Stride N' Ride cycleway improvements underway
Kāpiti Coast District Council has begun work to connect Greater Wellington’s new Te Ara O Whareroa cycleway through Queen Elizabeth Park to the local road network – kicking off the estimated $5million Stride N’ Ride package of cycleway improvements between Paekākāriki and Waikanae.
Through Stride ‘n Ride, the Council will improve key commuter connections to busy rail stations, schools, local centres and the new Kāpiti Expressway cycleway.
Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon says over the next three years, local communities will get to have their say on how they’d like the cycleways developed along arterial roads in their neighbourhoods.
“We’ll be systematically creating linkages to the new expressway cycleway through the arterial routes of Poplar Avenue, Raumati Road, Kapiti Road, Mazengarb, Otaihanga and Te Moana Roads. This will allow cyclists to connect safely with the new expressway cycleway to make commuting via cycle throughout Kāpiti safer and easier. It is a very exciting project,” he says.
The package is part of the Urban Cycleways Programme, which enables key, high-value urban cycleway projects to get underway around the country over the next three years. The programme is a shared investment from local councils, the urban cycleways fund and the national land transport fund, administered by the NZ Transport Agency.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says cycling is now the fastest growing mode of transport in many New Zealand cities and towns.
“Through the Transport Agency and councils like Kāpiti Coast District Council, the Government is responding to this growing demand by significantly improving cycle networks and cycle safety through investment in new urban cycleways across the country. This $333 million investment in urban cycleways will change the face of cycling in New Zealand and give people safer and healthier options for getting around urban centres.”
In Raumati South, new kerb and channelling has been poured and ramps created at Poplar Ave, opposite Matai Road. The section is expected to be finished in early December. At Paekākāriki, the Council is extending the track 160 metres through Tilley Road Reserve to the exit at Tilley Road. That section is also expected to be finished before Christmas.
Paekākāriki -Raumati Ward Councillor Janet Holborow says Te Ara O Whareroa, fully funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency, will provide an excellent all-weather, off-road track from Raumati to Paekākāriki that she expects will be very popular.
“The track is sealed, relatively flat and very scenic. I can see families and commuters as well as serious cyclists, runners and walkers using it. This is a story of collaboration between NZTA and two councils to provide the community with an alternative off-road link between our towns. It will also encourage active, sustainable transport options as globally we focus on getting out of cars and using more planet-friendly forms of everyday transport.”
Until the Poplar and Tilley Road links are open, people can walk or cycle the short section between Rainbow Court, Raumati South and McKay’s crossing, which was informally opened at Labour Weekend.
Te Ara O Whareroa will be officially opened on 23 January 2016.