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