Cycling in Chch 2022 in Review: Sure and steady progress…

Another year in the can, so it’s time to cast my mind back over what has happened cycle-wise in our fair city since 2021 ended. Here’s what I observed (and tried to report on) this year:

As is the case every three years, the city has had its local elections and we have a new Mayor and a few new City Councillors. There were some concerns that the change in personnel might stymie the good work being done on the cycleway front, but I think that worry is looking much less likely now. Hopefully that also means we can see some great traction on implementing the city’s draft Transport Strategic Plan once it has been consulted on too…

Your new City Council for the next three years

In terms of the city’s cycling network, it was seemingly a quiet year of just slow and steady expansion of our Major Cycleways, with particular efforts made on a few different sections of the South Express (especially out in Hei Hei), as well as further bits of the Rapanui-Shag Rock and Heathcote Expressway cycleways too. All up, this added to over 5km of new cycleways, as well as an impressive nine new signalised crossings too, as we slowly build up our world-class cycling network.

Christchurch cycleway network at the end of 2022 (click to enlarge)

It wasn’t just the Major Cycle Routes seeing some bike-friendly efforts. Three new walk/cycle bridges have popped up along the Avon River, opening up more cycling route options there. We’ve also seen a few more cycle lanes and paths rolled out in various locations around town, often with accompanying 30 km/h speed limits. And speaking of lower speeds, this is where Christchurch is really getting ahead of the game, with a huge swathe of 30km/h and 40km/h zones proposed for the near future (reminder that consultation on these close this Tue 3rd Jan!).

As with previous years, the city’s bike-folk engaged in numerous regular cycling activities throughout the year including the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, Winter Solstice Ride, and Biketober festival. Meanwhile, options for biking keep getting a little bit easier with the promise of trial e-bike rentals, road servicing by the AA, and a new service to protect your bike from theft.

Some of the crowd at the 2022 Biketober Rave ride

Looking ahead to 2023, as well as further construction completed on parts of the Major Cycleway network, some recent consultations hold promise for further improvements in cycleways approaching the central city and maybe around our new stadium. While lockdowns and working from home appeared to slow down some initial impressive growth in cycle numbers earlier in the year, I suspect that there has been some positive rebound – watch out for a bit more analysis on that soon…

It was another relatively quiet year of blogging, with just 30 new posts on top of the 52 regular Flashback Fridays (it’s interesting how many old posts can still be quite relevant a few years later…). Suffice to say that life, both on the work and home fronts, has been busy and continues to challenge me to find time to pop out a few more blogs. Again, I put the call out for any guest contributions – please send me your words, thoughts and pictures, even if not perfectly formed (when are they ever?). We didn’t have many guest offerings this year, although the highlight was certainly the brilliant musings by Douglas on how to take your dog by bike – very popular…

The other slightly momentous milestone in May this year was getting to ten years since this blog first started – not something I could have necessarily imagined when I first got involved. And I have to say that it is largely thanks to the wonderful audience of readers who have provided great feedback, commentary and the occasional guest post – I appreciate it all! I hope to still be chatting with many of you in another ten years…

What was your highlight of 2022?

3 thoughts on “Cycling in Chch 2022 in Review: Sure and steady progress…”

  1. Highlight of the year for me was to be able to cycle again after chemotherapy. Made easy by Wednesday Wheelers letting me shorten rides for the first few weeks.

  2. Highlight for me was watching Bike Bridge (an initiative that teaches former refugee and migrant ladies how to ride) develop and grow. Enabling women to discover the joy of riding a bike is transformational.

  3. For me the highlight of 2022 was coming back to cycling in Christchurch after 30 years away. When I was a student here in the 80s Christchurch had started on some basic cycleways. Seeing how they have grown now and getting out and about on them in 2022 has been great for me.

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