Annemarie is the magazines editor and regular columnist for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Cycle tracks a safe idea

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Annemarie Quill.
Annemarie Quill.

It is back to school today with school traffic no doubt adding to the congestion on roads at peak times.

Many parents choose to drop children off at the gates. I don't blame them, particularly with primary school aged children.

While the previous generation may scorn that back in their day they walked or cycled to school, these days roads are busier, the cars more powerful and the speeds faster.

If children live far from school they may have to cross busy intersections where cars are hurtling at up to 100km/h.

Even on Cameron Rd, with a much lower speed limit, I shudder when I see school children pedalling furiously along before 9am. Even with cycle lanes there are dangers, having to pass parked vehicles or buses.

It would be great if children could travel to school on a cycle track without traffic. This could be a possibility for children of one Bay primary school.

Last week, Gate Pa School asked the Tauranga City Council for up to $30,000 to help fund a proposed biking track through an area of land behind the school. The 10ha sits tucked in the gully between Fraser Cove and Gate Pa School.

Principal Richard Inder said about two-thirds of the proposed biking track was already in place, so transforming it into a community cycleway would be a fairly straightforward task.

Mr Inder said the track could help families struggling to find a safe mode of transport to school for their children. Gate Pa School is on one of the busiest sections of Cameron Rd, which regularly clogs with traffic. The track could be used for recreational cycling, too - the area is thick with native bush, redwoods and has a small stream. Let's hope the community rallies to bring this plan to reality, and looks at other areas for potential safe cycleways too.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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