Should places where people walk and bike get priority?

Boy on bikeHamilton is a great city to walk and bike around and we want people to feel safe and encouraged to do this. We can help and make it safer by better managing speed where people get about by foot or on bikes.

Why the contribution is important

If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the severity of their injuries is related to the speed on impact. The probability of death for a pedestrian rises steeply from 10% at an impact speed of 30km/h to 80% at 50km/h. The risks for vulnerable pedestrians, such as the elderly and young children, are higher.

by ProjectTeam1 on October 25, 2018 at 11:23AM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.1
Based on : 14 votes


  • Posted by judymac November 01, 2018 at 13:32

    At present, it's difficult to know where people might like to bike and walk, because the city is severed by large roads that put most cyclists and walkers off attempting quite a lot of journeys. The most obvious nasties are Boundary Rd (and the rest of the cross-city connector route), Ohaupo Rd, Morrinsville Rd, Cambridge Rd and Ruakura Rd, but there are plenty of others. It only takes one obviously dangerous section of road or a major intersection to stop people using the cycle and pedestrian options, and this is bad for everyone. We would have a healthier population if our kids could walk or bike safely to school and most inner city workers could do all or part of their journey by active transport. So the first thing might be to ask people where they'd like to be able to go on foot or by bike but currently don't feel brave enough to try. You might get some surprising answers.
  • Posted by lyall November 01, 2018 at 22:17

    The woefully inadequate cycle lane markings, combined with totally inept cycle lane design (too narrow and too close to active carrigeways) means that cycling throughout most of the city is extremely hazardous. A case in point is River Road, where:
    (a) the cycle lanes come and go, usually with nothing to indicate that;
    (b) the cycle lanes are so badly identified (one white line that doesn't distinguish them from a parking area or another traffic lane).

    Hastings City has excellent cycle lane marking standards, and I challenge HCC to go and have a look, not only at the marking standards they use, but also their accident history since they've changed to the green and white cycle lane markings. I was totally brushed off when I made this suggestion before, but to be clear I am NOT advocating acres of expensive green grit, I'm suggesting you actually mark the road so it's obvious to the most casual of observers that the bit to the left of the green and white lines is for CYCLES. Every day I drive (or cycle) River Road and see motorists just weaving in and out of the cycle lanes as if the white lines weren't there - and to be fair, it's largely because the road markings are so ambiguous. Not everyone is going to notice a very small faded bicycle symbol every 100 metres or so. Change the colour - make it obvious. widen the footpaths and make more "Share with Care" zones. Footpaths/cycle paths will always cost less per metre to build and maintain than the main carriageway due to the vast difference in loadings. Doing this will also reduce problems being caused by the NZ Post Paxter EVs which in the past few days I've seen having a standoff with a pedestrian because the Paxter was taking up the entire footpath and the pedestrian was rightfully unwilling to walk out onto the road to get past it.
  • Posted by Puketotara November 02, 2018 at 10:47

    Hamilton is NOT a great place to walk and cycle. it's dangerous and threatening to walk and cycle around Hamilton. The streets are poorly designed, and prioritise vehicle movements over saftey. Many intersections are terrible and unsafe. There should be protected cycleways on all arterial streets. Pedestrians should be able to cross safely at every intersection. Hamilton is decades behind the rest of the world in terms of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Vehicles need to slow down and even better, be removed from busy central areas.
  • Posted by SimonY November 02, 2018 at 15:32

    Yes, if we are serious about alternative transport
  • Posted by DaveDog November 03, 2018 at 15:00

    I won't cycle to work because it's too dangerous, nor will I let my kids cycle to school. We need to do better. Cycleways need to be clearly marked and consistently applied - this stop/start application of them renders them pointless.
    We also need reduced speed limits in the CBD where there is more traffic so that cyclists and pedestrians can feel safe (and if we get Lime scooters we need to manage that as well)
  • Posted by lewis_ian November 04, 2018 at 10:29

