Spokes Submission to CCC on Te Ara O-Rakipaoa Nor’west Arc Cycleway – Section 3
Spokes Canterbury (http://www.spokes.org.nz/) is a local cycling advocacy group with approximately 1,200 members and is affiliated with the national Cycling Action Network (CAN – https://can.org.nz/). Spokes is dedicated to including cycling as an everyday form of transport in the greater Christchurch area.
We would like the opportunity to appear at any public hearing held to consider submissions on these projects. Should there be an officer’s report or similar document(s) we would appreciate a copy(s).
If you require further information or there are matters requiring clarification, please contact our Submissions Convenor (and Secretary), Chris Abbott in the first instance. His contact details are:
Address: 101B Nayland Street, Christchurch 8081
Phone: 021 654 344
Spokes is delighted to see continued progress with Christchurch’s network of Major Cycle Routes.
As the following articles from CCC’s own Newsline demonstrate:
- The amount of cycling and number of cyclists in Christchurch is on the increase and has been so since the adoption of the new MCR (Major Cycleway Route of 13 major routes) network way back in December 2014 – see http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/TheCouncil/policiesreportsstrategies/ltccp/LTP2015/activitymanagementplans/ActivityManagementPlanMajorCycleways.pdf
- The number of elderly who cycle is also on the increase, helped by the introduction of the MCRs (including one of my personal favourites, the safe path from the CBD to Kaiapoi over the Waimakariri River – this includes the CCC Papanui Parallel MCR and the NZTA-funded motorway-side bike path
- Those who cycle are not a small minority
On 9 Jun 2020 CCC’s weekly Newsline email reported:
“Biking is booming in Christchurch with the number of people pedalling around the city this year racing well ahead of last year’s total.
“Christchurch City Council figures show when a morning peak count was carried out in March at seven locations this year there were 2234 cycle trips recorded, compared to 1869 in 2019.
“This is an increase of nearly 20 per cent, and follows a pattern of yearly increases since the Council began building a network of major cycle routes around the city”.
Another CCC Newline story features “Ronnie gets back on the bike at age 72”. Other relevant quotes from the article include:
“Results from the Council’s Life in Christchurch 2020 survey show that 27 per cent of respondents aged between 65 and 79 are now travelling by bike at least once a month – up from 5 per cent in 2019.
“Fifty-one per cent of the survey respondents aged over 65 say they find it easy or very easy to travel by bike in Christchurch.
“The network of major cycleways that we are building is changing how people move around the city. I particularly love it when I see young kids, or people who haven’t been on a bike for years, riding on the cycleways because it shows the investment is making a difference,’’ Ms Ellis says.
This is particularly apposite given the projections for an aging population in New Zealand.
Stats NZ reports on https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/national-population-projections-2020base2073 that:
- the population aged 65+ (0.79 million in 2020) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 1.36–1.51 million in 2048 and to 1.61–2.22 million in 2073
- the proportion of the population aged 65+ (16 percent in 2020) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 21–26 percent in 2048 and 24–34 percent in 2073
- the population aged 85+ (88,000 in 2020) has a 90 percent probability of increasing to 266,000–318,000 in 2048 and to 348,000–513,000 in 2073
- population growth will slow as New Zealand’s population ages and the gap between the number of births and deaths narrows
- New Zealand’s population (5.09 million in 2020) has a 90 percent probability of being between 5.34–7.13 million in 2048 and 5.27–8.48 million in 2073.
The ongoing provision of MCRs is beneficial to both:
- Those who cycle recreationally. Cycling on a MCR should be relaxing for this group.
- Time-pressed commuters and lycra-clad sporting cyclists. The MCRs, especially the longer more open MCRs, often seem much safer due to the absence of cars, especially during less busy times. Anecdotally many cyclists who have more recently taken up commuting have done so because of the extra amenity and safety offered by the MCRs. (Personally, I prefer the Christchurch Coastal Pathway across the Estuary to the on-road cycle lanes).
