With three projects in the 10-part CyWay programme already finished and three more expected to be done by spring, Rotorua's urban cycleway network is starting to look more complete.
The Ōtonga/Springfield roundabout is now complete and construction of phase two of the Springfield cycleway is under way.
The shared path will run from the Springfield/Ōtonga roundabout on the school side of the road (south) up to No 63 Springfield Rd where it will move to the northern side of the road via a pedestrian crossing, before continuing along Springfield to meet Devon St west.
From there it will connect to a new off-road cycleway which will follow the Utuhina Stream to Malfroy and Old Taupo Roads.
The plan is being worked through with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and, subject to consent being granted, construction is planned for the new financial year.
Ranolf to CBD street project
Work is progressing quickly on the shared path that will connect existing cycleways on Lake Rd and Sophia St.
The section of the Ranolf St cycleway from Amohau St to Victoria St is complete and contractors are now working on the next block, up to Malfroy Rd.
Once complete the Ranolf to CBD shared path will create a link from one end of town to the other, connecting the inner city, including the Lakefront, and several primary schools in the area.
Safety improvements including crossing facilities and way-finding signage will be installed in the section from Amohau St to Arawa St. The existing path there is suitable for use as a shared path.
Whakarewarewa Forest link
Work is almost finished on the link from Te Ngae Rd to Long Mile Rd in the Tokorangi Forest (Redwoods).
Building on and retaining the natural look of the path that already existed, the surface will be a mixture of compacted lime chip and boardwalks and will connect Te Ngae Rd to Long Mile via the Redwoods Visitors Centre and the Mokopuna Trail.
Once finished, it will be suitable for bikers, walkers and most mobility devices.
Western Heights (Schools Link) cycleway
The first section of this shared path cycleway along Gordon Rd is now complete and the remaining sections on Thomas Cres and Steeles Ln are due to be completed in the coming financial year.
Work to upgrade the rear entrance/exit for Western Heights Primary School will also be included in the next stage of the cycleway construction. The changes will help improve the safety of the drop-off zone and parking areas for parents and students.
Community feedback also highlighted the need to slow traffic using Thomas Cres to make the area safer for all users, especially for children walking to and from school and those with mobility issues.
To help encourage slower driving, changes to the road will include narrowing the roadway, construction of raised crossing platforms, applying road markings and adding extra parking near the school entrance/exit.
Linton Park link
The existing walking track from Pukehangi Rd to Sunset Rd will be used to create the shared path cycleway that connects the Pukehangi suburbs to Old Taupo Rd.
The track will follow the Mangakakahi Stream for about 3.8km with safety improvements and three road crossings along the way.
Utuhina Stream link
Similar to the Linton Park link, this shared path cycleway will also use an existing path that follows the Utuhina Stream.
The 4km path will run from Devon St west to Old Taupo Rd near Rotorua Boys' High School with safety improvements and three road crossings along the way.
Reeme St Reserve
In response to community feedback requesting a path in the Reeme St reserve, the council will construct a 2.5m wide compacted lime chip path (shared space) along the reserve from Taui St to the bridge at the northern end of the reserve.
The path will provide a connection to the existing Ngongotahā cycleway and will form part of the wider urban cycling network (CyWay).
Funding the programme
In 2015 the Government announced its $296 million Urban Cycleways Programme which included a $1.5 million funding injection for Rotorua's CyWay programme.
This meant the cost for the $5.52 million CyWay programme was able to be shared between the Rotorua Lakes Council ($1.93m), New Zealand Transport Agency ($2.09m) and the Government ($1.5m).