Main Street – Pioneer Highway cycleway

Image shows some bicycles waiting at a crossing.

We’re creating a shared pathway that connects the separated cycleway on Main Street/Pioneer highway to the Longburn shared pathway.

In February 2023, our elected members decided to keep the flexi posts we installed last year, between Pitt and West Streets, until the end of their five-year lifespan. We will then replace them with a more permanent solution.

A new shared pathway will also be built opposite the Pioneer Highway shopping centre on the grass road reserve. It would begin at Shamrock Street, where the flexi posts end, and connect to the Longburn shared pathway on the other side of the Botanical Road intersection.

A new shared pathway will be constructed opposite the Pioneer Highway Shopping Centre on the grass road reserve. This pathway will begin at Shamrock Street, connecting to the Longburn shared pathway on the other side of the Botanical Road intersection. Pedestrian-controlled traffic lights will be installed outside the Pioneer shops to ensure pedestrians and cyclists can get across the street safely.

Construction is expected to take place in October

We are currently in discussions with local businesses and neighbouring landowners to let them know of our plan to start construction in late October.

Our contractor Fulton Hogan plans to start with the shared pathway near Shamrock Street and will gradually work towards the Pioneer Shopping Centre. The signalised crossing will be constructed at the end.

See the design for the shared pathway and signalised crossing here

The shared pathway will be constructed using the grass berm opposite the shopping centre.

The pathway will start where the flexi posts end near the shops and extend to the Longburn shared pathway on the other side of the Botanical Street intersection, using the road reserve area we already own. The pathway will be a shared space for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Pedestrian-controlled traffic lights will be in the same location as the existing crossing

You can see the concept image below of the traffic light-controlled crossing near the shopping centre on Pioneer Highway.

We are retaining the right-turn bay into the Pioneer Shopping Centre. However, due to the space required for the traffic lights, exiting the car park will be a left turn only to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

A bus stop proposal near the bakery is under consideration, with its location to be decided by elected members at an upcoming council meeting.

We will also install a raised platform at the Shamrock Street intersection to reduce conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists as they cross the road.

You most likely know this cycleway for the infamous planter boxes

You may recall the use of planter boxes on Pioneer Highway as a trial measure to separate cyclists from vehicles following the first Covid-19 lockdown. This trial, conducted between March 2021 and November 2021, was funded by Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency and aimed to encourage cycling and pedestrian initiatives.

Group of adults and primary school kids biking along a cycleway that uses planter boxes to separate them from the cars.

In March 2022, the Council decided to replace the planter boxes with flexi poles, which are currently in place, as a temporary solution until the permanent cycleway is designed.

This cycleway is a priority under our Urban Cycle Masterplan

The Main Street – Pioneer Highway cycleway is a crucial component of our Urban Cycle Masterplan. It is one of the top 10 priority routes aimed at creating a safe network of protected cycleways throughout the city.

This cycleway will connect the Longburn Shared Path, the Mangaone Stream Shared Pathway, and our western suburbs with the city centre – providing a significant distance for cyclists to safely travel around Palmerston North.

We’re working on other cycling initiatives

In addition to the Main Street – Pioneer Highway cycleway, we are actively working on various other cycleway projects around the city. As part of recent funding from Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency, protected cycleways will also be installed on Summerhill Drive and Featherston Street in early 2024.

Why are we building cycleways?

Our Urban Cycle Network Masterplan is a vital component of our city's growth and transportation strategy. As the number of vehicles on our roads continues to increase, cycling offers a sustainable and efficient alternative for daily commutes. By creating a network of protected cycleways, we aim to make cycling a safer and more attractive choice for residents and visitors, reducing congestion and improving overall transport options.

While we acknowledge that cycling may have limitations, such as weather and transporting children, we hope that over time, people will consider different transport choices, feeling safer and more encouraged to cycle, even if only for a few days each week.