Those who use current MCRs and will use future MCRs include children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, people of all ages including the elderly, shoppers, those who study, … ie everyone
Googling “percentage of New Zealanders who have cycled in last year” the first result (unreferenced) is:
“The Ministry of Transport Household Travel Survey shows 31% of New Zealanders aged over 15 have biked in the last year. Female 26%, male 36%. Around half of NZ households have a bike in working order. 73 million cycling trips are made per year”.
On your haveyoursay pages – https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/haveyoursay/show/448 – CCC is asking for preference between
1. Ilam Road
Option A – one-way cycleway on each side of Ilam Road next to the footpath. This is considered safer and more intuitive for all users as cyclists are travelling in the same direction as drivers.
Option B – two-way cycleway on the western side of Ilam Road next to the footpath. This allows for more on-street parking. However, people turning across the cycleway will need to look for cyclists coming from either direction.
After discussion amongst c.12 core members on 7/10/21 from a combined viewpoint of safety and cyclist amenity Spokes recommends Option B – two-way cycleway.
2. Aorangi Road (Ilam Road to Brookside Terrace)
Option A – two-way cycleway on the west side of Aorangi Road next to the footpath. This separates people biking from people walking but removes most on-street parking on Aorangi Road.
Option B – shared path for cyclists and pedestrians on the west side of Aorangi Road in the verge area replacing the footpath. This keeps on-road parking but removes the silver birch trees and people walking and biking share this space.
After discussion amongst c.12 core members on 7/10/21 from a combined viewpoint of safety and cyclist amenity those Spokes members present were evenly divided between Options A and B, but we did note that both solutions to Aorangi Road and the complete MCR are MUCH better – ie safer for all and offering greater amenity to those who cycle – than the status quo.
We very much like the treatment of the Aorangi / Wairakei Roads intersection.
Spokes also asks that CCC implement the following:
- Smooth transitions across changes in direction and surfaces. Bikes aften have small-diameter and/or narrow tyres (which are not always pumped to optimal pressures). Bike paths must also cater for
- Cargo bikes (with children aboard)
- Low-slung bikes and trikes as used by special-needs riders – see Aphasia Biking Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/837980902989731
- Children on bikes, often with small wheels
- Scooters – electric and manual. Whether such vehicles should be on bike paths is moot – they do and will continue to use the bike paths
- CCC address the safety of all driveways along the route. In many cases properties have high (ie over 1m high and often the old 6-foot / 1.83m paling) side fences which makes it impossible for drivers exiting driveways to see footpath users.
- Set a 30kph speed limit along the whole MCR.
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/speed/speed_is_a_central_issue_in_road_safety/speed_and_the_injury_risk_for_different_speed_levels_en summarises the risk between pedestrian and vehicle as a function of speed as: (see diagram as per link to https://ec.europa.eu page immediately above)
Note that in the event of a collision between vehicle and cyclist the probability of death at
- 30kph is c.5%
- 40kph is c.15% – or THREE times greater than the risk at 30kph
- 50kph is c.40% – or EIGHT times greater than the risk at 30kph
I assume the same order-of-magnitude risks for car vs. cycle.
NB The streets Lower Cashmere at the other end of the Nor’west Arc have had speeds set at 30kph – see https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/haveyoursay/show/421
Spokes asks: is a few seconds a trip worth the risk?
A similar shaped graph of risk vs impact speed for pedestrians can be seen in the Crash severity section at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/walking-cycling-and-public-transport/cycling/cycling-standards-and-guidance/cycling-network-guidance/cycle-network-and-route-planning-guide/principles/safety-issues-for-people-who-cycle/
- We understand that the Laura Ferguson Brain Injury Trust (LFBIT) desires right-of-way over cyclists to their facility at 277 Ilam Road.
- Please ensure that cyclists are warned of motorists’ right of way when approaching this crossing
- Please ensure that the right-of-way reverts to cyclists when LFBIT complete their upcoming move to new premises
- Machine-rolled seal is used throughout – as it is much smoother than hand-laid seal (and presumably less likely to break up and require further maintenance)
- Cycle sensors at controlled intersections THAT WORK ie they detect an approaching cyclist and feed that knowledge into the signal algorithm (that gives cyclists a fair go). Not being sensed and waiting minutes – or arguably worse running a red light – does not seem fair!
