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

 
Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>


Howard Davis: Review - The Cosmic Dance Of 'String Theory'

Fly My Pretties sixth album is quite possibly their best yet - a concept album in the best sense, with superb arrangements, funky grooves, and some great vocalizing, all organized around the lyrical leitmotif of string theory. More>>

Non-Natural History: Dinosaur Eggs 'Discovered' At Auckland Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens plant curators have unearthed what are thought to be prehistoric dinosaur eggs in the Gondwana Forest section of the expansive garden in Manurewa... In fact, the “dinosaur eggs” are part of an innovative, larger-than-life dinosaur performance and display featuring a raptor, a crested therapod and a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex. More>>

For The Birds: Kōkako Crowned Bird Of The Year

The Kōkako has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after two weeks of close competition and heated campaigning. More>>

ALSO:

  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news