Gradual growth in use of new city cycleways

Dunedin's cycleways appear to be recording a slow but steady increase in use.

Figures released by the Dunedin City Council and the NZ Transport Agency show numbers have increased on most cycleways.

However, the NZTA's new cycleway in Great King St has not recorded an increase on 2016 figures, while the council's Victoria Rd cycleway has recorded a 7% drop in use.

The NZTA has a cycle counter in Cumberland and Great King Sts.

Project team manager Simon Underwood said while there had been no "startling increase" in numbers, there was an increase in cyclists using the cycleways, despite them being only finished in March, as the weather grew colder.

The greatest increase was in Cumberland St opposite Countdown, which was up about 30% from 2016.

The peak day since the cycleway was completed was 236 cyclists on May 1 this year

The daily average for a weekday in July this year was 130 cyclists.

Great King St was on a par with 2016 numbers, the peak day being April 8 having 254 cyclists.

The daily average for a weekday in July was 108.

Mr Underwood said he hoped as summer approached more people would try out the new system.

The council's cycleways had recorded increases ranging from 5% to 9% between 2015 and 2019, transport planning team leader Susan Lilley said.

The council has six counters in the city.

"Our data shows cycling numbers in Dunedin are going up; most cycleways saw a rise in cyclists between 2015 and 2019."

The biggest increase was on the harbourside shared path between Ravensbourne and St Leonards at 9%, although the number of cyclists using the Harbour and Portsmouth Dr paths had increased every year between 2015 and 2018.

Work on the Portsmouth Dr path meant the counter was not operating for a period from June last year.

The Portsmouth Dr and North Rd cycleways showed 7% and 5% increases respectively.

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Thanks ODT for objectively reporting what we all know and can see- that the cycle lanes are hardly used. Was the destruction of over a thousand carparks worth it? ask ALL parties - 95% plus will say NO! Vote them out!

What matters isn't growth in the use of individual cycleways, but the total number of cyclists now relative to the number prior to the cycleways going in. If cyclists are just switching from non-cycleway to cycleway routes, any increase in numbers on the latter is meaningless. And very expensive for ratepayers.

Controversy aside, if cyclists are just switching from non-cycleway to cycleway routes, at least it means cycleways are convenient, isn't it. How is that a bad thing?

A paltry 5% growth in cyclists actually is just a bit below Dunedins population growth in the 4 years between 2015 to 2019. So in real terms cyclist numbers are moving backward in Dunedin.
No amount of gloss and spin can hide the truth. Tens of millions of dollars are being frittered away building infrastructure for a minuscule cycling population. And that spend is at the detriment to all other potential road funding for Dunedin.
How about the long imagined Northern Highway to Kaikorai valley connection to remove through traffic from the city? Why not build a real 4 lane road to Waitati. Nothing else will happen while we continue to waste money on a greens pipe dream.

So instead of 5 people a day there are 6 people now...

Great to hear the millions of our rate payer money you are spending on the minority is worth it. What ever happened to the Tui ads...

And when is this data gathered?, when the days are warm and sunny or when they are wet and cold?.
Seems to me the cyclists wanted these cycle lanes but only under weather conditions that suit them.

Big fan of the new cycleways - they're a key reason why I decided to cycle to work. As far as I'm concerned, no-one can judge their success until we've done a full year with the new cycleways in place, and we have stats for all months (not just autumn/winter, which surprisingly isn't the most pleasant time of the year to bike).

So much anger and vehemence here. How about a tolerance for others? I use a bike whenever I can and enjoy using the new cycle ways. Thank you to the NZTA for their initiative and courage.

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