Where could we easily add cycle lanes?

So recently I went and changed jobs. On the upside, that means 15 minutes less biking each way; on the downside, that means 15 minutes less biking each way… 🙂 More pertinently however, it also means a change from my previous route, which featured friendly cycle lanes and pathways for the most part, to a new route where I have to contend with the fun of a number of multi-lane roads with few cycle facilities to speak of.

Six lanes of cycling fun...
Six lanes of cycling fun…

As I got buzzed by yet another car that doesn’t understand the concept of minimum passing gaps, it got me thinking that there are numerous places around the city that could be relatively easily improved cycling-wise by just rejigging the available space to fit in painted cycle lanes. Sure, these are not going to attract the “interested but concerned” in the same way that the Major Cycle Routes will but, in the meantime, I suspect that they would make a lot of existing riders (and perhaps a few fence-sitters) happier with their lot for now.

Of course we could always add plenty of cycle lanes to the city by going through the process of removing on-street car-parking, and all the consultation fun that entails. But actually there are lots of places where on-road cycle lanes could be added to existing road cross-sections with little to no removal of parking or other upheavals. For example, I was pleased to see recently that the ridiculously wide section of Hills Rd from Shirley Rd to Akaroa St is finally going to get some painted cycle lanes, for the loss of only a tiny handful of parking spaces.

Off the top of my head, here are a few other sites that come to mind:

  • Clarence St, from Blenheim Rd to Division St is crying out for some cycle facilities, as noted the other day. There is enough room to narrow the existing painted median to a “half-width” one (like on Wilsons Rd and Maidstone Rd), just widening it near the side-roads, and then provide cycle lanes in the remaining space.
  • Waltham Rd, from Brougham St to Moorhouse Ave kind-of has a cycle lane in the southbound direction, although it disappears around Shakespeare Rd despite the expanse of space. But in the northbound direction there’s nothing until you get to the railway overbridge. Shuffling a couple of traffic and parking lanes over however should provide enough space to fit in a bike lane.
Waltham Rd: room for a cycle lane?
Waltham Rd: room for a cycle lane?
  • All of the Four Avenues are candidates for on-road bike lanes. Moorhouse Ave is better than most for cycle facilities, but even it has a few gaps. Fitzgerald Ave and Bealey Ave could do with some rejigging of the three traffic lanes to create space for bike lanes. With Deans Ave south, I don’t know why two southbound traffic lanes are needed; with single lanes you could then fit on-road cycle lanes each way.
  • Cashmere Rd, near Princess Margaret Hospital, is popular for cycling and is wide enough that cycle lanes could be easily added to the roadway.
  • There are a few State Highway sections that could also do with some bike lane love by shuffling over some lane lines; these include parts of Yaldhurst Rd, Main South Road and Brougham St. Mind you, you’d need to petition NZTA about these, not the City Council.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that my new job includes undertaking the kind of design work that often accompanies these little “quick win” projects. But, as I said at the beginning, my motivation is really due to the fact that I have to ride many of these routes most days…

There’s a lot of interest (and money) currently in the Major Cycleways, and we’re all looking forward to them. But perhaps a few minor funds could be found to also fill in a few gaps in the conventional cycle lane network too – perhaps you might even want to make a submission to the Annual Plan about this…

Where do you think that painted cycle lanes could be easily added to an existing road?

11 thoughts on “Where could we easily add cycle lanes?”

  1. Several years ago I requested Hills Road get some cycle lanes. I was told by "the secretary" that its not a cycle route and would therefore never get them. Maybe a Traffic Engineer has actually taken some time to look now.
    Wainoni Road from Pages to Avonside is a candidate.

    1. Interestingly, Wainoni Road has just been re-sealed and the lines have gone back exactly where they were, with no thought of improving the road.

  2. I biked up memorial ave yesterday – two wide lanes could easily be shrunk and a good cycle lane added. the proposed wheels to wings cycleway is a long detour from memorial, so would be a good addition. local residents will be enthused I’m sure

  3. note that the Shirley Papanui Community Board has recommended the painting of cycle lanes along Hills Road be deferred until after the completion of road resurfacing work. My list of possibilities could include Edgeware Road , preferably the whole length, but Hills Road westward to Cranford Street would work well. I think that St Albans Street would be wide enough, Rutland Street to Papanui Road. Manchester Street, Bealey Avenue north to Edgeware Road.

  4. I definitely support bike lanes being painted on Waltham Rd heading north. I bike this road every day on the way to work. Coming up to the Brougham intersection the bike lane just disappears. There is a single car park before the intersection that creates congestion for cars trying to turn left this in turn means bikers often have to weave around cars. If the car park was removed then it would help provide space for a bike lane and relieve the congestion for motorists. North of Brougham the current left hand lane is so wide it could easily accommodate a bike lane. All that is needed is for a line to be painted on the road, no alterations to car parking or other road markings required. It couldn’t be easier.

  5. Racecourse Rd is wide enough two fit a few painted lines. I am a huge supporter of the new cycle ways as they will enable less confident people to cycle safely but there is certainly enormous potential to make some of these wider Christchurch streets more cycle friendly without spending a fortune.

  6. Good thinking Lenyboy. Make sense and not a huge cost. Most motorists respect cycle lanes so they work reasonably well. Maybe not perfect but certainly better than nothing.

  7. Yaldhurst Rd has cycle lanes west of Racecourse Rd, it’d be nice if these continued to the east into town as well. Not sure if there’s enough width or not to do it without taking out parking.

    Hoon Hay Rd is kind of similar. Nice cycle lanes north of Mathers Rd, but then nothing south of there. Cycle in lanes in both directions would probably require removal of parking though so not straightforward (although extremely low-usage parking).

    Selwyn St between Coronation St and Hagley Park always seems to have heaps of cyclists on it. Again would be tight to do it without impacting parking – some stretches are wide but others not so much.

  8. Yaldhurst Rd has cycle lanes west of Racecourse Rd, it’d be nice if these continued to the east into town as well. Not sure if there’s enough width or not to do it without taking out parking.

    Hoon Hay Rd is kind of similar. Nice cycle lanes north of Mathers Rd, but then nothing south of there. Cycle in lanes in both directions would probably require removal of parking though so not straightforward (although extremely low-usage parking).

    Selwyn St between Coronation St and Hagley Park always seems to have heaps of cyclists on it. Again would be tight to do it without impacting parking – some stretches are wide but others not so much.

  9. I agree with your examples, although you might mean Clarence St from Blenheim Rd to Riccarton Rd rather than Division St? Nonetheless, point taken, there are any number of roads more than wide enough to accommodate a cycle lane in addition to a perfectly safe vehicle lane without the need for any engineering compromise whatsoever.

    Others absolutely demand it, or that is to say others routes are extraordinarily remiss to omit cycle lanes such as: Memorial Ave where a cycle lane is a no brainer throughout its length (some engineering from Greers Rd to airport it must be admitted as its somewhat marginal for cyclists at present); Yaldhurst Rd where a cycle lane exists for part of its length but ceases to exist even where there is adequate width; Buckleys-Aldwins Rds also, etc., etc. Just to scratch the surface…

    Racecourse Rd as a less major road is one of so, so many examples is so wide it has adequate width for a 6 lane cycle lane either side without compromising vehicular flow in any way whatsoever.

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