Tauranga City Council has admitted a cycle lane on Totara St is unsafe but its advice to cyclists, for now, is to be seen.

Acting transportation manager Phil Consedine said ideally the cycle lane on Totara St would have an absolute minimum width of between 1.5 and 1.8 metres.

The New Zealand Transport Agency states on its website the width of cycle lanes can vary but the absolute minimum width should be 1.4m wide.

"And should only be used in low-speed environments, and only along very short sections of the road, say less than 100 metres," the website states.


The Totara St speed limit is 60km/h.

It is understood the cycle lane is less than 1.5m wide.

Consedine said the minimum width was "obviously not possible" on the existing road due to the current width restrictions.

"We acknowledge the challenges for people biking with limited roads available to provide alternative access from Mauao to the CBD."

Part of the cycle lane on Totara St. Photo / File
Part of the cycle lane on Totara St. Photo / File

However, he said before the council could start any work on new or upgraded cycleways in the area, it was important he ensured the right outcome for all users of Totara St.

"In the meantime, we advise people on bikes to make sure they are seen, for example, by wearing hi-vis clothing and by using lights."

In the area, where a large number of heavy vehicles exist, Consedine believed an additional buffer between heavy vehicles and people on bikes would be far more important.

"It is also important to note it is not only the width that requires consideration, heavy vehicles turning left have limited visibility of people biking and hence any design of a new road layout requires this to be taken into consideration."

He said Totara St required a solution which considers the wider transport network in managing freight and heavy vehicle operations, car travel, bike travel and railway operations.

However, none of those could be considered in isolation.

"It is also vital that impacts on local businesses, commercial operations and safety are considered hand in hand with any proposals.

"The Urban Form and Transport Initiative will consider Totara St as part of the wider transport network and growth to ensure an optimum solution is delivered."