New cycle maps are making it easier to get out of a car and on to a bike this summer.
The Auckland Regional Transport Authority has launched five comprehensive cycle maps for the North Shore, central, east, west and south Auckland.
They indicate the best routes for cyclists on busy and quieter roads, dedicated cycle and pedestrian links, cycle lanes and routes proposed for completion by the end of the year.
They also show the locations of steep areas, bike shops, cycle lockers and parking.
Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee says cycling is beneficial for people’s health and provides a valuable form of transport.
"It’s a non-polluting and cost-effective form of transport. Air pollution is a major problem and we have the impacts of poor diet and exercise across the country that costs us millions and millions of dollars each year," he says.
"It’s thinking smarter and finding different ways of getting around."
The maps were created in association with local councils, Cycle Action Auckland and with sponsorship from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.
Cycle Action Auckland co-chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert says the maps will improve the numbers and safety of cyclists in the region.
"These are the maps that are going to make a difference to reduce our car use and improve commuting conditions in peak hour on the roads."
She says people shouldn’t be put off because they think cycling is unsafe.
"Let’s get with the programme, give it a go and don’t be intimidated. We have everything to gain from this and nothing to lose."
The maps are based on similar schemes in London and Hong Kong, among other world cities.
First editions of the south and central maps were created last year and have proved successful.
The maps are free and can be ordered online at www.maxx.co.nz or call 366-6400. They can also be picked up from the Britomart Transport Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, hospitals and some cycle shops.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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