Accessible Streets submission guide
The Government is proposing some rule changes, called the Accessible Streets Regulatory Package. These are designed to improve safety for people on footpaths, encourage walking and biking, and support liveable and vibrant towns and cities.
Here are the key proposals that will affect people on bikes, and some details where we think your support is important. We also support the other proposals (1,5,8 and 9).
Need a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version? Just say: ‘Yes please! But be bolder, and keep it simple'.
Proposal 2: Establish a national framework for the use of footpaths
We support this proposal, which will allow people to ride bikes carefully on footpaths as long as they meet speed, device width, and behaviour requirements.
Q15 and Q16 are about alternative options where no-one, or only children under 16, or people below another age limit, can ride on footpaths. We don’t support the restrictions.
Q23 and Q24 are about a proposed 15km/h speed limit for cycling on footpaths. We support the proposed limit, and don’t think councils should be able to set lower limits.
Q26 is about preventing bikes with bars etc wider than 750mm using the footpath. If you ride an MTB, cargo bike, tricycle or tow a trailer, check to see if this affects you.
Proposal 3: Establish a national framework for the use of shared paths and cycle paths
We support this proposal, which sets out a clear difference between cycling slowly on footpaths and using proper shared or bike paths which can be safe at higher speeds if designed correctly.
Proposal 4: Enable transport devices to use cycle lanes and cycle paths
We support this proposal, which allows devices like e-scooters to get off footpaths and roads by using cycle lanes/paths. Heard of a ’little road’ or ‘rori iti’? This is how we make them happen.
Proposal 6: Remove barriers to walking, transport device use and cycling through rule changes
We support all the main parts of this proposal, which will improve biking heaps by:
allowing you to ride straight ahead from a left turn lane
allowing you to carefully pass to the left of slow-moving vehicles eg a start-stop queue
making it clearer that your straight-ahead bike lane has priority over turning traffic
giving priority to path users over turning traffic in marked locations.
We’d prefer the last change, to path priority, to apply everywhere, not only with new markings. If it must be restricted to marked locations, we’d prefer markings like a familiar zebra crossing.
Proposal 7: Mandate a minimum overtaking gap for motor vehicles passing cycles, transport devices, horses, pedestrians and people using mobility devices on the road
We support this proposal. We don’t think the minimum overtaking gap is set high enough. We’d prefer a minimum gap of 1.5m to apply everywhere. If that’s not feasible, we want it to apply:
wherever the speed limit is 50km/h and over (not 60km/h as proposed)
for heavy vehicles, whatever the speed limit is.