Cyclists are pushing for major upgrades to Tauranga's cycle network amid fears they are facing increasing risks in the city's burgeoning traffic.

The call comes as a boat skipper says he warned Tauranga City Council just two weeks ago about a dangerous stretch of road where a 71-year-old American cyclist was killed by a truck on Tuesday.

Bay cyclists approached yesterday were anxious not to be seen as using the death for leverage, but did say they had concerns about safety with the increasing traffic on city roads.

They pointed to Rotorua as a city that had set a standard for cycle safety, having developed a clear strategy for a cycle network after public consultation.


Glen Crowther of the Sustainable Business Network's Bike Now said Tauranga's cycleways needed to be made safer and separated from traffic. Key intersections should be engineered to be cycle-friendly.

"We need separated cycleways - not just lines painted on roads," he said. "What used to be a safe bike ride down some busy roads is now dicing with death, for example."

Mr Crowther identified Cameron Rd, Tauranga Harbour Bridge and an intersection for Baypark and Bayfair as priorities.

"We need to find solutions before more people start dying on our roads."

Heidi Hughes of Bike Mount said that other cities had moved ahead of Tauranga with cycle safety and it was "no longer right" to have cyclists and cars sharing the same roads.

Tourists who were unfamiliar with Tauranga could "suddenly find themselves dumped in major traffic" when emerging from a cycleway.

"We're pushing for a visionary plan that would resolve some of these problems," she said.

Tauranga City Council's existing urban cycleways programme aims to improve cycle safety and increase the number people riding bikes to work and school, benefiting public health and reducing traffic congestion.

Council transportation manager Martin Parkes said the programme was developed a decade ago and was focused on completing a 10-route 150km network at a cost of about $6.9 million.

The council would review aspects of cycle safety next year and the public would have a chance for input during regular reviews of the council's 10-year plan, he said.

"A lot of stuff [cyclists] are saying is right," Mr Parkes said.

"We are very conscious of the fact that we need to do more. There are some improvements to be made."

Tauranga boat skipper Glen James said he had nearly hit three people in four months while driving his car out of Den Place, near the spot where the tourist was killed.

He had visited Tauranga City Council on November 10 to voice his concerns, and had suggested to staff that warning signs be installed.

Mr James said one problem was that cyclists coming off Tauranga Harbour Bridge were cycling against the traffic near Den Place, and motorists coming out of side roads were looking for traffic coming from the opposite direction.

"I nearly took a little girl off her bike," Mr James said.

He felt sorry for the truck driver involved in Tuesday's accident.

Council communications adviser Marcel Currin said that every road safety complaint received by the council was investigated.

"We treat all road safety issues very seriously but it takes time to properly assess each area of concern," he said.

"We receive around 20 complaints per week about sites all around the city."