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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Threat to cycle lanes in plans A plan to increase the amount of parallel parking and create cycle lanes along the former State Highway 1 at Waikanae’s Mahara Place shopping area could be in danger of being overturned, some advocacy groups fear. In council’s original design, as part of the Waikanae town centre upgrade, there is a boost in the number of parallel carparks [from 22 to 32] in the former highway area area as well as cycle lanes and a buffer zone so drivers can safely open their doors. But another option from the Waikanae Community Board advocates angle parking, which would create more carparks [total 41], and no cycle lanes. Council is expected to meet on March 15 to decide which option to back. Lynn Sleath, from Kapiti Cycling Action said the angle parking option placed vulnerable cyclists at risk. “A high percentage of Waikanae residents are senior citizens, many of whom cycle to local shops, businesses and the railway station. “Introducing angle parking is too risky. “The limited road space remaining would leave no room for marked cycle lanes, forcing cyclists into the traffic. He said about 8000 cars and trucks still use the road through Waikanae each day. “The NZ Transport Agency’s own design guide for cycle facilities recommends the provision of cycle lanes for this level of traffic flow.

PEDAL POWER: Supporters of a parallel parking design option along the former State Highway 1 beside Mahara Place, Waikanae. PHOTO: KAP090218SPLBIKES

“Both the agency and New Zealand Police have said publicly that they do not favour angle parking at this location.” And Jake Roos, from Low Carbon Kapiti, said cyclists needed to be recognised as customers too. “With more and more people taking to bikes and e-bikes to get

around, businesses would be wise to support a cycle-friendly town centre, as represented by the original design. “More people would ride their bikes to town if it was made safer and more welcoming for cyclists. “Reduced competition for parking would also make it

easier for drivers to go there.” The decision was a nobrainer, he said. “If councillors vote for angle parking they will soon be asking ratepayers to cough up to put things right, once reversing accidents inevitably occur. “They should save themselves and the community

grief by voting for the safer [parallel] option.” “The options that have been provided mean that the two options are mutually exclusive of each other,” Waikanae Community Board chairwoman Jocelyn Prvanov said. “I believe there are other options that meet in the middle.”

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