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East Coast Road Share With Care Path

February 14, 2010

I’ve cycled along East Coast road on my way to work each day and watched with interest the council’s new “share with care” path under construction between Forrest Hill Road and Constellation Drive. Why would they be spending all that money (some of it mine) on a separated bike path when that section of road must be the widest and safest for cycling on the shore?

I’m passionate about getting better cycling infrastructure on the Shore and I have to admit it looked like a big waste of money, especially when the Devonport lanes are under threat and need to be expanded to make them safer still.

I had to get to the Millennium pool so I packed The Midget Assassin in her bike trailer and we hit the road to see if this new path was worth the bother. The bit that really puzzled me was why it was built on the Western side of the road requiring you to cross the main road by the reservoir where the Forrest Hill path joins the East Coast Road path? I hope they install a pedestrian style crossing here as it’s a very busy road for children or families to cross.

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Well once we got going I began to grasp the concept. My mindset was “I’m in a hurry and need to get to work as soon as possible”. That’s not what this facility is about. It’s more suited as a safe thoroughfare for older kids riding to school, less-confident cyclists who are intimidated by the traffic (who can blame them) and families cycling with younger children. That’s from a cycling perspective anyway, It’s also ideal for walking, pushing prams and skateboarding.

The path looks a bit convoluted ducking and weaving around lampposts etc,  but at the speeds you are riding it has a nice flow and you glide along on the smooth surface. Five roads need to be crossed before you reach Constellation Drive and this is where you need to exercise caution. They may be still to come but there was no markings on the road or signs beside it warning the approaching cars of bicycles crossing. I’ll be watching this with interest. 

So it’s a cautious thumbs-up from this bike path skeptic and although I’ll be riding beside it on the road most days it will be getting some use when the kids are along for the ride.

More information on the council’s cycling strategy and events can be found on their website.

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