Below are some frequently asked questions about the project and process, facts about riding bikes in Tauranga and also some definitions of the key terms used.
Tauranga’s roads are becoming increasingly busy and in many areas building or widening roads is difficult and costly. In Tauranga, we rely on cars more than any other city in New Zealand. One outcome of this is that over 60% of Tauranga’s carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicles.
To reduce traffic congestion and emissions and use the space we have available more effectively we need to make it easier for people to bike, bus and walk for transport. Getting more people riding bikes is a key option, with research showing that more people would ride bikes if they felt safer. Getting more people riding bikes also has many other benefits: it is cheap, keeps people healthy, active and improves wellbeing, does not create any air pollution or CO2 emissions and facilities for bikes can help create streets that are more attractive and inviting.
Every person who rides a bike frees up road space and car parking for those who have little choice but to drive. Biking doesn’t suit everyone but it’s a cheap and fast way to travel over short-medium distances while benefiting your health and the environment. Through the Cycle Plan consultation we’ve met some passionate people who are discovering electric bikes, and now commute into the city from places like Ohauti and The Lakes. The more people who bike (or use public transport) the less pressure there will be on our roads, which is a win for everyone.
Getting more people to ride bikes to work, school and tertiary education will help reduce congestion during peak traffic times as well as offering excellent health benefits and reducing vehicle emissions. It is likely that many of the improvements implemented will also benefit people who ride their bike for recreation or to access other activities, such as shopping, cafes and parks.
Projects identified through the Cycle Plan will be prioritised and considered through Tauranga City Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation in March 2018. The LTP is Council’s activity plan and budget for the next decade. It looks at projects and how they will be funded up to 10 years ahead and in detail for the first three years. A LTP is developed every three years. In the years in between LTPs, Council goes through an Annual Plan process to set the budgets for the coming year, fitting within the guidelines of the current LTP. The funding Tauranga City Council allocate to improving cycling facilities is usually match funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The Cycle Plan priorities will be guided by the outcomes of engagement with the community and key stakeholders. Investment in cycle routes and projects that are likely to get the most people riding their bike to work, school and tertiary education will be the priority.
We have been using these phrases more and more during discussions about improving biking facilities in Tauranga.
A shared pathway looks like a footpath but is shared by people on bikes and pedestrians. This type of pathway is generally wider than a normal footpath (approx. 2.5 metres) and will be sign posted with an official sign. All users must use shared pathways fairly and safely.
Priority cycle route
A cycle network means roads and trails that people use to move around a city on a bike. We are looking to prioritise key routes (made up of roads and trails) to make it safer and easier for people riding bikes.
On-road bike lane
A designated bike area along the road - usually on the far left of the traffic lane and marked on both sides of the road, often indicated by green paint. In some areas we are planning separated cycle lanes – these are on-road lanes that have a physical barrier between the cycle lane and the traffic lane.
Off-road is the term use to describe shared paths that are not within the sealed road, such as the Waiariki Stream ‘off-road’ pathway. These can be within road reserve or another area, like a park.
Low speed area
The Cycle Plan is likely to propose low speed areas at the Mount and in the central city which would be 30km or lower to improve safety for people who are walking and biking. Lower speeds would be achieved by lowering speed limits or installing physical traffic calming measures, such as planted islands and speed humps to physically slow traffic.
Last Reviewed: 30/01/2019