Flashback Friday – Photo of the Day: Rolleston Ave Shared Path

Anyone who has recently been along Rolleston Ave near Canterbury Museum and Christ’s College will have noticed a bit of roadworks there. Due to the major refurbishment of the Museum over the next few years, they’ve had to shift the walking and cycling routes over and so they’ve taken the opportunity to create a temporary separated cycleway along this corridor – maybe in the end it might become permanent…? The idea of a separate cycleway along here was first mooted in this blog post from Jan 2016, so it’s nice to see something coming to fruition for now…

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 shared pathway? What do you think of the new cycleway?

5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Photo of the Day: Rolleston Ave Shared Path”

  1. Looks awful – it’s a path for pedestians on wheels, not a cycle lane.

    At what point is a sign saying “Please wait behind the bus” legal? As a confident rider I’d just take the lane. But a less confident rider gets to spend a while standing behind bus’ exhaust?

    Plus the lane has multiple wiggles to get around pedestrian safety islands. And this new lane is two way so expect cyclists to ride toward you. This makes vehicle crossings even more hazardous because they already don’t look one way-why would a driver look the other way too?

    Rolleston Ave is only 30 km/h – it should be considered safer for riding on. Why did we need this lane at all ?

    1. You don’t wait behind the bus – that’s for other motor vehicles in the lane to do (and it’s an advisory sign not a regulatory one). People cycling use the cycleway that continues unimpeded around behind the bus stops. The existing narrow shared path has always had (uncomfortable) two-way cycling and the vehicle crossings already had people cycling across them in both directions – now cycling gets its own clear space and the crossings are marked more clearly. Not everyone is a confident rider either who will happily bike on the road.

      1. I’ll check this in the morning – are you saying the whole thing is still a car lane still despite being bollarded off ? That could explain the somewhat confused-looking car driving up the bike lane last night!

        Also, the northern bus stop (near the George) has different markings to the bus stop nearer Christ’s College Music dept. We may be thinking of different points in the lane.

        Separately I notice the one-laning of Kilmore->Park Terrace intersection has a significant flow-back effect into Montreal Street by Cranmer Square, definitely at peak traffic times.

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