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Cycleway is one ride closer

A hearing was held in Masterton this week for public submissions on the proposed Lansdowne to Kuripuni cycleway.

Of the 187 individuals and organisations that made written submissions, 13 elected to give a spoken submission to Masterton District Council at yesterday’s meeting.

The proposed route, which Waka Kotahi NZTA has agreed to fund, runs from Kuripuni shops, down Herbert St, and along Colombo Rd to Lansdowne.

It would become the first protected on-road cycleway in Masterton.

Two alternative routes have been suggested: The first running along Kuripuni St, then down Colombo Rd to Lansdowne, and the second running down Kuripuni St to Makoura Rd, then back up Johnstone St onto Colombo Rd to Lansdowne.

The cycleway would be a two-way lane and separated from cars by concrete bollards, and car parks on the side of the road would need to be removed for its construction.

It would provide a safer cycling route connecting Lakeview School, Wairarapa Hospital, Masterton Netball Courts, Queen Elizabeth II Park, Chanel College, and Red Star Sports Club.

It would also provide a partial route for students of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Wairarapa, Mākoura College, and students travelling from east Masterton to and from Masterton Intermediate, Hadlow School, and Masterton Primary School.

Some of yesterday’s 13 submitters supported the proposal; some opposed it.

Submitters in favour included Green Party candidate Celia Wade-Brown, who said a safe and protected bike lane would encourage people to try cycling because it would be safe from cars.

Wade-Brown said Masterton is well suited for bikes, and developing a safe cycling network would increase the number of people choosing to cycle instead of driving, reducing transport emissions.

She also said it would allow children to independently go to school and sports practices without needing a ride from their parents.

One detractor, Tania Scott of Chanel Court Hotel, said removing car parks on Herbert St would hurt the hotel’s business.

She said many of the hotel’s customers, including big companies, contractors, and people who come to Masterton for events, park their larger vehicles on the street in front of the hotel.

If the cycle lane were built, the larger vehicles would need to park in front of other people’s houses.

Scott also said the route is too busy and congested to be safe for children on bikes.

She suggested Kuripuni St as an alternative route to Herbert St.

Road safety advocate and former professional motorcycle racer Aaron Slight said the roads are already wide enough to be shared by cyclists and motorists.

He said there are not enough children cycling to school to justify a cycle lane.

Slight suggested the council build a cycle lane through parks to keep bikes off the roads.

He also supported Kuripuni St as a better route than Herbert St.

The council will meet next Wednesday to deliberate on the submissions and decide on the final route to be taken forward for detailed design.

3 COMMENTS

  1. 100% agreed that cycle way is a good thing for town but as discussed before, it would be better to use alternative route for safety and connectivity which is the motto of the cycle way. This would definitely achieve the goal while minimal effect to the businesses. We must be grateful enough and humane to acknowledge the contribution of these small businesses to the wider community and town overall and make sure that we take it into consideration.
    Thanks

  2. Does anyone ride bicycles anymore? No one rides to school. No one rides to work. The council could concentrate on housing, roading and reopening the town hall like they pledged to do before the local election.

  3. If it was safe to ride on the road more children could bike to school like we used to once and there would be less cars. Why shouldn’t bikes be on the road too? It’s a healthy, emissions free mode of transport and you couldn’t get everywhere you needed to go by riding through parks! Slight was a motor-racer, his bias is showing.

Comments are closed.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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