Reconnaissance of Hauraki River Trail

This morning a reconnaissance of Hauraki river trail was conducted with John Brett & Warwick Marshall from Cycle Action Paeroa.

The purpose of the trip was to navigate a Safe Friendly Bicycle route around Paeroa’s CBD & township.

The trail will need approval from HDC Hauraki District Council & Local farmers who own/lease the land. The trail will need mowing along the top of the river bank every few weeks & maybe a spray. No need to lay down expensive gravel. Maybe a cow stop here & there. Add a sign or two in the mix (Lets keep it simple Chuck!).

Families, Children Walkers, Runners, the eldarly (disabled )who love to explore their own neighbourhood can check out the map & see for themselves what a truly remarkable backyard Paeroa has to offer in the way of scenery, fresh air, farmland, livestock, bird life, our wonderful Ohinemuri river, old relic’s, historic boats, the impressive Maritime Museum. (A different view of Paeroa).

Starting off on the river bank above Mac Donald’s, continue along the river bank via the gravel trail until you reach the end of the gravel, continue on the river bank to the old Paeroa Dairy Company. There, a gate will greet you.  Climb over. Continue around the back of the Dairy Company. Stay on the upper edge of the river bank & follow this past the old sewage treatment plant. (Junction Road on right) continue along until you again reach the next gate. Climb over, stay on the river bank, enjoy walking & bicycling on the grass, continue until you finally reach the main highway , Puke Road. Once over fence (Halt…watch the traffic…mums & dads watch your children) turn left continue until the Maritime Park comes in view. Bicycle into Maritime Museum continue around the gravel trail out along to the Puke bridge, ride under neath the bridge & link back up with the rail trail…

Feedback on this proposal would be apprciated.

HRC River Trail Map

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Easter 2016. Karangahake Gorge

Easter a Family Outing this time of year.

It’s always exciting to head out along the Hauraki Rail Trail from Paeroa into the Karangahake Gorge through the rail tunnel & onto Waikino Train Station Cafe. Along the journey meeting up with tourists from all parts of New Zealand.

This year, hundreds of children riding their bicycle’s along-side mum & dad. I couldn’t get over the elderly riding a bicycle, looking happy whilst viewing the scenery for which the Karangahake Gorge is known for.

I happened to ride past a group from Rotorua. I was a bit reluctant at first. (Scared to ask) never the less I gained some courage & found out where they had all come from. What sparked the photo was that I was SO impressed to see ALL the children riding their Bicycles…In fact I was really excited. Not only this group, but there were more along the trail as I continued on through the gorge to Waikino. Bicycling is all about enjoyment & fun. Non of this “breaking a sweet, pacing, going hard out”…keep that at home.

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Family & Children visiting from Rotorua along Rail Trail, Karangahake, New Zealand

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Waikino Train Station Cafe.

Train & Passengers about to disembark from Waihi with Bicycles on board.

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Southern side of Train tunnel, Karangahake Gorge

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The Author on Bridge, Karangahake Gorge

Cycling Action Network, New Zealand

I felt I needed to share this from CAN Cycling Action Network web site…

Written by the CAN team..for ALL New Zealander’s to enjoy the benefits of Bicycling in and around our great country of New Zealand. Weather you are young or old or have a dissability, the Bicycle is always there for you. Enjoy.

CAN Policy Statement

Our vision, mission, aims, and the general policy statement.

CAN’s Vision

Cycling is an everyday activity in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

CAN’s Mission

CAN will be a national voice for cyclists in promoting cycling as an enjoyable, healthy, low-cost and environment-friendly activity, and as a key part of an integrated, sustainable transport system.

CAN’s Aims

  • To increase public and official recognition of the benefits of more cycling
  • To increase safety for cyclists by educating cyclists and other road users and by improving provision for cyclists in transport planning & engineering
  • To promote the development of a cycling environment that is convenient, pleasant, accessible, safe, comprehensive, connected and constructed to standards reflecting international best practice
  • To develop cycle advocacy and cycle action
  • To encourage cycle tourism.
  • To promote the integration of cycle and transport planning with planning in areas like housing, land use, education, health & the environment

CAN’s Context

Social , economic and environmental pressures are forcing countries and cities to become more sustainable, and to reduce their dependence on private motor vehicles. Cycling has an important role to play in improving the pleasantness and sustainability of cities and the health of individuals.

Cycling is a key component of an integrated and sustainable transport strategy:

  • The bicycle is a vehicle for our times – quiet, non-polluting, space-efficient, healthy, economical, and convenient. It can and should have an integral place in a modern lifestyle.
  • Access to private motor vehicles is important for many people, but their unthinking use is causing increasing pollution and congestion in urban areas, and is compromising the safety of other road users.
  • New Zealand has global responsibilities for climate change and CO2 production.
  • Cycling will make an important contribution to improving the quality of life in both cities and rural areas, and to improving the health of individuals
  • The majority of journeys undertaken in New Zealand are under 8 km in length (5 km in urban areas). Many people could use bicycles for most trips. Others could cycle for local trips or to access public transport.

