Bumps in the road around which cars must swerve as part of Rotorua’s cycleway are said to be a “traffic calming” feature.
In a report published on the Collaboration Bay of Plenty web site, the extensions protruding at the corners of the Ranolf Street section of the cycleway are explained as a safety feature.
However, street users have differed, with one telling The Mud how having to swing her car out into the middle of the road to get around the traffic “calmer” has turned into a risky manoeuvre.
“We used to pull over to the left before making lefthand turns but now we have to swing out into the road, holding up traffic and potentially leading to bumps.”
Car drivers have also raised concerns about the cycleway’s extension out into the street opposite the Ranolf Street Shops. Whereas they could previously park and safely exit their cars before crossing the road, they now have to play dodgem with cars going up the busy thoroughfare between the city and outer suburbs.
The COBOP notice says, however, that parking has also been retained in the area.
While much of the concrete has been poured – areas outside St Mary’s Catholic School and neighbouring street-side paths have seen trees felled. The notice says, “some trees have been removed to accommodate the widened path but will be replaced once the construction phase has finished.” It is predicted the Ranolf, Springfield and Western Heights “shared paths” will be finished in time for people to start using them in spring.
The notice says each project is part of a 10-part programme that supports the district’s Urban Cycling Strategic Plan which aims to provide safe and enjoyable riding facilities. Funding for the programme is shared between Council ($1.9 million), the Government ($1.5 million) and the New Zealand Transport Agency ($2.1 million).
“The development of the CyWay network will help to connect residents and visitors to suburbs, schools, the inner city and other facilities and recreation areas, linking to main biking and shared paths.”
To date, Muddy Waters has seen more skateboarders than cyclists using the first, completed section of the Ranolf Street cycleway, and there has been no word on whether cyclists will be educated on how to ride safely amongst the pedestrians, including school children from the two schools on the street.