Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Research shows demand for safer cycle routes

Research shows demand for safer cycle routes

More Wellingtonians would cycle to work if safer cycle routes were put in place, Master’s research from Victoria University of Wellington has found.

Couple Jean Beetham and Ed Randal both completed their Master’s in Environmental Studies last year, each with a focus on cycling in Wellington, and will graduate in December. Although they approached the topic from different angles, the message to the Wellington City Council from many members of the public was clear—‘if you build it we will come’.

Jean studied the feasibility of an arterial cycle way between Wellington’s southern suburbs and city centre. In particular, she focused on a potential Tory Street route and the impact that removing some on-street car parks may have on businesses in the area.

A survey of around 600 people found that a large number would consider biking to get from place to place if they felt safer on the roads. A significant majority of respondents also said they would be willing to consider the removal of some on-street car parking to provide for safe cycle routes—even those who weren’t interested in cycling. This was mostly because of their concern for cyclists’ safety or because, as drivers, they found sharing the road with cyclists stressful. An additional survey of shoppers on Tory Street showed that only six percent were using the on-street parking on Tory Street.

“There are about 4000 car parks within one block of Tory Street, and about 100 car parks on Tory Street itself—so taking out parks on one side, for example, would remove a relatively small percentage of available parks. As a result, the economic impact on surrounding businesses would likely be minimal,” says Jean.

“The private market is able to supply car parking and it does, but it can’t supply cycle ways because they’re not something that can be charged for. If we used some of our public road space to implement cycle ways strategically in selected streets it would very likely reduce cycling-related deaths and accidents, and encourage cycling.”

Jean is now working with Opus International Consultants Ltd, and one of her projects is to help design a similar survey to that of her thesis for the whole city, in order to help the Wellington City Council find out what infrastructure the public wants and the barriers to cycling.

Ed is currently working for the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. His Master’s research focused on how to get more Wellingtonians cycling. Although, like Jean, he found that many people are deterred from cycling in the city because of safety concerns, as well as the hills and inclement weather, statistics show cyclist numbers in Wellington have been increasing since the 1980s.

“Even though Wellington has the highest rate of serious harm or death for cyclists in the country, it is also one of the only main urban centres in New Zealand where commuter cyclist numbers are still going up,” he says.

Above all, says Ed, people cycle because it is enjoyable and good for their health.

“Aspects such as being good for the environment or saving money were seen as a bonus rather than a motivator. Also, it seems that a lot of people travel to work by car because it’s a habit they don’t think about unless they move house or job.”

His research concluded that promoting recreational cycling on Wellington’s various tracks around the city to non-cyclists, in particular under-represented groups such as women, young people and those on lower incomes, would help them feel more confident on a bicycle. This could potentially act as a gateway to commuter cycling. It would need to be part of an initiative to improve road safety for cyclists and a strategy to promote the fun side of cycling, he says.

Wellington City Council plans this year to significantly increase its cycling budget, from $1.3 million to $4.3 million, and invest in a cycle way from Island Bay to the city.

Jean and Ed were supervised by Associate Professor Ralph Chapman, Director of the Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news