What is the Cycling network based upon? It’s a bit of a quandary to me, because while in the online discussion form the WCC the other day, the designers were claiming that they had been studying the situation for years, looking which areas to link to which other areas, and this was the first time that they had gone to the step of actually showing Roads linking them.
I don’t buy that at all – for a start, how can you look to link one suburb with another without also, obviously, looking at the existing roads and routes that already exist? But secondly, if they have looked at the roads, they haven’t put any names on any roads, so it is a guessing game from 10,000 feet as far as I’m concerned. I mean, that little squiggly fat line – is that Cable St or Courtenay Place? Taranaki St or Tory? Or perhaps it was Cambridge Tce after all! Why on earth would they do this? Ask us “have we got it right?” but not actually give us any definite information on exactly which routes that they are thinking about? Maybe they want us to be mind readers.
I thought that I would have a completely fresh look at the routes, not trusting anyone from the Council with directions ever since they recommended that a sky-high bike route be put next to the motorway across the Basin. Dumbest idea ever. Anyway…
So: who knows where cyclists go the most, in real life? Why, the cyclists themselves, of course. And who tracks their every move in real time? Why, Strava of course. You’ve probably heard of it – its a fitness route tracking app, and lots of keen walkers, runners and cyclists have it turned on as they travel. I managed to download an assortment of pix that show where the “hotspots” are in Wellington, and it is quite interesting.
You can get a map version in quite hot, electric, sparky looking colours, which I really like. As you can tell, there is quite a bit of difference between what Strava sees, and what WCC is offering. Is this an issue? I’m not sure. Let’s have a look at them side by side (below), with Strava in more easy to read blue and red.
The one huge difference that you can see is Mount Victoria. From Strava, evidently, its a hot-spot of cycling and walking – no surprise there. But this is all completely absent from the WCC official offering. Let’s have a closer look.
Well, that’s quite clear then: there is a heck of a lot of cycling up along the Ridgeline on Mount Vic and none at all at the Governor General’s place. There’s also quite a lot of City streets used as bike routes – its up to you, the cycling fraternity, to nominate the routes that really need a safe separated cycling route. I know my answer is more likely to be a simple: Do ALL of them! To be a safe road, every road needs a safe separated area in which to cycle or to scoot or to skateboard. That’s what truly needs to be done. But at least the Council have got one thing going well for them – this lovely pic shows where all the Schools are (the purple blobs) in relation to the main selected bike routes. Bravo. Well done.
Hope this is helpful. Submit by 14th Dec !