At times it can feel like nothing is ever getting done for cycling around Christchurch. Some of us have been used to that for years (no, decades…) but, now that so much has been promised post-quake, we’re like excited (and then frustrated) kids waiting for Christmas to show up. However, as the rebuild gets into full swing around the city, there are now some tangible signs of progress popping up all over the place.
Other than riding around the length and breadth of the city yourself, how do you find about these things? You can of course wait for your trusty Cycling in Chch correspondent to let you know about all of these things. Or a few other useful sources of info are:
- Chch CC’s handy Project Information search page that let’s you search by location, project type, stage of construction, etc (hint: don’t use too many search criteria, it might not show up much).
- Transport for Chch’s map of current roadworks around the city (handy for any time you need to get yourself across town at the moment). Unfortunately you can’t drill down to cycling-specific projects only.
- Or you could sign up for Chch CC’s regular newsletter of cycling news; this is an easy way to get all the details of what’s happening around the city cycling-wise from the Council.
So what has been happening around the city lately?
- Some of you may have seen the media items about the first part of the “Uni-Cycle” Major Cycleway on Matai St near Hagley Park getting underway this week (should take until about mid-August to complete). A key part of this work is the signalised crossing of Deans Ave into the Park directly from Matai, replacing decades of going around the long way (or sneaking under the barriers for the direct route). A separated cycleway will also then lead people across to the existing cycleways on the other side of the railway line. While only a short piece of construction, it’s a very important link in our overall network.
- At the other end of the Uni-Cycle route, on busy Waimairi Rd near the University of Canterbury, a new signalised crossing is going in at Dovedale Ave to connect the Ilam Fields pathway with the Dovedale campus. Construction should start this week and be completed in early July.
- Meanwhile in the Central City, plenty of street works continue as part of CERA’s “Accessible City” programme. This has included new kerb-separated cycleways along Colombo St, the Tuam St separated cycleway near the Bus Interchange, and a new signalised cycle crossing of Moorhouse Ave from Hagley Park to Grove Rd (a long-time pinch-point for riders from the south).
- Another of the first Major Cycleway projects that is underway is the Grassmere – Rutland Reserve section of the Papanui Parallel route. This long awaited pathway and bridge provides a very handy link between St Albans and Papanui. Construction should be completed by the end of July.
- More of those much-loved cycle lane separator treatments will be popping up around the city, as part of a minor lane marking improvements project. This will include sections of Ferry Rd, Blighs Rd, Antigua St, Kahu Rd, and Kotare St. Should be done by early July.
- A shared pathway along Wooldridge Rd in front of Nunweek Park will provide a safe link between Harewood and Wairakei Rds; should be finished this month.
- Awatea Rd in Wigram is getting an upgrade, including cycle lanes, crossing points and a shared path, which should help with access into the new Wigram Skies subdivision; again, it should be completed by the end of this month.
- The long-awaited Ferrymead Bridge reconstruction is almost finished up, including cycle lanes and a signalised crossing; this should make cycle access to/from Sumner and Redcliffs a lot easier again.
- Near the Halswell Library, the Sparks Rd safety improvements featuring a shared path should make it easier to get to/from Halswell Rd. Construction is due to finish this month.
- The Wigram – Magdala overbridge link is underway in Middleton; this includes a cycleway connection to complete the southern motorway cycle route into town. Note that while this is under construction, there is a temporary detour of the path along Curletts Rd between Lunns Rd and Wigram Rd, via Treffers Rd instead. The final works won’t be completed until late 2016 (although hopefully the detour will be finished before then).
- The Curletts Rd four-laning project in Uper Riccarton is just finishing up. I’m not sure that I’d necessarily describe this as an “improvement” for cycling, but at least there is a shared pathway option and off-peak roadways for cycling again.
- The last finishing touches are being put on the SH1 Carmen Rd four-laning works, including colouring of the new cycleways.
Phew! So as you can see, there are many works happening at the moment that will make cycling just that little bit easier around town. I’ve probably missed some others around town (easy to do when you’re currently half a world away…), so let us know if you’ve seen anything else that is an improvement for cycling.
Have you noticed new cycleway works around Christchurch?