The Canterbury District Health Board has submitted in favour of proposals by the Christchurch City Council to develop more cycle lanes in Christchurch.
The Council has been seeking feedback on proposed new cycle lanes in the city over the last few months.
Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says cycle lanes benefit people's health, the environment, and business.
"One of the key ways of tackling our rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease is to change our environment so that it's easier to get active. This is exactly what cycle lanes help to do," Dr Humphrey says.
"Not only do cycle lanes lead to a healthier population, they're great for our environment. More cyclists means fewer cars, and that means lower carbon emissions. In a time when the world is grappling with how to respond to climate change, cycle lanes stand out as an easy way to lower emissions and protect our planet."
Dr Humphrey says replacing car parks with space for bicycles also makes economic sense. "Many cities are becoming more cycle friendly and this has created a whole body of evidence on the impact of cycle lanes on nearby businesses. It's clear from this that replacing on-street parking with cycle lanes can be good for business.
"Cyclists can't carry as much, so visit shops more often than motorists. Research shows that over the course of a week cyclists end up spending about the same, or even more, than motorists.
"You can fit six bikes into a single car parking space, so replacing car parks with spaces for bikes should in fact be very good for business, as well as benefiting health and the environment," Dr Humphrey says.
A video featuring Dr Humphrey talking about the benefits of cycle lanes can be found here: https://vimeo.com/147798934
Cycle lanes are coming to town from CDHB on Vimeo.
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