CyWay – Rotorua’s Cycle Network
CyWay is a growing network of safer facilities, predominantly off-road shared paths, for cyclists, runners, walkers, and more vulnerable users such as children, the elderly and those with mobility issues. Since 2015 more than 20 km of shared paths have been added to Rotorua’s CyWay network with a ten-year plan in place to continue connecting people with the places they want to go.
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What is being proposed?
He aha e marohitia ana?
The Cyway project aims to make cycling as safe and easy as possible for people who want to give cycling a go.
The plan is for Rotorua to have a city-wide network which will connect suburbs and main arterial routes to the CBD, schools, tourist attractions and to Whakarewarewa Forest (The Redwoods).
More people riding bikes and using other forms of sustainable transport will reduce emissions and lessen the impact on our roading infrastructure. Having an outstanding cycling network will also add to Rotorua’s tourism offering and promotes our city as an attractive lifestyle option for people considering living here.
Why is this project important?
He aha te tino take o te hinonga?
Research shows that 60% of New Zealand’s population who don’t currently cycle are interested in doing so. The goal of the urban cycleway project is to promote and support cycling and other modes of safe and sustainable transport as an attractive and convenient way of getting around our city. More people riding bikes and using other forms of sustainable transport will reduce emissions and lessen the impact on our roading infrastructure.
How is this being funded?
I ahu mai te pūtea i hea?
Funding for the programme is shared between Rotorua Lakes Council, the Government and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
In August 2014, the government announced the $100 million Urban Cycleways Fund (UCF). This led to the $333 million Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP) being implemented from late 2014 to June 2015. The programme provides increased investment to accelerate the delivery of cycling networks in main urban centres, and incentivises communities to increase their investment in cycling and walking projects.
CyWay projects completed so far:
- Ranolf to CBD Link
- Forest Link – Te Ngae to Long Mile
- Springfield shared path
- Hospital Hill shared path
- Ward Ave/McIntyre Reserve shared path
- Morey Street/Brent Road
- Reeme Street reserve shared path
- Steeles Lane shared path
- Linton Park link
To be completed:
- Utuhina link (due for construction October 2019)
– 26km of existing and completed shared path network assets
– 36% increase of commuter cycling in Rotorua since 2016
– 3434 young people completed bike skills classes as at May 2019
There are four permanent counters in place on inner city cycleways in Rotorua and there are additional temporary/mobile counters that are moved around to monitor usage on other parts of the CyWay network. These counters are able to differentiate between pedestrians and bike riders. Every year manual site surveys are also carried out by people watching specific areas for a period of time and recording pedestrians, bike riders and other wheeled devices e.g. mobility scooters.
The kerbs on the ends of the side streets are extended and rounded, and are called ‘traffic calming’ features. They are designed to purposely slow vehicles down as they turn into side streets. This makes it much safer for people crossing side streets as they travel on shared paths.
The CyWay programme is distinct and separate to the programme of maintaining and renewing some 670 kms of existing footpaths. Council’s budget for the repair and maintenance of these footpaths is about $260,000 p.a. (fixing cracks, replacing cobbles) and incorporates a separate allowance of $500,000 p.a. for footpath renewals (replacing parts of or whole footpaths).
The vision of Rotorua’s CyWay programme is to create a city where everyone can travel around safely and freely using the transport mode of their choice. Cycleways and shared paths provide an option for people keen to ride a bike for transport or leisure but not confident riding on the roads where they are closer to moving vehicles.
During the initial CyWay engagement and consultation in 2015 it was clear that riding on the roads was a significant barrier to most people who wanted to give biking a go. We expect people who are comfortable riding on the road will continue to do so.
Shared paths are built with vulnerable users in mind such as people new to biking, children, elderly, parents with young children and those with impairment. The speeds at which they travel are generally slower meaning it is easier to stop when required.
The CyWay programme is about giving people a choice by making biking safe through the establishment of a connected network that connects riders with the likes of schools, recreation and shopping areas, and connects suburbs and the city centre as well as to other main cycling routes.
There is a significant body of work that provides guidelines on how to reduce risk to CyWay users from cars exiting or entering driveways. These guidelines are used in the design of the CyWay corridors.
However motorists and users of footpaths, shared paths or cycleways must always be aware and watchful as they either exit or enter drive ways or move past them.
The CyWay team deliver safety information to residents living along cycleways and shared paths to help and encourage them to be more aware of pedestrians and bike riders. Billboards, radio advertising and educational material in school newsletters also helps to encourage people to develop safer habits, whatever their mode of transport. Physical aspects are also added as part of the CyWay projects to guide drivers, pedestrians and bike riders about how to use cycleways and shared paths safely. Share with care signs, footpath etchings, courtesy crossings, kerb extensions and pedestrian refuge islands are features that increase safety awareness and encourage the correct use of the space.