A planned cycleway to make it safer for Tauranga students to bike to school has drawn praise and a reminder that it is time the council finished the job.
The announcement that a two-way cycle lane would be built along Ngatai Rd, from the intersection with Otumoetai Rd to the turn-off to Otumoetai's intermediate and college, has been welcomed by Otumoetai College principal Dave Randell.
It was one of two designated cycleways on main roads being investigated by the Tauranga City Council.
The other cycleway running the length of Totara St at Mount Maunganui has struck opposition from businesses worried at how it would affect trucks accessing their properties.
Mr Randell said the Ngatai Rd cycleway would be brilliant.
''A designated cycleway means the drivers can see it and the kids feel safe on their bikes.''
He just wishes the council would finish the job and make Windsor Rd one way from the Charles St turn-off to Anne Rd. It would create enough room to build a separate cycle lane plus angle carparks.
Mr Randell has promoted the idea without success since 2004. Traffic would flow and it would avoid all the congestion and hazards created by cars trying to turn left and right when thousands of teenagers were streaming in and out of school.
Meanwhile, on Totara St, the council wanted to take advantage of the ease of construction along the open Hull Rd to Rata St section by putting the cycleway on the western (port) side of the street.
But a report to the Transport Committee this week said 80 per cent of businesses from Hewletts Rd to Hull Rd, including the port company, disagreed with the plan. This contrasted with 80 per cent online support for the cycleway.
Council transport manager Martin Parkes described Totara St as a "bit of a blockage" for people who liked to cycle to the city centre.
"When we engaged with businesses, there was a lot of displeasure."
Their concerns were mainly with trucks entering and exiting the businesses.
"Our thinking now is to look at the other side, rather than focus on the port side. But there will still be difficulties," he said.
The area manager of K & L Distributors of Totara St, James Adams, said the cycleway would be a bit of a hazard and a nuisance during weekdays but an asset at weekends.
"I'd probably use it myself.''
The council's next step was to consult with businesses about building the cycleway on the eastern side of Totara St. It also intended to work with the New Zealand Transport Agency on options for the intersection with Hewletts Rd and with the port on options for the Maui St intersection.
Mr Parkes supported separating cyclists from traffic, saying that years ago the council spent a fortune on the Cameron Rd cycle lane and no one used it. They tried painting a cycle lane on the road and people did not come.
The Ngatai Rd cycleway would be a similar design to Totara St.
"We are looking at different ways to make Ngatai Rd safer and easier for everyone."
He said it would increase the opportunities for students to cycle to school and help reduce traffic congestion.
However, the "elephant in the room" would be the loss of roadside parking. Mr Parkes said this issue would come up a lot with this type of cycleway.
Timetable for Ngatai Rd cycleway
Public consultation begins
Community engagement session, Otumoetai Intermediate 5.30pm-7.30pm