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Auckland City walks the talk


6 March 2006

Auckland City walks the talk

A new way to encourage people out of their cars and start pounding the pavements is launched today with Auckland City's Active Mt Albert walking and cycling map.

The innovative map is the first of seven to be rolled out across the city. Other Active maps are planned for Newmarket, Onehunga, Ellerslie, Avondale, Panmure and Otahuhu this year.

The Active Mt Albert map has nine routes for local destinations and scenic locations around Mt Albert. The map details distance, average time, number of calories burnt and number of steps taken as well as general fitness information and tips to get active.

The council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson, Councillor Richard Simpson, says the brochure is designed to help Aucklanders fit half an hour of exercise into their day, while encouraging them to leave the car at home for short trips.

"Not only does the Active Mt Albert map offer ways to get fitter and healthier, it encourages people to get to know their local neighbourhood by foot or pedal," says Mr Simpson.

"This activity brochure is just one of countless walking and cycling initiatives across the city this month, all encouraging Aucklanders to consider their range of travel options for getting about.

"We are committed to investment in infrastructure improvements to make walking and cycling a safe and feasible alternative to the car. Walking and cycling can form part of a journey, such as when catching public transport. We need to remember we have options other than the car."

Walk Auckland, an advocacy group for pedestrians, gives its full support to the project.

"Pedestrian maps are a great idea," says Walk Auckland chairperson, Andy Smith.

"They get people out on the streets and increase walkers' safety through numbers. The number of people walking on our streets is an indication of a city's health and this is only going to help Auckland flourish," says Mr Smith.

SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand), the central government agency responsible for getting "more Kiwis, more active, more often" has also shown its support.

"This is a fantastic resource and a great way to encourage people to incorporate more physical activity into their day," says Deb Hurdle, SPARC's general manager of participation.

"You only need to Push Play for 30 minutes on most days of the week to look and feel better."

Works to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety are also on the way for Mt Albert this year, another example of the council's move towards a highly integrated and sustainable transport network.

The Active Mt Albert brochure can be obtained at community centres, libraries and by phoning Auckland City on (09) 379 2020.

For more information on Walk Auckland, visit www.walkauckland.org.


Fact Sheet

* The council maintains a total of 2,214kms footpaths across the city. At a pace of 7km/h, it would take 13 days and nights to walk all of the city's footpaths.

* The council is spending $2.9 million on walking and cycling infrastructure improvements, such as new pram crossings, cycle lanes and pedestrian refuge islands, across the city this financial year.

* Improvements to walking and cycling routes in Mt Albert include intersection upgrades to benefit both pedestrians and cyclists, safe cycle lanes in key areas and cycle parking around the Mt Albert town centre.

* Did you know that the heavier your body weight, the more calories you will burn walking and cycling? The calorie counts provided in the Active Mt Albert map are based on the average male body weight of 80kg.

* Auckland City is committed to making walking and cycling a more attractive transport alternative.

© Scoop Media

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