Nelson, New Zealand Cycling Strategy

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Nelson, New Zealand

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted on 12/21/06

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The Cycling Strategy, adopted December 2006 for the period 2006 - 2010, discusses the strategy to ensure cycling becomes a safe, convenient, and commonplace way of getting around Nelson. Download

Download the Cycling Strategy 2006 - 2010 (PDF @ 100KB).

More Nelsonians cycle to work than in any other part of New Zealand - we make over 1,150 trips per day. Nelson is ‘made for cycling’ – much of the city is flat, it’s compact and our sunshine is legendary.

Cycling reduces traffic congestion, saves fuel and it’s healthy. Research shows that two thirds of kiwi car trips are less than 6km - for most people that’s a comfortable bike ride. These are all reasons why central government allocates close to $10m a year to encourage walking and cycling. The new Nelson Cycling Strategy will put us in line to continue to share in this fund.

Existing policies
Council already has policies in place to encourage cycling. These aim to:

  • Provide a supportive environment for the enhancement of cycling
  • Ensure future land use supports cycling
  • Encourage people to cycle instead of drive
  • Improve road safety for cyclists
  • Continue to improve and expand current cycling network and facilities

The new Cycling Strategy sits alongside other Council plans and strategies such as the Long Term Council Community Plan, the Physical Activity Strategy and the Urban Growth Strategy. The outcome of the Cycling Strategy is to have:

  • A culture that acknowledges cycling as a normal part of everyday life, where people support cycling and see it as an attractive and safe transport choice
  • A safe, convenient and continuous cycle route network linking all parts of the city, incorporating best practice in design

The cycling strategy is the Council’s third; it builds on what has been achieved and sets these targets:

  • An increase from 7.1% to 10% of Nelsonians cycling to work in the 2011 census
  • An increase in numbers of people cycling to school city wide and for individual schools to promote exercise and reduce traffic congestion
  • An increase in leisure cycling
  • At least a 10% increase in cycle use levels between 2007/08 and 2011/12 to be measured via a proposed cycle use survey
  • At least a 10% decrease in crashes and incidents compared to cycle use between 2007/08 and 2011/12
  • Public satisfaction in the safety and experience of cycling in Nelson above the 80% level as measured in the annual residents satisfaction between 2006/7 and 2011/12

Issues and Actions
Information: There is very little data on the purpose of cyclists’ journeys. Surveys are done annually and Council is planning to continue this, in order to confirm trends and for future planning.

Crashes: Reports from minor or non-injury accidents are starting to demonstrate trends and Council plans to carry on with the 0800 CYCLECRASH system to encourage reporting and build up a better picture of Nelson’s ‘black spots’.

The Central Business District: Secure bike racks are planned as well as an education campaign with major employers.

More cycleways
The strategy looks at linking up existing routes and adding to them. The completion of the Atawhai shared pathway to Clifton Terrace adds a major link to the cycleway network. Council aims to add a connection to the Trafalgar cycleway via Collingwood Street, seal the railway reserve at the city end, and add a connection from Main Road Stoke to the railway reserve via Poormans stream.. The full strategy includes other plans for cycleways, links and enhanced safety at intersections.

Consideration is critical where walker and cyclists share a path. Education and improved signs can help ease shared use. Positive messages and education are also seen as the best way to get motorists and cyclists behaving in ways that don’t annoy or endanger each other.

Off to School
You don’t have to be very old to remember the joys of cycling to school with your mates, but a glance at school bike racks shows it’s a dying practice. The strategy aims to encourage more biking to schools, and to educate and encourage bike use through Safe Journeys to School projects.