Photo of the Day: North Hagley Park cycleway closures

Hot on the heels of my recent discussion about biking to major events, it’s also worth pointing out that sometimes major events can also impact on people just trying to bike around the city. Case in point: North Hagley Park…

Hmm, they’re gonna close it for *how* long?!

I first noticed these signs when leaving an event here a few weeks ago. If you zoom in on the image you’ll see that this section of the Uni-Cycle major cycle route through North Hagley Park is to be closed next weekend. The reason is pretty clear: the Electric Avenue music festival will be happening here this Sat 25th. This is a pretty large event with four different music stages straddling both sides of the pathways, hence the closure.

OK, I get it; trying to have 25,000 people crossing back and forth over an open pathway (and being checked each time for re-entry) would be onerous – I guess the alternative is some giant temporary ramp and stairs up and over (what could possibly go wrong with a bunch of increasingly intoxicated festival-goers…). But check the fineprint: the cycleway is set to be closed from 6am Thursday to 4pm Monday! That’s basically five days of no cycling along one of the busiest routes in the city – would we do that with a major road? What requires them to block off the cycleway for that long?

Not surprisingly, things like this muck up valuable data on cycling usage – in this case, the cycle counter in North Hagley Park is slap bang in the middle of the closure zone (although oddly it’s not currently showing…). When I looked at the data from the last Electric Avenue in 2021, the counts over the days around then were virtually zero; same when I looked at the numbers last Dec 3rd (South Island Wine & Food Festival) and Dec 17th (Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival), all events that also blocked the cycleway path.

So that’s a warning for next week; you may want to reconsider your preferred riding route if this is your usual way to/from town. And if you’re not happy with this kind of closure then you may want to also have a word with the City Council about it…

What do you think of cycleway closures like this?

1 thought on “Photo of the Day: North Hagley Park cycleway closures”

  1. I’d just divert down the botanical gardens driveway – not the best surface and there’s a couple speedbumps, but its not far out of your way. Cars are a thing too.

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