Photo of the Day: Rolleston Ave Shared Path

One of the more popular places to ride a bike in Christchurch is along Rolleston Ave in front of Christ’s College, Canterbury Museum and the Botanic Gardens. This section of shared pathway (mostly 3m wide) provides a useful connection to/from Hagley Park, the reopened Boatshed Bridge, and further afield for both recreational and commuter riders alike. But there is a lot else going on here…

A lot to keep an eye on when riding here
A lot to keep an eye on when riding here

Essentially it is a victim of the popularity of the place for many different reasons. Tourists are wandering around eyeing up the Museum and Arts Centre, while getting information from the i-Site. Users of the Botanic Gardens are coming and going. Many long-distance travellers are waiting to board a coach or shuttle on Rolleston Ave. And then there are the many pedestrians and joggers enjoying the route for business and pleasure. Few of these people are paying much attention to bikes trying to make their way through…

Interesting to see the “SLOW CYCLING ONLY” sign in the photo; it is certainly the reckless rider who tries to blast through this area on a busy day. But the question remains whether things could be improved to reduce the frustrations of just trying to get from A to B on bike without having to make numerous evasive manoeuvres. The more confident riders may just stay on Rolleston Ave itself; it’s a relatively quiet street but could be calmed even further to reduce unnecessary traffic (although there are still tram tracks to contend with). Perhaps a separated cycleway could be constructed away from the existing pathway, with kerbing to make it clear to pedestrians to check before stepping across? Or should riders just be expected to “chill out” along here? No doubt, at some point in the Central City rebuild, this street corridor will need some consideration of its role and operation.

Do you ride along this pathway? What do you think could be done along here?

2 thoughts on “Photo of the Day: Rolleston Ave Shared Path”

  1. It would not make any difference making a separate dedicated lane for cyclist with a curbing barrier as the pedestrians would still wander along it and step over the kerb without even looking like they do on other dedicated cycleways.

  2. I cycle down this pathway every day as a commuter. It is simply not a place where cyclists or e-scooterists should be travelling at speed. Rather, as a common courtesy, those on wheels need to be travelling slow enough to safely navigate through these wandering pedestrians and other unpredictable hazards – even those with their heads down on mobile phones. Also, riders should be staying to the left before coming over onto the other side of the pathway to move around pedestrians and other riders. To me, it’s just manners – it might delay you by a minute or two but surely that’s better than the consequences of a nasty collision??

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