Cycleways work starts next year
Work on constructing Christchurch's new cycleway network will begin early next year.
Over the next five years close to $69 million will be spent on building the new network, which is designed to provide safe, convenient cycling routes connecting the suburbs with business, shopping and recreational areas within the central city.
In all 13 new cycleways are planned.
City councillor and environment committee chairman Phil Clearwater said the cycleways were a significant investment in the city's transport infrastructure.
"[It] will shape the way future generations get around our city,'' he said.
''We want people to feel part of the process. As work progresses on the detailed planning for the individual routes, we will be talking to the community and various agencies and stakeholders to get a sense of how they want us to proceed and any issues they identify.''
The public, too, are being invited to suggest names for each of the 13 cycleway routes.
''Canterbury is home to some very talented and creative people so we expect to see a range of ideas coming forward,'' Clearwater said.
''These might reflect the history of a particular area a route passes through, its natural features or a personality of note.''
The names put forward would be considered by a judging panel, who would select finalists. A public vote would help determine the winning name for each route, with the council making the final decision.
Preliminary work on cycleways has begun
Ron Clarke, the council's acting asset and network planning manager, said preliminary work on the cycleway network was already under way.
''It is essential we have a good plan to ensure a smooth and consistent roll-out of this work. We need to consider things such as other infrastructure work along the routes as well as doing geotechnical assessments where necessary,'' Clarke said.
Work on some portions of the major cycleways was expected to begin early next year.
Council hopes to get people out of cars
The council is hoping the new cycleway network will encourage more people onto their bikes.
Research has shown that 50 per cent of car journeys in Christchurch are shorter than 5km and that 32 per cent of people would consider cycling if it was safer.
The new cycleways will be designed so children 10 years of age can safely use them. That is the minimum age generally recommended in New Zealand for independent cycling.
Dutch transport experts visit
A delegation of transport experts from the Netherlands will be in Christchurch for three days to offer insight on the cycleways.
Transport consultant Leo de Jong and urban infrastructure expert Mark Brussel will tour the city and spend time discussing and reviewing proposals for the $68.3 million five-year project.