Chicken-licken, Hen-len, Cock-lock, Duck-luck, Drake-lake, Goose-loose, Ganderdander, and Turkey-lurkey of the Waterfront Association tried to suggest that if we base a design for the Rocks Rd. walking/cycling improvements on the boulevard in concept 2 that the sky is going to fall down. As in the fabel, there is a danger in not looking at the facts for yourself so we've taken the diagrams from the Opus study and put some measurements in.
Where would you prefer to cycle ? Where would you prefer your children to cycle ?
Could this be your new daily commute ? Even if you live further out, why not take advantage of free parking in Tahunanui and put your bike in the car. What better way to start your morning than a stunning 20 minute cycle along our waterfront (or even a jog).
Less cars in our city center. No parking charges. No gym charges. A healthier workforce.
And for those that still prefer to drive in, every cyclist that commutes by bike rather than drive will mean one less car on the road and one more parking spot. If the percentage of cyclists on Rocks Rd. only represented the percentage of people that cycle to work (as indicated by the 2013 census figures for Nelson) it would mean there would be several hundred less cars on the road, mainly at peak times.
And we're talking about the next generation as a whole here. As the recent article in the Dominion Post indicates (http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/10360731/More-Kiwi-kids-being-driven-to-obesity), children are cycling and walking far less these days and one of the main reasons for that is that they don't feel safe on our roads (even with cycle lanes). How many children do you see cycling down Rocks Rd. ?
This will have some very big flow on effects for our health service and the general well-being of these children as they get older.
A 4m boulevard would accommodate a large number and a large range of users. It would create an amazing space that would attract walkers, runners, cyclists (recreational and commuter), people fishing or even people just admiring the view.
4m isn't much less than the width of many of our urban roads (and often more when you take into account parked cars on some streets). We expect cyclists, including children, to share those urban spaces with motor vehicles. We feel it's far better for cyclists and walkers to share space rather than cyclists and trucks.
How many people would cycle if safety could be improved on Rocks Rd. ?
If we assume that there is only one person in each vehicle on Rocks Rd. then the current modal share of cyclists who are happy to use the on-road cycle lanes is very low. If there are more people in each vehicle then the modal share is even lower ! Tim Bayley from The Waterfront Association does not believe that the 600 figure for cyclists on Rocks Rd. used here is even that high based on his own counts.
One final point; The small number of cyclists that are currently confident enough to cycle along our waterfront includes not only commuters, it also includes tourists, people going into town to shop, people going to Tahunanui for sports or to visit the beach etc. - If we only included commuters then the percentage would be even smaller.