A review that could see the demolition of the controversial Green Corridor less than four years after it opened has some Rotorua business owners crying "waste of money".
But the mayor says it was simply an investment to get the cycleways kick-started.
The council's Operations and Monitoring Committee recommended a review of the functionality of the inner city transport network and the removal of the Green Corridor at Thursday's meeting. Infrastructure group manager Stavros Michael said at the meeting "demobilising" the Green Corridor would first require a safety review.
This would include a speed reduction to make sharing the roadway with cyclists safer and the process would include public consultation.
But local businesses on Hinemoa St, which the 1.8km corridor runs through, say removing the corridor now would be a waste of money.
Trevor Van Niekerk from Drapes by Design said he would welcome a decision to remove the corridor and revert the area to what it was, including parking.
"They are undoing everything they've done. It's a total waste of money. We're spending money and then finding out things are not working.
"I understand things need to grow and change but sometimes it's not in the right direction."
Van Niekerk said he didn't believe reducing the speed limit would attract people into town.
"Because of the lack of parking now people drive around and by the time they've gone three times around they are not interested."
Ants Haines from My Barber agreed the corridor had been a waste of money and when asked what he thought about proposals to remove it, said "good".
He said he didn't believe the corridor had drawn people to the CBD as it had intended and said he had even seen people riding on the footpath.
Ross Swenson closed his bar after the corridor was installed and said the now proposed removal of it was a slap in the face because it had cost him his business.
"I'm all for people riding their bikes. In the forest hundreds of people come from all over the country to ride. They are not there to take a ride around town."
Cyclist Chris Parnell had previously used the Green Corridor but said he didn't think it had taken off because it didn't flow.
"It never had an easy flow so getting from A to B was more snakes and ladders than anything.
"In my opinion there was a disconnect between the people who came up with it and the people who would use it.
"There was always going to be the challenge to make it work."
Councillors voted six to five in favour of the Green Corridor in December 2014. The final cost was $72,000 higher than budgeted.
It came under fire because it resulted in the loss of 50 car parks.
It cost $442,000. Of that, the council paid $190,000 and the NZ Transport Agency $252,000.
Rotorua Cycle Action co-chairman David Crowley said the group was still keen to have safe and appealing access to the CBD for cyclists.
"Unfortunately, while some sections of the Green Corridor are very good others [were not] and it's the weakest part of the route that determines the level of use, not the best.
"It would take a lot of further investment to get the Green Corridor up to an appealing standard, and there are some other potentially better options available now."
Crowley said lowering traffic speeds would make it safer for people on bikes.
"However there will always be some drivers who will flout speed restrictions so there's a good chance that something physical may be required to ensure lower speeds."
Councillor Karen Hunt said reducing inner city speed limits hadn't been considered when the Green Corridor was first installed because that wasn't a common option internationally.
"Slowing a city down has come of age ... to have jumped straight to that we'd have hit resistance.
"We sought a safer inner city space for all users with the Green Corridor, now a more city-wide approach is to lower speeds.
"It wasn't as successful as we'd hoped it would be. There are projects like that and that's okay because doing nothing is not an option."
Hunt said analysis showed cyclists who were confident on the roads would use them while vulnerable riders could ride on the footpath.
"If we lower the speed for the city we won't need that space. If we make the whole city safer the need for a dedicated cycle path no longer stands."
Hunt encouraged people to submit on what they would like the inner city to look like and contribute positive suggestions.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the Green Corridor signalled the start of a network plan but now they had an expanded network they may not need it.
"It's got so many more people on their bikes, then we got the suburbs connected and now the loop. That [the Green Corridor] was an investment that got us kick-started."
Chadwick said the project had activated the city but it was healthy for the council to revisit and reassess things when they got a chance.
She said the council wouldn't necessarily revert the corridor to exactly what it had been and the changes would be consulted on.
If the Operations and Monitoring Committee's recommendation is approved by the full council later in the month, work will start to plan the removal of the Green Corridor and review the CBD transport network.
Michael said the work was not already programmed so would require considerable planning and conversations with the CBD community.
Michael said speed limit changes would need consultation and approval from the council.
"Then another piece of work that would need to be done around CBD transport functionality. That is about the movement of traffic and ensuring that the CBD remains easy and safe to access and functional in a way that enables people to do what they need to do."
When the council was asked how much the corridor's removal would cost it provided a written statement saying costs and timeframes were to be determined.
The project was part of the Rotorua 2030 Inner City Revitalisation strategy. It was a collaboration between the council, Rotorua Cycle Action Group and the former Inner City Focus Group.