CAP Sub…Supports Kaiaua to Kopu Section of Rail Trail

Hauraki District Council
Cycle Action Paeroa : Submission to the Hauraki District Council on the

2015-25 Hauraki Long Term Plan Consultation Document & Supporting Information.

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Do you support the Hauraki District Council funding the Kaiaua to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail? Option B.

Introduction
I am a member of Cycling Advocates Network New Zealand (CAN) and Cycle Action Auckland and convenor of Cycle Action Paeroa.

CAA Cycle Action Auckland
CAA Cycle Action Auckland
CAN Cycle Advocates Network
CAN Cycle Advocates Network

The above organisations function at a national, regional and local level to advocate for improved cycling facilities to widen transport choice and promote cycling for all ages from 8 to 80 for transport, recreation and pleasure.
I wish to submit the following in accordance with the goals of these organisations.

2015-25 Hauraki Long Term Plan Consultation Document & Supporting Information.

Cycle Action Paeroa supports the building of the Kaiaua Kopu Section of the Hauraki Rail Trail. This will benefit not only local folk who live within this area, but the wider community extending out to our international visitors from around the world.

The Hauraki Rail Trail has already proven the benefits of cycle tourism to the local Hauraki District economy. It is a major attraction that has transformed perceptions of our district, continued to grow visitor numbers and boosted employment opportunities.

The Rail Trail through the Karangahake Gorge to Waikino onto Waihi within this year alone has been boosted with the opening of the new Gold Discovery Centre at Waihi; places like the Waikino Train Station catering for the thousands of people for those who use the train ride to Waihi, or simply stop off at the historic Waikino Tavern;The Falls Retreat & the very popular Bulls Wool Farm. In addition the many DOC tracks & camping grounds like Dickies Flat & Waitawheta Hut surrounding our mountain of Karangahake, Waitawheta through to Te Aroha have benefited from the boom in visitor numbers brought by the Rail Trail.

The increasing numbers who are riding through Paeroa to Karangahake, Waikino & Waihi are represent a wide cross section of the public – children, families, single adults, tourists with packs on their bike, walkers, runners. It is a truly remarkable playground for everyone.

Extending the trail to Kaiaua will further expand the reputation of the Trail and stay-over accommodation across the district, building on the popularity of the DOC natural flora, fauna, bird life observatory at Kaiaua: the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula via the coast road from the Auckland Airport, the wide range of camping and cabin sites, hot springs, small eateries, cafes.

On the wider picture it will create a connection & link for the Rail Trail as a whole to other North Island destinations.

A Group of Auckland riders enjoying the Rail Trail from Karangahake.
A Group of Auckland riders enjoying the Rail Trail from Karangahake.

Implications for Cycle Infrastructure

There are a wide range of needs to be considered for the cyclists attracted to our District
The neighborhood / recreational cyclist – The highest priority is ensuring a safe environment for children & novices.

The commuter cyclist – Most will choose fastest routes; they are the main users of the primary cycle network.

The fitness/ sport cyclist – Their speed tends to be of the higher nature often cycling at speeds of 30-50 km/hr more.

Irrespective of the type of cyclist, a number of safety concerns need to be borne in mind.
Motor Vehicle Speed 50km/hr vs Bicycle Speed of 20-30 km/hr.
Following distance
Too close’ not keeping their legal distance.
Pushing cyclist to go faster
Causing cyclist to feel insecure on bike.
Passing distance:
Under the legal distance of 1.5 meters.
Or passing at intersections when other cars pulling out from intersections causing cyclist to take drastic action to avoid a pile up and being hit from two motor vehicles.
Riding from around curve into Belmont Road from Station Road, parked cars on the road outside the Z service station in the path of cyclist, leaving no alternatives but to stop or be run over.
The same applies riding from RSA down Belmont Road.

Public support for cycling in Paeroa
From my volunteer cycling role in and around Paeroa, including with visitors attracted by the Trail I am impressed by the support for cycling in our community, and the positive response from tourists. These comments are frequently made to me –

The Trail is a transformational project benefiting local business and the wider community, bringing national and international recognition to our District.

Protected Cycle Lanes away from traffic movement.
Protected Cycle Lanes away from traffic movement.

