Over the past months a number of new cycle lanes have been installed on the roading network in Whakatane and Ohope as a part of the ongoing rollout of the Councils Walking and Cycling Strategy.
New cycle ways in use include the completion of the remainder of Commerce Street from Domain Road intersection to the Gorge Road Roundabout, and also new cycle lanes along Valley Road and Arawa Road in Whakatane, and Pohutukawa Avenue in Ohope.
The Council’s Transportation Manager Martin Taylor said that ‘whenever we lay new seal on the road or install fresh line marking, as we do each year, we will be assessing to see where further cycling facilities can be installed.’
In a number of locations minor improvement works have been completed to accommodate the new cycle lanes. On Pohutukawa Avenue in the vicinity of the Ohope Beach School, changes have been made to the layout of the pedestrian crossing to improve pedestrian safety and accommodate the cycle lanes.
Mr Taylor noted that there has been a series of comments recently in the newspaper expressing concerns about the narrowness of Pohutukawa Drive as it crosses the Maraetotara Stream.
He says, ‘the solution has been to include provision for cyclist to share the footpath and pedestrian bridge in this area, which is a common solution to these narrow bridge situations’. ‘Share with Care’ signs will also be installed to increase awareness that this section of footpath is to be shared between pedestrians and cyclists.
Mr Taylor hopes that as the new cycle lanes and paths are installed it will encourage more and more people to get on their bikes and enjoy the benefits of cycling. He notes that this has certainly proved to be the case with the Warren Cole cycleway and walkway, which is seeing increasing numbers of both walkers and cyclists using it. For more information contact the Council on 07 306 0500.