Letter to Timaru Herald re Aquatic Centre Proposal (Thursday 20/11/08)

Proposed new aquatic centre:


Squeaky Wheel applauds the statement by the proponents of the aquatic centre on the Council that "the proposed Aquatic Centre has a real focus on wellness and catering for all members and age-groups of the community."

The Timaru District Council's Active Transport Strategy states that 'the Council, together with the Timaru District community, will realise the potential that the district offers to maximise participation in active transport.’

Here is a perfect opportunity: provide for convenient, safe access and parking for cycles. As a clean, sustainable form of transport, cycling to the facility should be encouraged, alongside walking (and of no lesser importance than driving). Most customers will come from across Evans Street. Safe cycle access is needed from Evans/Te Weka Street intersection (where traffic lights are proposed), to the facility e.g. crossing lights at the main road activated by pedestrians/cyclists, cycle lanes on Evans and Te Weka Streets. Convenient, secure cycle parking facilities need to be planned as an integral part of the building, at the front entrance to discourage vandalism and theft. Well-designed stands that frames and wheels can be locked to, and helmet storage are needed.

We can enhance the health benefits of the centre to the community by encouraging more people to cycle and walk there and fewer people to drive. This will limit the amount of traffic congestion that might be generated by the facility.

Cycling is a force for good health in South Canterbury, and needs to be provided for in a positive way in a public facility such as this. It is important that provision for cycling and sustainable transport are built into the plans from day one, not tacked on as an afterthought.


Jon Harris

for   Squeaky Wheel