The public response to a walking and cycling strategy for Whangārei has been overwhelmingly positive.
Whangārei District Council received 106 submissions on its draft walking and cycling strategy. The document sets out actions designed to make Whangārei a safe, connected, urban walking and cycling environment.
Only two submitters were outright opposed to the strategy. One suggested the council should remove cycleways which would free up congestion, and that the council should focus on core business, the other said the roads should be fixed instead.
Seven submitters were wholly supportive, either making no amendments or wishing to achieve the outcomes faster. The remaining 97 submitters indicated overall support but suggested amendments to the plan.
The key themes of the amendments raised included: recognising or reinstating the Waikaraka Track, support for the Waipū and Waipū Cove route and Ocean Beach/Parua Bay, the proposed Bike Hub at Pohe Island, mountain biking facilities and additional facilities - disability access, e-bike provisions, toilets, water fountains, seating and storage.
Changes were made to the strategy to reflect some points raised in submissions.
Sections about mountain biking, kauri dieback, the Te Araroa Trail, accessibility and e-bikes were added. Support for a variety of routes was noted.
Other sections had minor additions or subtractions and some layout and wording has been changed. The maps included have been simplified. The strategy was adopted at a council meeting last week where councillors were supportive of the strategy.
Councillor Stu Bell, a biking advocate, said it was important to have a strategy to work from.
"It needs to be kept fresh because things are changing."
The council is seeking funding from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund for cycleways throughout the region. In the urban environment, the strategy states the Kamo and Onerahi shared paths and the Pohe Island Bike Hub are the short-term priorities.