Feilding route among planned cycleways
A bike route between Palmerston North and Feilding is among several planned cycleways making tracks as part of a joint council effort to promote Manawatu's cycle-friendly reputation.
"Watch this space" was the word from Manawatu Mayor Margaret Kouvelis on the District and Palmerston North City councils' joint plan to create cycleways that could link town centres as part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Mrs Kouvelis said the district council was yet to discuss construction plans of a Feilding to Palmerston North City cycleway but that it was likely to go ahead as they were keen to "reactivate" the idea.
"For years, to my knowledge, that has been part of our cycling [plans]. We've had plans for a cycleway and it has been affected by how we carry this out."
The council had in the past been tossing up between siting the cycleway alongside railway tracks which would require construction of fencing, or adding a lane to roads.
She said the council would most likely be able to get financial backing from the NZ Transport Agency for a road option, and talks with Bike NZ had also revealed a strong preference for road cycling.
Cycling was a key item on the agenda in talks between the Manawatu District and Palmerston North City councils at a joint strategic planning committee meeting yesterday.
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor was absent from the meeting which covered the City and District's shared regional development strategies.
Mrs Kouvelis said the city council had made "exciting" headway on works on a cycle track between Palmerston North and Bunnythorpe, with construction now under way down Roberts Line. The city was also developing the cycleways to Ashhurst and along the Manawatu River.
Palmerston North City Council transportation planner Tracey Hunt and policy analyst Sandi Morris presented a progress review of the Manawatu Active Transport Strategy (MATS) that was adopted in 2007.
Highlights included the 33 days of cycling festival, the Country Road Cycle Classic, and works on offroad cycling tracks.
Palmerston North city councillor Duncan McCann raised some concerns about cycle safety around the city, such as the stretch between the Te Awe Awe St intersection and the flyover to Massey University, as well as the Summerhill Dr route up to Tiritea School and the Massey University Turitea campus hillside entrance.
The MATS review noted that bridges were considered "pinch points" for cyclists.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What would you like the weather to do in March?