6/02/2016 9:00:00 a.m.
6 February 2016
Work is about to start on new cycleways which will provide safe cycling routes throughout the city and connect Rotorua suburbs.
The urban cycling programme, Cy-Way, will link to existing cycleways on main routes and to the inner city and is part of an urban cycling strategy aimed at encouraging more people to ride bikes.
When finished, the Cy-Way network will comprise about 25km of cycleways. Routes have been identified in collaboration with the Rotorua Cycle Action Group and taking into consideration the advice of roading experts to make it as safe as possible.
“Rotorua has terrific potential to become a town where people can enjoy the advantages of commuting by bike,” Rotorua Cycle Action Group chair Dave Crawley says.
“We have beautiful reserve areas, flat terrain, wide streets, and we’re still quite compact. The Cy-Way programme is a great opportunity for Rotorua to establish some good connecting routes for people who want to bike in safety.”
Mr Crawley says his group has advocated for improved urban cycling infrastructure in Rotorua for some years and is delighted to now be part of making it happen. “We encourage people to engage with council around Cy-Way projects coming up and to provide feedback.”
Rotorua Lakes Council sustainable transport team leader Jodie Lawson says the Cy-Way network contributes to Rotorua’s urban cycling strategy.
“The aim is to make cycling a viable and safe option for anyone who wants to try it and provide sustainable and affordable infrastructure to enable that to happen.
“Not all the cycleways will be the same – we’ve identified options considered best for each location, based on a range of factors such as the width of the road, traffic volumes, standards developed as part of our cycling framework and advice from roading experts and advocacy groups.”
Some cycleways may be on shared paths, others on the road with painted markings and others may be on the road with traffic separators.
“We’ll be talking to local communities and schools where cycleways are planned ahead of work beginning and encourage feedback once they’re in use to ensure we’ve got things right and consider improvements as required,” Ms Lawson says.
The first new cycleway to be constructed will be along Morey Street in the eastern suburbs, providing a connection to nearby schools. This cycleway will be two-way, on the road with traffic separators and work is due to begin next week.
Rotorua Lakes Council has been engaging with residents, schools and the local community association. Further feedback will be sought once the cycleway is in use to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and as safe and practical as possible.
Work on two more cycleways – in the Springfield and Fenton Park areas – is expected to begin in April/early May.
A shared path will be established in Springfield, connecting to the local school and to a planned cycleway which will be part of a major upgrade of the Old Taupo Road and state highway 5 intersection.
The cycleway along Scott Street and Ward Avenue will be on both sides of the road and will provide links to forest tracks via Sala and Fenton streets. This cycleway will be marked on the existing roads.
“Alongside creating the cycleways we will also be working with schools and communities to educate cyclists and motorists and identify opportunities for cycling skills programmes and we are working closely with the Re-Cycle Rotorua Committee which includes representatives from the Rotorua Cycle Action Group, Sport Bay of Plenty, Healthy Families, Rotary, Toi Te Ora – Public Health, Bikes in Schools, the police and the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club.”
Funding for the Cy-Way network is shared between Rotorua Lakes Council ($1.9m), New Zealand Transport Agency’s National Land Transport Fund ($2.1m) and the government’s Urban Cycleways Fund ($1.5m).
“The Cy-Way network will contribute towards Rotorua’s cycling framework and urban cycling strategic plan,” Ms Lawson says. “The vision is a district where people from all sectors of the community can and do cycle safely, as an alternative means of transport and/or for recreation.”
Mayor says Cy-Way benefits far-reaching
“The Cy-Way network will be for everyone, not just for people who already ride bikes," Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
“To make riding a bike attractive to anyone, whether for health and wellbeing, recreation or as an alternative mode of transport, we need to make it safe and easy for everyone who wants to give it a go.
“At the end of this, we will have a city-wide network that incorporates the suburbs and main arterial routes and links to the forest, the inner city and to some of our tourist attractions.
The benefits will be huge – not just for health and wellbeing, the mayor says.
"More people riding bikes will reduce vehicle movements on our roads which will reduce gas emissions and the impact on our roading infrastructure. There’s also an economic benefit to creating those cycleway links, adding to our tourism offering and making our city a more attractive lifestyle option for people considering moving here to work or do business.
“We already have fantastic off-road riding options – now we need to link it all up with a connected city-wide cycleway network.
“This is also another good example of partnerships benefitting the district with funding shared between council, NZTA and the government.”
First Cy-Way projects
• Morey Street: Two-way, 2.5m wide on road with separators, leading to shared path on Brent Road to entrances to schools.
• Springfield/Otonga/Hemo: 2.5m wide shared path along Springfield Rd, Old Taupo Rd and into Sophia St.
• Ward Ave/Scott St: On-road markings on both sides of road, providing link from Fenton St to forest.
To have your say and to find out more about Cy-Way:
Follow this link to view the Cy-Way page on council’s website which includes a map indicating proposed cyclways for Rotorua suburbs. These are indicative only and may be subject to change.
Also on this page you will find an online feedback form. Feedback is being taken into consideration in the planning and improvement of cycleways in Rotorua.