29 Sep 2019

Child's death brings call for better planning of shared pathways

3:29 pm on 29 September 2019

City planners are being urged to put more thought into safety when it comes to shared pathways in the aftermath of a child's death in Palmerston North.

A two-year-old boy died on Friday on a walking and cycling track alongside the Pioneer Highway. The crash involved a motorbike and a family of five, who were riding bicycles.

Palmerston North police are speaking with those involved in the fatal collision on the track which is near the city.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan said police were also working closely with the coroner and the child's family.

He said all parties involved had been identified, and the police were speaking with them.

No charges have been laid so far.

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith said the crash should never have happened.

Patrick Morgan, from the Cycle Action Network, said the crash was a tragedy.

He said some cities needed to rethink their strategies when it comes keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe.

"Unfortunately, we're seeing some cities instead of building proper protected cycleways, they're deciding to designate footpaths as shared paths and in general that's not a good solution."

Mr Morgan said good design can lead to good behaviour, but mixing transport types in one space risks bad behaviour.

He said another safety option was for paths to have bollards to prevent motor vehicles using them.

Two people were taken to Palmerston North Hospital after the accident on Friday.

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