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Call To Action On The Accessible Streets Package

E-scooters, E-bikes and other motorised devices as well as bikes ridden by people of any age will be allowed to be used on footpaths if you don’t say ‘No’.

The government wants feedback on its Accessible Streets package. It includes some good proposals for changing the rules regarding cycles and buses but nearly all of the changes concerning footpaths are bad for walkers and people using wheelchairs or mobility devices.

Let them know what you think and want.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm, 22nd April. With the lockdown keeping most of us at home until then we have some extra time. This would be a good way to use some of it.

What you need to do is submit your response using our pre-answered form attached (see that on our page). Just add your name and address and then send it to accessible.streets@nzta.govt.nz . You can change the responses in the boxes if you don’t agree with them.

We have prepared a guide attached (see that on our page) to help you write your submission.

Our responses are guided by the principle that both riders and walkers (as well as disabled people reliant on wheelchairs and mobility devices) should be able to move about safely and feeling safe but that putting them all on footpaths doesn’t achieve that for either group.

The essence of our responses to the specific proposals are

1. Footpaths are for people in wheelchairs, pedestrians, people using mobility devices, unpowered light individual transport devices (LITDs) and children 10 years old and younger riding cycles (as well as their qualified trainers).

2. The proposed speed limit of 15km/h for footpaths is absurd and we instead propose a fast walking speed (6km/h).

3. The proposed speed limit (50 or 100km/h with RCA ability to change it) for shared paths is ridiculous and instead propose either a blanket 10km/h (faster than on footpaths as shared paths are wider than the typical footpath) or 20km/h but riders must slow to 10km/h when passing pedestrians and give them a 1m berth.

The speed limit on cycle paths should be 30km/h.

4. Increase the number of vehicle categories which can be used in cycle lanes so that medium- and high-speed LITDs can use them too.

5. We support the lighting requirements for transport devices used on shared or cycle paths, in cycle lanes or on the roadway during hours of darkness.

6. We support allowing riders to go straight ahead from left turn lanes at intersections, turning traffic having to give way to people who are going straight ahead riding in separated lanes, and turning traffic having to give way to pedestrians travelling straight along a main road but crossing a side road.

7. We support the minimum overtaking gaps proposed.

8. We support a general prohibition on parking on berms with RCAs able to exempt some berms.

9. We support traffic having to give way to buses pulling out from stops.

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