Be Safe Be Seen this winter
Reflective clothing and bright lights are the best way to ensure others see you if you’re out and about on a bike in the early hours of the morning or at night at this time of year.
Hawke’s Bay businesses are once again supporting the annual Be Safe Be Seen campaign run by iWay over the month of May.
The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, and several schools, including Taradale and Napier Boys High Schools, Heretaunga and Napier Intermediates, and Hastings Central, Clive and Irongate Schools are also supporting this worthy cause.
The campaign encourages cyclists, walkers and runners to have the correct equipment – lights, bright clothing and other reflective gear – if they are out and about in the early mornings and evenings.
“It’s not just commuters and recreational riders that need the reminder though. There are plenty of schoolkids who bike, scoot or walk to school and we need to make sure the message gets through to them too,” says Lyndal Johansson, Sport Hawke’s Bay Walking and Cycling Coordinator, who leads the project for iWay.
The iWay team will also be heading into some workplaces to speak directly to cycling employees, and holding pop ups – and giveaways of safety equipment – in various locations in Napier and Hastings throughout May.
iWay is funded by the Napier and Hastings District Councils, and New Zealand Transport Authority. The Councils have worked together on iWay, including campaigns such as Be Safe Be Seen, since 2015.
This year’s campaign is also supported by Road Safe Hawke’s Bay, Sport Hawke’s Bay, Napier Community Patrol, and New Zealand Police.
The latest statistics show the Prebensen Drive off-road route remains one of the most popular in Napier. In the first quarter of every year since 2016 when a cycle counter was first installed there the number of cyclists using it consistently reaching more than 200 daily, regardless of what day of the week it is.
The number of cyclists using it between January and April this year, compared to the same time period in 2018, jumped by 52%.
In Hastings, one of the most popular routes is the off-road route connecting Havelock North and Hastings.
An average of around 250 cyclists cross the Havelock bridge every day, less during the winter months, with the cycle counter showing most weekday bike trips between 7 and 9am, and 3 to 6pm, suggesting a lot of commuter trips to work or school.
Weekend trips are more evenly spread between 9am and 5pm, which indicates there is a fairly even mix of recreational and commuter use of the pathways.
There were more than 600,000 trips recorded across the Hawke’s Bay Trails network last year, with research indicating 60% of users are locals, the remaining 40% visitors to the region.
Hastings District Council initiated iWay, then called a model communities project, in 2010. iWay aims to ensure cycling and walking infrastructure across the two cities and district is consistent, and allows the sharing of events and educational programmes.