On the Move

New-look Claudelands Bridge nearing completion

Work to change Claudelands Bridge’s road layout and further connect the central business district with suburbs concludes once final road making is finished.

The project, which is identified as a key route in Hamilton’s Biking Plan and delivered as part of the Council’s Access Hamilton Strategy, signals the beginning of a new era for transport in Hamilton, with new types of cycling infrastructure introduced. These include cycle lanes protected by concrete separators and green road markings called sharrows (sharing arrows), encouraging people on bikes to claim the lane and ride in the flow of traffic.

There will also be teal, textured bands of coloured paint applied to the road creating a distinctive street environment to keep traffic speeds low and heighten motorists’ awareness of other road users, particularly people on bikes.

These are all tools aiding the design of cycling infrastructure, meeting best practice standards and used in many other cities across New Zealand.

The speed limit has been formally reduced to 30kmh along the length of Claudelands Rd and seven speed platforms have been installed to help keep speeds low and create a safer environment for sharing of the road.

Hamilton City Council’s City Transportation Manager, Jason Harrison says: “This is a milestone project for the city and demonstrates the Council’s commitment to enabling more people to get around using active forms of transport, like bikes.

“This is a key deliverable of our Access Hamilton Strategy and was identified as important project in our Biking Plan. We want people who bike or walk in to the central city to be able to cross the river safely.

“It’s also about giving people choices when it comes to transport, getting more people out of cars, and easing pressure on our roads. We need to be smarter and this means embracing new ideas, new tools and a new mindset.

“Once the paintwork is complete along Claudelands Rd and all the signs are up it will be clear how people are expected to use the space.

“We haven’t been able to create a dedicated cycle lane over the entire length of Claudelands Rd, but we’ve come up with a solution providing greater protection to people on bikes and encourages a sharing of the road.”

Mr Harrison says drivers need to be aware there will be points where people on bikes will need to merge with vehicles and then ‘claim the lane’ and ride in the flow of traffic. Please slow down and give way to people on bikes at these merging points and drive at a safe following distance so they don’t feel pressured to move onto the shoulder of the road.

Use of the changed road layout will be monitored.

Key points about the new Claudelands Bridge road layout

  • The new cycle lanes protected by concrete separators are all one-way.
  • Some sections of the road feature new green road markings called sharrows (sharing arrows). In these sections, people on bikes are encouraged to claim the lane and ride in the flow of traffic.
  • At the merging points, where separated cycleways end and the sharrows begin, drivers need to give way to people on bikes and let them merge into the flow of traffic.
  • Leave a comfortable gap if you are driving behind a bike rider so they don’t feel pressured to move over to the left.
  • To remind drivers to stay on the lookout for bikes, especially where they merge with the traffic, we’re installed two electronic signs that flash with an image of a bike when a person on a bike is about to exit a protected cycleway.
  • If you’re riding a bike, you’ll need to look, indicate, and look again as your merge from a protected cycleway over into the traffic lane.
  • The new raised platforms are for slowing motorists not for pedestrians to walk across (please stick to the designated crossings at the traffic lights).

An education campaign, including videos, will be rolled out over the coming weeks to help road users to learn more about the new road layout.

In the meantime, find out more about the project here and find out more about sharrows here

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