Cycling in Tauranga: Hits and Misses

Two weeks ago I was in Tauranga attending the annual NZ Transportation Conference (which partly explains the relative dearth of posts lately…). It was my first visit back to the Bay City in over 4 years, and over 6 years since I last posted some observations about cycling in the city, so it was  interesting to see what has happened since then.

Separated cycleways in Otūmoetai

I was able to take part in a technical tour riding around some of the cycleways from the city out towards the west (Otūmoetai) and get some photos. Meanwhile my colleagues and I had also collected some pics out to the south and east to ponder as well.

Totara St pathway at one of the many heavy industrial entrance crossings

Tauranga City have been embarking on a fairly ambitious new cycleway programme over the past few years, a process with various stops and starts. Action on some parts of the network have been motivated due to previous cycling deaths, the most recent on Totara St in Mt Maunganui in 2020, a road notorious for mixing port truck traffic with cycles.

Totara St: not a fun place to stay on the road sometimes…

A subsequent project has created an off-road shared path alongside Totara St, although it has its issues when crossing side roads and driveways, and perhaps not surprisingly many confident riders are continuing to stay on the road shoulders.

Nice pathway – but many riders still voting with their wheels to use the road…

Meanwhile out west, a lovely shared pathway now extends along harbour the foreshore, although with the growing popularity of users, it may not be wide enough.

A lovely foreshore path – is it wide enough?

The other nice facility that has been created is a separated cycleway along Ngatai Rd, providing a safer option for cycling to the nearby schools like Otumoetai Intermediate.

The southern end of the separated cycleway along Ngatai Rd

The separators used are a friendly mountable design and there are some nice touches such as the treatments at crossings and bus stops.

Ngatai cycleway crossing a bus stop platform

Here are a few more cycleway pics from around Tauranga:

A well-used dual crossing near Otumoetai Intermediate
A pity that this path bollard isn’t better highlighted in advance (if it is needed at all…)
A nice treatment for allowing pedestrians to cross the separated cycleway
Not sure if this counts as a cycling shoulder…
Cycle facilities on hand – but is this a friendly cycling environment?
A slip lane that used to cause problems for the passing cycle lane users – perhaps not surprising that this rider has elected to just avoid it…

Overall, this is definitely a city in flux when it comes to cycling – some nice touches are marred by some less than friendly other sections (not helped by a city still attempting to keep pace with a lot of motor traffic). The challenge continues…

Have you cycled in Tauranga? What did you think?

3 thoughts on “Cycling in Tauranga: Hits and Misses”

  1. The un-highlighted bollard above is very similar to the bollard I hit on 7Dec22 in the Christchurch Eastern Frame just off Manchester Street. I was knocked out and have no recollection of the accident. I did feel very sore for c.2 months – so unnecessary (and painful). How can we ensure that ALL bollards are highlighted with reflector tape at least, and preferably painted yellow to contrast with the pavement?

      1. The path shown above is claimed by Tauranga City Council Transport director as being designed by the Gold Standard designers from the Christchurch City cycleway designers?? …We asked for safety improvement to support fast commuters, an intersection crossing with a RED stripe across a raised section. This was rejected because the path was in fact designed for the Interested but Concerned category, NOT to support commuting cyclists. So that’s the answer to your question : . “Nice pathway – but many riders still voting with their wheels to use the road” Sadly Totara street path is the ONLY safe solution to connect Mount Maunganui / Papamoa with Tauranga. The 2x other options are unsafe for commuting also. Cyclists are being killed sadly trying to ditch cars

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