Data always gets people talking, which spurred a few Spokes members to ask 'How do we get more people talking about the positives Major Cycle Ways are bringing to Christchurch.'
Spokes noticed that the media were presenting misleading information to the public. As part of our job to advocate for safe cycling infrastructure in Christchurch, Spokes attends City Council ITE meetings and has a good working relationship with key stakeholders. We knew that what we were seeing and hearing was not entirely true and we want to set the record straight.
Our approach is not rocket science, we like the steadfast nature of just standing by a cycleway and counting people riding past...and there are a lot more citizens using our cycleways than one would think!
St Asaph Street & Madras Street: 267 cyclists
Antigua Boatshed Bridge (Chch Hospital): 635 cyclists
If you are not familiar already, this is an area where many people on bikes ride to get into the CBD and equally importantly Christchurch Public Hospital (which has a chronic parking shortage at present). There are 2 messages to take from this:
- When you remove the parking, life will go on.
- Despite the 6 degree winter temperature, just like other parts of the world, people will happily ride a bike if it suits them to do so. This completely contradicts what the cycleway opponents tell us.
Edgeware Road / Colombo Street Intersection (Papanui Parallel): 97 cyclists
Temperature of less than 3 degrees. More vehicles ran a red light than did a cycle. There were probably as many cycles using the footpath at various points than there were pedestrians. Although many obviously seasoned cyclists (particularly the Edgeware Road users ) there were some definite newbies.
The bi-directional path outside the Edgeware shops on Colombo was not popular with southbound bikes turning from Edgeware Road, most preferred to stick to the road, and would probably join the separation further south after the crossing. Not to forget that Cranford Street/ Sherbourne Street is only metres away from here, and several cyclists could be seen going directly through the intersection with Edgeware Road, but these were not counted.