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”.
Spokes realises that this MCR has not been unanimously accepted by all of Christchurch’s citizens, nor would we expect it to, as there is never consensus about whether any specific expenditure is top of the list, and in a democratic system we expect that those opposed will be more vocal than the group often described as the “silent majority”.
As a specific example of concerns, see https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/124054616/new-19m-cycleway-plan-will-annihilate-bakery-business-owner-says for reporting of concerns by Copenhagen Bakery owner, Donna Thomsen, reported on Jan 26 2021.
For a more current list of reasons for and against this MCR, see https://ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Transport/Projects/Wheels-to-wings/What-we-heard-from-you.pdf. The summary states:
Key benefits noted by submitters:
• New traffic signals at Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection
• Improved safety for people biking
• A safe route for children to get to school
• Improved reduction in carbon emissions
• Physical and mental wellbeing
• Connection to other cycleways
Key concerns noted by submitters:
• Loss of parking – business and residential (visitors and deliveries)
• Increased traffic congestion and carbon emissions as a result of reducing four lanes to two and additional signals
• Cost of the project – other priorities, waste of money, will it get used?
Other concerns raised:
• Safety – property access, driver behaviour, cycleway design, vulnerable users (pedestrians, children, elderly)
• Safety concerns at Harewood/Greers intersection
• Bishopdale roundabout – new traffic signals and trees
• How the wider travel network will function (including Langdons Road)
• Alternative route suggestions and design options
• Impact on parking around Bishopdale Park and Nunweek Park
• Chapel and Sails streets access restrictions, and Wilmot Street cul-de-sac
These benefits and concerns must be assessed in the light of:
• The improved safety for adults and children is our standout. Making cycling – and walking – safer means less traffic congestion, healthier lifestyles (that in the case of children are likely to pay dividends for decades and generations)
• The current COVID-19 global pandemic. MCRs help with mental wellbeing and the money spent on building assists our local economy through CCC and Government expenditure.
• Climate emergency as acknowledge by both CCC and the government. MCRs mean that more people cycle and less fossil fuels are burnt, This is an enduring benefit.
• Significant government contribution to the costs of MCRs, mostly under the banner of “shovel-ready projects”. See https://www.otakaroltd.co.nz/shovel-ready-projects/. For each dollar spent by CCC, Christchurch citizens receive considerably more value
• The silent national health crisis. On https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/obesity the Ministry of Health reports that “New Zealand has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD, and our rates continue to increase. One in three adult New Zealanders (over 15 years) is classified as obese, and one in ten children.” MCRs mean more people exercising sustainably and better health outcomes.
• Every cyclist means less car congestion and also an extra car park left for those still in vehicles! Generally an adult on a cycle replaces an adult in a car.
• Currently every Christchurch household averages 9.3 car trips per day . It is not the holiday travel that contributes most to greenhouse gas emissions but the thousands of short trips made by most of us!
1. As cargo bikes can be up to 1.1m wide, Spokes ask that all 2-way paths be at least 2.4m wide (preferably 3m) and all 1-way paths be at least 1.5m wide (preferably 2m)
2. Please use machine-laid seal rather than hand-laid seal on all new cycle paths as it is smoother and a more pleasant cycling experience
3. Ensure that changes of level do not cause issues for minority groups on recumbents, children’s bikes, cargo bikes, and bikes for special needs riders (including tricycles)
4. Ensure plenty of seats along all MCRs, preferably sited at least 1-2m from cycle path
5. Ensure adequate bike parking along all MCRs
6. Ensure that all cycle crossings are served by both automatic cycle sensors (ones that work for ALL bike types) and by manually operated buttons accessible to standing adults, adults on long cargo bikes with cargo hold forward of the rider, and to special needs riders on recumbent cycles
7. For all requests please note that we are saying “please”
Of course Spokes has concerns about some of the proposed designs. These are listed below in some depth. By raising them we seek to improve even further what is a vast improvement on the current situation, where a large part of the city is isolated from safe access to cycle routes. This includes many schools, the airport employment cluster, Bishopdale Mall, and our major domestic and international airport which is effectively “walled off” from all but very confident cyclists by Johns Rd, a major arterial route.
