More cycleway progress around town

I’m continuing to slowly get around more of the city after my return from Europe, and see how our cycling network is progressing. Last weekend I went on a bit of a tour to check out a few recent developments on the northern side of the city.

Approaching the new Gayhurst bridge, with pathways either side

Approaching the new Gayhurst bridge, with pathways either side

First stop was the newly repaired Gayhurst Rd Bridge connecting Avonside and Dallington, which was officially opened last month. As we mentioned previously, not only is this reinstating the original road link, but it also added some additional facilities for cycling. Firstly, on the bridge itself, there are wide shared pathways on both sides.

Looking north towards the separated cycleways

Looking north towards the separated cycleways

Then, immediately north of the bridge, Gayhurst Rd now has 200m of physically separated cycleways on each side. This little extra was snuck into the original plans and, while it doesn’t provide a huge addition to the overall cycling network, it’s a nice consideration.

The end of the separated section, just around the corner

The end of the separated section, just around the corner

Just one little gripe: the inside corner at the top of the cycleway is only separated by some low raised delineators, and I noticed that cars weren’t leaving a lot of room. Given that the cycle lane is quite skinny here, it’s a shame that the separation couldn’t have been extended past this pinch-point (oddly it was done so on the outside curve).

A bit of a tight squeeze on this corner

A bit of a tight squeeze on this corner

The Avon River will eventually be host to one of the Major Cycleway routes out to New Brighton, and some future proofing has been included to allow for the route to follow the river at this location.

Following the river route - on-road for now

Following the river route – on-road for now

After this, it was time to move on and have a look at the Grassmere-Rutland pathway, being constructed as part of the “Papanui Parallel” Major Cycleway route. You’ll recall that Robert reported about earlier progress on this one.

Looking north along the new pathway to Grassmere Rd

Looking north along the new pathway to Grassmere Rd

In theory it’s not quite open, as there were temporary fences barring the way on each side. But already a few people were sneaking through the fences to take advantage of this new off-road link. It looks like someone has taken on board concerns about suitable width for shared use, as the facility appears to be 4m wide throughout (including the new bridge). That’s great to see and will no doubt minimise the potential for shared path conflicts.

Looking south over the new bridge

Looking south over the new bridge

While this link already creates a very useful connection between Papanui and St Albans, in the near future further works will link this cycling route to Northlands in the north and the central city in the south.

This cycleway will eventually continue along Rutland St

This cycleway will eventually continue along Rutland St

I’m not aware of there being any official opening for this pathway like the Matai St cycleway last week. So I guess the short answer is that you can probably start using this route almost right away.

Looks ready to use now!

Looks ready to use now!

Speaking of Matai St, it looks like the traffic signals linking this new cycleway across to Hagley Park are now up and running. Now we look forward to the next lot of works either side to create a better route from the city right to Riccarton Bush.

Green means go for a safer crossing of Deans Ave

Green means go for a safer crossing of Deans Ave

Have you tried any of these new facilities? What do you think?

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4 Comments

  • Rick
    10 September 2015, 5:01 pm

    The photo “Following the river route – on-road for now” shows how inconvenient it is to use the cycle facility. Joining the path about 5m prior to a give way for the side road. Some cycle priority would have been a better solution given the low volume side road. Personally I stay on the road and hop onto the shared path after the side road.

    REPLY
    • LennyBoy@Rick
      10 September 2015, 6:23 pm

      I agree, although in practice the traffic (and hence, delay) is negligible on these side roads now.

      REPLY
  • Benno bro
    15 September 2015, 6:23 pm

    Well blow me down – it looks like Christchurch is going to become an urban cycling leader – this is all the stuff that should be happening in Sydney but is mired in state/city/talkback radio politics – it seems from your posts that they are quietly going about achieving their targets. Hopefully it gets more people on bikes in the city. I grew up here and its an amazing city for cycling being so flat (trouble is it only takes 15 mins to get anywhere in the car, so as soon as you get your drivers license cycling drops significantly). Hopefully with the hipster cycling link we get increased numbers (a great city for fixies) – I look forward to checking these out when I am back on holiday. Well done Christchurch, it gives me hope in a tilt slab city. Cheers for posting…..

    REPLY
  • willandrewsdesign
    17 September 2015, 8:41 pm

    Lovely new tarmac! Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for the write-up, LennyBoy!

    REPLY

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