More cycling, less traffic congestion

As traffic worsens in Tauranga, cycling could be an alternative option to get from A to B. File Photo.

Residents are being encouraged to put on their helmets and get on their bike, as a way to decrease traffic congestion in Tauranga.

As part of Tauranga City Council's Cycle Action Plan they will be visiting locations to discuss what can be done to increase cycling throughout Tauranga.

The council are asking for feedback on how they can get more people riding bikes, what puts people off riding bikes and which routes should be improved and prioritised.

Tauranga City Council transport manager Martin Parkes says Tauranga's roads are becoming increasingly congested in many areas and cycling is a good alternative option.

“Congestion is worsened by Tauranga's strong dependency on car use, having the highest rate of trips to work made by car of any New Zealand city. One result of this is that over 60 per cent of Tauranga's carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicles,” he says.

“Cycling is often the fastest way to get around for short journeys. It's a low cost travel option that offers reliable journey times, it's better for people's health and it's better for the planet.

“As our city grows, every person on a bike is one less person in a car. We are therefore undertaking this project to give people more transport choices, to make sure all types of people feel safe riding a bike and to enable more people to ride a bike to school, tertiary education and work.”

Martin says the cycling facilities available are designed for experienced cyclists and not for less confident bike riders.

“We are wanting to hear from people who ride now, and also from people who don't currently ride a bike, but might if it was safer and easier.”

The public can come to local events, markets and shopping malls, or alternatively can complete an online survey and a hard copy feedback form with a few questions.

“The event locations were chosen to provide a good cross section across the whole of the city, as we want to talk to different parts of Tauranga's community and to provide the opportunity for people in all local areas to come and talk with us.”

People can also map routes using an online mapping tool or on a ‘Have your say' brochure, which will include a map of potential cycling routes around Tauranga.

This is the first of a number of projects the council hope to deliver in the coming years related to encouraging Tauranga's residents to use alternative forms of transport other than a private car.

Since May they have also been focused on undertaking stakeholder engagement.

This involved conversations, discussions and workshops with key stakeholders and tangata whenua, as well as agencies, groups and forums with an interest in cycling, sports, health and education.

They are also working closely with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on improving the bus services across the city, as another viable option of transport.

“We have been really pleased with the positive feedback received during this early engagement, people have voiced their support for the project and are looking forward to the opportunity to have a say in how we can get more people riding bikes around the city.”

The public engagement will start on Monday, September 18 where a number of staff from transportation, travel safe, parks and recreation, and communications will be attending.

Some of the dates and locations of the events are:

September 20, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology 12pm - 2pm

September 21, Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology, 12pm - 2pm

September 23, New World Brookfield, 10am - 2pm

September 24, Papamoa Plaza – Pedal Papamoa, 9am - 11am

September 30, Bayfair Shopping Centre, 9am - 6pm.

September 30, Greerton Village Cherry Blossom Festival, 10am - 2pm

October 5, Red Square Downtown Tauranga, 12pm - 2pm

October 6, Red Square Tauranga, 12pm - 2pm

October 6, the NightOut Market, Bethlehem, 6.30 - 9pm

October 7, The Little Big Markets, 9am - 2pm.

October 7, Tauranga Crossing, 10.30am - 3pm

October 28, Bethlehem Town Centre, Centre, 11am - 2pm.

October 29, Oropi Sunday Market, 9am - 1pm



8 Comments

@Greertonboy

Posted on 22-09-2017 20:43 | By Tgaboy

That's a poor view mate and I can't agree with you. If you want to hold a deficit view that's cool. But the positives outweigh the deficits. Healthier, fitter people with more money in their pockets. They will likely still own cars so will pay registrations (including ACC fees which I suggest you were referring too). All the above wii have a positive flow on to personal resilience, less health costs and less road congestion. What do you reckon?

TCC is Definately Leading the Way

Posted on 22-09-2017 12:08 | By tgacentral

TCC won the national Aotearoa Bike Challenge this year for large organisations so I think it's fair to say they are leading by example Factlet.

Lead by example

Posted on 21-09-2017 17:01 | By Factlet

All staff and Councillors at the Councils (Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council) and all there subsidiaries and staff NZTA NZ Transport Agency should all be made to use public transport or bike or walk as part of there employment contracts to and from work and at work within reason. Then things will change quickly.

Education

Posted on 21-09-2017 08:50 | By peecee09

It is timely for Council to become more involved. I suggest that a concerted education process be undertaken with both the motoring and cycling public so that each know their rights and obligations to each other. Also the installation of hitching post for bikes around the city be investigated and implemented as there is a real shortage.

More cycling...

Posted on 20-09-2017 20:27 | By GreertonBoy

Also means a couple of other things. It means more people (cyclists) at risk of serious injury on the roads and also, less people actually contributing to road rescue through licenses and registrations. So, more cyclists will cost paying road users more. I would definitely not encourage more cyclists, I would encourage car pooling and ride sharing.... bigger employers sending mini buses to collect staff from areas where alot of staff reside.... to me, the people and organisations pushing people to ride to work when they otherwise wouldn't... may find themselves having problems when a widow (soon to be) is at a bedside wondering whether to switch off the life support of someone injured riding their new bike to work.... which they wouldn't have done if it weren't for this incessant banter about riding bikes amongst tens of thousands of vehicles with little or no protective clothing...

How to increase cyclists

Posted on 20-09-2017 19:35 | By Tgaboy

Improve cycleways. Having cyclists pushed to the sides of roads risking parked car doors opening on to them and idiot drivers turning into them is not attractive. I commute by bike everyday and as much as I'm aware of the risks and look for them, I'm also wary of the fact something's I just can't help, like the above. And I've had some close calls. I want my kids to bike, I don't want them to be car driven, useless, fatties like what I see daily. But at this stage, I'm not sure if it's ever gonna be safe for them to do so unless there are major changes in driver awareness and responsible bike paths. So I beg the council to make this a priority and not just lip service.

Cycles

Posted on 20-09-2017 18:02 | By JEM

There must be cycle ways separate to cars. Not beside as cars have no respect. If I could cycle from Tepuna into town and not go on the road I would. Like other countries learn from them

try

Posted on 20-09-2017 17:21 | By Capt_Kaveman

fixing the roads

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The Lovely Mount Maunganui beach. Photo: Denis Player.

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