Hamilton's new-look Claudelands Bridge road layout is almost complete and the city council has issued a list of key points for drivers and cyclists to follow.
The council has not been able to create a dedicated cycle lane over the entire length of Claudelands Rd.
It has introduced new types of cycling infrastructure including cycle lanes protected by concrete separators and green road markings called sharrows (sharing arrows), encouraging people on bikes to claim the lane and ride in the flow of traffic.
Also, people are being warned that the new raised platforms are for slowing motorists not for pedestrians to walk across.
The other key points about the bridge layout are:
• The new cycle lanes protected by concrete separators are all one-way.
• At the merging points, where separated cycleways end and the sharrows begin, drivers need to give way to people on bikes and let them merge into the flow of traffic.
• Leave a comfortable gap if you are driving behind a bike rider so they don't feel pressured to move over to the left.
• To remind drivers to stay on the lookout for bikes, especially where they merge with the traffic, the council is installing two electronic signs that flash with an image of a bike when a person on a bike is about to exit a protected cycleway.
• If you're riding a bike, you'll need to look, indicate, and look again as your merge from a protected cycleway over into the traffic lane.
Once final road marking is done, the project - aimed to further connect the central business district with suburbs - will be finished.
The bridge is a key route in Hamilton's Biking Plan and the project is part of the council's Access Hamilton Strategy.
A statement from the council says it signals the beginning of a new era for transport in Hamilton, with new types of cycling infrastructure introduced.
There are also teal, textured bands of coloured paint being applied to the road creating a distinctive street environment to keep traffic speeds low and heighten motorists' awareness of other road users, particularly people on bikes,the council says.
"These are all tools aiding the design of cycling infrastructure, meeting best practice standards and used in many other cities across New Zealand," HCC says.
The speed limit has been formally reduced to 30kmh along the length of Claudelands Rd and seven speed platforms have been installed to help keep speeds low.
HCC, city transportation manager, Jason Harrison says: "This is a milestone project for the city and demonstrates the council's commitment to enabling more people to get around using active forms of transport, like bikes.
"We want people who bike or walk in to the central city to be able to cross the river safely.
"It's also about giving people choices when it comes to transport, getting more people out of cars, and easing pressure on our roads. We need to be smarter and this means embracing new ideas, new tools and a new mindset.
"Once the paintwork is complete along Claudelands Rd and all the signs are up it will be clear how people are expected to use the space."
"We haven't been able to create a dedicated cycle lane over the entire length of Claudelands Rd, but we've come up with a solution providing greater protection to people on bikes and encourages a sharing of the road," Mr Harrison says.
Use of the changed road layout will be monitored with pedestrians advised to stick to the designated crossings at the traffic lights.
An education campaign, including videos, will be rolled out over the coming weeks to help road users to learn more about the new road layout.