Photo(s) of the Day: Worcester Boulevard

Today’s photo is actually a before-and-after of what could be: Worcester Boulevard is a great central city connection between Cathedral Square and Hagley Park via the City Council, Art Gallery, Arts Centre, and so on. It’s very popular for pedestrians, but through-traffic has been discouraged along the route by making it alternating one-way directions that lead to Montreal St in the middle. Unfortunately those same restrictions make it hard to provide a handy cycling connection from the Square to the Park and beyond.

Worcester Blvd heading west - no way past Montreal St
Worcester Blvd heading west – no way past Montreal St

There is however one mode of transport that does currently have a contra-flow exemption to the street pattern – the Tram. So what if westbound bikes could also follow the Tram’s path along the Boulevard, keeping within the tracks? With a bit of Photoshop magic, I’ve illustrated below what that could look like (feel free to mentally extend the green surfacing and cycle logos further down the Boulevard)…

The same route with a few touch-ups...
The same route with a few touch-ups…

This seems like an easy win to create a handy extra connection that provides an advantage over motorists (in practice, I suspect that there are already many choosing this route option informally…). As we saw in Adelaide, on low-volume low-speed roads, contra-flow cycling doesn’t have to be formally provided with separation.

And what about cyclists travelling in the eastbound direction? A similar on-road trick could be employed next to the tram tracks. But perhaps the simplest option is to re-purpose some of the wide pathway…

Perhaps the best way to deal with cycling eastbound
Perhaps the best way to deal with cycling eastbound

What do you think of these ideas for Worcester Boulevard?

6 thoughts on “Photo(s) of the Day: Worcester Boulevard”

  1. I’ve always felt its weird leaving the CCC by Bike and having no links to get to the cycleways across Hagley Park so good suggestion. The tram people might throw their hands up in horror, and the tracks are a problem for the unprepared, but we could extend the thinking to have an adjacent tram cycleway right across the park to Riccarton. A platform or two between Riccarton Rd/Mona Vale and the tourist tram might become the missing link between the city and commuter rail (while taking in the beauty and splendor that is Hagley Park for the tourists. Complement and enhance the cycle facilities and provide alternatives… tell me I’m crazy…

  2. Have you never been tramlined? Its a horrible feeling, and I’ve had the same sensation on roads with long straight gouges like Park Terrace going south, and in the tram tracks around the back of the Cathedral.

    Nah – keep your bike away from the tram tracks, unless crossing at a right angle.

    But yeah there’s a need there.

  3. Use this as main route to work . Great idea in principle , but for the reason Criggie suggests I cannot see it being anything other than an unofficial route, as good as it is. If it weren’t so pathetic I would have to laugh at the sheep like pedestrians in this area. No concern about stepping out into the tram tracks without looking, nor crossing Durham and Montreal Streets when there is a gap in the traffic, red men mean nothing . Yet if a cyclist does the same thing, unleash the vitriol !!!!

  4. Excellent idea to allow cyclists to follow tram tracks. Would keep cyclists off the footpath. Cyclists would have sense to look out for the tram. And steer between the tracks.

  5. Makes sense, as these circuitous routes just encourage cyclists (including myself at times) to ignore the signage, given that the pavement is fairly wide here. But tram tracks & road bikes aren’t a good combination – in September I caught my [road] bike wheel in the High St tram tracks, breaking my ankle in the process!

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