'Gold standard' cycle lanes coming

Last updated 14:34 31/01/2014

TWO-WAY STREET: Nelson first: An artist’s impression of a segregated two-way cycleway on St Vincent St, said to be a national first.

Chris Allison and John-Paul Pochin
PUSHING PEDALING: Bicycle Nelson Bays co-ordinators Chris Allison and John-Paul Pochin at the new cycleway under construction on St Vincent St.

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Nelson will be the first city in New Zealand to install a two-way cycle lane, which cycling advocates say is the "gold standard" internationally.

The cycle lane will run along St Vincent St from Totara St to Gloucester St, displacing the angled car parking on the street. There will be a buffer zone next to the lane and then a row of parallel parking spaces.

The cycle lane is among a number of improvements to cycling infrastructure the Nelson City Council plans to make this year.

Bicycle Nelson Bays (BNB) has been working closely with the city council as part of the Active Transport Advisory Group over the past 18 months.

Co-ordinators Chris Allison and John-Paul Pochin said the St Vincent St cycle lane was exciting.

They said Christchurch was expected to introduce similar lanes soon.

Similar cycle lanes are popular overseas, being prevalent in European cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, with cities in the US and Australia aslso starting to install them.

"It's the first stage of its design and it will be improved as time goes on," Allison said.

"It's really the first time we've had a complete safe route for locals right up into the CBD from the south."

Allison said the lane also provided a safe link for cycle tourists between the Great Taste Trail and the city.

The cycle lane would also help a lot of children get to and from school as it liked up to both Victory School and Nelson Intermediate.

Allison said there was tension between the increasing number of cyclists and some drivers who did not like having to accommodate cyclists, but he believed it was a 'phase'.

"We are in a kind of transition phase and there are some 'growing pains'."

"I think some cyclists need to learn to ride better around other road users and some drivers need to drive better around other users. Both will adapt in time."

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