motor vehicles have a tunnel they can go through; what about the rest of us? (or perhaps they just need to close the Tunnel on a regular basis; was pretty successful last time…)
    • Also rather jealous that Wellington are getting not just one but three ciclovia events in the coming month, where the Miramar Peninsula will be closed to motor traffic all day. When can Christchurch have another Open Streets?

    Now, with my crystal ball, I can also mention a few news items to look out for in the coming weeks:

    • If you missed being able to attend the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Nelson last October, the Canterbury Active Transport Forum will be presenting a quickfire mini conference on Mon 2nd February, 12.30pm at the CCC Functions Room (a light lunch will be available from 12pm). A series of 10-minute sessions will provide an update from a few of our local Canterbury experts who presented at the conference. Topics covered will include: walking/cycling social media, the CCC Cycleways programme, walking and cycling in town centres, how to monetarily value citywide walking and cycling, and more! Please RSVP to kate@kept.co.nz  for catering purposes by Wed 28th Jan, advising of any dietary requirements.
    • Wed 11th February is national Go By Bike Day. Watch this space for news of an exciting event in Christchurch that morning, which should be well worth a visit for a variety of reasons…
    • The Coast to Coast multi-sport event will be finishing in New Brighton for the first time, on Sat 14th February. There will be a bit of a carnival atmosphere around the finish line, and our friends at Eastern Vision are looking to include a bike-friendly theme to the day (both on-site and getting there). Stay tuned…

What do you think of any of these news happenings?

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