Designing high-standard urban cycleways to fit the community, not the road
After the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 the Council sought community feedback on rebuilding the city, and a strong theme emerged—people wanted a city they could cycle and walk around more easily. In response, the Council identified 13 major cycle routes (MCRs).
We were appointed along with Beca to develop a scheme for the 4.5-kilometre Papanui Parallel MCR. Originally three work packages, we pulled them into a coherent and robust design to achieve the best outcome for the community and the client.
The team developed a new Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) tool to assess route and facility options, now used by Council on all MCR projects. Community impact and project requirement criteria were added to a traditional cycling-centric tool to determine a design that was robust and considered community needs.
Our team was significantly involved in the first MCR community consultation, for the Papanui Parallel in November 2015. Although the design assessment was robust, many of the 600 submissions opposed the design, worried about loss of on-street parking and removal of trees and grassy areas.
So, we developed an alternative design for an area with higher parking demand, utilising a low-profile kerb in place of traditional separators. This allowed more parking to be retained, which meant we gained community acceptance and could start construction.
Following this success and a competitive tender process the Council hired a design consortium of Beca, GHD and Stantec to deliver a large portion of the remaining MCR network.
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