Prof Hank Weiss at the corner of Albany and George St, a
spot identified in his study as a danger spot for Dunedin
cyclists. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
A University of Otago researcher hopes a map pinpointing
the location of every accident involving a car door being
opened on a cyclist will encourage authorities to act faster on
The online map was created by laying data from New Zealand
Traffic Crash Reports from 2007-11 on top of Google Maps, and
is believed to be a world first. The creation of the map
comes after cyclist Dr Li Hong ''Chris'' He (34) was killed
after being run over by a stock truck outside Dunedin
Hospital last November.
His death prompted a call for cycle safety improvements. The
New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is conducting a safety
review of the one-way state highway systems through Dunedin
after a request from the Dunedin City Council.
The map shows the location of 245 ''dooring'' injuries over
the five years, how serious they were and the direction the
cyclist was travelling. Of the injuries, 12, or just under
5%, happened in Dunedin. The map data showed about 20% of
those hurt were seriously injured and two died.
Director of the university's Injury Prevention Unit Prof Hank
Weiss said he hoped the map would get cyclists and the
general public thinking about the issue and push the
authorities - including the Dunedin City Council and the NZTA
- to act faster on cycle safety.
There was ''definitely'' room for improvement when it came to
Dunedin's cycle infrastructure and he hoped the city's
planners would find the map useful.
As an experienced cyclist, he said there were ''a lot of
places'' he was not comfortable riding.
When it came to making improvements, the one-way system was a
good place to start, he said.
''Dunedin is unique in that we have the one-way system ...
and there aren't many alternatives. That's why I think the
review that NZTA is doing is so important.''
Public safety campaigns could only go so far, as people were
always going to make mistakes.
''We have ... to design the infrastructure so that when
people do make mistakes ... it doesn't end up in a serious
injury,'' he said.
Making improvements to the cycle safety could also get more
people on bikes, he said.
''We know that the rate of cycling in Dunedin is pretty low
and that's because people are concerned about their safety.''
NZTA state highway manager (Otago-Southland) Ian Duncan said
NZTA and council staff had started a review of cyclist safety
in central Dunedin and would consider the online map as part
of that process. An initial report from the review was
expected to be presented to council in ''about four to six
weeks'', Mr Duncan said.
''This will lead to both a longer-term view as to what a
safer central cycling network would look like and ... what
`quick wins' can be achieved in the short term,'' he said.
Prof Weiss' idea for the map came after the death of a
cyclist on Tamaki Dr, Auckland, in 2010, a roadway shown on
the map to have a cluster of crashes.