Assessing the options
There are a number of factors that determine the best route for a cycleway. To ensure that all of these factors are considered, the Council has developed a multiple criteria assessment process to help identify a preferred option. The criteria are
designed to provide a balance between the needs of people wanting to cycle and the impacts of a cycleway on businesses, residents and the road network.
These criteria include:
- Safety first
For the cycleways to be effective and feel safe, the Major Cycle Routes must be built in a certain way. This means separating people on bikes from motor vehicles in some areas, and slowing vehicles and reducing volumes in others.
Generally, the preferred location for Major Cycle Routes is on quieter streets with fewer trucks. However, this can be difficult to achieve where the route gets closer to the central city and / or needs to link through commercial or rural areas.
- Traffic network considerations
Building safe cycle routes is one way to make the transport network more resilient. Where the proposed cycle route significantly changes the road, the Council must assess the likely impact on the rest of the transport network.
- Residential and business impacts
The Council recognises that existing parking is very important, particularly for local shops which rely on passing custom. We are also aware of the need to balance different travel needs including parking and attempt to keep as much parking as possible. However, when planning safe, direct cycleways using limited available space, there will be times when vehicle parking does not take priority.
- Feeling safe and secure
The perception of safety along cycle routes is important to the overall success of the cycleway. Achieving a comfortable and attractive cyclist experience within a well designed environment is one of Councils’ design considerations.
To read the detailed Northern Line Route Assessment Report visit ccc.govt.nz/cycleways (external link)
What about tree removal?
In some areas we will need to remove trees to make room for the new path. We will look to replace trees where appropriate, and the design will look for opportunities for new landscape plantings.
Connecting with the central city and other Major Cycle Routes
Transport network plans for the central city are being developed as part of An Accessible City, the transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. This plan includes lower speed limits and priority for people travelling on foot or by bike. The Nor’West Arc connects to many of the major cycleway routes which feed into the city.