Work on two new suburban cycleways is under way, while the Rotorua Lakes Council is asking for community input for a third project, as part of its $5.52 million CyWay network.

Rotorua's CyWay project will see the development of a network of 26km of cycling and walking paths that will connect the central city and forest mountain bike trails, and is part of the Government's $296 million Urban Cycleway Programme.

After completion of a cycleway on Morey St in Owhata, the community is now being asked what it would like to see on nearby Brent Rd. Meanwhile, work on footpath widening for a shared use cycleway in Springfield should begin mid-May and finish mid- July, weather permitting.

The Springfield cycleway will be a 2.5m extension to the footpath along Springfield Rd.

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CITY CYCLING: An overview of Rotorua's CyWay projects. IMAGE/SUPPLIED
CITY CYCLING: An overview of Rotorua's CyWay projects. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

The council's sustainable transport team leader Jodie Lawson said the CyWay project team were also establishing a new cycleway along Ward Ave in Fenton Park.

She said the Ward Ave cycleway would consist of on road cycle lane markings and would connect to McIntyre Reserve where a 2.5m wide concrete path would make its way through to Sala St to connect to the Whakarewarewa Forest.

The third addition will be in Brent Rd as a continuation of the two-way cycleway project on Morey St.

"For now we've stopped works because we want to gather feedback from our community
on what improvements they would like to see, and we'd love to hear from anyone who has ideas," Ms Lawson said.

She hoped the new cycleways would be something that all residents could use and enjoy.

"The areas getting new cycleways will be affected while work is under way, but we will keep any inconvenience to a minimum. "The overall aim of the CyWay network is to make riding a bike as safe, practical and enjoyable for anyone who wants to ride."

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The CyWay network will connect suburbs and link to existing and planned cycleways on main routes.

"Alongside creating the cycleways we are working with schools and communities to educate cyclists and motorists and identify opportunities for cycling skills programmes.

Cycleway on Morey St. Photo/Stephen Parker
Cycleway on Morey St. Photo/Stephen Parker

"We are working closely with the Re-Cycle Rotorua Committee, which includes representatives from Rotorua Cycle Action, Sport Bay of Plenty, Healthy Families, Rotary,
Toi Te Ora - Public Health, Bikes in Schools, police and the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club."

Funding for the CyWay network is shared between the council, $1.9 million; the New Zealand Transport Agency, $2.1 million; and the Government's Urban Cycleways Fund, $1.5 million.

"The vision is a district where people from all sectors of the community can cycle safely, as an alternative means of transport, for recreation, or both."

Rotorua Cycle Action cochairman David Crowley said it was good to be involved in the process.

"It's a big a step forward to where we were five years ago. "We may not have had as much public consultation as we all would have liked, but this is why the council has gone back to the community for the Brent Rd project and that's a good thing."

Mr Crowley said the signs all pointed to more people using bikes in the future.

"They are not going to please everybody, but they are geared at the more social aspects, and getting more timid riders on the road.

"The only way to get people riding bikes is to make it safe and attractive for them to do so. We want people to want them in their area, even for those who don't ride bikes.

"They are also being built for people who don't currently cycle, so it's no surprise they are not used too much when they first go in."

Rotorua's CyWay Network:
- A network of 26kms of cycling and walking paths
- A$5.52 million project
- Two new projects in Springfield and Ward Ave started
-Public feedback being asked for on the Owhata/ Brent Rd project
-Provide feedback about the CyWay project at www.cyway.nz