Christchurch City Council commissioned ViaStrada to prepare a scoping study in accordance with the adopted City for People Action Plan.
As few examples of separated bicycle facilities (SBFs) have been implemented in New Zealand, the study included a literature review to identify planning and design issues. In addition to developing key design parameters, the main findings of the literature review were that successful implementation depends on careful planning (providing a direct and legible route connecting important destinations), attention to detail in design (to maximise attractiveness and safety), and early engagement with affected residents and businesses.
The scoping study identified and compared a range of route and design options. The impact on and relationship with street renewal programmes, other relevant projects, tram routes, trip attractors, and parking were considered.
Route selection was broken down into three segments: west (residential area), central (Hagley Park) and east (city streets).
The recommended route was the most direct. The report considered parking impacts, traffic volumes, intersection feasibility, trip attractors and generators, and many other issues.
The recommended design is a combination of shared paths through parks, Danish style cycle paths (called cycle tracks in Europe, the UK and North America), kerb protected cycle lanes and signposting on very low volume residential streets. Concept cross sections and intersection plans were prepared along with a rough order cost estimate.
Innovations included (at a concept design level) the adaptation of overseas best practice separated bicycle facilities to suit New Zealand legislation.
The six month project included stakeholder meetings and frequent collaboration with client staff. The final report was delivered in July 2010 within the agreed contract fee and time frame. The project, which preceded the Christchurch earthquakes, provides valuable information on the feasibility and costs of separated cycle facilities. There has been considerable public support for cycling through the CCC's public consultation on how to rebuild Christchurch.