Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Rotorua footpath users encouraged to 'share with care'

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Share with care signage such as this will be installed on all of Rotorua's shared walking and cycle paths.
Share with care signage such as this will be installed on all of Rotorua's shared walking and cycle paths.

New signage encouraging path users to "share with care" will be going up around Rotorua, as part of a new campaign.

Rotorua Lakes Council has launched the campaign to raise awareness about the safe use of shared footpaths, which also encourages people to put bells on their bikes.

As part of the national cycleway initiative the council has designated footpaths around the district as combined spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and other users as part of its CyWay project.

The Share with Care campaign promotes the use of handlebar bells and more visible signage on shared paths to make users more aware of others around them.

Rotorua Cycle Action chairman David Crawley said he had a bell on his bike that he used to warn others of his presence.

"I use my bell coming up to blind corners to let anyone who may be around the corner know that there's a bike coming.

"I also use it coming up behind any walker or biker that I want to pass.

"It's not about surprising people, it's the opposite. It's about letting the other path users know that you're there in the gentlest way possible," Mr Crawley said.

The council is encouraging users to be considerate and respectful by installing signage on all shared pathways around Rotorua.

Handlebar bells will also be modelled at the Frocks on Bikes Fashion show on Friday to encourage more bike riders to get their own.

"Riders should always be prepared and able to stop in half the visible distance on any shared path.

"And they should always treat fellow users with respect," Mr Crawley said.

Council Transport and Waste Solutions director Stavros Michael said the signs would be funded from within the council's $5.52 million CyWay budget.

The Rotorua CyWay network is made up of about 23.7km of cycleways and shared pathways.

The total estimated project cost of $5.52m is part-funded by the national Urban Cycleways Fund ($1.5m), the National Land Transport Fund ($2.09m) and the council ($1.93m).

"Promoting the use of bells on bikes is one part of the education programme planned for Rotorua's CyWay projects," Mr Michael said.

"Other parts of our educational programmes for each cycleway include supporting schools with travel planning and bike education through the Bikes in Schools initiative.

"Recently we worked with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (formerly Waiariki) to encourage students to bike to study."

He said share with care signage would feature on all new CyWay projects, as well as already finished shared paths such as Fenton St and Lake Rd.

CyWay projects already under way are Morey St/Brent Rd and Springfield.

CyWay projects being planned are Ward Ave/MacIntyre Reserve, Tarawera Rd crossing point, Lake Rd to Lakefront connection, Ngongotaha connection to Skyline Gravity Park and the Ranolf St link.

Future projects for 2017/18 are the Devon St link, Malfroy School link, Ngongotaha link and Western Heights link.

Cyclists are being asked to:
- Use a bike bell or call out to warn pedestrians they are approaching
- Ride slowly, courteously and safely
- Be prepared to stop and give way when needed
- Ride on the left of the path (unless on a path where there is a separate cycle and pedestrian lane)

Pedestrians are being asked to:
- Walk on the left of the path
- Move aside (to the left) when they hear a cyclist approaching
- If stopping, move off the path
- Keep dogs on a short lead

Mobility scooters and other users:
- Always check over your shoulder when changing direction
- Listen out for other users and vehicles exiting driveways
- Use your indicators/rear vision mirror
- Be courteous and move over if you are slower than other users

Shared pathways in Rotorua:
- Ngongotaha Rd
- Lake Rd
- Old Taupo Rd
- Ranolf St (town end)
- Fenton St
- Malfroy Rd
- Te Ngae Rd

• For more information about Rotorua's cycleway network visit www.cyway.nz

- Rotorua Daily Post

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