Build Protected Cycle Lanes for main street enhancement.
Aid in the use of Cargo Bikes, mums n dads with children riding together to the town etc
Protected Cycle Lanes would allow easy access for everyone who wishes to commute on a cycle to town to amenities like health practitioners, libraries, grocery store, schools, cafes, sports grounds.
Distance from the centre of town to the out-skirts of Paeroa’s residential area only minutes to ride.
Can’t wait till the Kaiaua Section of the rail trail is complete. Then we will come down from Auckland.
Old and new cyclist would ride again, pulling their bikes out feeling free.
Age is no barrier, 80+ yrs. riding bikes. Look at those in Europe, Asia and America.
Health, Harmony, rejuvenation, fitness, human interaction, meeting friends, stopping off for a coffee, delivering parcels, small business and marketing potential, grocery shopping.
Love your rail trail, love the Karangahake Gorge, so much to see & do.
We’ll be back.
Winery is nice.
Gee, the Rail Trail is busy.
It was Top n Tail with cyclists, walkers, runners, families, children, tourists during the easter break. From Karangahake through to Waihi. (witnessed by my family personally, myself, people spoken to at Waihi beach cafes, the many spoken to along the cycleway).
Businesses at Waihi Beach shopping centre has increased with commuter cyclists, tourists requiring extra bike stands.
DOC, HDC, HRT are doing a fine job in initiating trail extension.
Providing for Safer Cycling in Paeroa
The large in increase in people cycling in Paeroa, attracted by the Rail Trail, has highlighted a basic observation that is now a central principle of good cycling design – more people will cycle if they feel safe.

Basic observation. People Will Be SAFE.
Basic observation: more people WIL cycle if they feel safe.

Safety is dependent on providing separation and protection from faster moving traffic.

An example of this occurs at intersections, which is where most crashes between motor vehicles and people cycling occur.
Separation and protection can be achieved by a range of methods – by providing for off-road shared paths, such as those which make up the Rail Trail, by providing dedicated on-road cycle lanes connecting key local destinations or by adding some form of protection to the cycle lanes, such as a barrier or ‘safe hit posts’.20150428_212421000_iOS

I consider it is essential for Paeroa to provide a safer main street for families, children, the elderly who would love to ride their cycle to town without the hassles of being pushed off the road or being hit from a car / truck etc.

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Cycle Action Paeroa Supports Protected Cycle Lanes.

Cycle Action Paeroa Proposed Action Plan

To Initiate a Safe Cycling & Walking Green-Ways Project

Waimarei Ave to Kauri Grove Safe Cycle/Pedestrian Link.
Claremont Ave, Norwood Road Safe Cycle/Pedestrian Link along-side Centennial Park to Towers Street.
Miller Ave School to Hill Street, Taylors Ave Safe Cycle/Pedestrian Link.
Miller Ave to Taylors Ave, Safe Cycle, Pedestrian link.
Kauri Grove to Rail Trail Safe Cycle/Pedestrian Link
L & P River Bank Cycle / Pedestrian Safe Link to Maritime Park linking Rail Trail to Komata.

By Providing Safe Protected, Separate Cycle Lanes along Belmont Rd, Paeroa, for those who commute to our local shops like Countdown or travel to college, school, surgery, or whom work within Paeroa plus for our tourism industry.

Recommendations: Separate Cycle Lanes at the above location.

Review of the single parking space outside Shell Service Station.

Hazards! Q? Is this safe for families?
Hazards! Q? Is this safe for families?

Recommendations: Removal to aid in a more safer, protected journey into main street.

Intersection Site Visibility Enhancement for both cyclist & pedestrians at both of our major intersections, Belmont Road and Countdown intersection, Normanby Road, Arny Street intersection.

Recommendations: To review & consider a new approach in design to align with international standards like our European (Dutch) counter-parts. Dutch intersection Design. Or brighter marker lines (paint) to indicate cycle through access. Colored Asphalt Strips.

IMG_0461
Pedestrian Crossing Outside Countdown, Paeroa

A Pedestrian Crossing outside Countdown with-in the area of Wine Shop Belmont Road.

Recommendations: Review & Consider for the Local Community a Safe Crossing Area around this region for pedestrian & cycle access due to heavy traffic flow at this part of town.

Other budget factors relevant to the presentation of our Trail and the wider District
Up-Keep of rail trail, mowing of verges, esp. Paeroa to Kopu.
Spraying of weeds, trees to be maintained, mulched, stakes & checked.
Graffiti on our signage. (Public Notices)
Rubbish, plastic bottles, aluminum cans lining our tracks. (Public Notice: Please Take Your Rubbish Home With You.)
Waihi Beach shopping centre, local business’s would like extra cycle stands outside their shops.

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