CAN Believes That:

Those who Cycle Differ

  • People cycle for different reasons , such as transport, recreation or sport. Cyclists’ needs differ, and must be taken into account when planning and providing for cycle use.
  • No one cycles all the time – cyclists are also pedestrians, and many use motor vehicles and public transport. Multi-mode journeys require special consideration.
  • Cyclists come from all age and economic groups, but young people and those on low incomes depend more on cycles. Ways of encouraging other groups to cycle should be identified and implemented.

The Roading Environment Must be Safer for those who Cycle

  • Many would-be cyclists are deterred by perceived and real dangers.
  • Cycling is an accessible, low cost option for a wide range of people. At a time when vehicle costs are rising rapidly, social equity demands that everyone has access to safe stransport options that suit their budget.
  • While cycling injury and fatality rates in New Zealand are statistically small (e.g. one fatality for every 2 million hours of riding), the significant road safety gains seen in New Zealand for motor vehicle occupants have not translated into similar improvements for active road users.
  • New Zealand urgently needs a nationwide enforcement and education campaign aimed at improving motorists’ awareness of the needs of cyclists and their behaviour towards them.
  • Better training for enforcement officers and more comprehensive and careful crash reporting and recording are required.
  • Cyclists’ own skills and road behaviours need to be addressed. All school children (aged 9-13) should receive cycling skills and safety training as part of road use education. Education and enforcement campaigns are needed to improve adult cycling skills and behaviours.
  • There is evidence that mandatory cycle helmet wearing legislation is not working as intended and should be reviewed. Priority needs to be given to other safety issues such as motorist behaviour and roading improvements. (Note: see here for further clarification of CAN’s position on this)

Better Planning and Facilities Are Urgently Required

CAN wishes to see planning for cycles co-ordinated at a national level through a National Cycling Strategy. It should recognise health and economic benefits and access issues, and integrate cycling into general transport, environmental, urban design and health planning.

Detailed policies should consider and implement the following:

  • Road controlling authorities should have specialist cycle planners, and adequate training should be provided for all planning/engineering staff.
  • Provision for safe cycling should be written in to roading design standards and considered in all roading projects.
  • NZTA should not fund or subsidise any work that makes the environment less safe for pedestrians or cyclists.
  • Safety audits of existing roads should consider the needs of cyclists.
  • The scope of benefit/cost analyses should be widened to include intangibles, strategic issues, health benefits and induced traffic effects. However, most cycle facilities should not be expected to meet benefit/cost requirements (as is already the case for most roading work).
  • Most cycling will continue to take place on the ordinary roading network, but where conditions require it, on-road cycle lanes, off-road cycle paths and other special facilities should be constructed.
  • CAN opposes mandatory use of segregated cycle facilities in recognition that such facilities are often inappropriate for some cyclists. Some facilities are more dangerous to use than to ignore.
  • Issues relating to cyclists sharing facilities with pedestrians, skateboarders and roller bladers sharing facilities should be investigated and guidelines established to encourage compatible shared usage.
  • Mountain bikers and cycle tourists need special consideration in rural areas. Routes out of cities and towns and to mountain bike areas should be signposted.
  • Public transport should provide for cycle storage at principal stops, and for carriage of cycles where practicable.

Cycle Tourism Needs to be Encouraged

The bicycle tourism potential of New Zealand is largely unrecognised. Tourism authorities should be encouraged to promote New Zealand overseas and at home as a cycle tourist destination. Specific issues to be addressed include:

  • Improved collection of information on current cycle tourist numbers, origins and destinations.
  • Improved provision for carriage of bikes on trains, aeroplanes and coaches.
  • A national network of signposted cycle touring routes should be developed, with maps available.

To Achieve These Things, CAN Will

  • Work with all levels of government and community.
  • Liaise with industry and retailers.
  • Mobilise and assist local groups.
  • Act as facilitator of communication and debate nationally and internationally.
  • Use mass membership to obtain benefits and influence decision makers.
  • Maximise membership participation and make decisions by consensus wherever possible.
  • Develop policy positions and advertise these to decision makers.
  • Encourage uptake of cycle skills training courses

Urban cycleways a core priority for safety and health

Urban cycleways a core priority for safety and health – Govt

SUBMITTED BY PATRICK ON 10 FEBRUARY, 2016 – 11:19in UCP safety investment

2016 Go By Bike Day 005

Urban cycleways a core priority for safety and health, says Govt

The thousands of Kiwis taking part in Go by Bike Day today demonstrates the importance of the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme, says Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

Speaking at the annual event in Wellington this morning, Mr Bridges said making urban cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice was a core priority.

