Community concerns about the implications for the Peninsula trail of turning it into a commuter route, including those by KPCA (submission April 2019) have been listened to judging by the Wakatipu Active Travel Network business case approved by Council at this month’s meeting. The Report noted that those concerns as including:
- Speeds of recreation cyclists;
- Narrow path widths;
- Safety concerns with limited sight lines;
- Impact of increase in numbers if it became the main commuter route;
- Lack of pedestrian pathways within residential area on Peninsula Road; and
- Retaining gravel surface.
The Report then says, “In response to these concerns, the route has been designed to provide some safety benefits on the trail particularly for pedestrians, without reducing the recreational value of the trail.” The preferred route is “a combination of lake front trail and greenway on Peninsula Road. This provides space for fast and competent cyclists to remain on road. A footpath has been added to Peninsula Road which provides connectivity for pedestrians between the existing footpath and a main access track to the trail. To reduce potential conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians around the Hilton Hotel, it is proposed that additional signage be introduced along this section of the lakeside. In addition, with the proposed improvements along Peninsular Road and Willow Place, it is likely that cyclists prioritising speed and travel time will prioritise the on-road alignment thereby reducing potential conflicts. Given the proposed unsealed treatment, it is unlikely that e-scooters will choose to travel via the lakeside.”
But note that nothing is scheduled to happen until 2024 at the earliest, and even then only after a “reassessment in regard to financials, economic viability, and demand“.