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Board won’t budge on Waikanae cycle lane

Aug 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Multimedia, News

StuartMAIN

CYCLE ENTHUSIAST: Stuart Kilmister (pictured with son Jacob) wanted less car-parking on Te Moana Rd, Waikanae.

MOTORISTS won out over cyclists when Waikanae Community Board voted out the idea of a new, one-kilometre stretch of cycle lane on Te Moana Rd.

But board member Harold Thomas says he does not believe there is a problem. “We should not be having cyclists versus motor cars,” he says.

Kapiti District Council cycle ways, walkways and bridleways implementation coordinator Stuart Kilmister had asked the board to put a stop to parking on the length between Karu Crescent and Ngarara Rd, so that cyclists would no longer veer into the main traffic route to overtake parked vehicles.

A total of 161 property owners in a polled area of Te Moana Rd were consulted about the proposal by mailbox drop. Of the 61 responses received, 28, or 46%, were in favour and 32, or 53%, were against. One response was neutral.

Those against the safe cycling proposal noted there would be a lack of suitable parking for visitors and damage to their grass berms from wheel ruts.

Mr Kilmister was hoping to improve cycle safety on a major arterial route.

He says: “The measures proposed were seeking to address chronic problems relating to declining cycle numbers, perceived safety, and statistical evidence clearly showing the correlation between high traffic volumes and cycling casualties.”

But he says staff could not demonstrate their plan was “a solution to an acute problem – ie, cycle casualties that had occurred in the past where the measures were proposed”.

In his report, Mr Kilmister noted different surveys had recorded the number of cyclists and cars parked on the side of the road.

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TE MOANA RD: No changes to help cyclists.

In the most recent survey, “almost half” of the 22 vehicles parked were there for up to four hours, creating what Mr Kilmister called a “cycle safety issue with cyclists having to pull into the main traffic stream to avoid parked cars”.

Although the proposal was rejected at the Waikanae Community Board meeting last month, Mr Kilmister says the board did not specifically state why they did not support the proposal.

“I believe politically it was not something they could endorse without clear evidence as to why it was necessary.

“They simply did not believe there was a problem that needed to be solved.”

Board chairman Michael Scott suggested instead of the cycleway, improved signage for drivers and a review of road markings were needed.

Mr Kilmister says the council may look at reinstating the cycle lanes when the road is next due for a reseal in 10 years’ time.

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