Cycleway 'will improve safety'

Dunedin cyclists will be safer if a dedicated cycleway is given the go-ahead by the Dunedin City Council, cycle advocates say.

Cyclist advocacy group Dunedin Spokes was behind the proposal this week for a long-term cycle lane along Dunedin's one-way streets that comprise State Highway 1.

Spokes secretary Robert Thompson said Dunedin could be a lot safer for cyclists and the proposed lanes would go some way towards this.

''We are very supportive of the cycleway; it would be a significant improvement on the safety for cyclists on our roads.''

Mr Thompson said cyclists riding along State Highway 1 were often sandwiched between motorists and parked cars, making

the route intimidating and dangerous. The New Zealand Transport Agency, the council and Spokes had come up with two options to improve safety.

The first was a cycleway beside existing footpaths along the right-hand side of the two one-way sections of State Highway 1, where there is now on-street parking; and the second option would be a two-way cycleway along Cumberland St.

Mr Thompson said the unidirectional option on both roads was preferred because drivers would have to pay attention only to oncoming traffic and not to the possibility of a cyclist going against traffic.

This option would mean the removal of 400 parks.

The cycleways would be separated from traffic by a kerbed island or planter boxes, and would run along both one-way streets between Rattray St and the Dunedin Botanic Garden. There had been 13 crashes that caused serious injury to cyclists as well as three cyclist deaths on the one-way system since 2003. There had also been a death in 1998 and 2011.

Mr Thompson said the perception that there were not many cyclists in Dunedin was incorrect and there was a healthy number in the city, although he did not have statistics.


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