Thu 12 Mar 2015 8:43PM

Onerahi walking and cycling access

PWD Paul William Doherty Public Seen by 169

I'm hoping you all saw the youtube video called "Poynton Regenerated"?

This model could transform our CBD!

But meanwhile, out in Onerahi, there has been some work to improve access to the Waikaraka Walkway (from the end of Cartwright Road to the summit of Mt Tiger) and, my personal favourite, an old route from the end of Franklin Road down to Waikaraka\Onerahi. Also the old road, still public access, from Cartwright Road, through Clotworthy's farm to Awaroa River Road, then up onto Old Parua Bay Road/Abbey Caves Road really starts to open up a network of cool walks\rides!

See www.wams.org.nz for legal roads in your area.

I would like the WDC Walking and Cycling Reference Group to direct some council resources into protecting and developing access in these areas.

The Beach Road Cycleway consultation was a fiasco, but from that a group of locals managed to convince WDC that using the old rail corridor from the Pah Road roundabout to the Waimahanga Track would be a better option than widening the footpath on Raurimu Road (heaps of driveways and a 90-degree bend on a hill into Cockburn Street) and a concrete path down Cockburn which has 20 cars/day, i.e. no need for separation!

We've got to do better!! The reference group ought to be a key component of collaborative decision-making. At least there is some progress now, i.e. building stuff!? I suggest that we get all the options in to the reference group and make strategic and well-informed decisions taking the community with us? I've lobbied for years about the 4-lane section of Riverside Drive for example, with no shoulder it is dangerous! And especially now with increased pedestrian traffic with the new bridges. The traffic demand has dropped thanks to Te Matua o Pohe, so are options for making this section safer and improving the amenity before the reference group? Can they be brought there, together with Onerahi access issues?

Other ideas, comments, feedback??


Mark Fuller Sun 15 Mar 2015 2:58AM

Hi Paul,
Great video showing how people and vehicles can co-exist in a mutually respectful environment. You’re correct in your statement that this sort of redesign could revolutionise our CBD, particularly the Bank St trouble spots where a lot of red light dead time is spent with everybody waiting for nobody.

As for the Cycle Reference Group recommendations to Council...you may be overestimating the reference group’s influence. Myles and I attended a reference group meeting with council 3 days ago, and although there are a lot of positive developments currently underway, the focus is squarely on city & suburban commuter corridors rather than rural recreational rides. This is predominantly because NZTA have a large pot of cash available for councils who are willing to make 50:50 contributions and can demonstrate that their project will have positive outcomes (ie more commuter trips by cyclists/pedestrians & less vehicular traffic). Riverside drive cycle/walkway meets these criteria and has been near the top of the agenda for several months and front-end engineering design work is currently underway by council staff. It would be a good idea for the Loomio community and grass roots riders to get together to discuss the proposal when it is released by council for feedback.

This doesn’t mean that rural recreational rides shouldn’t be promoted, just that the means of promotion might be different. I would suggest that the best way to promote these rides is to let the loomio community know about them (as you have done) and maybe even filming the route via GoPro for uploading to Youtube. The more of us that use these forgotten tracks, the more their profile is raised.

The best way for us to influence council’s direction in the near future is through the LTP submission process. This starts in just over a week (24th MAR) and we have a one month window (until 24th APR) where we must influence as many people as possible to write to council supporting better cycling and walking infrastructure. Particularly, we need to get the ‘Emerald Necklace’ back on the agenda. This is the project that has the greatest synergy between city & suburban commuter corridors and recreational rides. The plan was to use esplanade reserve land along Whangarei rivers, streams and harbour foreshores to connect suburbs, schools, parklands and tourist spots with the CBD. The Emerald Necklace is not only a great functional project – it’s also a great brand that has the potential to create a point of difference for Whangarei. The project was proposed more than 10 years ago but has been largely forgotten because of perceived cost. The centrepiece of the project was a shared-use pathway around the town basin. Now that we have that hub in place (Hatea Loop) it’s time to get the spokes built outwards along the rivers, streams and foreshores. Please make a written submission to council on the Long Term Plan within the next month and mention the Emerald Necklace along with any other cycling issues that concern you. Please also spread as widely as you can through your networks to do the same.


Mark F.


Mark Garry Tue 21 Apr 2015 4:18AM

Totally agree with all this. Cycleways along the rivers and steams and through mangrove areas will make a huge difference to tourism. People will stay just to do the tracks and the whole image of Whangarei will be changed. Dont mind paying more rates to get this happening.