Cyclists' opinions sought in safety review

Dunedin cyclists are being asked to share their knowledge of the city's streets with the New Zealand Transport Agency, in a bid to improve safety and prevent further fatalities.

The death of 34-year-old cyclist Dr Li Hong ''Chris'' He on Cumberland St in November prompted calls for urgent action from cyclists, cycling groups, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and the Dunedin City Council.

The agency asked Dunedin cyclists to identify the main issues and areas of concern, and what they would like to see done.

It also asked for information about which routes were most popular as alternatives to the one-way state highway systems and whether any alternatives could be better developed.

Agency acting state highways manager Simon Underwood said the closing date for feedback was February 18.

The agency had already received a large number of emails from Dunedin residents since Dr He's death, Mr Underwood said.

He posted a message detailing the agency's cycle safety review for Dunedin on the website of cycling group Spokes Dunedin on Thursday.

Mr Underwood said the review would identify possible ''quick wins'' for the one-way system, as well as whole-of-city cycle safety improvement for the longer term.

''Overall, the current cycle lanes and shared paths along the one-way system comprise a network of some 8km.

''The quick wins are, therefore, aimed at addressing or improving any key site specific safety risks along this network,'' he said.

Best practice elsewhere would be researched to determine how safer long-term cycle travel in Dunedin could be provided.

''This is expected to lead to longer term measures and involve further design development, planning and financial programming, wider community input, as well as adaptation of current standards and statutory requirements,'' Mr Underwood said.

Spokes Dunedin said it planned to make a submission.

''We are encouraged by the experience of the NZTA team looking at the issues, the willingness to receive cyclist and community input, and the acknowledgment that further design development and planning and financial programming will be part of a long-term effort,'' its website said.

Asked this week about the council's cycle safety initiatives, Mr Cull said they included the cycle skills training in schools and the implementation of a strategic cycle network, which would provide ''significant improvements'' in cycle safety across the city.

''This will start with construction of facilities in the South Dunedin area this year,'' Mr Cull said.

He said council staff were actively working with the agency on its review of cycle safety within central Dunedin, and it was not possible to progress with any action in respect of the state highway network in the interim.

Feedback to: dunedinshcyclelanes@nzta.govt.nz

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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