Cy­cle trail trial

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

A five-kilo­me­tre length of Palmer­ston North’s Col­lege St is the site of a new trial cy­cle route.

High­light­ing the route along the ex­ist­ing cy­cle lanes from Maxwells Line in Awa­puni to the Al­bert St round­about are ‘‘Pri­mary Route’’ cy­cling signs, with disc-shaped di­rec­tional in­di­ca­tors on side roads, in­stalled courtesy of Hig­gins on ex­ist­ing lamp-posts and road­side poles.

Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil road safety co-or­di­na­tor Des­ley Monks said the trial, which could go na­tional, was part of the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil’s In­te­grated Trans­port Strat­egy, and is designed to help bike riders find a safe route along city streets.

‘‘We know that some peo­ple who ride or want to ride a bike don’t al­ways know the safest route to get through town, par­tic­u­larly in Palmer­ston North where there is an in­flux of new stu­dents every year.’’

The trial route was cho­sen be­cause of its high use by those who cy­cle to school, univer­sity or work.

Monks hoped the sim­ple but in­no­va­tive idea, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the NZ Trans­port Agency, PNCC, Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil and Hig­gins, would fur­ther en­cour­age cy­cling in Palmer­ston North.

The idea is that the signs would also prompt mo­torists to be more aware of cy­clists along the route.

‘‘Mo­torists seem to have ter­ri­ble trou­ble in this town see­ing cy­clists,’’ Monks said. Cyclist Wil­lie McKay agreed. ‘‘Bik­ing any­where in town is a risk,’’ McKay said, adding that cy­clists had to con­stantly re­main alert to any po­ten­tial haz­ards.

To help with pro­mot­ing cyclist vis­i­bil­ity and the new trial route, this Fri­day be­tween 8am and 9am Hori­zons staff will be hand­ing out hi-vis­i­bil­ity vests, back­pack cov­ers and an­kle snap bands, along with cy­cling road codes at the in­ter­sec­tion of Cook St and Col­lege St ad­ja­cent to Sav­age Cres.

Over the next three years the trial route will be mon­i­tored, track­ing the num­ber of cy­clists, and seek­ing com­mu­nity feedback about whether the signs have made a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s choice of trans­port. A spe­cial fundrais­ing lunch in Palmer­ston North that had the NZ$183,000, 18-carat gold Mel­bourne Cup as its cen­tre­piece raised $1300.

The ‘‘pass the plate’’ lun­cheon for rac­ing in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and spon­sors at The Fat Farmer in Hokowhitu at­tracted 40 guests, who were ad­dressed by city mayor Grant Smith and Caro­line Pow­ley from the Trevor Smith Re­nal Fund.

‘‘It was a fab­u­lous day,’’ Pow­ley said. ‘‘ We were re­ally stoked with the sup­port.’’

The $1300 will go to­wards buy­ing Lazy­boy chairs for at-home dial­y­sis pa­tients who have to spend up to six hours three days a week re­ceiv­ing the treat­ment, ‘‘so they need to be com­fort­able’’.

Lo­cal fundrais­ing for the com­fort of dial­y­sis pa­tients in­cluded the pur­chase last year of nine flat-screen tele­vi­sions for the hospi­tal re­nal unit.

Af­ter lunch, the Cup toured the unit, vis­ited the hospi­tal’s on­col­ogy and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion wards, and the staff cafe­te­ria.

A high­light for Alas­dair Robert­son from RACE In­cor­po­rated was see­ing how many peo­ple wanted their photo taken with the cup.

PHOTO: WARWICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

New cy­cle route riders on Col­lege St ne­go­ti­ate the Cook St round­about (from left) Mal­colm Todd (Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil), Johnny McKay, Wil­lie McKay, and Shaun Har­vey (Trans­port Agency). The Cook St sign in­di­cates where the route is, and the in­sert pic­ture shows sig­nage along the pri­mary route.

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