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Christchurch cyclists asked what's needed

By Grace Cabell, reporting for the Christchurch Mail

A Christchurch cycling survey that aims to find ways of increasing the number of bike commuters in the city has gathered 1000 responses so far.

Post-graduate researchers in the University of Canterbury Masters of Engineering Transport programme, in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council, are investigating what types of facilities might encourage more people to cycle.

Student Karyn Teather said people who were already commuting had been “very enthusiastic” about filling in the survey.

“I want to make sure that people interested in cycling who may not currently cycle are represented too,” she said.

Spokes Canterbury chairman Don Babe said there were lots of ways to encourage commuter cycling, such as providing more bike storage.

He commutes to and from Riccarton Mall but had nowhere to store his bike out of the weather.

Brook Mitchell, president of the university’s UC Bike club, said the university could do with better facilities such as covered racks to keep bicycles out of the weather.

He said it was easy to ride around Christchurch and more students could do so.

“I think students often don’t ride as they view it as a hassle.”

Fourth-year student Fiona Virtue cycles every day.

”I probably notice only about two or three going in the same direction.”

She said her ride to and from university was safe, but agreed that the university needed more storage facilities.

The council proposes to spend nearly $70m on a network of new cycleways across the city.

Acting manager of asset and network planning Ron Clarke said the council was following the survey closely to gauge what type of cycleway was safest and best suited the ‘interested but concerned’ group of cyclists.

“From both a traffic congestion and health perspective, cycling is an important part of the city rebuild,” he said.