Spokes appreciates the directness of this new route. Direct routes ie those not requiring significant detours in terms of time and/or distance get more users as they follow the lines of desire.
Spokes’ biggest concern relates to speed Limits – is there any plan to review the speed limit on side streets in Harewood, Bishopdale, and Papanui (noting the 40 km/h speed reduction on Matsons Ave proposed in the Nor’west Arc Cycleway)?
Our detailed comments are listed by the map sheet numbers (west to east, 1 18), all Issue 2l found on https://ccc.govt.nz/transport/transport-projects/wheels-to-wings-papanui-ki-waiwhetu-major-cycleway/. Note that the map sheet numbers are not in numeric order on the web page but in the order 6-13 of 18, 13-18 of 18 plus 1 of 1, and then 1-6.
Spokes Canterbury has performed a detailed analysis of the revised plans (Issue 2, 20.10.2021) and comments as below
Map 1. Waimakariri Rd, Whitchurch Place
a. Like change from fence to posts that can be cycled through
b. Like onramp to shared path on east side of Waimakariri Rd
c. Ask for Waimakariri Rd speed limit to be reduced to 50kph max for the full length of the road
d. Ask for the very short Whitchurch Place speed limit to be reduced to 50kph max, although 30kph seems more appropriate (I think this is implied by the proposed speed limit signs, having moved the change from 50 on Harewood to further down Waimakariri Road)
Map 2. Waimakariri Rd, Harewood Rd
a. Like the raised platform and signals outside Harewood School
b. Expect high use by school children
c. Ask for Waimakariri Rd and this section of Harewood Rd speed limit to be reduced to 50kph max (Harewood is already limited to 50kph, and the proposal (as per the original) moves the change to 60 on Waimakariri to past Whitchurch Place)
Map 3. Harewood Rd around Stanleys Rd, Watsons Rd
a. Concern re visibility between motorists on Stanleys Rd and cyclists to the east of the intersection on Harewood Rd, and between cyclists and other vehicles when there is a vehicle stopped at the Stanleys Rd intersection blocking line of sight
b. Prefer that bike lane is straight and that motorists must stop south of cycle path.
c. Issue when there is a long truck entering intersection from south on Stanleys Rd. Current design blocks cyclists on the Harewood Rd cycle path
d. Why is car parking width on N side only 1.5m wide? This seems too narrow (and is much less than shown on many of the other maps)
e. Thank you for including the option for cyclists to slip onto the road (west-bound) to avoid stopping at the Stanleys Road intersection
Map 4. Harewood Rd around Wooldridge Rd
a. Ask that the shared path down the eastern side of Wooldridge Rd be widened
Map 5. Harewood Rd around Kilmuir Lane
a. Like the better visibility
b. Like the cycle stands
Map 6. Harewood Rd Around Nunweek Boulevard
a. Ask that footpath be extended to the bus stop outside #524 Harewood Road
b. Ask that speed humps be added to Nunweek Boulevard near intersection with Harewood Rd to slow drivers
Map 7. Harewood Rd Around Crofton Rd (includes Copenhagen Bakery)
a. Ask that cycleway be painted green outside Copenhagen Bakery to remind people it is a cycleway and not a footpath, despite being at footpath height
b. Ask that cycleway NOT be narrowed outside Copenhagen Bakery as doing so will increase the odds of conflict and reduce space to manoeuvre
c. Ask that roadside car parking spaces be moved closer to road to reduce risk of car dooring and passenger-cyclist conflict (b&c are complementary actions)
d. Ask that given busy-ness of this area reduce speed limit to 30kph or 40kph
e. Ask that CCC use “rumble” paint on cycle paths to give visual clues to cyclists to slow down
f. Ask that entry and exit to Copenhagen Bakery be made one-way to simplify intersections for all users
i. Currently some customers reverse out – this is dangerous!
ii. Suggest entry at east end
iii. Suggest exit at west end (importantly, no entry from east-bound lane of Harewood Road)
iv. Less places to look for other vehicles should mean less and ideally no conflict
g. Ask that flashing signage be installed to remind drivers exiting Copenhagen Bakery to look out for and give way to cyclists
h. Agree with the levelling of cycle lane and footpath as safer for pedestrians.
