WALKING AND CYCLING NETWORK PLAN FEEDBACK FORM Submission from Spokes Canterbury 30/6/22
Greetings, Waimakariri District Council
This is a submission from Spokes Canterbury, submitted by email to the nominated officer, Allie Mace-Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 (including nearby district councils)
Should there be an officer’s report or similar document(s) we would appreciate a copy(s). We would like the opportunity to appear at any public hearing held to consider submissions on these projects.
Overall Spokes supports the cycling improvements proposed by Waimakariri District Council, but
- Offers some suggestions as to how it should be improved farther.
- Asks some questions where the plan is not clear
Q1 Have we got the right links and connections in place that provide a complete network?
At first impression yes, this is a significant move from having a few isolated cycleways, to establishing a connected network that allows a good choice of routes for people who choose to cycle. In order to attract more people to cycling the main objective must be to lower both the actual risk and the perceived risk, as these are often the main deterrent to many people who would otherwise be interested in cycling. If cycling can be made a viable option for short trips to school, shops, sports and community services then more people will choose to cycle, especially when the cost of living is a concern. The added bonus is that nearly every cyclist is one less motorist on the road! With the increasing popularity of e-bikes the length of trips that can be easily undertaken by cycling is increased, making it a feasible option for a greater range of travel trips within the district (and also further afield to other districts, especially into Christchurch). Investment in safe, connected cycleways and improved pedestrian safety benefits everyone – it is good for business, good for drivers, good for children, good for households, and improves health, well-being and the environment.
However we do have some concerns. One is that there is only a very broad indication of the type of facility to be installed on each route. It is good to recognise that there are differing levels of skill and confidence in people travelling by bicycle, but there is a catch with this approach. If a cycleway is designed only for high-confidence cyclists, then that leaves people without that level of confidence with a missing link in the network. We already have an example of this, in that potential users of the Passchendaele cycle path, a great separated cycleway, must navigate through some of Rangiora’s busiest roads and intersections to access it.
It would be a missed opportunity to build a cycleway past a school if it wasn’t to a standard that pupils of that school would be comfortable on (more importantly the parents of pupils must also be comfortable that the cycleway is safe for their children at all times that their children would use it). There might still be a place for a “high-confidence” cycleway or cycle route in places, but if so the network should have an alternative for lower confidence levels. It would be better for cycleways to be built in a way that caters for a larger range of people. Waka Kotahi has published cycle network guidelines that will help.
The second concern is with the proposed schedule of building just a few key cycleways in each 3-year funding cycle. It would take 9 years to build just the facilities that are identified as level 1, 2 and 3 priorities, and who knows how long to complete the remainder – as there are many routes that are not identified as priorities. The school pupils who are at school now will have left, some of the older cyclists will be gone, and we might even have made progress on reducing private car use. Timing is of the essence to ensure that a big cohort of current students and potential long-term active transport users miss the opportunity to engrain environmentally friendly behaviour into their lives).
Another thing to consider is the first and last part of each journey, and in providing local connecting or feeder facilities where there’s a need. Are residential areas friendly to cycles, or do they need some traffic calming? Do they have roads that are too narrow when lined by parked cars? Can some of the walkways that link cul-de-sacs be made into shared paths? Are all schools provided for? How well do public venues and shopping centres support cycling? Do they have big mall-like car parks to navigate? Can the main streets in each town be made more bicycle friendly? Do destinations have good places to park and lock bicycles?
In terms of links – it is great to see some attention to having a choice of routes between (and within) centres – especially routes through Kaiapoi North to link to Woodend, alternative routes from the south of Kaiapoi and Silverstream to Ohoka/Mandeville and the west of Rangiora, and additional routes within the Kaiapoi/Rangiora/Woodend triangle. Perhaps in the future a link from Waikuku into the Ravenswood/Pegasus shopping centre could be considered, and as Ohoka develops more a great cycle route to Rangiora could be created by a foot/cycle bridge to join Easterbrook and Bradleys Rd. At some point in the future a link from Southbrook into East Rangiora should be considered, whether it is something utilising the rail corridor, or part of a future development of a road link in that area.
There are a couple of new cycle routes marked on the maps, one in North Kaiapoi, east of Williams St, and a long ‘western bypass’ in Rangiora along the Southbrook stream, Lehmans Rd and through the racecourse. While these may be useful routes in the future they would appear surplus to requirements at present. Are these routes linked to anticipated development in those areas?
