READER REPORT:

'Urgent action' needed on Lincoln Rd

ALEXA KIDD
Last updated 18:00 09/04/2014
Alexa Kidd
Phil Reid
ALEXA KIDD: "I still bike despite the dangers." Picture taken in Wellington.

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OPINION: A Christchurch doctor and cycle campaigner calls for urgent action to improve cycling safety on Lincoln Rd as a tribute to the student nurse killed last week on her bike.

My bike ride to work is often the best part of my day. I am in my mid 50s and always biked whenever possible since student days in London.

I normally live in Mt Pleasant and cycling along Ferry Rd into the city was picturesque in places but juggling the containers and parked cars required constant alertness.

A work move to Hillmorton meant a longer ride ending on some of the new cycleway by the motorway but Brougham St was hard to avoid and I mostly rode on the deserted pavements bouncing off the kerb onto the road for the intersections.

The irony of a single parked car advertising "collision repairs" at the side of road where I could have biked did not escape me.

For the last nine months I have been living in Ilam for repairs and have a really magic ride to work. By seeking out quiet roads and every available cyclepath I have found a route which is two-thirds off-road and Riccarton Bush, Matai West cycle path and Hagley Park are times to relax and be in the moment.

I always wear a bright reflective jacket and at night am well lit but feel no need to wear lycra and usually wear a skirt or shorts in summer and work clothes in winter.

I bike in all but torrential downpours mainly because driving is slower, tedious and there is nowhere to park easily near the hospital.

When I do have to drop my youngest off at school - when she can't bike for some reason - I leave the car near the school and bike in.

After the tragic loss of a student nurse last week on Lincoln Rd I was sickened to witness a pick-up truck cut in front of me almost hitting me in the bike lane so that he could overtake a car to his right.

I was biking along Lincoln Rd to a meeting at Hillmorton Hospital.

Lincoln Rd is not only one of the most dangerous roads into the city, it is lined by parked cars beside shops so the risk of " dooring" is very high.

The parked cars should be banned and the space given to much wider bike lanes.

It also links two hospitals and is a route many health professionals have to use to get from one site to the other. Many choose to bike (we are a different breed from the councillors it seems) and alternative routes are impossible without huge detours.

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Urgent action is needed on Lincoln Rd. I have cycled in many parts of the world and Riccarton and Lincoln Rds are amongst the most difficult.

Cycle lanes would be lovely but in the interim so much can be done.

I still bike despite the dangers partly because as a doctor I am very aware of the health benefits and partly because it is so much more pleasant especially when the city is gridlocked.


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