- Placement of buttons for cyclists to press to gain passage at controlled intersections are set back from the road crossing. This is specifically relevant to those who have special needs and may be sitting low on their bikes/trikes or behind a long cargo hold on cargo bikes. Spokes can provide further details on request
- Minimise the vehicle parking immediately adjacent to bike paths
- “Dooring” has historically been an issue and the risk is worse if passenger doors open into the cycle lane as anecdotally passengers are even less aware of cyclists than drivers!
- “I didn’t see the cyclist” is the traditional defence of a vehicle driver after being involved in a collision with a cyclist.
- There have been several incidents of bike vs car incidents along St. Asaph Street within the CBD and where there is a MCR on the left-hand side as you travel west. Working from the centre of the road there are two (sometimes four) traffic lanes, parking interspersed with entrances to premises, footpath and business premises
- To increase the sense of community please install bike stands and seating along this MCR
- Way marking that is clear and visible both day and night. (I recently rode the Rapanui Shag Rock Cycleway at night and the signage around Worcester St through England St, Wellington St, Clive St, and Marlborough St was near impossible to pick out as a first-time night user, despite having used it many times during daylight)
- Consider the use of a unifying logo / artwork / signage for each of the individual MCRs
- Why the kink in Brookside Terrace where it crosses Aorangi Rd on Map 7. Spokes asks that this intersection be straightened
Additionally, relating to the consultation process, will you please ensure that:
- All printed pamphlets have a clear and unique reference? I can find no unique number on the nine pamphlets, each of which covers a separate numbered section of this MCR – but all of which are titled:
Korero mail | Have your say
Te Arar O-Rakipaoa
Nor’west Arc Cycleway
- For all future printing pamphlets please ensure that no-stopping legend (currently a thin dashed yellow line) is MUCH clearer.
- It is clear on-screen eg at https://ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Consultation/2021/09-September/NorWest-Arc-Cycleway-Consultation-Document-MAP-1-PROOF-7.PDF
- It is not clear on Have your say Pamphlet 9 related to Te Ara O-Rakipaoa Nor’west Arc Cycleway (Condell Avenue, Matsons Avenue to Harewood Road). As per the previous point there is no obvious unique reference by which to refer to this document
- Spokes generally prefers that cycle paths immediately adjacent to roads be one-way as there appears to be greater safety in that by far most cycle traffic will come from the one direction, and while car drivers SHOULD look both ways when crossing cycle lanes anecdote and commonsense suggest that when crossing cycle lanes drivers concentrate much more on the expected direction of travel. This is of real import as many such crossings will be from drivers exiting and entering private properties both forwards and in reverse.
One of the counter-arguments is that as a cyclist, a single wider cycle path gives greater visibility for all cyclists and gives better room for passing other cyclists in either direction. Also the speed for non-commuter cyclists can also vary greatly – from young children at 5-10kph to an adult “norm” of 20 – 30kph. Actual speed depends on perceived risk, volume of traffic, type of cyclist and cycle (and the weather!!). Spokes hopes that the number of cyclists riding at greater than 30kph on a cycle path would be very small (preferably zero!) but we are unaware of any research that demonstrates the distribution of speeds. Riders wanting to travel at greater speeds should be encouraged to use the general traffic lanes rather than the cycleway. (My personal observation of cyclist behaviour is that if speed is top priority the use of on-road cycle lanes is much more the norm eg fast commuter cyclists tend to prefer the cycle lanes to the Christchurch Coastal Pathway when travelling between Sumner and the city).
- As a general principle, consistent design and implementation are preferred to switches in design – ie one two-way path everywhere or two one-way paths everywhere. This helps ensures that drivers know where to look, reducing the risks of accidents, but it does compromise where (preferably large) sections are safer with a specific non-standard implementation.
In copying and pasting from the original submission, some formatting has changed and I have been unable to include inline picture referenced by https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/speed/speed_is_a_central_issue_in_road_safety/speed_and_the_injury_risk_for_different_speed_levels_en.
Numbering appears to have been lost also.