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What route should a new cycleway in Whitianga take?

04 August 2022

Two options for a cycleway in Whitianga have been identified by the Mercury Bay Community Board and Council staff, with input from local cycle groups and members of the community.

Whitianga Cycleway Map

Both options would help provide a safe commuting path to and from Mercury Bay Area School but would narrow vehicle lanes on some roads and affect parking in places.

The Cycling Strategy for Mercury Bay, adopted by our Council in 2019, identified the strong desire in the community to improve the safety of cycling and to increase the number and quality of cycling opportunities in the area. Cycleways also align with our Council’s vision of a vibrant, connected and sustainable district.

Some funding was made available in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan for implementing cycleways and a working group of Council staff, representatives of the Mercury Bay Community Board, cycle groups and other stakeholders progressed planning in December 2021.

Two options for cycleways in Whitianga were developed, and recently the Community Board asked that community views be sought on which option it preferred.

Please take our survey, available online here or pick up a hard copy of the survey at our Council office at 10 Monk Street, Whitianga, or at the Mercury Bay District Library, 22 Victoria Street, Whitianga.

The survey runs from Thursday 4 August to Wednesday 31 August.

The options are summarised below and more details are in this report to the Community Board.

A third option is to do nothing.

Option 1:

Install a marked cycle lane on both sides of Cook Drive from the intersection with Joan Gaskell Drive and Campbell Street, to South Highway East, then along South Highway East to Kupe Drive, and then along Kupe Drive to Joan Gaskell Drive.

Existing vehicle lane widths of 4.5m in both directions would be reduced to 3m and there would be 1.5m cycle lanes in both directions. This still meets legal health and safety requirements.

Estimated cost: $29,000. Actual cost may be higher due to inflation.

This image indicates the cycleway markings and dimensions:

Whitianga Cycleway Option 1

Option 2:

Install a separated, two-way cycleway along Cook Drive between Joan Gaskell Drive and South Highway East.

Existing vehicle lane widths of 4.5m in both directions would be reduced to 3m, still meeting legal health and safety requirements.

Estimated cost: $133,000. Actual cost may be higher due to inflation.

The image below indicates what this option would look like:

Whitianga Cycleway Option 2