June 28, 2010
Back in April of this year, I drew your attention to the funding competition from local NZ territorial authorities to claim the top dollars for their “model communities.”
As I wrote then, Nelson, along with the 3 other finalist communities, New Plymouth, Taupo and Hastings were in the running for millions of dollars of extra funding via the final application round for $7million of New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) “Model Communities” funding.
As you may recall this strategy was quite important in advancing the National Cycleways project in provincial areas.
As the Nelson City Councils press release said;
The Model Communities project is a key part of the national “Getting There” walking and cycling strategy, which aims to develop walking and cycling environments that are as safe and simple to use as to travel by car, thereby reducing traffic congestion.
Also known as New Zealand Cycle Trail Project, Nelson was down as one of the Lucky 13 originally selected selected to go through to feasibility studies for inclusion in the project.
Well D – Day has arrived, last week it was, and we missed out!
The initial $7.3m in funding went to New Plymouth & Hastings.
Nelson “too advanced” already …..
Keith Marshall, Nelson City Council’s Chief Executive when expressing local disappointment in a NCC Press Release, said that the NZTA had told him;
“… they chose communities that were less advanced in order to ensure they get the biggest lift in improvement.”
…leading him on to say of the local Cycleways project….“We just won’t get to progress quite as fast.”
And in another biking / cycling related development, came news earlier this month, the Nelson Mail reported under the heading Chilean plans bike trails, that an overseas investor has purchased land in the Wairoa Gorge near Wakefield to build 75 kilometres of private mountain bike (MTB) tracks.
The paper said;
Mr Mildon said the private project was unusual in New Zealand and was likely to be focused on tourism. Both domestic and international tourists would pay to ride the trails.
OTHER RELATED INFO
NZ Transport Agency – Model Communities Fact Sheet
Tasman District Cycling and Walking Strategy
Nelson Mountain Bike Club – website
Nelson Cycle Trails Trust Proposal in 2009