“Race on to create ‘sustainable city’ as fossil fuel prices climb”

That’s a headline from the Nelson Mail.

One of the ways Nelson is approaching this task is through investing in cycling infrastructure to an extent that makes me green with envy – and with a level of success that the Wellington region could easily learn from.

It’s not just infrastructure they’re investing in though, they’re also going all out on a positive information campaign. I was stoked to see that there’s a page on the NCC website dedicated to cycling for transport and that it’s located under Services > Transport > Cycling, rather than somewhere thoughtless like the sport section.

Even the negatives are transformed into positives. For example, there’s a hotline 0800 CYCLE CRASH which gathers “information about where a crash happened and why so that Council can make cycling safer in the Nelson Tasman region. If we have more information, we can direct resources to make it safer for cyclists.” Nice.

Here’s another example of their attitude:

What’s good about advance stop boxes

  • Cyclists are more visible to motorists
  • Right-turning cyclists are properly positioned
  • Left-turning motorists won’t have to wait for cyclists on their left who may be going straight through the intersection
  • Cyclists’ exposure to exhaust is reduced (it’s especially heavy from cars idling or accelerating from a stop)
  • Cyclists get some priority over motor vehicles
  • Cyclists feel safer as legitimate road users

Can’t argue with that! And they had this picture, which pretty much says it all.

Trafalgar/Halifax intersection. Photo credit: Nelson City Council

I found Nelson City Council’s cycling pages easy to follow and search, and really positive towards bike riding. When I was in Nelson a couple of months ago I found the infrastructure easy to ride, and, importantly, easy to see from a car. I’d like to see the councils in our region take Nelson as a model, both on the web and in the real.



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