Bike signs make cycling safer
9 October 2007
An exciting new initiative promises to make life safer and more enjoyable for cycling enthusiasts around Christchurch, and potentially New Zealand.
Cycling in Christchurch has always been popular, with October marking the beginning of the “Season of Cycling.”
During the past few years there has been an increase in people taking to bikes for their daily mix of fun and fitness, with an estimated 130,000 recreational cyclists in Christchurch. However, more bikes on already busy roads have presented new challenges for both cyclists and motorists alike, highlighted by the recent death of paralympian and avid cyclist Graham Condon.
A new cycling safety advocacy group, Bikesigns.org.nz in conjunction with Christchurch City Council are working toward making the roads safer for everyone. The intersections at Mount Pleasant, McCormack’s Bay and the Causeway have been identified as priority problem spots where new "Look for Cycles” warning signs will be trialled. A further two signs, “Car door warnings” will also be installed, one in Redcliffs village and one in Sumner.
This initiative is the brain child of Christchurch businessman Cambel Ferguson, an avid cyclist who says “After years of frustration and near misses I decided something more needed to be done.”
The road to Sumner, one of Christchurch’s most popular cycling routes will see the first of these new signs. “This area has been an accident black spot for both motorists and cyclists for a long time,” says Cambel, “so it’s an appropriate place to start.”
Bikesigns.org.nz came about after Cambel teamed up with Simon Hollander of Mainland Cycling and approached Christchurch City Council to fast track cycle safety initiatives by putting up $5000 of their own money to get the ball rolling. “To their credit the Council came to the party,” says Simon “and we’re all very excited to launch what promises to be a great initiative.”
The result of the trial and the value of the donations will determine the total number of signs to be installed.
The Council have been working closely with the cycling community to put in place cycle safety signs, says Council‘s Transport Planner for Cycling, Michael Ferigo.
“The signs are to raise awareness of cyclists on the road and to prompt driver behaviour – to look for cyclists and for cyclists to ride to the road code. Our aim is to improve safety of cyclists on our roads,” he says.
“We have monitored the sites prior to the signs being installed and will continue for several weeks afterwards,” Michael says. “It will be interesting to gauge the differences in driver and cyclists behaviour.”
Cambel and Simon are appealing for donations from businesses, the cycling community and individuals via the group’s website, www.bikesigns.org.nz
Top of Page ~ Media Release index