How will Christchurch cycle into the future?

How will Christchurch cycle into the future?

Bike Auckland

Just released a short while ago, “An Accessible City” (5.4MB PDF) is a document setting out the future plans for Christchurch’s future transport system after the recovery, especially in the inner part of the city.

Of course Christchurch is known as New Zealand’s cycling city number one, being the only (?) larger city in our country where cycling numbers are notably above the 5% mark (and thus where cyclists out of the worst doldrums – cycling becomes notably safer once at least a sizable minority like this gets about on bikes).

So cycling in Christchurch is important – and keeping cycling up, or hopefully increasing it, is vital for New Zealand cycling overall, to show that yes, Kiwis DO cycle when given the chance to do so safely and conveniently. So what is planned for cycling infrastructure down there?

Interesting sections of the document to have a look at are:

  • Page 6 – Slow-speed zones. Always good for cycling. A good chunk of the inner city (about 1 km by 1 km) is going to become a 30 km/h or slower zone.
  • Page 10 – Cycling. Some general comments about cycling provision, and some potential cross-sections. They really need to go with kerb-separated cycleways, though. Rumble strips alone won’t cut it, we would say.
  • Page 11 – Cycle Routes. Here’s the important stuff. Cycle routes to and around the city – looks good at a quick glance. Dedicated routes from all directions, and around the central core. Seeing that Christchurch will be rebuilt more or less in one go (rather than having their new cycle network spread out over a decade or three in fits and starts, like Auckland), one can hopefully look forward to a pretty consistent network of routes. There’s also mention of a two-way cycleway on Tuam Street in later pages, and of course the proposed off-road cycleway along the Avon River route.

Overall, it seems a positive start, though we’d love to see an even greater emphasis of separated facilities outside the 30 km/h zones. What do you think of the plans? Especially if you happen to be from Christchurch, or often visit there, you are also encouraged to give feedback here.

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