Priority Level Delivery Costs
Priority 1 – $ 1.7 million* could deliver the following routes:
- Tram Road (Mandeville to Swannanoa School path) – Swannanoa
- Ashley Street/Ivory Street/Percival Street – Rangiora
- Railway Road/Torlesse Street/Coronation Street/Ellis Road Rangiora
Q2 Do you agree with the prioritisation of the routes in the priority 1 group?
No – please tell us what would you like changed below
The priorities chosen have been the result of community consultation and many people will feel strongest about the cycleway closest to them or their local school, sports facility or shops. We offer a few comments on, rather than challenging the priority choices.
Tram Road from Mandeville to Swannanoa school is principally for the school population to travel along a relatively busy rural arterial. We wonder whether there should be anything to help pupils cross Tram Road. All of Tram Road is due for some cycle friendly treatment at some time, according to the district-wide map provided, but it doesn’t appear to be prioritised.
Ashley/Ivory/Percival St This is to provide a main north-south route into and through the centre of Rangiora. As it is one of the busier routes for motor vehicles, it will need careful treatment to make it more appealing and safe for cycling, and to connect with the existing cycle route into town via the Passchendaele cycle path and Southbrook Road. It’s likely that it will always be a route requiring high confidence, especially where the route has corners and intersections with Percival St, Victoria St and Northbrook Rd and the Blackett St roundabout.
Perhaps also the east-west connection of Oxford/Main/Kippenberger St should be addressed at the same time to add additional arterial links into Rangiora’s central shops and to the Woodend cycle path.
Ngā Haerenga NZ Cycle Trials promotes a heartland ride from Kaiapoi to Amberley, which travels from north to south through Rangiora. They currently show that as being along Southbrook Road, Percival St, High St and then Ashley St, although this is not well signposted. If the route via Ivory St is made more favourable to cycling, perhaps the NZCT route should be changed to that. However, there is also a case for retaining the northern end of Percival St as a cycle route to give a good lower key cycle access to Rangiora’s central shops.
Railway/Torlesse/Coronation St looks like a good solution to providing an alternative route into Rangiora from the Passchendaele cycle path and to provide Southbrook and New Life schools with cycle friendly facilities. Some cyclists will lack the confidence to travel along Southbrook Rd, and this route will provide an alternative, provided it connects well to other routes.
Consideration should be given to what comes next – i.e. is this the time to connect Coronation St to King St (via Buckleys Rd) as an alternative cycleway from here north into Rangiora? The proposed route will have to cope with an area on Railway Rd that has high use by staff and delivery vehicles for the PAK’n’SAVE supermarket.
We’re confused by the mention of Ellis St – is there an unprioritised plan in the future to connect this to a new path along the Southbrook stream?
Priority 2 – $ 1.5 million* could deliver the following routes:
- Harewood Road (High Street to Main Street) – Oxford
- High Street (Main Street to Harewood Road) – Oxford
- Earlys Road (end of current facility to Springbank Road) – Cust
- Mandeville Road (McHughs Road to Mandeville Sports Ground)- Ohoka
- Tuahiwi Road (urban limits) – Tuahiwi
- Williams Street (north) – Kaiapoi
- Sandhill Road (Williams Street to Woodend Beach Road) – Woodend
Q3 Do you agree with the prioritisation of the routes in the priority 2 group?
Harewood Road and High St, Oxford. From a cycling perspective, we’re not sure why this would be a higher priority in Oxford than the Main St or connections on Bay and Church Roads to the school. However, we understand it is a popular walking route. Perhaps there should be some thought and consultation as to whether a footpath or a shared-use path is the best option here.
Earlys Rd, Cust. It will be good to connect the school to the main route through Cust. It could also be the time to extend links within Cust and to Mill Rd to give Cust an improved network, but some of that is currently listed as a third level priority.
Mandeville Rd. Not a large distance required to provide access from town to the sports ground. Other feeder roads to Mandeville are marked for cycleways, but not prioritised.
Tuahiwi Rd (urban limits). This road always seems quiet and has recently been given a 40km/h speed limit through Tuahiwi, so that already helps make it cycle friendly. The question is whether that is enough? The district-wide map shows the entire length of Tuahiwi Rd is due for some cycleway treatment, but when?
Williams Street (north) – Kaiapoi. This will be useful, especially for the Kaiapoi North school. The pressing issue is to either assist in crossing SH1 where traffic is coming off the motorway, or alternatively have a facility along the east side of SH1 up to Woodend to avoid a crossing.
