Uni-Cycle Path ready to go

For those of you who have headed between town and the western suburbs lately, you may have encountered the latest addition to the city’s Major Cycleway network. The Uni-Cycle route now features a brand new wide path across North Hagley Park and further improvements from Matai St to Kahu Rd.

So much width to play with...

So much width to play with…

The 4m-wide new path across North Hagley is a lot smoother than its predecessor and is also raised to avoid flooding problems that plagued it near the lakes.

I don't think this path will suffer from drainage problems now

I don’t think this path will suffer from drainage problems now

It also features improved path lighting and shared path messaging at various points (although I still think that more frequent directional arrows would be useful too).

Path behaviour messages feature along the route

Path behaviour messages feature along the route

Along Matai St West, there is also a minor improvement to smoothen the crossing point at Harakeke St (although it’s still pretty vague who has right of way).

Improved crossing at Harakeke St

Improved crossing at Harakeke St

At Straven Rd, the existing signalised crossing has been upgraded to match the current standard being rolled out across the Major Cycleways – it seems pretty responsive too. It should cope a little better with the often large hordes of pupils crossing before and after school.

More space for crossing at Straven Rd

More space for crossing at Straven Rd

Between Straven Rd and Kahu Rd, the previous path has been significantly widened, again with good lighting to go with it. The existing trees were removed, but some tree pits have been installed for reinstating smaller specimens in due course.

Note the diamond markings showing where to trigger the traffic signals

Note the diamond markings showing where to trigger the traffic signals

At Kahu Rd, a new set of traffic signals help people to cross over to Riccarton Bush or to easily head north towards University.

Crossing Kahu Rd is now much easier

Crossing Kahu Rd is now much easier

There are some nice details here, including on- and off-ramps for connecting the cycleway to the road. In due course, the Uni-Cycle route will continue with its own dedicated path connection into Riccarton Bush north of the current driveway entrance.

Good design features at this crossing

Good design features at this crossing

Here’s a couple of before-and-after shots for comparison. Firstly, consider what used to be a skinny path in Hagley Park across to Matai St:

BEFORE...

BEFORE…

...AFTER

…AFTER

And further along, between Straven and Kahu Rds:

BEFORE...

BEFORE…

...AFTER

…AFTER

Although this route already previously existed, the recent works have provided a much-improved experience for riders and pedestrians alike. Roll on the next section

Have you tried the new Uni-Cycle route? What do you think?

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7 Comments

  • Doug
    21 July 2016, 4:28 pm

    Great to see the progress.

    It’s interesting that you say it is vague who has right of way at Harakeke Street. I would have thought the compulsory stop signs and solid yellow stop lines on the road made it clear.

    However not everybody recognises this. There is a similar situation in Sydney at the corner of Bourke and Devonshire where most, but not all, drivers stop and give way. There is a zebra crossing at the intersection for pedestrians as well; I’m pretty sure that helps to improve driver behaviour.

    Here it is on StreetView https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.8896476,151.2150621,3a,75y,346.34h,63.81t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szb9Cy4hIqMzRrduy54Tj8A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1.

    REPLY
  • B
    24 July 2016, 10:27 am

    There are a couple of other interesting features on this route that were not mentioned:
    1) The S curve to cross over Matai St East
    2) The railroad crossing

    Glad to see they are making an effort, but I will probably continue to use Kilmarnock St.

    REPLY
    • retro
      LennyBoy@B
      24 July 2016, 12:00 pm

      The rail crossing chicane will be replaced with a straight-through crossing with barrier arms; it’s all down to how fast KiwiRail get their act together. The S-curve could have been aligned better but it’s rideable; I suspect that many confident riders will just use the fairly quiet street anyway.

      REPLY
  • CP
    25 July 2016, 1:07 pm

    I’m using the widened path in Hagley every day and appreciate the improved drainage beside the lake. However I’m another who will be I’ll be sticking with Kilmarnock Street.
    To me Kilmarnock, even though much busier, feels safer than Matai. While cycling on Matai it feels like cars will reverse out of their driveways at any time and only look once they reach the road.

    REPLY
    • retro
      LennyBoy@CP
      25 July 2016, 1:45 pm

      Interestingly, when the project was being mooted back in 2006, some of the local residents cited similar concerns about coming out onto the cycleway. I pointed out to the Community Board that the cycleway kerb position was in the exact same place as the road it was replacing, so not sure what fundamentally had changed… And in the nearly 10 years since its installation there hasn’t been any reported driveway crash with pedestrian or cyclist along here (in fact, I’m struggling to think of ever encountering someone coming out of their driveway here while cycling past).

      REPLY
      • CP@LennyBoy
        2 August 2016, 8:23 am

        Its a perception thing I guess. Perhaps not real but feel more exposed to cars leaving driveways. The gap is only the width of the footpath. On Kilmarnock the gap is the width of the foot path plus the width of the parked cars.

        REPLY
      • CP@CP
        2 August 2016, 8:27 am

        Similarly I like riding on the right hand side of one way streets. I’m beside the drivers so feels like they give me more width and there’s less chance of being doored as every parked car has a driver but not all have passengers (although I think passengers are less likely to check before opening door…) Wondering if any studies have been done about where the cycle lanes are compared to driver position i.e. on left or right

        REPLY

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