A 13.6km cycle loop could be the answer to Mount Maunganui's traffic, parking and congestion issues.
That's what Bike Mount pitched to councillors this afternoon - a Mauao Cycle Loop which would enable cyclists, commuters and families to safely wheel around the Mount.
The path was not a bike lane, rather a separate path alongside the street for cyclists only.
It would loop down Totara St, The Mall, across Adams Ave, down Marine Parade, across Golf Rd then down Maunganui Rd back to the Mount and to Bayfair.
Ms Hughes said there was no need to build massive new infrastructure. The pathway would use existing roads in a smarter way, enabling more modes of transport to use it.
"The spin-offs from active transport is not just fewer cars on the roads - it's great for health and well-being, sustainability and more freedom for kids."
As cycleways around the Mount were now, cyclists had to swing out on to the road to get around parked cars.
This was something Ms Hughes said the "fearless 5 per cent" could do but for people like her 11-year-old son, it was not an easy feat.
The cycleway idea required The Mall to become one-way, with traffic heading towards the base of Mauao.
The parallel parks would be replaced with angle parks, adding 120 car parks for Pilot Bay.
Adams Ave would also have to become partially one-way, replacing 20 parallel parks with 20 angle parks.
Ms Hughes said the pathway would link up with the idea of Chris Ingram, of Tauranga Cyclists and Walkers, for a cycleway skirting Tauranga Airport.
The budget for the cycleway would be a collaborative effort between stakeholders, Ms Hughes said.
Key stakeholders were the Tauranga City Council, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tourism Bay of Plenty and the Transport Agency (NZTA).
At the end of the presentation, Cr Bill Grainger asked how the path would get people out of cars and on to bikes, given the convenience of driving.
Ms Hughes said it was quicker to cycle than to drive in some cases as traffic congestion increased. Cycling also ticked off exercising for the day.
Cr Kelvin Clout and Cr Terry Molloy raised questions about the logistics of the path - cars backing out of parallel parks and if cyclists would have to give way at intersections.
Ms Hughes said the more detailed logistics would have to be worked out once the desired loop was decided.
Ms Hughes was invited to talk at the next meeting of the new Tauranga City Council committee dedicated to finding solutions to the city's increasingly congested roads.
Tourism Bay of Plenty's chief executive, Kristin Dunne, supported the idea.
"We believe families would enjoy safe, easy-riding cycle paths and that traffic congestion could be better organised with some one-way systems," Ms Dunne said.
Papamoa resident Lisa Hensby said she had been looking for family-friendly cycle trails for her 6-year-old son.
"At the moment we can only really ride around the streets of the new development in Papamoa. Papamoa Hills looks quite difficult for him.
"Going to the Mount would give us a really good cycle day out as a family," she said.
"Tourism is very important to the area - what better way to take in the beautiful surroundings the area has to offer and ease road congestion in hot-spot areas?"
Capri Apartments on Pilot Bay manager David Ren said a one-way road along The Mall would reduce traffic along the street.
"As long as there is still residential parking, I don't see much of a problem," he said.
REACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Vicki Pike For once, a sensible well thought out idea, think most locals would support this type of thing. Where is there room for the extra 120 parks at Pilot Bay, though?
Renee Pahuru Awesome idea! My family of 4 would utilise this weekly!
Jef Overwater Absolutely awesome idea and I'd be out cruising along on that every day!
Jen Atkin Excellent !
Kelly-Anne Foley It will be such a great initiative for kids and their families. My 8-year-old is so terrified of riding on the roads, as they are, with cars and even other 'fast cyclists' that it has hugely inhibited her confidence and causes her massive anxiety to the point that she actually 'forgets' how to ride. Something we never thought we'd have to encounter, cope with or consider.
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