Map 8. Harewood Rd Around Gardiners Rd
a. Like the widened cycleway approaches to the intersection
b. Ask that U-turns be banned on Harewood Road
c. Ask that all cycle lanes be painted green for at least 50m from the Harewood / Breens / Gardiners intersection along both Breens Road and Gardiners Road to ensure drivers do not drive in the cycle lanes which will also be used by young children getting to and from school
d. Ask that flexi-posts be added on Breens Rd approach to Harewood Rd for a distance of at least 50m
e. Ask that flexi-posts be added on Gardiners Rd approach to Harewood Rd for a distance of at least 50m
f. Ask that an advanced stop box be added for cyclists southbound on Gardiners turning right into Harewood Road, so the hook turn isn’t the only option
g. Ask that an advanced stop box be added for cyclists northbound on Breens turning right into Harewood Road, so the hook turn isn’t the only option
h. Agree with the levelling of cycle lane and footpath as safer for pedestrians.
Map 9. Harewood Rd Around Leacroft Street (includes Canterbury Charity Hospital)
a. Ask for more green paint rather than indicated very short patches. There are many multi-occupancy dwellings in this area. Better marking of the cycle lanes will make it safer for all
b. Ask that CCC do not narrow the cycle paths as doing so will increase the odds of conflict and reduce space to manoeuvre
c. Ask that CCC move roadside car parking spaces closer to road to reduce risk of car dooring and passenger-cyclist conflict (b&c are complementary actions)
d. Ask that given busy-ness of this area reduce speed limit to 30kph or 40kph around the Charity Hospital
e. Ask that CCC use “rumble” paint on cycle paths to give visual clues to cyclists to slow down
f. Ask that entry and exit to Canterbury Charity Hospital remain one-way to simplify intersections for all users
h. Suggest entry at east end (and mark on map)
i. Suggest exit at west end (and mark on map)
ii. Less places to look for other vehicles should mean less ideally no conflict
iii Please install signage to remind drivers exiting the hospital to give way to cyclists
Map 10. Harewood Rd Around Cotswold Ave, Bishopdale Mall and Bishopdale Court
a. Ask for reduction – or removal – of oversize shrubbery between the carpark entry and exit near Liquorland Bishopdale as this prevents line of sight between drivers and footpath as well as cycleway users
b. Ask for dedicated right and left turn exits from Bishopdale Court
c. Ask for sharpened entry angle to Bishopdale Court
d. Ask for pedestrian refuge in middle of Bishopdale Court at intersection with Harewood Rd
e. Ask for signage to remind drivers exiting Bishopdale Court to give way to cyclists
Map 11. Harewood Rd Around Bishopdale Roundabout
a. We love the simulation model on https://ccc.govt.nz/transport/transport-projects/wheels-to-wings-papanui-ki-waiwhetu-major-cycleway/ in the section headed Bishopdale roundabout. It would be even better if the public could play with input parameters such as no. of vehicle types by source and destination so as to see how the roundabout design copes with changes in traffic volumes (and accidents).
b. Ask for the existing complete cycle lane around roundabout to be painted in green to remind drivers that cyclists are allowed to use the road. This is a potential conflict area and appropriate “signalling” needs to be given to all users of the roundabout
c. Ask that Caltex/Subway have designated entry and exit from/to Harewood Road to reduce conflict between motorists and cyclists
Map 12. Harewood Rd East of Bishopdale Roundabout, West of Greers Rd
a. Appreciate the two new pedestrian crossings marked 1 and 2 (white text on blue circle) for improved access to the parking on the south side of the median as well as the southern side of Harewood Road. Please ensure these can be travelled over safely by people on mobility scooters, cargo bikes and children’s bikes, not just people on foot.
