Cycle lobby gets cranking
Palmerston North is an ideal place to ride a bike. The city is flat, relatively compact with only the occasional head wind.
However, while road cycling and mountain-biking are becoming increasingly popular, and the development of off-road cycle paths along the river is providing a safer option for recreational bike rides, only a few of us are choosing to ride a bike as a way to get around.
According to the 2013 census, just 4.8 per cent of people used a bike to get to work in Palmerston North. This is higher than the nationwide cycling rate of 2.2 per cent but is still a low number for a city that is relatively easy to get around in by bike.
One way we can encourage more people to get on their bikes is to develop cycling networks in the city that are safer while working well for people riding bikes . To help facilitate this, a group of utility and commuter cyclists -people who use bikes for transport purposes, have recently formed a group called ‘‘People on Bikes’’.
The group’s vision is to work as an advocacy group with the Palmerston North City Council to develop a welldesigned and safe environment in which to cycle.
The council has a budget for cycling in the city and it makes sense to have this money spent as effectively as possible. We’d like to see these funds used to not only create a network that is safe but also to change the prevailing culture on our roads – one that recognises cyclists as having the same rights as other road users.
The group is looking for commuter cyclists with ideas to share. What would you like to see as part of the city’s cycle network? How could the existing network be improved?
Although the form of the group and how it interacts with council is still being developed, we are interested in hearing your views.
To contribute to the People on Bikes Group, contact Rachel Keedwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roslyn resident Kirsty Porter regularly commutes to town on her bicycle.