Cyclist asks for more care from truckies

Sawyers Bay resident Prof Samuel Mann enjoys the tranquillity of the West Harbour cycleway-walkway. Photo by Brenda Harwood.
Sawyers Bay resident Prof Samuel Mann enjoys the tranquillity of the West Harbour cycleway-walkway. Photo by Brenda Harwood.
A Dunedin cyclist and Sawyers Bay resident has highlighted the daily dangers of commuting by bicycle on busy State Highway 88 and has called on truck drivers to take more care.

Prof Samuel Mann, who rides his electric bike to and from Otago Polytechnic on most days of the week, told The Star the section of SH88 between St Leonards and Sawyers Bay was ''extremely scary''.

''Because it's narrow and there isn't a good shoulder, I have to ride on the road and that's when it gets really dangerous,'' he said.

Truck drivers, in particular, would often pass too quickly and too close - ''it happens pretty much every day''.

In frustration, Prof Mann posted an open letter to truck drivers on Facebook late last week, calling on them to slow down and give cyclists a wider berth on SH88.

He also called for action on completing the West Harbour cycleway-walkway and urged road users to make submissions to the council and NZTA on the issue.

Despite ''disappointing'' comments from some truck drivers, his post had received strong support from other West Harbour residents.

Chalmers Community Board chairman Steve Walker supported Prof Mann's call for submissions on SH88 safety and the need to extend the cycleway-walkway to Port Chalmers.

''About 50% of the questions I get asked as board chair are around the completion of the cycleway-walkway.''

Dunedin-based NZTA transport planning manager Tony Sizemore said the cycleway-walkway was at the top of the list of regional priorities for the next national land transport programme.

The project, which was estimated to cost about $6 million, would be up against other national projects.

New Zealand Trucking Association chief executive David Boyce said his industry was also concerned about the width of the SH88 carriageway, which was a vital freight link.


Would be good if finished cycleway

I've tried riding along their (State Highway 88) and I don't dare do it again. The truck drivers drive through you like you're not even there. Though I guess the problem would be irrelevant if they finished the cycleway to Port Chalmers.

I made the mistake cycling

I made the mistake cycling along this strectch of road once, and will never do it again. I was in absolute terror most of the way along, and with no shoulder or alternate route once started, I had no choice but carry on until I got to to the cycle/walkway.

I don't know how Prof Mann does this every day? 

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