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New cycling and walking path for Hamilton

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Walking and cycling around Hamilton is set to get another boost, with the NZ Transport Agency announcing plans to build a shared pathway alongside State Highway 3-Ohaupo Road this summer.

The path will run from Lorne St to Dixon Rd, with a section up Normandy Avenue to Bader Street, making it easier and safer to cycle and walk along and across the highway.

Work is set to set to start in early 2016, with construction expected to take six months. 

People can find out more about the project at an information day on October 7.

Transport Agency and project staff will be at the Hamilton South Baptist Church hall (131 Ohaupo Road) from 2pm until 7pm. People can attend at any time between these hours.

The SH3–Ohaupo Road project follows the completion earlier this year of a 3km long shared path along State Highway 1-Greenwood Street and Kahikatea Drive.

The SH1 path ties in with a Hamilton City Council-built shared path from Kahikatea Drive which runs down Gallagher Drive to connect the Deanwell-Melville area at Collins Road, and the 2.7km Western Rail Trail shared path from Kahikatea Drive into the city, a Government, council and Transport Agency-funded project.

The Transport Agency’s Hamilton highways manager, Kaye Clark says making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice is a key priority for the Transport Agency.

“There has been a surge of interest in cycling and cycling safety in New Zealand and we want to support and encourage this,” she said.

“Our goal, by 2019 is to increase the total annual cycling trips by 10 million and we are working closely with local authorities such as Hamilton City Council to accelerate key projects.

“Getting more New Zealanders cycling will relieve congestion during peak travel times, connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network.

Cycling is good for our cities, it’s good for our health, it’s convenient, it’s accessible and it’s fun.

Mrs Clark says the Transport Agency is also working to improve safety, and perceptions of safety, for people who bike.

“This includes safer networks in all our main urban centres, improving attitudes towards cycling, and building mutual respect between people  on bikes and other road users,” she says.

Hamilton city councillor Margaret Forsyth says the SH1 and SH3 paths will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along these busy arterial corridors and connect well with the Western Rail Trail to be built by mid-2016.

“These new paths will help make getting around the city by bike a realistic, safe - and enjoyable – option,” she says.

“Providing new routes will encourage more people to get out and about on their bikes every day.”

Plans to connect  Hamilton with a series of cycleways received a $3 million boost through the government’s Urban Cycleways Fund earlier this year, taking the city’s total cycle spend up to an estimated $12  million over the next decade. 

Nationally, it is anticipated that the total cycling investment over the next three years, including indirect investment from other infrastructure activities, will be about $350m, delivering over 300km of new urban cycleways and greater connection between routes, making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice.

For images and more information on the SH3 Ohaupo Road project go to:  www.nzta.govt.nz/sh3-ohaupo-road-flyer(external link)

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