    We can vastly improve the safety of pedestrians and people on bikes in Hamilton by linking up our existing great paths (Western Rail Trail, Wairere Drive shared paths etc) so they form a network. At present the CBD isn't well connected. I bike from Hamilton East across Victoria Bridge, and up to Te Rapa each day for work. I have to detour via Barton St and Harwood St because there are no bike lanes on Anglesea St or Victoria St north of Bryce St. If we built a safe linked network of protected bike paths then we could rightly claim that Hamilton is a great city to get around without a car. We've got the Access Hamilton Bike Plan clearly laid out (see HCC website) - so let's get on and build it fast.
  • Posted by PaulPaulPaul November 06, 2018 at 11:00

    A thousand times yes.
    I fully support @judymac’s comment above
  • Posted by Teryll November 06, 2018 at 13:31

    It's hard to know where the areas where people are likely to walk and cycle in the future because of the way the current network is set up - where people cycle and walk now may not be indicative of where people *want* to walk and cycle.

    For cycling: linking up the few links of shared path to form an actual network would be a great start. There are major gaps in the network which mean that less confident bikers and children are unlikely to use it. Example: the SH1 shared path and the Wairere Drive Shared path are only a few hundred metres apart but totally disconnected as users would have to bike over the narrow overbridge. Bring the Bike Plan action plan forward so these connections are rectified and you can make it easier for people to choose to walk and bike because its easy and convenient.
    In areas where HCC want to encourage biking - change the road layout so that bikers can be more visible on the road, and lower speeds to 30-40km hr. On roads where vehicle speeds are a priority - provide segregated bike lanes and shared paths.
    Shared space all down Victoria street - change from asphalt to emphasise cars are not the priority in the CBD
  • Posted by HelenSp November 07, 2018 at 07:03

    Safer cycle connections/paths in CBD can help connect cycle ways already coming in. We need to change people’s perceptions of travel in the CBD. Example: close off Whitiora bridge to cars and make it a cycle/walk/scooter access. Cars can b parked on River Rd side.

    Create some key park & walk/ride sites at key points around CBD. People park their car and use alternatives to get into inner city. Walk, lime scooters, folding bikes can easily b lifted out of their cars to travel in inner CBD.

    Commuter river boats could also get people in from south (Cambridge, Tamahere) and north (Flagstaff Ngarawhahia). Park and ride boat in to CBD. Brisbane system is brilliant.

    Hamiltonians need to start thinking CBD commuter alternatives like Wellintonians & Aucklanders do.
  • Posted by dreadwomyn November 08, 2018 at 19:01

    Yes. Barriers for bike/walk lanes would be amassive safety and confidence boost. Prioritise the bike walk and treat vehicles as a choice.
  • Posted by dan November 10, 2018 at 13:23

    Very few people walk and bike, and nothing will change that. Walking and biking should not be prioritised over traffic flows.
    It doesn't make sense to inconvenience thousands of people to make it easier for 10s of people.
  • Posted by blewettg November 10, 2018 at 15:41

    Hamilton public transport is a joke, and the last thing we need is more traffic restrictions by blocking roads with more dedicated cycle ways.
    Already we have shared cycle ways over the Fairfield bridge and cyclists don't bother to use them and try squeezing between cars on the bridge.
  • Posted by judymac November 10, 2018 at 21:27

    Again, the comments by dan and blewettg are extremely negative, and take no account of the fact that when the roads are dangerous (occupied by large numbers of cars and trucks travelling at high speeds, walking and cycling are dangerous and therefore you get something called suppressed demand - you have no idea how many people would actually like to walk or cycle because they're too scared to do so. This is already the cause of the 'school traffic' issue that plagues our city and many others - parents perceive the routes to schools to be unsafe because of the volume and speed of traffic. If we had genuinely safe routes, with low speeds, our kids would be so much better off. Take a look at this link, which supports speed reductions in cities:[…]zaeVxAdbSiBOaPECLAF0pkEycjg
  • Posted by dan November 11, 2018 at 13:52

    A small case study: We have perfectly good footpaths, and tunnels under Wairere drive. I see barely anyone on them...
    Why spend millions, and choke up the city even more, for something that is unlikely to be used in any significant numbers?
    Anti-car policy is wonderful in theory, but the success rate is incredibly low.
  • Posted by PeterH November 13, 2018 at 09:40

    If priority means equal level of safety between road users, yes of cause
  • Posted by Jo November 14, 2018 at 18:54