Map 13. Harewood Rd Around Greers Rd
a. Ask that access to Z Petrol Station be changed so that there are separate entry-only and exit-only access routes from Harewood Rd to reduce conflict, especially between cars and bikes
b. Ask that the footpaths on Greers Rd north of Harewood Rd be designated shared pathways up to Hoani/Bainton – they will certainly be used as such by school children!
c. Ask that the traffic signals be optimised for the many cars turning right from Greers Rd into Harewood Rd and vice versa. This is a known bottleneck which induces “rat running”
Map 14. Harewood Rd Around Harris Crescent
a. What is being done to ensure that Harris Crescent does not continue to be a rat run?
Map 15. Harewood Rd Around Wilmot St
a. The proposed recession of the bike lane implies car priority. Please consider removing the recession so as to imply bike priority
b. Why are the turns into Harris Cres to/from Harewood Rd rounded off so as to encourage greater speed, and by being wider make it more dangerous for pedestrians to cross. Spokes asks that the intersection be kept “normal” ie with a tight radius. (While these are existing kerbs, Spokes asks that they be narrowed to make it slower for cars and safer for pedestrians)
c. Ask that CCC consider re(re)locating the bus stop from outside 101 Harewood Rd to outside 109 Harewood Rd where it will not interfere with the sight lines of vehicles exiting right from Harris Crescent (east). Spokes notes that this is a significant move from the current location outside Wesley Care. Spokes suggests that maybe #97 Harewood (preschool) would be better, or #99.
Map 16. Harewood Rd Sails & Chapel Streets
a. The Wheels to Wings and Nor’west Arc MCRs intersect at the end of Matsons Ave
b. Ask for the addition of no-stopping hatching on Harewood Rd in front of Matsons Ave
c. Note the need for flashing signage (and possibly more) outside Mitre 10 to try to ensure that there are no driver-cyclist incidents
d. Ask that flashing signage be installed at Golden Age Retirement Village to remind motorists to give way to cyclists
e. Would still prefer a fully-signalised intersection at Matsons/Harewood
Map 17. Harewood Rd Around St. James Ave / Railway Crossing / Papanui Rd
a. There is a “pressure point” (ie heavy anticipated movement in a confined space) just east of the railway line which will be eased in the future with the installation of a gated crossing
b. This is where the Wheels to Wings and Northern Line MCRs intersect
c. Ask that CCC look again and try to widen Northern Line MCR by 27 Harewood Rd – it looks very narrow and as an intersection there is likely to be complex traffic interaction
d. Ask that CCC install a cut-down kerb on the west-bound approach to the railway for cyclists to mount the kerb and head south on the Northern Line Cycleway
Map 18. Hoani St & Langdons Rd
a. From a cyclist’s viewpoint Langdons Rd has no provision for cyclists
b. Ask that all of Langdons Rd has a speed limit of 30kph (i.e. extend current 30km/h speed limit at the Northlands Mall end all the way to Greers Road)
c. There appears to be no provision for cyclists on Hoani St
d. This means that cyclists on the shared path along Wilmot St must fend for themselves when they exit onto Hoani St
e. Ask that Hoani, Langdons and the surrounding non-major-arterial roads have a speed limit of 30kph
f. Ask that cyclists can use the ramps at the end of Wilmot St where it intersects Hoani St, preferably removing access to shared paths
Map 1 of 1 Papanui Area Parking time restrictions
a. No comment, other than it seems a reasonable apportionment of time-restricted parking
Spokes General Recommendations
Spokes also asks that CCC implement the following:
1) 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
a. Cargo bikes (with children aboard)
b. Low-slung bikes and trikes as used by special-needs riders – see Aphasia Biking Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/837980902989731
c. Children on bikes, often with small wheels
d. Scooters – electric and manual. Whether such vehicles should be on bike paths is moot – they do and will continue to use the bike paths
2) 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.
3) 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:
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 in 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/
4) 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)
5) 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!
6) 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
7) Minimise the vehicle parking immediately adjacent to bike paths
a. “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!
b. “I didn’t see the cyclist” is the traditional defence of a vehicle driver after being involved in a collision with a cyclist.
c. 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
8) To increase the sense of community please install bike stands and seating along this MCR
9) 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)
10) Consider the use of a unifying logo / artwork / signage for each of the individual MCR
1. 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 two-way 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 c.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).
2. 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.