Cycleways

Length of cycleways (kilometres) 

 

Purpose of indicator

Cycling is an environmentally friendly mode of travel. When chosen over motorised vehicles it results in less noise and air pollution, less use of fossil fuels which means less greenhouse gas emissions, and personal benefits. In Rotorua cycling is a very popular recreational sport, including both road and mountain biking. Cycleways provide recreational opportunities and infrastructure for an alternative to motorised vehicles.

Current information and trend

As improvements have been made to urban state highways over the last five years, opportunities have been taken to extend existing cycle lanes.  The growth in cycleway kilometres between 2009 and 2012 (figure 1) was achieved in part through an increase in the length of shared, off-road facilities within the road reserve.   These were constructed to provide an alternative to on-road cycling, with particular emphasis on 'tight spots' such as roundabouts, enabling cyclists to bypass them.  In 2011-12 the ‘Share with Care’ alongside Te Ngae Road has been extended from Tarawera Road to the Owhata shops.  This is part of an initiative to create safer walking/cycling linkages between schools in the Eastern suburbs. 

However, over the same period, a reduction in cycle lanes on local roads has resulted in a declining trend overall in the period 2006 to 2009 (figure 1).  The main reason for this was that for some local roads provision of parking was favoured over cycle lanes and these facilities were therefore removed. 

Contributing to the growth in cycleway kilometres graphed between 2010 and 2012 is the new cycleway ‘Te Ara Ahi’. This is a 75km trail being constructed from Rotorua City to Lake Ohakuri on the Waikato River, and funded as part of the National Cycleways project.  Most of the cycleway alongside the state highway and all the local road sections of the cycleway have been completed.  The section located around Rainbow Mountain is underway and it is anticipated that the final section, an underpass under SH5(S) will be completed in the 2012-13 construction season.

Not reported in figure 1, but adding to the cycling infrastructure is the network of off-road linkages that is being constructed using council owned parks and reserves land.  For example, the off-road trail between Pukehangi Road and the Sunset/Fairy Springs roads intersection is three-quarters complete and due for completion in 2012-13.  In addition, the final section of the Ngongotaha Cycleway will be completed in 2012-13, linking in with widening of Lake Road.


Figure 1.
Source: Rotorua Lakes Council, 2012


Figure 2.
Source: Rotorua Lakes Council CommunitrakTM Survey, 2012

The construction of cycling infrastructure is complemented by investment in cycling skills training and promotion of cycling road safety.  Since 2009 Rotorua has hosted a pilot project 'Rotorua in Gear' which runs to 2013, delivering cycling skills training through schools and the community and aiming to increase the number of people cycling in the district.   Figure 2 shows that in 2012 most Rotorua residents (82%) are very/fairly satisfied with the cycling facilities of the district, while 7% are not very satisfied, and 11% don’t know or are unable to say.

 In summary

  • There is an increase in length of cycleways in 2012
  • There fewer official cycle lanes on local roads in 2012 than 2007
  •  Shared off-road facilities on road reserve have increased since 2009 and are an alternative to on-road cycling
  • Off-road linkages are being constructed within council reserves
  • The Ngongotaha Cycleway is near completion
  • The National Cycleways Project is near completion
  • 82% of residents surveyed were very/fairly satisfied with cycling facilities of the district
Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2015 2:27pm