    As the city expands the areas where people walk and cycle to connect the Suburbs with places of work and central city also expands. Living in Rototuna and cycling into the city center is quite an experience. I believe it would be difficult to find these areas, rather look to a whole city approach and give people the opportunity to feel safe using modes of transport other than cars
  • Posted by BryanB November 14, 2018 at 20:21

    No. Make speedways for cars. What percentage of Hamilton people own a bike? Life is busy need faster cars
  • Posted by wattsc November 24, 2018 at 09:54

    YES!!!! People need to change their mindsets and be open to the fact that there are alternatives to car transport and that not everyone wants to use their cars all the time!!!!! They do this routinely in Europe. Hamilton needs to approve its cycling and walking options especially as its flat so well set up for biking.
  • Posted by Jw44 November 25, 2018 at 09:37

    Yes cyclists and pedestrians should have priority - and when people using cars see that their journey is longer and slower than a cyclists they may change their behaviour to improve their own health and the health of our city!
  • Posted by lvdejin November 28, 2018 at 12:40

    Hamilton is not a great city to bike and walk around. We need more traffic lights at intersections for safe crossing since there are so many roundabouts. I live just outside of CBD and walk to CBD for work but I have been struggling to cross Queens Ave and Lake Road every morning and evening because there are no traffic lights for me to use. And these two roads are always busy with a lot of traffic. So I usually use western rail trail instead since it does have lights across lake road and seddon road.
  • Posted by alison December 03, 2018 at 10:47

    If HCC is really committed to the principles of Agenda 21, and becoming more environmentally sustainable, then it should definitely be looking at means of making the city more friendly towards cyclists & pedestrians. Unfortunately that is currently not the case.

    As others have said, Hamilton is NOT a safe place to walk or cycle. There are very few designated cycle lanes (as I found out when I complained about work vehicles blocking what I thought was a bike lane; silly me! It was apparently a parking lane that bikes can also use). Those bike lanes that are genuinely separated from vehicles are great, but there are few of them & they don't form an interconnected network.

    In addition, the parking/bike lanes are ridiculously narrow in places - it's near-impossible to give 1.5m clearance, from a driver's perspective, on some streets. Hukanui road is an excellent (bad) example; parts of River Road are the same. Road-works signs are often placed in these lanes, forcing cyclists out into the main traffic flow, and we also struggle with debris (including quantities of broken glass) in the lanes.

    Roundabouts are not a safe option for cyclists, yet we have a lot of roundabouts. And the 'bike' lanes that we do have (green paint & all) peter out for roundabouts, so that bikes have to mix it with cars.

    Pedestrians have to take their lives in their hands on too many routes. Boundary Road is a good case in point: it's a wide street, many drivers don't stick to 50kph, and there are hardly any pedestrian refuges to allow a safe crossing. Ulster Street, Greenwood Street, Massey Street... the list would be a lengthy one.

    And if we want to encourage bus use - please could there be more shelters at bus stops for those waiting? It would make the bus option much more attractive in bad weather, if you didn't have to stand out in the rain/wind for 15-30 minutes.
  • Posted by alison December 03, 2018 at 10:52

    "Already we have shared cycle ways over the Fairfield bridge and cyclists don't bother to use them and try squeezing between cars on the bridge."
    Probably because the 'shared cycle ways' are very narrow & there is little space on them. Plus the entry/exit points are not necessarily compatible with cyclists' needs, but at the eastern end of the bridge there is no easy means to transition onto River Road if travelling south. At least if in the traffic stream a bike can enter the roundabout easily & turn right.
  • Posted by tthorne December 06, 2018 at 08:27

    Most of our roads are not built to accommodate cars and cyclists even with 'cycle lanes' drawn on the roads they often run out in places and where the the cyclist supposed to go.
  • Posted by Phred December 06, 2018 at 17:41

    My 9yo granddaughter would desperately love to bike to and from school, but as this necessitate crossing Killarney Road she is not allowed to. The same problem arises if she walked. The only lights on Killarney Road are up at the Greenwood Street end. A controlled pedestrian crossing half way down would be a bonus for all.

    I'm at the other end of the problem, the footpaths are not easy to navigate either. Mobility scooters just barrel on through blasting their horn, and at much more than the recommended walking pace, then there are the push bikes and scooters (adults and kids) - because it's too dangerous to use the road. I'm the one who always seems to end up walking on the wet muddy grass.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas