Mount Maunganui cyclists are going to petition city councillors who deferred a decision seeking public feedback on a trial of a cycle lane surrounding the entire Mount North area.
The Transport committee decided it would seek public feedback on the proposal, before beginning a six month trial, but this week they decided to defer making the decision on going to the public for another month.
Bike Mount’s proposal for a 2.5m cycle lane along The Mall, Adams Avenue, Marine Parade and Salisbury Avenue interferes with some parking, but the plan came unstuck because The Mall in Pilot Bay is too narrow for angle parking, traffic, and the 2.5m bike lane.
Transport Committee members were unable to recommend the proposal go forward to council, because they would lose one car park, says Bike Mount spokesperson Heidi Hughes.
Bike Mount’s original ‘slap dash’ street proposal envisaged 17 additional car parks if The Mall is converted to angle parking, says Heidi. But city council traffic engineers found only two additional carparks.
“And there would be only one metre for the cycleway. If they keep parallel parking in The Mall they lose one carpark.
“But we get a cycle lane in there, and the councillors didn’t think that was enough of a reason to make it one way,” says Heidi.
“It floors me because in the very same meeting the councillors were saying to the planners’ ‘We need to get some runs on the board, we need to make some change, why is it we can’t see anything happening in the next three years?’
“And it’s only a trial you know. They are deferring a trial, six months trial where people then have the opportunity to decide if they want it or not.
“But they have decided not to even go ahead with the trial. It just makes no sense because all the work’s already been done around the trial. I think just let the people decide, if after six months everybody thinks it is a great idea.
“We think it will be hugely popular for people to be able to get down Pilot Bay and Adams Ave on their skateboards and their bikes easily, and their runner push chairs, and their roller blades and whatever else they want to use.
“And it’s really not that much of an inconvenience for people to go one way in their cars. And it’s going to be a lot calmer because people crossing the road will be able to see what’s going on. It will make the whole street a lot calmer.
“I don’t know what their motivations are really.”
The whole intention of the way the city is going forward is to encourage people to use active transport and get out of their cars share the road, says Heidi.
“And they surely get that, but when the rubber hits the road I’m not sure whether they are thinking it will affect their next election cycle or what it is.”
Heidi believes the traffic team is being asked to go back to the drawing board and try and put angle parking in The Mall somehow.
“But even angle parking when you are in a one way system is not going to give us many more parks because of the safety, you have to have quite a few gaps where you can’t put them in.
“So it’s not actually going to give them the extra parks that they think that they want.”
Bike mount is going to the community and the councillors and it will probably mount a petition, says Heidi.
Council staff’s preferred option it is to seek public feedback before a trial because no parking gains are achieved.
Further investigations and design work will be required so that the preferred options can be presented to the public for feedback. The public will be asked whether they support the proposal or would prefer to leave the road as it is.
If the public support the proposal then it will be taken forward to detailed design and implementation on a trial basis.