Footpath too narrow to share with cyclists'

By Lawrence Gullery

Hastings' Caroline Rd will serve as an important connection in the iWay network but at least one resident living there is finding it difficult to embrace the new walking and cycling culture being promoted by the Hastings District Council.

The road will carry iWay traffic from the city centre, linking up with the pathway which heads out to Clive and Whakatu but Fiona Tobin said it would add up to a congestion of cyclists and pedestrians trying to occupy the footpath at the same time.

"I live in Caroline Rd and am surprised to see many pedestrian/cycle signs at both ends of my block," she said in a letter to the editor.

"I'm appalled (Hastings district) council expects pedestrians to share the footpath with cyclists. The footpath is only just wide enough for one person let alone a pedestrian and a cyclist. So when is the footpath going to be widened?"

The council's transportation manager Jag Pannu said Caroline Rd was a "shared space" residential street with a "common function". He said the road was selected for the iWay network because it was the most direct and safest route to the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds from the Hastings CBD.

"And it will help achieve our aim of making cycling and walking as safe as possible," Mr Pannu said.

"The Caroline Road footpath has always been shared by kids on bikes, mothers with push prams, pedestrians and mobility scooters. A monitoring process will be put in place once the Clive arterial is completed to ensure that this path remains safe for all users."

Mr Pannu said he would watch the results of the monitoring programme and make changes if warranted.

"We do expect that confident cyclists will use the road, rather than the footpath, where cycle traffic would generally be quite slow."

More signs had been added to Caroline Rd asking people to share the path with others. There was also a footpath on both sides of the road which would help share the foot traffic.

"All residents were made aware of the changes and we answered a small number of enquiries at that time," Mr Pannu said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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