Category Archives: Events

What should we do with our Mighty River?

Artist's impression of river boardwalk

Hamilton City Council had an open day on Saturday at the Meteor to showcase some of their plans for the river and get people talking about them. The River Plan is intended to span several decades, and some interesting proposals were on display, including a planted pedestrian bridge, a new sports centre at Ferrybank and a man-made swimming hole at the Wellington Street beach.

River Plan open day

River Plan open day at the Meteor

To stimulate visitors’ imaginations there were also photos of other cities, both NZ and international, and their connections with their rivers and waterfronts. Council staff were on hand to discuss ideas, and there were ‘idea boxes” for people to share their suggestions.

Something that hadn’t really occurred to me before was how the drop in altitude from the city down to the river might affect what was possible; it could be said that the high and steep riverbanks effectively sever the river from the commercial centre. Contrast with Auckland’s and Wellington’s waterfronts, or most other NZ cities. However, access from street to shore might be improved with the aid of terracing, as has been proposed for the Embassy Square revamp.

What do you think?

The council has launched a website to present the plan, including a survey which I think would be a good use of anyone’s time.

Something I’d very much like to see is improvements to the river paths, particularly signage showing local street maps and nearby destinations with distances and walking/cycling times.

Are we making the most of our river? What are some realistic ways we could better link or integrate the river with our urban environment?

Category: CBD, Environment, Events, Planning, River | Tags:

Hamilton Cycle Death Memorial Ride

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This coming Tuesday (15th April 2014), Hamilton cyclists will be taking part in a nationwide memorial rally to honour the deaths of cyclists killed on NZ roads, calling on action to be taken to protect cyclists, and calling on support from local and national government in advance of an upcoming cycling safety report.

Cyclists from around Hamilton will meet at The Base to bike from The Base to Garden Place at 5:30pm and gather for short speeches, joining non-cyclist supporters including the mother of Ben Lawless, the 22 year old killed biking home from his sisters in Wellington in 2011.

After a spate of cycle deaths in 2011 the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) formed an expert advisory panel in response to the findings of a coronial review of cycling safety in New Zealand, released in November 2013.

With the latest death of Hokowhitu School deputy principal Jocelyn Lee Goodwin, and student nurse Sharla Phyllis Haerewa in Christchurch the week before, Patrick Morgan of the Cycling Advocates’ Network NZ made a nationwide call for memorial rides to commemorate those lost and call for change.

“We are starting a series of actions to protect the 1.5 million NZ’ers on bikes. We will call on all political parties to pledge to act on the Cycling Expert Safety Panel’s report, due in September. Cycling is not a problem to be solved, but a significant opportunity to deliver a range of benefits: tourism, health, transport, clean air, livable cities, safer streets, and recreational activities for all ages.”

“Making cycling safer, convenient and attractive should be a top priority for New Zealand, if we want a healthy and prosperous future. With one and a half million New Zealanders already on their bikes, there’s huge demand for protected cycle lanes, safer speeds and effective education of all road users.”

The ride has been organized in Hamilton through the city’s broad collection of cycling groups on Facebook. “People interested in cycling in Hamilton will find a large welcoming community online” said one of the Hamilton organisers, Ashley Hooper.

“There’s a large range of Facebook groups from casual and commuter cyclists, velodrome training and road bike enthusiasts, to mountain bike social groups and cycle touring. If you’re just getting started cycling in Hamilton, search Cyclists of Hamilton on Facebook and you’ll find us. With the memorial ride we’re calling on national and local government to make cycling safer with connected cycleways in cities, and shoulders on key rural roads. We’d also like to see on-road cycle training in schools and for adults who want to cycle for transport”

“Hamilton is one of the most cyclable cities in NZ; it’s very flat and easy to get around and we have fantastic recreational cycling close by as well. With the new velodrome down the road Hamilton is uniquely placed to be a cycling hub, and making cycling safer and stopping the
tragic accidents is a very important step”

Cyclists of Hamilton NZ and Cycling Advocates’ Network NZ

Category: Advocacy, Events, News