Palmerston North cyclists are disappointed with the design of two new underpasses on the Mangaone Stream shared pathway.
The most advanced of the two projects at Botanical Rd featured two tight hairpin bends each side of the bridge that Cycle Aware president Matthew McKenzie said would be almost impossible to ride around.
Two-thirds of the money for the $600,000 underpass projects is coming from the New Zealand Transport Agency’s urban cycleways programme, with the balance of $200,000 coming from rates.
McKenzie said it was great to have underpasses so cyclists and pedestrians did not have to cross the road at points that had poor visibility.
‘‘But good infrastructure should be easily accessible and convenient, and these are neither of those.’’
The zigzag designs were also criticised by People on Bikes Forum member Lei Meisen.
He said the hairpins were too difficult and the slopes were too steep, and urged the council to include cyclists in designing bike lanes and paths.
Another submitter on the council’s proposed annual budget, Tomas Behrens, also criticised the use of hairpin bends that many cyclists would struggle with.
City council roading team leader David Lane said in light of negative feedback, the new underpasses and others around the city would be reviewed.
He said they complied with standards, but if improvements were recommended, they would be considered.
Lane said there were some constraints on what the council could do between the stopbanks.
There was also a philosophy about ensuring the safety of
‘‘Good infrastructure should be easily accessible and convenient’’ Matthew McKenzie, Cycle Aware
pedestrians on a shared path.
‘‘We need to take into account the relative speed differentials, the width of the path, visibility, and the desirability of cyclists having a high-speed approach to a constrained part of the path.’’
McKenzie said he understood the safety concerns, but thought the balance had tipped.
‘‘One person I know carries a baby on their bike, and to go around that hairpin seems like compromising one person’s safety for another’s.’’
Cycle Aware Manawatu’s Matthew McKenzie says the new Mangaone Stream underpass at Botanical Rd is too steep with a hairpin too tight to ride.