Flashback Friday – First Look: Rolleston Ave / Park Tce Cycleway

Tonight was the latest annual Winter Solstice Ride around North Hagley Park and nearly 200 punters (and all their lights/bling…) turned up for a fun cruise around! The first section of the ride took in part of the pop-up cycleway running along Park Terrace. Coincidentally I was there last Tuesday doing a post-construction safety audit of part of it. It’s incredible to think that this cycleway has already been in place for over a year and getting good use by many – even if it had a heck of a battle initially by some to keep it going. Back in May last year, even before all of the finishing touches were there, I reviewed what the new cycleway looked like…

The pink line shows the extent of the new cycleway running down the west side of Rolleston Ave / Park Tce

As mentioned briefly the other day, Rolleston Ave and Park Tce in the central city have had a bit of a rapid makeover in the past few weeks, creating a new interim separated cycleway while major refurbishment works are underway for the next few years at the adjacent Canterbury Museum. I went along to have a look at it on the weekend; there were still a few layout and marking details to be completed, but you could start to get the sense of what has been built.

Basically, the proposal has managed to narrow up the traffic lanes along the southern bit of Rolleston Ave, making room to create a separated cycleway behind the parking. Further north, the coach bus parking that used to sit outside the museum has been relocated, again allowing space for the separated cycleway to continue. North of Armagh St, one of the northbound traffic lanes has been removed (hardly necessary with <10,000 vehicles/day) to allow the cycleway to continue through to the Salisbury St footbridge. Along the way, there have also been some improvements to pedestrian crossing points and bus stops as well.

Here are a few pics of the route from bottom to top:

The start of the cycleway connecting the Boatshed Bridge route – still needing markings here
You can see how parking has been shifted over to make space for the cycleway
With the works around the museum a new zebra crossing aligns with a planned new entrance to the Botanic Gardens
A little bit of work still to complete the upgraded signals at Gloucester St
A clever little bypass behind the pedestrian island for the bus stop
North of Armagh St, a traffic lane has been swapped for the cycleway
Special cycle signals at Kilmore St allow bikes to bypass the intersection
Cycleway or shared pathway? Still some variety in choices made
The top end of the cycleway at Salisbury St – needs some posts installed though

What’s notable about this project is how fast it was installed. Using just a combination of painted surfaces and flexible posts, this cycleway was rolled out in a matter of weeks.

It’s obviously early days yet, with some final road markings and separators still to go in when I visited. Already the cycleway was getting some use (not all of it legitimate, judging by the photo below…) but it was interesting to see that many people were still riding on the adjacent shared path by the river – maybe that will change once it is more clearly marked and people appreciate its advantages over the existing shared path.

Whoops! Someone went down the wrong way… (a twisted around sign probably didn’t help them)

Of course it wouldn’t be a cycleway in Christchurch without some controversy. So perhaps it was not surprising to see some City Councillors claim this week that they weren’t aware of the proposals for this cycleway, despite being briefed on it previously. Ironically one of them had also recently complained on TV that Christchurch’s cycleways are “over engineered” and too costly, and yet here is an example of how cycleways can sometimes be constructed quickly and inexpensively where necessary – some people are never pleased…

Do you use the new cycleway along Rolleston & Park?

3 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – First Look: Rolleston Ave / Park Tce Cycleway”

  1. Perhaps I’m not as plugged in as I should be, but it seems to me the noise has entirely died away now. People are using it, motorists have adapted, and life is carrying on (in a slightly nicer way for cyclists).

    1. Yep, totally agree; like all of these cycleways that threaten traffic or parking lanes, there is a big hue and cry at the time but then people realise that the world hasn’t ended…

  2. I have three niggles still – the two separate gutter crossings down by the Hospital should be merged into one – that raised bit can be hard to see.

    The wiggle at the bus stop near the CC Music department puts cyclists into direct conflict with walkers who pay no attention and just amble into the bike lanes.

    And the whole crossing the Mickle Gate area is bad – requires motorists to look in directions they didn’t formerly have to. So they often don’t. There’s a lot going on in a short length of space with the pedestian crossing and aforementioned bus wiggle close together.

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