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ON-GOING funding support of the vision that “Manawatu is the best place in New Zealand to ride a bike” has been urged by submitters to the Manawatu District Council’s Draft Long Term Plan 2012-2022.
BikeNZ Regional Development Officer Chris Foggin and Bike Manawatu Secretary Glenys Taylor have both requested council to help as their organisations aim to develop riding experiences and attract more bike events.
Their submissions were among the 45 council had received by Tuesday on the draft plan – the MDC’s three-yearly long term planning document – since the public consultation period opened last month. It ends tomoorow.
Mr Foggin said the region did not need a national velodrome to meet its cycling goals, “as we already have a strong cycling community who race, ride for leisure and commute to work and school. Our region is perfect for cycling with the mix of terrain and stunning scenery”.
He said it did lack some critical infrastructure to enable and encourage safe cycling and family riders and would benefit from more investment and development in cycleways and mountain bike trail space.
Ms Taylor said Bike Manawatu believed cycling could be grown in Manawatu by increasing the facilities available for cyclists and improving their ability to access safe riding routes around the district.
She also encouraged council to continue working on the shared roadway on Kimbolton Road and to develop further commuting routes, especially in light of increased traffic flows between Feilding and Palmerston North.
Earthquake-prone buildings have prompted interest, with one submitter arguing that council, especially in view of Christchurch, should prioritise the strengthening of the properties in the Feilding CBD.
He proposed an 11-step solution to the problem, which would see a win-win solution for all parties by retaining heritage values and ensuring public safety.
Planned changes at the Makino Aquatic Centre also drew some responses, with two submissions supporting a covered outdoor pool, but another submitter believing the complex was fine as it was. Other suggestions included a hydroslide, wave and leisure pools, spas and a lazy river.