We see that a local individual - an occasional negative poster to our facebook page - is establishing a new anti-cycling group, supposedly to 'wrest back' the footpaths from Nelson cyclists.
Is there anyone out there who walks as well as rides? Yeah, we thought so. So it won’t surprise you to know that for a few years now BNB has been submitting to council on improving walking facilities, or that we're signed up to NZ’s national walking body - Living Streets Aotearoa - as well as the Cycle Advocates Network.
For a while now we’ve also been encouraging council leadership to become active in educating people on how to share those shared spaces we have. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened, and into that void has come a degree of conflict and poor behaviour by some walkers and cyclists. That means dumb and thoughtless stuff by a minority of cyclists, and similarly by some walkers; those who walk or stand in groups and block the path, run their dog’s lead across the path, or abuse cyclists for using their bells, and so on.
So is the answer more conflict, more negativity, and more fragmentation, with opposing groups fighting each other and pushing separate interests? Or does the answer lie in exactly the kind of thing we all want to see on our shared paths; a little more cooperation, respect and positivity?
Last year, New Zealand's annual national walking and cycling conference (note the 'and') was held in Nelson, underlining the fact that there are very good reasons why walking and cycling advocates tend to work together.
So it’ll be interesting to see which way Nelson will go. We know where we’ll be putting our energies.
Following a complaint of a 'fast moving' cyclist coming out from the river pathway the council felt that the cycle symbol gave a priority to cyclists and that a better symbol would be to have walker and cycle symbol in that location to indicate a shared space and need for caution.
We agree. But it's also a reminder of why we need to be particularly careful and considerate on our shared pathways and how easily the actions of a single cyclist can affect us all. We think it’s interesting however that the council doesn't run out with a paint brush every time there is a near miss with a cyclist and a car or perhaps consider banning cars from out streets altogether in order to avoid conflict on our roads.
We're concerned about reports of conflict on our shared paths. These paths are an essential part of our infrastructure but their usefulness can be seriously undermined due to poor design. While it's important to ensure that areas of conflict are not built into the design, problems can often be overcome by users (walkers, runners and cyclists) being considerate and thoughtful about the needs of others. It's that simple, but we all need a bit of a nudge sometimes to get these good habits in place.
BNB will be working to help with that process as well as identifying specific problem areas over the next few months as we work to make our shared spaces safer and better for all of our community.
Nelson City Council has awarded a contract to Higgins Construction Limited for the construction of a new shared path within the Beatson Road Area. The main purpose of this project is to better integrate the cycle network and improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The project will involve:
During construction the area which will have greatest impact to cyclists will be the works on the Beatson Road Roundabout. The north eastern footpath on Whakatu Drive and at the roundabout is now closed until the end of June 2015, though this may change due to weather conditions.
A notice from Opus regarding upcoming cliff stabilisation on Rocks Rd. . The work is expected to take approximately 22 weeks, commencing on the 4 May 2015.
Following the heavy rain and flood event in December 2011 some areas of the cliff above State Highway 6, Rocks Road were de-stabilised. This led to surface material and rocks falling onto the highway. As a result, there has been investigation and designing methods to stabilise the cliffs along the highway.
This project is to reduce the instability issues on the cliff face directly above State Highway 6, Rocks Road. It is proposed to carry out stabilisation works at four sites between the Basin Reserve and Magazine Point. This will involve inserting rock anchors into the cliffs, installing drainage pipes for groundwater, and applying a layer of steel mesh and either sprayed concrete or a special mat surfacing to the cliff face.
The objective of the stabilisation work is to minimise the risk endangering road users on the highway below of further potential surface material and rocks falling onto the highway.
From May to October along State Highway 6 Rocks Road, between Basin Reserve and Magazine Point, specialist contractors will be drilling and installing 219 rock anchors, 1,600m2 of shotcrete and nearly 1,400m2 of mesh.
A contract for the works has been awarded to Downer Ltd and they are planning to commence work on the 4 May 2015. We expect this phase of work to take approximately 22 weeks.
Our aim is to do the work with as little disruption as possible. Most of the work will be carried out during daylight hours and our contractor will be taking steps to minimise dust, noise and vibration effects to residents. Work that will restrict the traffic flow on Rocks Road will be carried out at night, but this will be on an irregular basis.
Protective barriers and hoardings will be installed on Rocks Road to protect the public from the possibility of rock falls while the work is underway. The work sites at the top of the cliff will be secured with fencing, warning tapes and signs, but it is important that children and pets are kept clear of the work sites and cliff edge at all times.