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.

These are:

•     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).

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  1. Thanks for the good detective work. My biggest concern is that all cycle lanes are not created equally. There is an issue of real and perceived safety. A poorly designed/constructed cycle lane will remain empty and reinforce the perception that ‘noone’ cycles. The lane needs to be able to cater for all people (young, old, female) not just the brave who currently cycle. Links beyond the path also need to be considered. The new ‘cycle lane’ is an example of that. The people who currently use it will be happy but it isn’t a significant enough improvement to get beyond these current users.

    1. Hopefully the works on Triangle Rd are a bit of indication that AT are not afraid to make improvements to existing cycle lanes where needed.

    2. I absolutely agree Mark. Narrow on-street cycle lanes, squeezed between car doors and buses, aren’t exactly much of an improvement on nothing at all.

      1. Indeed, a poor cycle lane can actually make things more dangerous by compelling some cyclists to ride in a dangerous area (like in the car-door zone) and others, who chose to ride in the safest area, to be harassed by motorists for not being in the cycle lane…

  2. It would be great to have more better quality cycle lanes in Auckland. However I am concerned that the desires to supply limited parking on site for new developments (to obatin the best economic use of the limied supply of developable land) will push more vehicles into parking on road which will reduce the space available on road for bus and cycle lanes and increase the conflict between parked cars and cycles.

  3. Another two cycle lane where I see exactly the same thing happening all the time are Mt Albert Rd approaching New North Rd, and St Lukes Rd approaching the Northwestern Motorway/Cycleway interchange.

    The St Lukes one approaching the cycleway is by far the worst, with cars queueing in it for hundreds of metres. There is no space left for bikes. It could do with bollards as well. Even just the plastic ones would work.

  4. About 2009 there was a plan to shift the lane markings on Gt Nth Rd, Waterview so that an on road cycle lane would at least be created on one side of the road, North of Blockhouse Bay road intersection. This project was funded and supposed to have been constructed long ago. It hasn’t, and I can’t find it mentioned in the Eden Albert plan
    Project described here
    This piece of road is very unfriendly for cyclists, one has to be quite brave. It’s long overdue for attention

    1. Anthony – that project died the Waterview death (i.e. nobody wanted to do anything while the area was so uncertain with the tunnel project).

      It is a fair point that something will need to be done. I hope that once the Waterview cycleway goes through the area (but “ducks away” to the east, over Oakley Creek, before it goes through the tightes bit between there and Blockhouse Bay Road), there will be impetus to also address the Avondale-Northwestern Cycleway connectivity. That connectivity was one of the reasons Cycle Action preferred that the Waterview Cycleway cross at Phyllis Street instead of at Alford Street, because the western end of that more southerly bridge would have linked right to the Blockhouse Bay Road / GNR intersection. However, the Board of Inuiry was (and for good legal and social reasons) more concerned with connectivity for Waterview than for Avondale, so the link was decided to be further north.

      1. I would dearly love a safe way to ride from New Windsor/Blockhouse Bay and connect to the NorthWestern. It would be such a boon for cycling in the area, both recreational and commuting.

    1. The cycleway extension is still probably at least a year and a half away from being completed, this will at least have immediate effect and I imagine it will just be plastic bollards so easy to remove in the future if needed.

      Also that artists impression in the second to last image is funny, it looks like the bus has taken out half of the car and also it is a Wellington bus so it is a long way from home 🙂

      1. You guys sound like there was a DOWNSIDE to having multiple cycleways near each other, for local and regional access? I’d LOVE a place where I didn’t only have ONE safe option, but two to chose from. As a motorist, I literally have dozens for most routes.

        Also, the extension of the Northwestern Cycleway west of Lincoln Road is many, many years away (much longer than even completition of the Lincoln Road interchange upgrade, which itself has been slowed down by NZTA by a few years), so I’m not quite sure what is the point of complaining about lack of coordination with the Triangle Road cycle lanes that were planned and designed years ago, and opened in 2010?

        In any case, we (CAA) hope that the proposed divider solution will be strong enough to remove or at least significantly reduce the problem.

        1. I would suggest that CAA also look at the same issue on Central Park Rd, every time I drive along there in the morning I see cars using the cycle lane on the southern side for a few hundred meters and even worse cars using the shared footpath on the northern side as their own private driveway to get into their premises. We ended up driving this morning and witnessed a McEntee Hire vehicle driving at least 250m along the footpath so he didn’t have to wait in traffic.

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