Cycling in Chch 2021 in Review: the Network grows…

And so we come to the end of another crazy year – who needs cycling dramas when there’s enough going on in the world at the best of times… And yet, once again during lockdown, cycling reminded us why it’s such a good option in car-free/lite world.

These count numbers keep going up…

When we look back to the end of 2020, we were starting to see the potential for everyday biking to really take off. That was confirmed when I looked at the growth in count numbers over the past few years (must do an update soon…) – and if you were dubious about whether the counters really told the full story I explained that, if anything, they probably undercount the number of people using the new routes and Robert confirmed that yes, they’re pretty accurate too

This year can only help to improve that trend if new cycle infrastructure is a key component to that growth. A large chunk of the inner section of the South Express has now been completed, opening up Riccarton and Sockburn to safe cycling routes to the city. And further network components were added to the Nor’West Arc, Northern Line and Rapanui-Shag Rock cycleways, as well as consultation plans for the top part of the Nor’West Arc too.

South Express cycleway under construction earlier this year

There were also a number of minor improvements too across the city, including Hagley Park path improvements, final segments of the South Frame shared path corridor, signalising the notorious Hoon Hay/Cashmere/Worlsleys intersection, and a new bridge across the Avon in the central city. It’s also notable too that there are now a growing number of lower speed limit proposals also popping up around the district, which also have a huge effect in reducing the relative risk of serious harm when biking.

Lots of new cycleways completed this year (click to enlarge)

All up, I’d estimate that we’ve added about 7-8 km of completed Major Cycle Route to the city this year, in addition to another 4-5 km of improvements like cycle lanes, pathways and shared streets. With the possible exception of the Wheels to Wings project (which has had to be re-consulted again…), it really feels like a lot of the cycling network has just crept up on us without anyone noticing…

Another day, another bit of cycleway…

Cycling also needs supporting infrastructure, particularly somewhere to park your bike. While the likes of Chch Airport do this quite well, other activities such as festivals and sports events are a bit hit and miss – must try harder…

Farewell Dirk…

As with other years, we’ve had some fun including another epic Winter Solstice Ride and a great programme of Biketober events. We’ve also had some sadness with the passing of local advocacy stalwart Dirk de Lu – he will be hard to replace…

As telegraphed in last year’s review, I have been scaling down the amount of new posts I have been doing this year, due to numerous competing interests. So it was that we only saw 85 posts this year – and 52 of those were reheated Flashback Friday offerings. My thanks to Robert Fleming and Steven Muir for their contributions too, but it really would be great to see more guests contributing a little something to the mix as well  – come on people, all of you must have at least one interesting bike story in you! (or let me be the judge of whether it’s worth posting…) Or perhaps you could at least provide some local knowledge to help update our suburban biking guide?

Thank you as always for your patronage and support of this little website; while “life” is certainly getting in the way of doing more justice to it lately, I hope that I can still continue to let you know about some of the many happenings bike-wise in Ōtautahi Christchurch (or better yet: you can tell us…)

What was your biking highlight of 2021?

5 thoughts on “Cycling in Chch 2021 in Review: the Network grows…”

  1. Thanks for the review. The progress towards having a complete interconnected cycle network covering most of the city is exciting and such a boon.

    On your cycle path map the (Christchurch) Northern Corridor is incorrectly labelled the Northern Arterial. For some reason the CCC mapping dudes continue to use the incorrect term.

    Here’s to 2022 being a great year for cycling.

    1. There have been rumours circulating that concept work has started on a major cycleway for the north east. Would love to have some official confirmation of this if possible, it would please quite a few people. Only last week a resident of Prestons Park asked me if I knew anything of the local talk about a separated cycleway being planned for Mairehau Road. Interesting times.

  2. Could you provide a link to the bike labeling scheme, where bike photos can be given and stick-on owner identification stickers obtained?

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