“Through the Urban Cycleways Programme central and local government are working together to deliver $333 million of new cycleway projects throughout the country over the next three years – the single biggest investment in cycling in New Zealand’s history,” Mr Bridges says.

“We’re investing to give more New Zealanders more opportunities to choose cycling – whether to commute to and from work and school, to run errands, or get some exercise.”

Over the next three years 54 projects are scheduled to be completed through the Urban Cycleways Programme. Four cycleways are already complete in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

Mr Bridges says the Government was also focused on changing people’s perceptions and attitudes towards cycling.

“We recognise the contribution cycling makes to healthier communities, and that safe and attractive cycling infrastructure can encourage people in urban areas to change their travel patterns.

“That’s why we’re funding an integrated education programme to help people can better understand the benefits of a ‘bike-friendly’ country, and the positive impacts of more people riding bikes,” Mr Bridges says.

nzta.govt/UCP

Back to School 2016 Bicycle Safety Update

News release from Cycling Action Network

Written by Patrick Morgan

1 February 2016

Kids cycling to school – what you need to know

With more children on bikes this week, cycling advocates are offering advice to parents and drivers.

People can expect to see more children on bikes as schools reopen this week,” says Patrick Morgan from Cycling Action Network.

Drivers need to pay extra attention, and slow down around schools.”

He says some schools have a 20 km/h speed limit in place, to reduce traffic danger.

The Government and Councils are investing $350 million in cycling, so we will see more bike lanes with children on them.”

Mr Morgan has tips for parents to prepare children for cycling to school.

Do a skills check

Go for a ride with your child and make sure their cycling skills are ready for their ride to school. Practise pedalling, braking, turning, making eye contact, and signaling until you’re confident they are ready.

Plan a low-traffic route together

Cruise your neighbourhood for the best bike route. Do a trial run from home to school together, making sure your child knows how to negotiate intersections. If you have trouble finding a low-traffic route, contact your Council for maps that could steer you toward quieter roads.

Make sure they know the rules of the road

Practise signaling turns, using cycle lanes, giving way where required, riding predictably with traffic, and scanning the road ahead.

Check their bike and equipment

Make sure they fit the bike, and can straddle the bike frame comfotably. Check that the brakes are working, the tyres are hard, and the chain is lubricated. If unsure, check with a bike shop. Make sure their helmet fits and is in good condition.

Find local resources for young cyclists

Ask your council, school and cycling clubs if they offer bike skills courses. Some places organise bike trains, which are like carpools for young cyclists. There are also bike buddy programmes, which match you up with a mentor.

Set an example

Ride your bike to demonstrate that cycling is a convenient, quick and fun way to get around.

Resources

Pedal Ready offers free bike skills instruction in Wellington region http://pedalready.org.nz/

Auckland Transport https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/cycle-training-and-events/

Bike Wise https://bikewise.co.nz/

Bike buddies http://www.gw.govt.nz/bike-buddies/

Patrick Morgan
CAN – Cycling Action Network
Tel 027-563-4733 patrick@can.org.nz @patrickmorgan @CyclingANZ

Why does the government invest in cycling?

Why do the government and local councils invest in cycling? The NZ Transport Agency’s new benefits tool explains why, providing information about the key benefits of investing in cycling, for councils, communities and individuals.

The benefits include:

  • more liveable towns and cities
  • improved conditions for travelling within towns and cities
  • stronger local economies
  • reduced costs for councils
  • less impact on the environment, and
  • healthier and more productive people.

Check it out here:

NZTA The Benefits of investing in Cycling

Cycling gets safer as popularity increases

8 January 2016- Cycling advocates are welcoming news of more people cycling, and a fall in injuries.

Cycling Action Network spokesman Patrick Morgan says both numbers are moving in the right direction.

“Increases in cycling and a fall in injuries are consistent with the ‘safety in numbers’ effect. It appears that as more people cycle, it gets safer.

“More journeys made by bicycle eases congestion for those who need to drive.”

Auckland Transport records show a 20 percent increase in cycling in December 2015 compared to 2014. Census figures from Wellington show a 76 percent rise in people commuting by bike, from 2006-2013. In Christchurch during December, an average of 590 people cycled across the new Matai Street crossing into Hagley Park every weekday, up from 280 in September.

Mr Morgan says cycling is getting safer.

NZ Transport Agency road death statistics show six fatal crashes in 2015, down from 10 in 2014. Injury figures show a similar trend over the past five years. Serious crashes have dropped from 190 per year to 150, while minor crashes have fallen from 660 to 580.

“Cycling has impressive health benefits, which far outweigh the risks,” says Mr Morgan. “Cycling reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and depression. It’s great news that more people are discovering the simple pleasure and convenience of riding a bike.”