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The Nelson Photo News



Cycle Tracks-An Experiment

Like most motorists using the main road between Stoke and Richmond in recent weeks, we've wondered about the cycle tracks laid on each aide of the road and upon the effect they would have on both cycle and motor traffic. And so we made some inquiries. The tracks have been laid by the Ministry of Works at the direction of the National Roads Board, which, it would appear, is concerned at the volume of cycle traffic on the road. It would also appear that the prime function of the tracks is to confine the cyclists (most of them school children) to a specific section of this extremely busy highway. But these lines have had a side effect. Whereas motorists once drove as close as practicable to the edge of the seal, now there is a tendency to drive on the outside of the line, thus reducing the efficiency of the roadway.

What are the rights of motorists at the moment in respect of this cycle track? That is a question we asked. The answer was that at the moment the full width of the roadway, including cycle tracks, can be used. And the future? Much will depend on the observations being made over a period of six months. The tracks were laid as an experiment. If the experiment is considered successful after six months, there is every prospect that an application will be made to have the tracks declared cycle tracks. If this is done, it is also extremely likely that the area within the cycle tracks will be prohibited to motor traffic. This concerns us.

We feel that the idea of cycle tracks is a very sound one for it must limit the meanderings of children cyclists. But this stretch of highway is a lifeline for heavy transport, particularly during the apple season, and we can foresee efficiency and economic problems arising if motor traffic is prevented from using the full width of the highway. Cycle traffic is only heavy during two periods of about an hour each during the day, during which time motorists use greater care.

If at the end of six months it is decided to legalise the cycle tracks it is to be hoped that the authorities will seek the view of transport operators and motoring organisations (something that has not been done up to a late date last month) on the prohibition proposal. The road is designated a two-lane highway, but its width has, up to now, allowed it to be used as a comfortable three-lane highway.


Heart Of The Province


A view of the central city area of nelson, with Trafalgar Park in the foreground and Nelson Cathedral at the top end of Trafalgar Street.