A major new cycleway that will provide a safe cycling route for people travelling through Papanui, Bishopdale, Harewood and the airport area will also bring benefits for other road users.
Christchurch City Council has released its design plans for the Wheels to Wings – Papanui ki Waiwhetū cycleway, which will form part of the network of 13 major cycleways criss-crossing Christchurch.
It will provide a connection for local cycling trips in the Harewood, Bishopdale, and Papanui suburbs to destinations including schools, shops, businesses and recreational facilities.
It will also connect to cycling facilities further afield.
At its western end, the cycleway will connect with the Johns Road cycle and pedestrian underpass, linking through to the commercial areas surrounding the airport, and to McLeans Island Road via the Johns Road shared path. This will be a good connection route for the roughly 7000 people who work in the airport area.
At its eastern end, Wheels to Wings - Papanui ki Waiwhetū connects directly to the Northern Line cycleway and the planned Nor’West Arc cycleway.
The budget for the cycleway is about $19 million. About half that cost could be met by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency if they approve the project for funding.
Included in the cycleway plans are a number of intersection upgrades and roading layout changes that should improve safety for everyone, says Council Head of Transport Richard Osborne.
“On Harewood Road, for example, we are proposing to reduce the four-lane section of the road to two lanes to make space for the cycleway while retaining on-street parking. This will encourage lower speeds and make the road safer for turning drivers and pedestrians to cross.”
“We will be installing traffic lights at the Harewood, Gardiners and Breens intersection and partially signalising the Bishopdale roundabout. Traffic lights are planned for the Harewood Road and Woolridge Road intersection, and the Greers Road and Harewood Road intersection will also be upgraded,’’ Mr Osborne says.
Other proposed roading layout changes include:
“We have tried to minimise the removal of on-street parking, however, the competing demands for road space means that some on-street parking will be removed along the route,’’ Mr Osborne says.
“In those areas where there is high parking demand we are proposing to put in time-restricted parking to help ensure that convenient parking is available for people.’’
Twenty-one trees will also need to be removed along the route of the cycleway, but the Council is proposing to plant a total of 56 new trees. It is also proposing to upgrade the street lighting along the route to make the cycleway safer and more comfortable to user after dark.
“Our monitoring of cycling numbers across the city show that more people are opting to travel by bike so we are keen to get the Wheels to Wings cycleway route finalised and construction under way so that we extend our cycleway network and link up more parts of the city,’’ Mr Osborne says.
Public feedback is currently being sought on the plans for the Wheels to Wings – Papanui ki Waiwhetū cycleway. People can share their views on the route via Have Your Say between now and 22 February.
The Council will consider the submissions and finalise the route later this year, ahead of construction starting in the middle of the year.