Hamilton’s Bike Plan 1999

The quoted information in this post comes from a 1999 report: The Hamilton Cycle Network Strategy Report 1999, by OPUS.

In an international context, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro and came into force in March 1994. The UNFCCC required New Zealand to aim to ‘return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2000’. In 1998 New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol; under this protocol, New Zealand’s commitment was not to exceed 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels, on average, during 2008-2012. “The transport section is the greatest single contributor to CO2 emission (37% in 1997)” [47% in 2018] (6.2 p19).

Locally, in Hamilton, this report ‘identified some 38km of road and 19 intersections that are particularly hazardous for cyclists’ (1.3 Key Findings p2), and stated ‘Planning for cycling must therefore start from the premise that, whatever special facilities are provided, the network should be made as convenient and as safe as possible for cyclists’ (7.1 Cyclists’ needs, p18), and it also recognised ‘Not all cyclists will want to use a segregated cycle path alongside an arterial road. Sports cyclists on training rides and experienced commuter cyclists, for example, are likely to prefer to cycle on the road’ (9.1.4 p54).

The report included cycle crash analyses of 185 cycle reported crashes from 1993 to 1997. It also notes that during this period, the number of people cycling in the central city in Hamilton had almost halved. ‘Clearly the risk of a cycle crash in Hamilton City has increased’ (8.1 & 8.2 p34). In addition, ‘Cyclists aged between 10 and 14 years are the most highly represented in reported cycle crashes. The second group most likely to feature in cycle crashes are cyclists aged 15 to 19 years’ (8.8 p42). ‘Sixty percent of reported cycle crashes occurred at intersections. The study identified 37.8 km of road and 19 intersections that are particularly hazardous for cyclists’ (8.17 p52).

Recommended Intersection Treatments (9.2) included, ‘that bicycle lanes be carried through intersections, that advanced stop lines for bicycles be provided at all signalised intersections’.

(9.3) Roundabouts – ‘Cyclist crash rates at roundabouts are up to 15 times those for motor vehicles and 2 to 3 times for cyclists at traffic signals. Cyclists feel especially vulnerable at large and busy roundabouts. Small radius, single lane roundabouts … can make the intersection safer for cyclists. But small roundabouts with flared entries and multi-lane roundabouts increase the hazards for cyclists’ (p64).

The Bicycle Route Network (10 p71) explains that ‘While the commuting preference is for the development of an on-road cycle network, recreational off-road cycle paths have a legitimate place in a cycle network strategy aimed at encouraging people to cycle in the city’ (p76). ‘A 1996 survey of 700 Hamilton City residents aged 18 or over revealed that 28 percent rode a bike in the city, fifty-five percent of those bicycle trips were for recreation’ (p72).

10.1.3 (p72) The City’s roading and reseal programme should be reviewed each year to identify whether any roads which are part of the proposed cycle route network are programmed for reseal or other works. Any such roads should then be assessed with a view to creating the required space for bicycles; this is relatively cheap and is estimated to account for 65% of the cycle route network.

At present, many people perceive that it is not safe to cycle in Hamilton City, and this perception is a barrier preventing them from cycling in the city. This perception must be changed if more people are to be encouraged to cycle (p75).’ ‘There is no single, correct way in which to prioritise or stage the development of a cycle network in Hamilton City.’ ‘Different people have different ideas about which links in the network should be developed earlier, and which it would be acceptable to delay.’ ‘What is more important is that part of the network is developed each year and that over a period of time, say, no more than 20 years’ (p78).

Below are a few page showing some the detail in this plan.


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