Auckland Transports monthly board reports are great for giving us an insight into what’s going on in the organisation and they usually give some form of update on many of the big projects that are on-going but they doesn’t tend to give much information on the little projects.
For that the local board meetings seem to be a good source of information as AT provides a regular update to things happening in the area ranging from queries and complaints from residents to planned projects. It’s from this I have learned about a couple of cycling projects happening in my area that I don’t think I would have heard about otherwise.
The first cycling project mentioned is Triangle Rd, the road already has cycle lanes but the report has this to say
Auckland Transport would like to advise you about concerns that have been raised regarding cyclist safety and the operation of the cycle lane between the Huruhuru Creek Bridge and the Lincoln Road intersection.
Auckland Transport is proposing some measures to improve cyclist safety along Triangle Road. These concerns relate to the morning peak period when traffic on Triangle Road is often congested, and driver’s queue in the southbound cycle lane. After investigating the issue, AT have concluded that some changes to the road layout are required in order to address this issue. AT are therefore, proposing to realign the traffic lanes in order to provide more space for the cycle lane. This will allow AT to install some bollards as protection for cyclists using the southbound cycle lane, whilst retaining enough space for drivers to queue in 2 lanes during the morning peak period. In order to accommodate the above changes, it is necessary to remove on street parking from the bus stop.
It is pleasing to see that AT are able to act on this to make things safer for cyclists and really interesting that the cycle lane will be separated by bollards to stop drivers queuing in it. Hopefully in time more on road cycle lanes will get these.
The next item on the list is this:
Council, the former WCC commissioned a feasibility study for cycle routes in Waitakere. The resulting Strategic Cycle Network Feasibility Study (the Study) is an extensive report that prioritises cycling routes throughout Waitakere. The Study recommended cycling infrastructure to form a cycle network. Many of these routes are noted as being appropriate for dedicated cycle infrastructure, for example, on-road cycle lanes, combination bus/bike lanes and off-road cycleways.
Cycleways on Rathgar Road, Pomaria Road and Te Pai Place are included on the Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s (ARTA) regional cycle network map which was produced by ARTA in conjunction with local Councils. This map is being used to guide investment in cycling in the Auckland region. Cycle routes on this map will receive a high priority for funding from NZTA.
Concept designs for Rathgar Road and Pomaria Road were delivered to residents in those streets and surrounding side streets in May 2009. The consultation materials outlined the proposal for on-road cycle lanes including the widening of both roads so that existing on-street car parking could be retained on at least one side of the road where possible. Recessed parking bays are proposed around St Dominic’s College and possibly close to Liston College. Concept designs illustrating a proposed off-road shared path on Te Pai Place were delivered to businesses in Te Pai Place in May 2009. Community consultation closed for these projects on 5 June 2009.
The proposals for on-road cycle lanes on Rathgar Road and Pomaria Road received some opposition. This was almost entirely due to the loss of some on-street parking proposed in the concept plans. Strong support was received from people who wished to see dedicated cycling infrastructure provided in these areas. The Te Pai Place project was specifically supported by two businesses and was not opposed by any submitter. Fifty-six submissions were received in total for the three projects. Around 70% of submitters were very supportive or generally supportive of the projects.
Around 30% of submissions were not supportive of the projects. The majority of these were concerned with the removal of on-street parking proposed on Rathgar Road and Pomaria Road. Of particular concern to many submitters was the loss of car parking around St Dominic’s College
and Pomaria Primary School. In a response letter to all submitters, it was restated that it was anticipated that there would be a loss of between one and three on-street car parks only between the St Dominic’s College gates and Swanson Road. It is considered that this has alleviated the concerns expressed for this section of the proposal.
Council Officers have considered the feedback from the consultation and considered the following options were the most suitable to implement.
• On-road cycle lanes for the full length of Rathgar Road from Swanson Road to Universal Drive.
• On-road cycle lanes for the full length of Pomaria Road from Rathgar Road to Lincoln Road.
• Off-road cycleway for the full length of Te Pai Place from Lincoln Road to Central Park Drive.
Waitakere City Council’s Infrastructure and Works Committee met on 5 August 2009 and approved the commissioning of detailed design work for the cycleway project proposed for Rathgar Road, Pomaria Road and Te Pai Place.
Subsequently Council had received a notification that a subsidy from New Zealand Transport Agency was not available for these three cycleway projects. Therefore, these cycle projects were on hold indefinitely.
Auckland Transport has recently approved the delivery of this cycleway project for construction in the 2011/2012 financial year with the intention to go out to tender as early as possible to enable construction around the schools during the school summer holiday period.
I’m really pleased to see these three roads will get cycle lanes added, I was actually looking a few months ago at what route I would take if I was ever to try riding to work and using these three were on the route I chose, Rathgar in particular makes a lot of sense as there are 3 schools within 500m of each other along the road.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that 70% of all submitters including a few businesses supported the idea as it hopefully indicates that people are becoming more accepting of cyclists. It is also pleasing that AT see enough value in these projects that they are building them even though they the NZTA won’t provide a subsidy for them .
This also follows on from other recent news that AT will be widening Te Atatu Rd in part to add cycle lanes and that as part of the works to widen Tiverton & Wolverton St’s they will be putting in a cycle route away from the main traffic flow. To me it shows that AT seem to have much more regard for cyclists than many of our councils have in the past so good work AT (although it would be nice if more cycle lanes could by separated by bollards).