The Paremata Overpasses

23 10 2009

If I’m heading from Tawa way and going to Plimmerton or Pukerua Bay then I usually ride along Kenepuru Road, and ride along the west side of the Porirua Stream, over the motorway on the ramp near the PakN’Save and end up climbing up the hill on the bike track up towards Aotea College. Then I go up Papakowhai Road and try to get to the Paremata Railway Station for heading over the Mana Bridge and down through the boat club and on the Ara Harakeke bike track to Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay. There are two bridges across the motorway. The one closest to the Mitre 10 is OK, except in school time, and it has a few tight corners to negotiate (and if there are any pedestrians I have to dismount). In school time with all the mums dropping their kids off it becomes dangerous for kids on bikes (In Japan you’re not allowed to drop your kids off by car – and all the kids walk or ride bikes, as so do their mums). It is more of a hassle than a danger to adult riders.

But then there is the other bridge across the motorway, a little more south. It doesn’t have any sharp angles, so is easier to ride, and has fewer pedestrians I have found, so I don’t have to dismount as much, but the other end of the bridge drops down into the centre island of the train station. Here is the on ramp of the bridge if heading north along Papakowhai Road:

Porirua bike tracks (9)

Full credit to Porirua Council for the work they have done on the cycleway so far. I think they’ve done a great job of the new track through Mana. And here is my suggestion; add another ramp to to the southern overbridge that drops down to the carpark of the station, designate the bits of the bridge dual cycle and pedestrians, and a sign to say “Please dismount for Pedestrians”  is fair enough.

The ramp would go down here (The sign may need to be moved to in front of the bridge):

Porirua bike tracks (12)

because the alternative is riding (or dismounting and walking because of train commuters) these ramps at the station:

Porirua bike tracks (13)

So a ramp for the bridge, getting rid of the bars across the entrance to the existing ramp from Papakowhai Road,  a bit of green paint to mark cycle lanes for a couple car lengths on Papakowhai Road (and yellow paint for no parking for a couple car lengths too), and a couple of signs. Total cost surely not more than one or two hundred grand, and there you go, another bit of the National Cycleway is go. Safety and amenity all in one.

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