Cyclists and pedestrians have welcomed a NZ Transport Agency plan to build a $1.4 million shared pathway alongside Kahikatea Drive and Greenwood Street in Hamilton.
The Transport Agency’s Waikato highway manager, Kaye Clark, said the 3km long, 3m-wide path will run from Killarney Road to Ohaupo Road alongside State Highway 1.
Work on the project will start in November and the pathway is expected to be finished by the end of March 2015.
Ms Clark said the Transport Agency was focused on providing integrated transport solutions that offer safe travel options whether people choose to drive, ride a bike or walk.
“Walking and cycling provides a healthy, economic and environmentally friendly travel option for New Zealanders,” she said.
“This shared pathway will encourage more people to cycle and walk to their destinations, which in turn will help alleviate congestion on our roads, improving travel time for motorists.
“We work in close partnership with Hamilton City Council to ensure that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists are catered for on the city’s road network, alongside the needs of other road users.
“This project demonstrates our joined up approach to transport.”
Cycle Action Waikato’s Rob Davidson sees the pathway as a big incentive for commuters to safely walk and cycle through a busy area, which includes major employers such as Gallagher Group and Waikato Hospital.
“This will encourage new people to safely commute by walking and cycling,” Mr Davidson says.
“It will be a big improvement,” he said.
“Ideally we want to see paths like this linking all parts of the city.”
Living Streets Hamilton, which seeks to improve pedestrian facilities in the city, has also welcomed the pathway, saying improvements to the section of highway were “helpful.”
“The potential link to the hospital area is particularly welcomed,” spokeswoman Judy McDonald said.
Other Transport Agency projects, such as the Hamilton Ring Road and Waikato Expressway, would make cycling and walking around Hamilton even easier in the future, Ms Clark said.
“These projects will take long distance traffic, and in particular, trucks, out of the city centre, which will make walking and cycling around Hamilton even more inviting,” she said.
Ms Clark said the Transport Agency continues to work closely with council to ensure Hamilton has a good network for cyclists and pedestrians.
For more information please contact:
Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
NZ Transport Agency
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928413