As part of the national cycleway an important gap in Kapiti is the route between Waikanae Beach and Otaki. This is a suggestion for a small section of that route requiring a small land acquisition, 50 metres long, and the width of a cycleway wide. Call it 150 square metres.
Currently a lot of cyclists in the know heading north from Te Horo township take Te Waka Road that parallels State Highway 1, because it is a helluva lot safer, and then get back on the highway via Addington Road. Te Waka Road ends in a dead end. You can see what it looks like in the banner graphic for Keep Kapiti Idiot Free, a sister blog to this one. (Some nutters unbelievably want to build a motorway on the same bit as is proposed for this cycleway). The road reserve continues through this paddock and then it stops and there is a gap for the last 50 metres down to the river reserve and the levee banks with the cycleway along the top.
and here is what the tracks along the levee bank look like:
So if Te Waka Road was joined to the levee bank cycleway through that tiniest of land acquisitions then cyclists wouldn’t need to go out on Addington Road and they’d avoid a little bit more of State Highway 1, just south of the Otaki River.
On this map the light green dots are the bit of Te Waka Road that would have to be built to commuter bicyclist standard on its existing road reserve. The red dots are the 50 metres of land acquisition and a track that would need to be built, and the purple dots are the existing South Side cycleway. Here one tyre track could be asphalted for cyclists, and the other tyre track could remain gravel for the flood control and council vehicles.
The brown dots are the only side of the existing bridge that it is safe to cycle across on the footpath. The road itself is too narrow to ride across safely with 100km/hr traffic. The dark green dots are the Highway to Sea Path, which should again be upgraded with one asphalted tyre track, and one kept as gravel.
The land between the purple dots and the access way to that house is also part of the river reserve and the boundary is a cliff line. It would make a really great public park for the people of Te Horo and Otaki. It’d be great for ball sports, and barbeques, and it needs a playground (and some car parking) too. Here is a kingfisher (he’s tiny) in a tree showing that part of the reserve with the cliff at the back:
and if the route under the bridge was cleaned up then there’d be pedestrian and cyclist links under the bridge to the little park with the Aviation Memorial on the other side of the Highway (which presumably is going to be lost to the Otaki Bypass). It’s a bit of an eyesore at the moment thanks to a graffiti “artist”:
Eventually it would be great to have a cycle and pedestrian bridge further west towards the estuary too (and not a motorway thanks THRAC), and also a link through to Te Horo Beach that didn’t involve going all the way out to the highway, but this little link in Kapiti’s bit of the National Cycleway will be a great start.
If the north side path was linked to Otaki’s Aotaki Street then there’d be a cycle route from the centre of Otaki town straight down to the river (OK it’s near the sewage ponds, but we could plant some screening trees). And with the new bridge towards the estuary then 6km loops could be made with the river side paths and it’ll be a great recreational asset for all the Otakians. And all the current illegal motorcyclists could all be drowned in the river.