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

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news