Christchurch cycle network plan



The project summary which follows describes a recommended cycle network which will likely require amendment post the Christchurch earthquakes, and will also need to be approved as part of the larger Christchurch Transport Plan.  It does not represent adopted council policy.

Overview and Background

Stage 1 (completed in 2009) involved mapping the existing cycle lane and shared path networks.  The deliverable from stage 1 was a GIS map of the data collected.

Stage 2 developed the definitions for three cycle user levels and associated facility types. These are aligned with the CCC levels developed to date (draft Christchurch Transport Plan - CTP) and NZ Transport Agency guidance.  Level 1 riders are typically novices able to control a bicycle but not confident in traffic.  Level 2 riders have basic traffic skills.  Level 3 riders can negotiate more advanced situations such as multi-lane roundabouts, complex signalised intersections, and can practise "vehicular cycling". The deliverable from stage 2 was the Christchurch Transport Plan Cycle Network and User Facility Levels Definitions (July 2010).

Stage 3 applied the three levels to map the future network (year 2041, to align with the CTP). This stage included gap analysis (project identification) and rough order costing. 

Street Network Categorised by Cycle Levels

A critical step of the work was to develop GIS algorithms to categorise all streets in the network by cyclist level and infrastructure provision.  Factors considered included complexity of intersection controls, road hierarchy, speed limits and traffic volumes (from CCC's RAMM and other data). 

Network Development Strategy

From the "levels map" (above) a route map was developed. Most level 3 riders will choose the most direct road network route regardless of what may be identified as a cycle route. The only level 3 routes added to those already identified in current CCC maps are the well known fitness/training/leisure routes "Long Bays" and "Short Bays". Accordingly, the development focus was on creating a contiguous level 1 and level 2 route "dartboard" network comprised of radial routes (the predominant route development method used in previous CCC cycle maps) and routes linking residential areas to key activity centres (KAC) and major public transport corridors and hubs (for multi-modal transport). Put another way, the level 1 and 2 "dartboard" is roughly made up of three elements.

  • Radials to/from the central city following logical direct routes
  • Concentric rings servicing circulatory functions using an inner ring of cycle paths on the Avenues
  • Suburban orbital routes comprised of shared paths and low traffic streets. Key activity centres and schools were plotted in GIS to aid this

This strategy produced a more fine grained (compared to the previous radial only) network, linking more origins and destinations.

Client Liaison and Deliverables

The project included several meetings with client staff to confirm the direction of the project and obtain feedback.  A network coverage analysis was performed.  The final network was provided in GIS files and as a "clickable" layered PDF file.  All projects required to complete the network (stage 3 proposed minus stage 1 existing) were exported to a spreadsheet and rough order costing developed.  A final report was provided to summarise the methodology and deliverables.

Inventory existing and plan future cycle network for Christchurch using GIS
Christchurch City Council
Report, GIS files and spreadsheet
Project Status
Completed October 2010
Warren Lloyd
Director – Principal Transportation Engineer