Sandhill Rd Woodend. Including this route suggests that the connection from Kaiapoi North to Woodend mentioned above is also being prioritised, which would be great.
Priority 3 – $ 2 million* could deliver the following routes:
- Main Street (urban limits) – Oxford
- Cust Road (through the township) – Cust
- Old North Road/Ranfurly Street/Walker Street OR Lower Camside Road – Kaiapoi
- Woodend to Pegasus (SH1)
Q4 Do you agree with the prioritisation of the routes in the priority 3 group?
Main St, Oxford. It would be good to do this as there’s a mix of local and through traffic. Is it also the time to link cycleways to the area school?
Cust Road (through the township). Good to do, help coping with the mix of local and through traffic.
Old North Road/Ranfurly Street/Walker Street OR Lower Camside Road – Kaiapoi
It would be good to provide an alternative to Williams St for less confident cyclists, but either route will end up feeding into Williams St at the north end. Both are quite narrow roads at present.
Woodend to Pegasus (SH1). This is as much a connection to the new shopping centre on the SH1/Pegasus/Ravenswood junction as it is to Pegasus town. It will complement the link from via Gladstone Rd to residential Pegasus. It will be good to have as the shopping centre grows, but will need care in designing as it’s interacting with the full traffic of SH1 – perhaps requiring an over-bridge or under-pass.
Total – $5.2 million* to deliver all the priority routes
(1,2,3) identified in the plan.
* Costs above are indicative and could be subject to change
Q5 What level of investment should Council contribute to building this walking and cycling plan?
More investment – We would support a higher level of investment by Council
in building this walking and cycling plan, meaning that the priorities will be delivered in less than 10 years (subject to funding approvals), and consideration given to building parts of the network that are not yet prioritised.
As co-funding with Waka Kotahi is indicated, at least for the prioritised routes, we would assume that projects will follow the network design guidelines published by Waka Kotahi, and it may be that their business case analysis is part of the funding equation. These measures would help ensure that cycleways are built according to best practice.
Q6 Any other general comments or feedback on the walking and cycling network plan?
There are several routes that are shown as planned cycleways on the various maps that are not listed at all in the three priority lists. These include
–several links within Rangiora
Oxford Rd – High St – Kippenberger Rd
Boys Rd – South Belt – Pentecost Rd
Fernside Rd – Townsend Rd – West Belt
Johns Rd – Northbrook Rd
King St – Envrton Dr
Kingsbury Ave – Wales St – East Belt
Golf Links Rd – Coldstream S – River Rd
a new “western bypass”: South Brook – Lehmans Rd – racecourse
–several links within Kaiapoi
Ohoka Rd – Isaac Wilson Rd – Robert Coup Rd
Courtenay Rd – Hinton St – Raven Quay
Island Rd, Silverstream Bvd – Adderly Tce – Fuller St
Cass, Davie, Smith Sts
linking Skewbank Rd to Ohoka Rd
a wider bridge at the end of Raven Quay?
a new northeastern link – East of Williams Rd
–several links within smaller town centres
Oxford: Ashley Gorge Rd, Bay, Church, Burnett & High Sts
Mandeville: Bradleys, McHugh, Mandeville, No 10 & Wards Rds
Ohoka: Bradleys & Threlkelds Rd
Tuahiwi: Tuahiwi Rd
Cust: Mill Rd
Waikuku Beach: Reserve Rd, Park Tce
Woodend: Copper Beach & Woodend Rds
Pegasus: Lakeside ,Tiritiri Moana & Te Kohanga Drives
–main rural arterial roads
Oxford Rd, Tram Rd,
Island, Ohoka, Skewbridge, Flaxton, Fernside, Boys & Tuahiwi Rds
–all of the indicated improvements north of the Ashley River
Upper Sefton, Marshmans, Dixons, Lowburn-Whiterock & Hodgsons Rds
When are these planned? For routes that are well outside of the town areas, it might be sufficient to have cycleways that are of a different standard to that expected in an urban setting. The concerns for cyclists there are whether they are confident judging interactions with vehicles at higher speeds, whether there is sufficient roadway width for them to be comfortable when passed by those vehicles, and being able to identify and safely interact with turning vehicles.
An additional concern is the level of lighting appropriate to rural and urban routes to ensure safety.
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