The need for a regional cycle network had been identified in previous Environment Canterbury studies and strategies.
ViaStrada conducted a desktop analysis using GIS to propose a regional cycle network for Canterbury. The key regional destinations to be serviced by the regional cycle network were identified and a candidate network of road elements considered to have potential to form the
regional cycle network was selected from the region’s entire road network. The desktop analysis included motor traffic volume, volume of heavy vehicles, carriageway width and bridges as key, quantifiable criteria that affect the utility of a road for cycling. Bands of varying utility for cycling were identified for each of these criteria based on standards, guidelines, engineering judgement and the distribution of the actual provision of the candidate network road sections.
The overall utility of each section was then obtained using a weighted sum of the individual criteria. The weightings for each criterion were based on judgements made as engineers and cyclists and subjected to sensitivity testing.
Based on the overall utility of the candidate network sections and the requirement of servicing the key destinations a proposed regional cycle network was selected. This consisted of primary elements required to properly service the key destinations supplemented by supporting elements considered to be useful but not critical to the network.
The candidate network, and the accompanying discussion document, was discussed in a series of workshops with key stakeholders in north, central and south Canterbury. The stakeholder workshops aimed to refine the methodology and supplement the desktop analysis with local knowledge.to select the preferred regional cycle network.