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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
At Kahu Rd, a new set of traffic signals help people to cross over to Riccarton Bush or to easily head north towards University.
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.
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:
And further along, between Straven and Kahu Rds:
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?