Pathways popular in Napier
The latest statistics are in and it’s official – Napier’s pathways are increasingly popular with cycling commuters.
Cycle counts were taken at seven sites selected by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), between 7am and 9am on the same day this year as in 2016. The average increase across all routes was 10%, with off-road routes such as Marine Parade and the Marewa Loop, encompassing the Georges Drive and Riverbend Road pathways, showing the biggest increases. Readings taken from a permanent counter installed last year on the Prebensen Drive off-road route has confirmed it is Napier’s busiest route, sometimes topping 200 cyclists a day.
Napier Councillor Graeme Taylor, who chairs the iWay Project Delivery Group for Napier, is pleased at the increase in the number of people choosing to leave vehicles at home and cycle to work instead. “Napier City Council’s decision to become part of iWay has clearly been worth it, and it builds upon the good work already put in place by the Rotary Pathway Trust, and the Hawke’s Bay Trails developed by the region’s Councils.”
The number of Napier Boys High School students choosing to bike to school has also risen, 18% on the 2016 figure. The bike counts were taken at a similar time of year as well. Napier Boys High School principal Matt Bertram is delighted at the access students have to the iWay network, particularly the nearby Marewa Loop. “It has made for safer cycling and our parents are more likely to encourage their sons to ride to school given the improved network of cycleways. We congratulate the Napier City Council and the Government on this initiative and the developments to come.”
In Napier off-road paths to be built in the near future include a new route across Anderson Park, and an extension of the existing Westminster Ave pathway.
In 2015 Napier City Council joined the iWay programme initiated by the Hastings District Council led model communities project in 2010. It ensures cycling and walking infrastructure across the two cities and district is consistent, and allows the sharing of events and educational programmes. Central Government funding, which covers approximately two thirds of the cost of iWay, is guaranteed until 2018.