Hagley Park – Twisted Priorities

Dear City Council, I see that you have been really busy trying to get a big wastewater pipe across Hagley Park for the last couple of years. I understand that these things take time, and the earthquakes didn’t help.

Still, I’m a little curious: You’ve constructed a temporary road into the park for your trucks, which makes sense so that they don’t rip the grounds to shreds. But I’m a bit surprised about what happens when it crosses the Park’s pathways:

So it’s a right, then a left, then another right, then…

I’m not quite sure what all this “chicanery” is trying to achieve:

  • The Park seems to attract hundreds (if not thousands) of bikers, walkers, joggers, etc every day, while in the entire time I’ve gone through I’ve seen only one truck. So how come the “minority” movement gets right of way?
  • I presume that the truck drivers are professionals who would know to expect other park users in the vicinity. So wouldn’t it make more sense for them to look out for crossing path users, rather than relying on the park lover listening to his Ipod?
  • It’s actually really difficult to twist and turn a bike around a tight chicane; while I’m busy concentrating on trying to get around the barriers, I might forget to pay attention to any passing trucks…
  • Judging by the paths formed around the chicanes, it seems that many path users have already voted with their feet/wheels…
Maybe instead, truck drivers should “watch for people”?

I really hate these types of treatments at railway crossings; I don’t expect to also find them in the middle of a park. So perhaps, dear Council, you might reconsider your approach?

P.S: While we’re at it, perhaps you might like to also look at all your other more permanent road crossings into the park. How come the multitudes of path users every day have to give way to a few car parkers? Give Way signs can be installed the other way around, you know…

Whose park is it?


6 thoughts on “Hagley Park – Twisted Priorities”

  1. I could’t agree with this assessment more, Lennyboy! one of the times where there are actually way more pedestrians and cyclists than motorists so it makes much more sense that the motorists should give way.
    I’m one of the people who has voted with their tyres – getting round those jolly orange nets is a pain – easier to just avoid them the way everyone else has.


  2. Agree 100%. How different from cities that take cycling seriously like Copenhagen where temporary tarmac is laid around roadworks to save cyclists bumping up and down kerbs.
    The permanent give ways across roads into the park are even more ridiculous. Re-site the give way signs on the road, paint a few Dutch style shark’s teeth on the road each side of the bike track and it’s all over. One afternoon’s work?

  3. I agree Tom. The CCC has been a great advocate for cycling, much more than the current government and might be entitled to some support from the cycling community. However, the challenge for the CCC is translating these glossy pictures and ambitious plans to actually encourage people to take-up cycling and encourage active cyclists to keep cycling. Yes for some for these projects we need to be (very) patient. However, there a lots of opportunities for the council to show off is cycle friendliness and making a difference for cyclists right here, right now!

  4. A few more painted cycle & pedestrian symbols on the paths would help too. Frequently need to say excuse me please (followed by thanks) because walkers are 2 or 3 wide heading same direction I am. Ok swinging onto grass on MTB but road bike onto the grass across the rough asphalt or wooden edge can be trecherous. Many people forget or don’t know they’re shared use. Although never going to be complete fix as they’re recently repainted the symbols & line by the hospital but pedestrians still walk wrong side or stand right in the gap between the fence & light/power poles.

  5. Isn’t is strange how there’s such a disconnection between what we pedestrians/cyclists think of as common sense and what STMS people think of ‘best-practice’? I’m not sure that we should be blaming CCC though, I think all this was out sourced to MacDow. Fortunately all this silliness has been dismantled and we’ve now got that part of our park back.

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