Pedal power to you Christchurch - we’re 100,000 and counting!
Cycle counters placed on the new Uni-cycle path through Hagley Park in July ticked over 100,000 cyclists this weekend, a huge milestone in the city’s drive to promote cycling.
Christchurch City Council Manager Planning and Delivery Transport Lynette Ellis said staff were delighted to have hit the 100,000th cyclist after just four months.
The Major Cycle Route down Armagh Street and through Hagley Park is attracting more than 600 cyclists and 400 pedestrians every day – and numbers are on the rise.
The Uni-cycle path is forecast to have 1100 cyclists each day by 2021, and figures show the average week day is already recording 926 cyclists.
“The counters that we have placed around the city are giving us a comprehensive reading of cyclists for the very first time. We can now accurately see which routes are commuter routes, which routes are recreational, and how much of an effect the development of the cycleway ‘network’ is having on cyclist behaviour,” Ms Ellis said.
“We can see that some routes, like the Uni-cycle, have a very defined commuter base with peaks in the morning before work and in the evening after work. Whereas counters out near the Ferrymead bridge are giving us a good indication that that route is primarily used by recreational cyclists on the weekend.”
Fiona Mckay and her six-year-old son Benjamin have been using the cycleway every day to get to work and school in town.
“We live on the other side of the park, so it’s really the only option for us, and it works fantastically,’’ Fiona Mckay said.
The Council is investing $156 million in a network of 13 cycleways around the city over the next seven years.
The Major Cycle Routes aim to encourage new groups of people to try cycling as a commuting option.
“The Major Cycle Routes differ from existing cycle facilities around the city. They have been designed as a network of cycleways that will create more opportunities. With seven routes now either in consultation or construction we will soon start to see that network effect come into play.” Ms Ellis said.
“We know we are offering people a genuine alternative to sitting in traffic. The cycleways are purpose built to carry large numbers of cyclists throughout the city in a safe and effective way. The numbers being recorded show us that there is a real desire for these facilities.”
The Major Cycle Routes aim to help achieve the NZ Transport Agency target of 10 million more cycle trips annually in New Zealand by 2019.
“They will make cycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable experience and encourage new groups of people to try getting around by bike,” Ms Ellis said.