New Central City cycling projects aim to fix the little things

By now we were meant to be enjoying an enlarged public bike-share scheme around the city; instead we have none (but plenty of e-scooters…). The story behind that is for another day, but at least there is a silver lining. The $1.2 million originally earmarked for supporting bike-share has been reallocated towards a number of smaller cycling initiatives in the central city – and they’re quite good…

Basically Council staff were tasked by Councillors with reallocating the bike-share funding to useful minor cycle projects, such as improving central city cycle connections and further providing cycle parking facilities. A project team has pondered potential improvements to cycle accessibility, parking and safety and come up with 20 separate initiatives.

The full details of the 20 proposed initiatives can be found in the agenda of the CCC Infrastructure, Transport & Environment (ITE) Committee meeting last Wednesday. In summary, here are the proposals:

Worcester St from Fitzgerald Ave inwards isn’t too cycle-friendly at present
  1. Improving the link from the Rapanui cycleway to the central city along Worcester St: $90,000 (note that Council has already programmed similar link improvements over the next two years to connect other Major Cycle Routes into the city)
  2. Improving the link between the Uni-Cycle cycleway and the central city along Gloucester St: $120,000
  3. A contra-flow shared path along Madras St from outside Ara Institute to High St: $80,000
  4. Cycling entry and exit points north-south through Latimer Square: $30,000
  5. Cycling entry and exit points north-south through Cranmer Square: $30,000
More of these diamonds please…
  1. More painted diamonds on cycle detection pads at traffic lights: $5,000
  2. Widening the shared path next to Antigua Boat Sheds: $50,000
It can get a bit tight through here at present
  1. Signage promoting the major central city bike parking areas: $20,000
  2. Moveable cycle park facilities that take up a carpark space: $170,000
  3. Extra cycle parks along the Avon Promenade: $135,000
Apart from the odd pole, not many places to park your bike here yet
  1. A covered, multi-layer 60-bike parking shelter (similar to the one in Wellington): $90,000
  2. Temporary bike racks for Botanic Gardens Armagh St entry: $25,000
  3. Realigning cycle routes around tram tracks along Armagh St: $70,000 (based on an earlier study by Council)
One of the more hazardous spots currently for cycling near the tram tracks
  1. Review possible safety issues at the Oxford Gap: $10,000
  2. Work to identify where kerb cutdowns (ramps) are too steep or needed in the central city: $50,000
Not really sure why kerb cut-downs weren’t put here at Manchester St in the first place…
  1. Adding cycle crossing buttons on lights along Manchester/St Asaph/Durham streets: $30,000
    More cycle push-buttons
  2. Raising heights of too-low cycle traffic lights: $30,000
  3. Extra cycle crossing signals at Antigua/St Asaph intersection: $10,000
  4. A raised strip to guide buses turning from Lichfield St to Manchester St, and protect cyclists and pedestrians: $20,000
  5. Warning signs at the Tuam St Justice Precinct entrance, which flash when cyclists go by: $24,000

The total spend proposed is about $1.08 million, leaving about $120,000 for public engagement on these projects.

In The Press, it was good to see general support for these initiatives expressed by the Chair of the Central City Business Association. As many of us know, anything that can make life a bit easier for people trying to bike into town has got to be good for businesses there.

As I’ve mentioned before, we can probably all think of a number of little improvements that would help make cycling around the city a little easier. There are other things that I might have added (e.g. a contra-flow path on Barbadoes from Moorhouse to Williams would be a handy link into town), but this isn’t a bad list. I particularly like proposal #9 to create a portable bike parking facility that can be moved around to test different areas for consumer demand.

An example of a portable bike parking pellet in Palmerston North

The proposals are planned to be consulted on (where necessary) and implemented over the next two years; ITE Committee members were particularly keen to see proposals 13, 15 and 20 prioritised first.

What do you think of these proposals? Can you think of other ideas?

8 thoughts on “New Central City cycling projects aim to fix the little things”

  1. It’s all good stuff. A portable bike parking pallet would be very welcome at the Edgeware Village off-street car parking area.

    1. It would be, but I don’t think the businesses there would want that. Trafalgar St is not closed for through-traffic because of the resistance by the Edgeware Village businesses, and the butcher’s only submission to the CNC DEMP was “don’t build a cycleway on Edgeware Road”. Preventing safe cycle infrastructure is all he cared about. I have drawn my conclusions as to how welcome I am as a customer and informed them accordingly.

    2. Jan Jacob – “ I don’t think that the businesses there would want that “ . That makes it exactly the time to offer this to them , just to see how it goes and win them over. The car park was recently resealed ( finally ) at I imagine a huge expense and the opportunity to increase the capacity of about 50 spaces to 60 simply with the cost of a bike stand overlooked. Given the park can reach capacity, it seems a no brainer to us to add bike parking, but they clearly do not know how many people on bikes have to tie up anywhere and everywhere . The owners of Crisp are super environmentally conscious and I think would love bike parking, but the request needs to go to the landlord. A formal approach from CCC just may start the process. PS – good on you for telling PT your views. I hint at it occasionally, but like their sausages too much to boycott them entirely.

      1. I solemnly undertake: if the bike parking comes, I’ll make an effort to buy more produce from Crisp.

  2. A portable bike pellet should not be $170k, in fact they should just about get 2 for that if they reuse the design shown

  3. That all sounds pretty good. Anything to make cycling trips easier and safer is most welcome.
    I just wonder about points 6 and 18… I have noticed that quite a few cyclists avoid to ride on the painted diamonds along Antigua St (especially before the intersection with Disraeli St) so as NOT to trigger the lights. I now do the same if the light is green for cars (and usually red for bikes) because I’ve understood that by riding on the cycle detection pad, you force the lights to go red for cars and bikes before they go green again. A quick glance behind me to make sure no car is coming saves me the hassle to stop and wait for a full traffic light cycle – which kind of defeats the purpose of these detection pads…
    As for the intersection with St Asaph Street, most cyclists (myself included) find the current crossing to go North very slow and frustrating. Instead most people cross on the other side of the road before the intersection, actually riding contra-flow for a little bit, because the bike lights are generally green on that side.
    I’m sure the cycleway planners did not anticipate this type of behaviours, but maybe there is something to learn from them for future developments…

    1. The Disraeli maneuvre is strictly speaking only allowed if you leave the cycleway before entering the intersection so that you are governed by the general lights, not the cycleway-specific lights. But I agree that the timing is silly. Why not just have the turning signals go red and switch to green for cyclists. I realise that there are borderline cases where this might make people on Disraeli wait longer, but they’ll survive.
      The St Asaph maneuvre appears to be very much the intendend behaviour. There is actually a lowered kerb and a shared path for a tiny bit to allow cyclists going north to switch to the east side. I would of course propose formalising the switching arrangement by building a proper crossing facility for people riding bicycles.
      PS: I really hope my attempt at using HTML tags worked. Otherwise this comment is going to be a mess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *