Extremely sad news today that a cyclist was killed today after being hit by a truck.

A cyclist is dead after a crash with a truck in central Auckland this afternoon.

St John ambulance spokesman Norm Ngatai confirmed a man “about 30 years old” had died at the scene in Parnell.

“About 2.15pm a call came from the public of a truck versus a cyclist, on Parnell Rise near Stanley St.

“On ambulance arrival the patient was in critical condition, and shortly after the male was declared deceased on scene.”

In coming days we’ll be looking a lot closer at what is and isn’t being done to improve cycling in Auckland.

The image below had originally been scheduled to go up now as a photo of the day.

Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne

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  1. I went to take a look.

    The crash happened on Stanley Street, outside the pub that stands on the corner there. I live in Parnell and use this intersection on a daily basis.

    I suspect the cyclist was heading south (towards Grafton), and came from the north i.e. directly across the intersection. At the point where he was hit, the road is narrow with two lanes. There is heavy truck movements through this intersection as well. The road does not widen until about 50m further on.

    I suspect he was hit by a truck at this point. I have observed an increase in numbers of cyclists moving north-south through this intersection. The roads from this intersection that a cyclist could use all go uphill – Grafton Rd, Lower Domain Drive, Alten Rd, so it is not attractive for regular cyclists to use. Most of the cyclists I see moving south along Stanley Street at the point where this cyclist was killed I suspect are heading to their workplaces; there are a number of medium sized consulting firms in the old Carlaw Park area.

    I will have to have an onsite meeting with NZTA (Stanley St is designated SH16, a motorway and so is under NZTA jurisdiction).


    I stopped by on my way home. The body had been removed, the trucks gone, and the highway men and Police were tidying up. I had a look at the site of the crash.

    There seems to have been an impact of some description. I can’t really read the cryptic yellow spray painted markings on the road. You can clearly see where the truck was. And in front of the truck are some cryptic lines, but I suspect they indicate the location of the crash. The cyclist was not hard left, but was taking the lane it would seem – a sensible precaution. Does anyone know how to decipher the yellow spray painted lines?

    There are about 5 deep gashes, about 3cm long and 2 cm wide, and about 2 cm deep, in the pavement about 10 meters further on – gashes that would be made by a pedal digging into the tar-seal. I can only surmise that in order to make the gashes the truck must have been ‘pushing’ the cyclist.

    One of the biggest problems we face is the fact that Police will not release details of the crash, leaving armchair pundits like me to ‘fill in the blanks’. I have spoken to the Police about this, and indicated that it would be good if they could release details as it would do much to develop understanding of how and why crashes occur. Police were non-committal sadly.

    1. I witnessed this crash 5 years ago when I was 8 years old and it really had traumatised me for life and the state of the cyclist was unbearable to watch.

      1. I’m really sorry, Anonymous. You’ll be the same age as one of my sons, and it’s painful to know that you’ve had to experience this. I held a cyclist as she died, under a truck, and it has coloured my life since. But I was in my 20’s, not 8. The toll these crashes have on people goes way, way, beyond the injuries of the victims themselves.

        Can you talk to your parents about this? Can you talk to your teachers? Can I help in some way?

        Please don’t suffer without someone to help you. Trying to prevent children being hurt and from having to experience unnecessary suffering is what drives everything I do.

  2. More from NZH: “A truck driver did not know a cyclist had gone under the wheels of his truck until he was alerted by other motorists some 70 metres away, police say.

    The cyclist died at the scene, on the busy corner of Parnell Rise and The Strand in central Auckland.

    Inspector Cornelius Klussein said the cyclist had been riding down Parnell Rise and was turning onto The Strand when the crash occurred.

    He said the truck driver, who had been travelling straight on The Strand, did not know the cyclist had gone under his wheels until alerted by the sound of tooting horns from other vehicles.

    This afternoon the truck could be seen some 70m from where the body was lying on the road concealed by a white sheet at the busy intersection.”

  3. Given the completely appalling and abysmal cycling conditions across Auckland, is it any surprise that we learn of this tragic cycling fatality?

    I’m surprised (and very thankful) we don’t have more cycling deaths on our atrocious roads.

    NZTA and Auckland Transport are all about massive projects, getting them to make minor/cost-effective road safety improvements to resolve hazards is pretty much impossible.

    And the Police will not consider prosecuting NZTA or Auckland Transport for poor road design, which if they did, might see be the stick they need to take road safety for all users paramount (rather than prioritising the flow of motor vehicles).

  4. I’m beyond angry at the lack of action from Auckland Council and Auckland Transport towards making Auckland a safe city in which to ride a bike. I posted this just a couple of days ago, NYC installed 350km of bike lanes in JSK’s first 3 years. From what I can find the budget was US$8.8M. It just needs Auckland Transport to have the balls to remove parking or traffic lanes to make it work for such little money.

    1. Someone needs to be held accountable. Look at the pathetic response both prior to and after the death of Jane Bishop for example.

  5. I’m angry. Christopher, I think that the Waitemata LB needs to take a resolute stand on this.

    Auckland Transport are dragging the chain, refusing to prioritise cycling while diverting billions into unplanned and unbudgeted motorways.

    1. Except that Lance repeatedly uses the word “accident” to describe this terrible, tragic, altogether avoidable event, that Has A Cause. Or multiple causes.. road design, traffic regulations, legislative framework, politics.. all of which conspire perversely against the vulnerable party. How can it be an accident when in the circumstances it is practically inevitable?

      There but for the grace of God go the rest of us?

    1. This intersection is designed to be scarily threatening to pedestrians. I simply cannot believe that there is no dedicated pedestrian phase protecting those crossing Stanley Street here, where traffic turns left into what is a de facto motorway on-ramp. Bully-boy vehicle behaviour is the norm in this location as a direct result of being encouraged to do so. Sadly, this is just another example of inadequate road design failing to protect pedestrians and cyclists in Auckland.

      Working round the corner I’m seriously hoping this is no-one I know. My thoughts are with their family.

    1. Em, do you know what the law says about riding bikes on the footpath in NZ? Go and look it up. See you back here when you work it out.

    2. You’re absolutely right. Roads are for cars, that truck had no right to be there. This would never have happened if the truck had been driving on the footpath.

  6. My point being, I’m aware it’s illegal to ride on most footpaths in NZ, but I don’t care. I rather not go underneath a truck thanks, and I know what it’s like to ride on shitty roads where cyclists are literally pushed into the gutter by thoughtless motorists and terrible design.

    1. My comment was not at you AC. I’m more than happy if people want to ride on the footpath and I have stats that show it is safe. The comment was aimed at the ‘roads are for cars’ line from Em. If we had intersections designed to cater for people on bikes and protected bike lanes this also would not have happened. If you want to see what these look like, let me know and I’ll supply you with some links.

      1. I’m very unhappy if people ride on the footpath. That’s the only place that pedestrians have, and making life worse for them is not an acceptable solution. It may be safe for cyclists, but at best it’s inconvenient for pedestrians – and don’t we want to encourage walking?

        Today’s accident is a tragedy: let’s get design for cycles right, rather than pedestrians (who have nowhere else to go) being pushed into the gutter by terrible (lack of) design.

        1. I agree, it’s far from an ideal situation.
          Basically, from what I can work out, Auckland Transport and all our previous incarnations of transport agencies are crap at what they do. Footpaths are rubbish, cycling infrastructure non existent, bus priority pretty bad, and cars have all the space, ruining our urban environments, and there’s still congestion all the time. A bad outcome for pretty much everyone then.
          ummmmmmmm…….why is this allowed to continue?

  7. The truck driver was not aware that he had killed someone. That’s a scary account that will be hard to process for the family – is the truck driver going to be charged over this? It’s this sort of thing that is going to demote cycling into and around the CBD – in a year when we expect traffic congestion to continue soaring this is the last thing anybody wants.

    1. It could be the truck driver is blameless, why should he be charged, just because he was driving?

      The week before Christmas I was driving along Tamaki Drive and had stopped behind a container truck which was turning left into the stand. I saw a car in front of me who I pressume had seen in their rear vision mirror a cyclist coming along the road as I had done, but also the traffic had cleared and anticipated the truck was going to move, so moved to the left to stop the cyclist go down the inside. The cyclist went round my right, cut in front of the car, gave the driver the fingers and then went down the left of the truck. Needless to say the truck moved on as they were entitled to, the cyclist was going to get sandwiched. They ended up on the footpath. There wasn’t a lot of sympathy shown as the traffic moved on.

      It could have all ended up very differently, and in this case the cyclist would have been responible for their own demise. For those who say that there should be a cycle path, in this location there is one on both sides of the road.

      1. Obviously Police would have been on the scene and investigating. I have full faith in the police to take whatever legal action is necessary (if any), but what I hope is that AT and respective organisations can really do a thorough evaluation into how this tragedy could have been prevented.

        1. Sorry, I don’t share your confidence in the Police & AT, just look at what they did with the death of cyclist Jane Bishop on Tamaki Drive. The Police prosecuted the motorist when it was obviously not his fault (the Judge saw that and threw their prosecution out), AT tried to blame Jane Bishop (they hired some really dodgy ex-cop road safety ‘experts’ to write an appalling report for the Coroner’s enquiry) and it was only the Coroner’s report which finally identified the key preventable factor which the Police & AT ignored: bad road design.

        2. Even the coroner’s report didn’t really get to the point, that Auckland Council (or rather its predecessor, Auckland City Council) had failed to act on a specific known road design hazard, namely the three car parks too close to or overlapping with the raised central median strip on Tamaki Drive where the crash happened.

          As I understand it, the CEO was able to claim that he (or the organisation?) were not aware of the hazard, even though it had been raised by CAA, because it was contained in an item of correspondence not in any formal submission. Maybe. But independently, I had also made a formal submission myself, using ACC’s online feedback system, on precisely the same point, when the first round of Tamaki Drive improvements were out for consultation. I presume this would have been available?

          Nothing happened of course.. until just a few days after Jane Bishop’s death, when the three car parks were magically removed.

          What a sad start to 2014, as Phil says below, for all concerned.

        3. For the record I have never had any confidence in AT regarding any transport issue in general, I don’t think many do. As for the police, I like to believe that they work to the best of their abilities and not let the families of victims down. If they are unable to bring justice, when appropriate, to the people who deserve it then I hope transport advocates (such as this blog) can shed much light on the issues; that’s the best we can do right?

  8. Tragic news. Some will see this as an opportunity to blame and others will take the time to learn from this horrible accident. We need to be asking asking hard questions such as why Auckland Transport is spending over $600m a year on new and improved roads and only $4m on cycling infrastructure and why it takes so long to get any new bikes lanes in place. Auckland Transport needs to reprioritise and align with what elected officials and the general public are asking of them.

      1. That’s not clear. The Otago Daily Times report implies that A THIRD VEHICLE WAS INVOLVED IN THE CRASH: “a loud bang… [then] a cyclist flew through the air before going underneath a truck”:

        “Simione Maamaloa was on his way to the beach when he heard a loud bang. He watched in horror as a cyclist flew through the air before going underneath a truck, its driver oblivious to the collision at one of Auckland’s busiest intersections.
        Police are investigating how and why the collision occurred, but revealed last night the truckie had the green light at the intersection.

        “When I looked back I saw this [man] flying off [his] bike and at the same time the truck just kept on rolling over [him],” said Mr Maamaloa.

        It was only when other motorists alerted the truck driver by tooting their horns that he stopped about 70m down the road.

        Mr Maamaloa and four members of his family rushed to help but there was little they could do to save the dying man who is believed to have been in his late 20s or early 30s.

        “[He] was badly hurt [but] still breathing and mumbling. We couldn’t understand what [he] was trying to say. [He] died right in front of my eyes.””

        1. One possibilty: victim waiting at the lights is rear-ended, and propelled into path of truck. This sort of incident has happened to me, as a car-driver, twice. Not always fatal as a car driver because a) the lorry sees you, and b) you are in a metal cage, and c) there isn’t a chorus of ill-informed and inattentive speculation blaming the victim.

        2. This possibility terrifies me on the bike, I am never sure whether to take a primary, visible positionand hope I’m seen, or a secondary position and hope I don’t get hit.

  9. Clearly a sad incident for all concerned (including the truck driver). I’d offer a few comments;
    1. Are cyclists allowed on roads designated as motorways?
    2. Where would the cyclists destination have been that you would want to use SH16? If it was Grafton road the barrier to avoid a long detour is the rail tracks. Otherwise the cyclist could have taken Carlaw park ave to avoid the busy intersection.
    3. The footpath looks wide enough to have a white painted line to share use between peds and cyclists. Pedestrian v cyclist is preferable to truck v cyclist as there is never going to be a dedicated cycle lane along Stanley street. It is simply not wide enough.
    4. Why do we want a port in the centre of the city? Surely the value of the reclaimed land that could be sold to property developers could pay for Ports of Auckland to build a new container terminal away from the CBD.
    Once again though – very sad for the people involved.

    1. The Strand is a state highway, not a motorway (nor is Stanley Street a motorway in that northern area). Please get your facts right, especially when you are making a “things to consider” list and put it at number 1.

    2. Point 4. It’s not a matter of wanting a port in the middle of town, it’s just where it happens to be built. The problem with selling that much land to developers is that it would likely cause a glut. You’re basically looking at increasing the availability of CBD land by upwards of 25%. We still have large tracts of land in Wynyard Quarter, the Auckland City depot, around the Strand, and not to mention a lot of low rise, low value buildings that could be demolished. Now given progress on developing those sites is slow at the moment, who would pay for such a large site? Also I’m not sure if there is anywhere else to put a port Te Atatu would require large amounts of reclamation work in a sensitive marine environment, Hobsonville would be impossible due to the Upper Harbour Bridge. Pretty much everywhere else has development right to the water, further out into the Gulf would require breakwater construction.

    3. A few comments:

      1) We have established that Stanley St is not a motorway, it is simply a road that leads to a motorway… which can be said for more or less every other main road in Central Auckland. Banning cyclists from such roads is tantamount to banning cyclists from the city altogether, so we need another solution.

      2) Quite possibly the cyclists destination was the new Cycleway NZTA has just built from the intersection of Stanley St and Alten Rd up to Grafton Rd and Symonds St. Going via Carlaw Park Ave would allow you to skip one bit, but it only brings you out to the same problem area a bit further up, and it requires you to navigate an uncontrolled dog leg intersection to get there. In particular access to Carlaw Park Ave is currently left in left out, so if you are following the road rules only people coming down (but not even heading up) Parnell Rise can use it. A more systemic fix is needed.

      3) The footpath there is covered with blind entries and exits to properties, including a high design speed turn for trucks to access the petrol station. Furthermore most of it is littered with parking, presumably illegal. A simple white painted line alone won’t achieve anything. It is not true that Stanley St is not wide enough or there could never be a dedicated cycle lane. NZTA currently owns all the properties and buildings down the western side of Stanley St, the road designation actually goes right back to Churchill St and all the buildings are earmarked for eventual demolition to extend SH16. If they wanted to widen Stanley St there is absolutely nothing to stop them, it’s already owned and consented for SH16 improvements.

      4) I agree, although a port move wouldn’t work financially for a few decades yet, not least until Wynyard is built out. If you did it any time soon you’d flood the market and the construction sector couldn’t build it out even if you found willing buyers and had tenants lined up. Nonetheless shifting the port doesn’t necessarily fix the problem, it just moves it out of the way, and doesn’t address the wider issue of road design that generally ignores the existence of any road users other than car drivers and heavy freight.

  10. This is immensely sad, my sincere condolences to the family of this young man should you read this. I cycle every day – there is no single cause of this problem (it is not just drivers, not just bad cycling, not just bad road design, but a combination), but the area in question, strand, Parnell, Grafton intersection – is really just awful to navigate for cyclists. I’m a confident, strong cyclist, and I feel threatened in this area. Try riding from Auckland City Hospital down into town, it’s just horrible navigating those intersections. We must start investing in improved infrastructure – there have been plenty of political junkets to cities with great infrastructure (I know this because I’ve seen NZ politicians in one when i was there), lets make it happen now, so this poor mans family don’t have to be reminded of tragedy every time another accident happens. Again, my sincerest condolences.

  11. Cycling from the Hospital could be easier if they made on footpath on Grafton bridge for cyclists then turn right into Symonds fora short blast down to City Road. That will take you into Queen Street. This is a Zero cost fix and I think a facility like the Hospital should have easy cycling access.

    1. City Road as a shortcut for cyclists? You’re just looking at a map with no knowledge of the area, right? An older snorkel fire appliance from Auckland City fire station once sheared some of its wheel bolts coming down City Road and trying to brake to avoid crashing across the intersection. It’s steep on the section from Liverpool to Queen – probably one of the steepest streets in Auckland – and absolutely not suitable for cyclists.

      The better option is to send cyclists down Wellesley Street, and mark up the “bus only” section between Mayoral Drive and Queen Street to make it perfectly clear that cyclists may also use that section. The return journey is more difficult, but cyclists could just carry on up Queen Street and then turn left onto K’ Road before going straight across Symonds Street and Grafton Bridge.

      1. I’m imagining bike lanes on Queen St – thanks for the morning laugh. I can just imagine the blank looks on the faces of the AT board as you mention it.

        1. Haha, “AT, I think you guys should change queens st to a 2 way cycleway, and bus only road and extend the footpaths”, AT; “Wait,what, but, cars”

  12. > 1. Are cyclists allowed on roads designated as motorways?

    Doesn’t seem like it. But SH16 doesn’t start as a motorway until past Tennis Ln.

    > 2. Where would the cyclists destination have been that you would want to use SH16? … Otherwise the cyclist could have taken Carlaw park ave to avoid the busy intersection.

    Thanks for the tip there. 🙂

    > 3. The footpath looks wide enough to have a white painted line to share use between peds and cyclists. Pedestrian v cyclist is preferable to truck v cyclist as there is never going to be a dedicated cycle lane along Stanley street. It is simply not wide enough.

    Btw, I go down this intersection all the time, and the footpath in question doesn’t usually have heavy foot traffic, either.

    The news does rattle me a wee bit because I bike through this intersection going to work. Rolling down Parnell Rise allows the temptation to go through amber lights; if your calculation is off and it turns red, you can find yourself at speed and won’t be able to stop before the stop line at the bottom. Had once a moment of indecision, so I speak out from that close call (I ended up braking really hard and stopping at the right place).

    Another trouble spot is along Parnell Rise itself going down hill. Cars/trucks pop out from side roads to the left, and I had a close call with a truck who thought I was too slow and turned into Parnell Rise. Turns out I wasn’t too slow, and if I didn’t do a hard brake I would rammed into him.

  13. I’m a big proponent of riding on the footpath for safety’s sake; but that said, I also dislike how some cyclists ride the footpath; they’re too fast, they weave in and out, drive too close to people. I agree that the footpath must cater first and foremost to pedestrians, though, and cyclists should be mindful of exercising this courtesy.

    1. Yep, I recently went up the Golden Gate bridge by walking and a lot of the time I was either avoiding cyclists or being told to get out of the way by cyclists.

      1. This is not the time or place to start an argument about shared paths – but many of you will guess what I am thinking 🙁

        Like all tragedies – we can only hope to learn from them. Hopefully the cycling community will be shocked into taking extra car, motorists become more aware of potential dangers around them (see a cyclist – expect them to run lights weave traffic), and AT review the road and its purpose. That may well be shifting cyclists to the footpath or banning them from Stanley street. A plan could be developed by AT in consultation with cycling groups.

        1. Get lost.

          One cyclist dies crushed under a truck and your solution is to ban cyclists? You remember last year when a car driver was killed under a truck on the Southern Motorway, obviously that would justify banning all cars from the Southern Motorway right? Also, I completely agree that drivers should expect cyclists to run reds and weave along the road. A good driver understands that all groups of road users break the law almost constantly, hence why I never move off when a light goes green without checking first. Drivers need to pay more attention to the road in general and slow down atdangerous spots to reduce risk instead of barreling through everywhere as far over the speed limit as they can get away with.

  14. Amber means stop Lernie. It is a sad tragedy for the person that died, their family and friends, and for the truck driver and other witnesses but it seems to be yet another avoidable accident caused through not obeying basic road rules. Please do not think I single out cyclists here but Green is go – amber and red are STOP for everyone.

    1. Hi Phil, thanks the reminder; and yes I do know that it means. I’d like to think myself as a relatively by-the-book cyclist, but there sometimes ambiguous circumstances on the road, whether I’m biking or driving my car, that a personal decision to run the amber. In the case of a hill like Parnell Rise, and esp on a bike, when someone goes at speed downhill, it may turn to amber at a distance where you won’t be able to stop before the line anyway.

      I’m not espousing running amber lights — please don’t be mistaken — I’m just saying that circumstances on the road change all the time.

      My close contact with the truck from the side street, otoh, as taught me to go much slower down Parnell Rise from then on.

      1. I would actually like to further this point a little. In my experience, the “rules” for motorists and cyclists are quite different. Virtually anywhere you go in Auckland by car there is a clear set of expectations set for you by the presence of road markings, signs, availability of lanes (for example, free left turns) and so on. On a bicycle, this is not always the case. Cycle lanes often end in awkward places, space is shared with parked cars, you may find yourself suddenly in a position where there is no clear path (the particular example in my mind as I write this is Great North Road heading west, where you cycle alongside Oakley Creek Reserve for a while and then suddenly have to ride on a narrow footpath or merge into what is basically a motorway offramp), space is not provided (eg: Ian McKinnon drive past the final set of lights) and many more. In these situations, where the “rules” are not clear from the context, you find that people tend to make them up as they go. And why wouldn’t they? In these circumstances there isn’t a clear guideline about what should be done in the form of a cycleway, signage, (the two examples I cited, last time I checked, did not have painted lines), and so people will do what they naturally do and attempt to navigate it as best as possible using available information. I’m sure drivers would do this as well were it not for the fact that driving movements in Auckland (by and large) are all expressly catered for, signposted, and have all necessary provisions in place.

        TL;DR While cyclists running red lights is a problem, I also think its worth taking a broader perspective about cycling infrastructure in Auckland generally in these discussions.

  15. Terrible tragedy alright, but did anyone even stop to consider that ‘maybe’ the cyclist accidentally went through a red light (or orange light turning red) and was hit by truck (who was on green). It’s not always the motorist’s fault.

    1. Outside of this forum where there is generally a more balance debate, I think you’ll find any crash involving a cyclist when reported always blames the cyclist and never the car/truck driver. Compare that to EU countries where in any crash the onus of guilt lies on the person driving the car or truck unless proven otherwise. The outcome are cities in which drivers are much more respectful and aware of other road users.

      1. In this case it woul appear the driver is innocent, the truck had the green light, which means the cyclist ran an amber or red. Given there are pedestrian phases on those lights as well most likely red.

        Sadly the cyclist didn’t appear to obay basic road rules, like many others who ride around the city. I am about the drive into work, and guarantee I will see a cyclist run every set of lights along the way.

        1. I would encourage you to sit at a major intersection for 30 minutes and count the bike vs motorist red light indiscretions. Report back with your results. It will require you to leave your motor vehicle

        2. Running red lights is an epidemic in NZ. For the life of me I do not know why. If it is red for you, it is green for someone else. Certainly the Police should crack down on this bad and dangerous habit because it is equally as bad as drink driving and worse than most speeding.
          Cyclists are as guilty (often more so) than cars and trucks for running red lights and should face the same penalties.
          The worst thing about this tragedy is it appears as if it were entirely avoidable had basic road rules been followed. My deepest condolences go out to the deceased family and friends as well as the truck driver and witnesses no doubt in shock from the event. The only thing we can all hope for is to avoid a repeat of this incident in the future and that starts with cyclists obeying the rules and motorists being more spacially aware of hazards around them. These are zero cost to fix remedies we can all individually make a difference with.

        3. Sit at an intersection for half an hour and you will see that people on bikes are very much in the minority for red light running. You often don’t naturally see cars running red lights while you are sitting in a car. Bikes are easier to see as they stand out.

        4. I regularly cross this intersection as a pedestrian. I have seen cars and large trucks running red lights – particularly turning from Beach Rd into Stanley St – more often than I can count. I’ve never seen a cyclist run a red light here.
          There have been more than a few occasions when stepping out to cross Stanley St when the (frustratingly infrequent) “cross now” signal turns green would result in a close shave with a vehicle blasting through. This intersection is hazardous for anyone who’s not in a motorised vehicle, which is a rather regrettable situation given that it lies directly between the University and Parnell, both areas that are crawling with pedestrians.

        5. I take the bus to work every day, and every day I see at least twenty motorists texting and driving. The really skilled seem happy to do this at 70 or 80km an hour. I don´t think that errant behaviour can only be laid at the feet of cyclists.

        6. There’s also the matter of consequences. Yes, it’s terrible for the driver if a cyclist collides with their vehicle and dies, but the driver is probably not even physically injured. If the driver collides with a cyclist the cyclist is still very much at risk, likewise if the driver collides with another car.
          Cyclists are mostly only putting themselves at risk (they tend not to hit pedestrians with serious consequences for either party) when they run red lights or stop signs. When car drivers do it, however, they put other road users at real risk of physical harm in addition to the risk to themselves.

  16. It’s one if the costs we have to accept if we want a port in the city. With 1500 truck movements per day it must be factored in, independently of who’s at fault.

  17. It appears the cyclist ran a red light. This should be a wake up call to everyone (cyclists and drivers) to obey the road rules, wear safety equipment, and be aware of other road users. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11182745
    Unless the port is moved out of the city which doesn’t seem likely then it would appear it is unwise to ride on the Strand or Stanley Street. There are alternative routes which whilst they may be inconvenient – seem a better alternative to taking risks with heavy trucks.

    1. I think the point you are completely missing is that neither AT nor NZTA have been making any attempt to make cycling around Auckland safer. This is the wake up call. That roads and intersections need to be designed and upgraded to be safe for all users. Simply blaming the victim, as always happens in Auckland and NZ, and sticking to the status quo isn’t a society that respects and protects the most vulnerable – and on the roads these are people walking and on bikes.

      1. Trying to connect the fact that AT & NZTA haven’t been doing anything about making cycling safer with someone dying because they didn’t obey the road rules is somewhat of a long bow to draw IMO. This isn’t about blaming the victim – it’s just a fact. If they had obeyed the road rules, they would be alive. Nothing about making that road safer will change that.

  18. Bbc, I would hope that an article that is so fresh from the tragedy could remain free of venom. Sadly I do not believe that Stanley street can ever be safe for cycling as it has become for all intents, an on ramp to the motorway. The road is 2 lanes wide and for as long as we have the container wharf in the city – will be constantly used by heavy transporters. Short of widening the road, at the expense of peds or making the main road away from our port single lane there is no way AT can get a cycling lane on the road.
    May I suggest an instant fix to the issue and one with almost no cost, is to ban cycling on Stanley street. Cyclists wishing to Tavel along the corridor towards Grafton should only use Carlaw Park ave, and then have the very wide footpath south of Carlaw turned into a shared cycle/pedestrian path. Cyclists would then re-join the street on lower Grafton.
    This solution moves cyclists away from the trucks and so long as they can play nice with pedestrians everyone will be safe. If there are problems as suggested possible above then just ban cycling altogether as a last resort.

    1. This is a pretty good idea. Add some wayfinding and it would work. The only issue is crossing Parnell Rise to get back on the ‘right’ side of the road for the uphill ride. Not insurmountable though and as you said – cheap.

        1. At least those stairs have cycle ramps.

          Adam and Lernie’s comments are spot on. It’s a scary area to ride through.

          I actually support Phil’s idea of banning cyclists on Stanley Street.. provided the alternative routes are made more than acceptable: e.g. Carlaw Park Ave (which I have used a few times) with nice clear markings to help cyclists, and to alert parking cars / delivery vehicles to the presences of cyclists.. shared / segregated path along the little-used wide footpath with appropriate attention to vehicle crossings.. clear markings onto Tennis Lane and up to and across Lower Domain Drive.. proper provision for cyclists to cross the Parnell Rise / Strand intersection and so on.

          All this is so basic and low cost it’s tragic that it doesn’t exist. We often talk about the $ bns spent on roading compared to the failure to $ 10 m cycling actual spend. But translate that to a count of AT / NZTA / AC employees.. what does it look like? Several office blocks full of roading teams with multiple layers of management on the one hand.. and one pod in a corner somewhere with the cycling team so under-resourced they can’t even get through more than a third of their work plan?

      1. Most of us cyclists that use this area for that movement use exactly this route. It’s the only sensible option. AT and NZTA need to work together in a hurry to sort signage, lanes and turning opportunities. New links on the west of Stanley are planned but need action; anything on the east side of Stanley is an uncoordinated dogs dinner right now, as with so many other aspects of Grafton Gully.

  19. I also cycle regularly and last year covered over 5000km on roads around the East of Auckland, so leave my motor vehicle regularly. Yes cars and trucks run red lights, but as a percentage of users I would say cyclists do so far more often.

    I would like to see the police run a campaign targeting this along Tamaki Drive particularly. My brother in law was ticketed in Wellington from a similar campaign in Pukekura Bay, what I know that he and the group he cycles with no longer run the red lights.

    I think all road users should follow the road rules and stop at red lights and stop signs. That means Cars, trucks, buses and cyclists.

    1. Percentage means nothing. Sheer volume is what counts for this discussion. Reguarly, 3 or 4 vehicles will glide through each red light phase at the Te Atatu Rd / Mwy on ramp intersection.

      1. It is acknowledged that bike priority signals and dedicated lanes improve red light compliance significantly. We don’t do this if course as it might affect traffic flow.

  20. Bryce, We don’t use bike priority signals because we don’t have sensors that can accurately detect and differentiate a cyclist from another vehicle or a person or a dog or someone on a motorcycle that may be sitting in a cycle box.

    1. Funny that. The Netherlands cope very well. Yes, New Zealand is different. We can’t do that here. Is there some trade block that means we cannot use the same technology?

      1. The difference is that we have spent the last 60 years building crappy streets and roads with only one goal in mind: to speed motor vehicles. This is incompetent and has failed.

        The good news is that we will get round to following the rest of the world again and get to work on reversing this disaster, and probably, like we did with aping Motordom and making coffee, end up doing it better that anyone else.

  21. cbd should be non-cyclists. they cannot be trusted. So many of them run red lights cos the morons are clipped into their shoes and are too lazy to undo them. How many deaths will it take for the arrogant cyclists to get real.

    1. While other cities encourage multiple use of streets, creating zones everyone can move freely around safely and efficiently (Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne to name but a few), this argument looks to marginalise and and factionalise people even more. To get a perspective of red light running – I recommend you go to any traffic light on balmoral road, or Greenlane, or in fact, anywhere, and track the number of drivers running red lights, then see if your logic applies mainly to cyclists.

    2. If you want a city that is entirely for drivers only then feel free to stick to Albany or Westgate or wherever. We have plenty of places already where drivers can run riot without any concern for other users.

    3. Funny, I can guarantee that any driver in Auckland will run a red if it goes amber and they can get across the intersection before traffic starts moving across. Most cyclists I know wouldn’t dream of that.

  22. John, that is just going to happen.
    There is no reason why cyclists should not be able to share streets and paths in the CBD. All we need to do is follow the rules and show some care to each other. I don’t believe I have ever needed to be anywhere in such a hurry I couldn’t slow down in my car to accommodate cyclists or people on scooters, or pedestrians. Equally I am never going anywhere on my bike that is so urgent that I need to run lights.

  23. Should also point out that it’s not just this crash but there have been two other crashes in the last 24 hours that have left 3 other people dead. Not a good day for many people. Everyone needs to be safer on roads.

    1. So that makes that the road toll this year already at 7 (correct me if I am wrong). That is pretty much on average one death a day. Remember on TV when the police were aiming at <200 this year?

  24. … another mitigating factor at play here is when and where Heavy Trade (HT)vehicles are permitted use the roads. Without getting into the discussion about the economy and need to transport goods around, in many European countries HT vechicles are only allowed to use the roads at off peak hours this is to allow other road users a chance. The Strand is an HT arterial route from the port to the highway.

  25. how come the cycling lobby feels the need to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the facts. This poor man who died ran a red light according to two recorded witnesses and ran under a truck who was proceeding in a straight line.. So many run red lights.. We all know that because we all witness that in the cbd on a daily basis. If a truck ran a red light and ploughed into a cyclist, we’d never hear the end of it.

    1. I drive as well. I can tell you that the rate of red light running by motor vehicles in Auckland is very high. Choose to ignore this fact if you must. I’m also not a fan of people on bikes running red lights, shooting zebra crossings while peds wait etc. Having said that, advance cycle boxes leave me feeling very exposed and like a deer in a hunters headlights. Also, regardless of what the police said at the time, we should be awating the coroners report before making comments on who was at fault. There may be other information that we do not know about.

    2. So we have one cycle death, possibly from red light running, against Jane Bishop’s death caused by poor road design, Or what about the cyclists killed in Taupo a couple of years ago after a truck passed within inches of a group and sucked one rider under?

      Seperated cycle infra reduces cycle deaths, just like seperating vehicles from trains reduces driver deaths.

  26. Witnesses have reported what they saw Bryce. Stop looking for excuses. Stick to the facts. Many more cyclists run red lights than do vehicles. You can’t alter that fact with silly red herrings. My cycling friend tells me its far easier to run a red light than undo the cleats or whatever they’re called. Face the facts Bryce and urge your cyclist mates to be more responsible and stop running red lights

    1. John we love facts on this blog so can you please point to where the facts that show cyclists run red lights more than vehicles do. Sounds more like your personal opinion to me.

    2. You might want to read this: http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/about-us/publications/Reports/Documents/Auckland_red_light_camera_project.pdf. Scroll to page 21. 3.76% of all vehicles ran red lights in the surveyed period of 59 days or to put it in blunt terms – over 231,000 vehicles.

      I’m not suggesting the guy didn’t run a red but just relying on witnesses at this time can be inaccurate. The coroners report will have all details. Have you thought that perhaps his brakes failed?

      1. Also, what I am saying is we need to make the intersection and routes safe for all. At this time they are not. No where have I mentioned trying to apportion blame other than at transport authorities who are dragging the chain on real infrastructure.

    3. One important difference between running a red light on a bike vs in a car (or larger vehicle), is that if on a bike, you risk injuring or killing yourself. In a car, you risk injuring or killing other people.

      Cars are inherently more dangerous than bicycles when misused due to their size and weight, and the resultant damage, injury and death they can inflict on others.

      So (if true) while the cyclist may have been at fault by running the red light, it’s the utter dominance of larger vehicles (ie, not other bikes) that makes what he did dangerous and which looks to have lead to his death rather than a minor accident.

      1. As I’ve just said on the speeding ad discussion, no-one deserves to pay for a mistake with their life. People make mistakes all day long in cars but don’t get killed on city streets. Our car-dominated streetscapes however are fatal for pedestrians and cyclists who make mistakes

  27. This really is sad. First and foremost it is important to remember that a family has just lost a son / brother / father/ partner. Regardless of who is to blame in this incident, it reinforces the urgent need for modifications to this part of the city for the sake of safety, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. In my view, this area of Auckland is the best example of how over ambitious traffic engineering has ruined our city. Try walking from the city to an event in the Domain or the Tennis Centre and you will realise just how impossible it is to walk around this area safely. With the increased commercial activity around the Carlaw Park area, the residential and commercial areas around Vector Arena, and the soon to be built Parnell Station, Auckland Council NEEDS to devise a better way to connect the city with Parnell and the Domain. Yes, the need for heavy traffic from the Port to access the motorway system is an issue, but not one that cannot be surmounted. How about requiring the Ports of Auckland, or the transport companies that use this route (both of whom profit significantly from the use of public roads) to pay a levy which can be used for a major improvement program? One grand vision that I have is to build a dedicated tunnell from the end of the motorway to the container terminal, thereby taking heavy traffic off these roads (as well as Anzac Ave / Symond Streets which also suffer from Port traffic). This can be coupled with capping the motorway, as mooted in the city centre master plan and increasing the walkability of the area through Carlaw Park into the Domain and onto Parnell. While this would be expensive, it could be funded by a levy (as discussed) as well as through the increase in property values in the area. This area is already growing rapidly and will by further spurred in the near future with the Parnell Station plans and the demand for more apartment living. Unless something major is done, this area of Lower Parnell will continue to be merely an extension of the motroway through to the Port.

    1. The problem with the motorway tunnel idea is simply the cost. At about 1.2km long it would be three times longer than the Victoria Park tunnel, and would need to be four lanes wide. Given the cost of the Vic Park Tunnel that would put the bill at about a $1.5 billion dollars!

      We don’t need an underground motorway right into the port to make this area work. In my opinion the motorway should end back at Wellesley St, and from Wellesley St to Tamaki Dr should be redesigned as a proper arterial roadway that accommodates all modes and users properly. Plenty of examples of avenues and boulevards around the world that accommodate heavy traffic and cyclists, pedestrians, street trees, cafe tables etc.

      1. Hi Nick. I agree that the idea is probably unfeasible and was meant as more of a “grand vision” than a realistic short term prospsect. I suppose my point is that, while I definitely support small scale changes as a first step, something reasonably major needs to be done to improve this area. I also consider that the businesses that benefit most from this transit corridor should be responsible for mitigating its adverse effect on the city. With the Port looking to expand, and the number of container movements bound to also increase, this area will increasingly become nothing more than a transit route for heavy traffic. I don’t see the Port going anywhere anytime soon, and don’t nercessarily agree that it should. So the question is, how do we reconnect the CBD with the Domain and Parnell while at the same time accommodating the level of heavy traffic required to support the port?

        1. The port could start by tightening up their operations. From what I have heard most of the trucks are empty one way, they have no policies to ensure trucks drop off and pick up at the same time. Something as simple as a port access fee for trucks could halve the number of movements be ensuring there is minimal dead running.

          My suggestion is to keep things at street level, but do the road properly. And I mean properly for cyclists, pedestrians, local traffic, local businesses and development as well as for heavy traffic. For example, what if Stanley St and the Strand looked like this:

          Just take out the trams from the middle and replace that with limited access through lanes for trucks between the motorway and the port. A properly designed, green and pleasant boulevard like that would reconnect the whole area.

        2. So 2 x lanes for ‘through traffic’ and 2 x ‘local streets’ kind of thing? Could easily carry on to the strand. Do the trucks enter the port through one gate and exit next to Mechanics bay? If that happened, it would need 1x ‘through lane’ for port traffic on Beach Rd (NB) and then 1 x ‘through lane’ for port traffic (WB) on The Strand. A loop in essence for port traffic. Maybe?

        3. I like it! If only streets in Auckland could look like this (Fanshawe Street, Victoria St, Beach Rd, Customs Street, Hobson St and Nelson St are all candidates for this treatment).

          Yes, I agree that an access fee is a good idea, both for promoting the incentives you describe, and as a levy for the use of the public resource. From an economics perspective it would increase both efficiency and equity. Given that the Port is owned by the Council (and, by extension, us) it is also acheivable.

  28. Silly head in the sand nonsense Ian. The CBD of our biggest city should be no-go for cyclists. ….especially because so many of them run red lights.
    Simple as that Ian. All your hypothesising is a waste of time about truck levies etc. Next you’ll be telling us like your mate Bryce is tempted to….that this poor truck driver should have known this poor cyclist was about to run a red light and cycle under his truck.

    1. Why should the CBD be a no go for cyclists. Sounds like your comments of that cyclists run red lights all the time is just a personal bias. We can all make up comments like X group run red lights more often but let’s see the evidence. Personally as a pedestrian I see cars running red lights all the time but I accept that is just my point of view and it will remain that way until I see some actual stats. Do you have any otherwise you are just making stuff up.

    2. Hi John. I find one of the great thngs about this blog is that the posts are well reasearched and written and the comments threads generally full of people with constructive ideas of how to improve their city. Unfrotunately your posts bring down the level of discourse significantly, both in substance and tone.

      I don’t generally comment on blogs or opinion pieces online as I find they are just magnets for idiots with nothing better to do than write innane and insulting comments in order to feel some form of connection with the outside world which they are otherwise isolated from due to a lack of social skills. It appears that, unfortunately, this blog is not immune from this phenomenon. For future reference, if you want to persuade people, or even have people want to discuss things with you (you know, like a normal person), you should really work on a.) supporting assertions of fact with evidence (or, at the very least, logic); and b.) learning common courtesy.

    3. John.. can I suggest that it is you that needs to get your head out of the sand?

      As others have said, it is up to the coroner to investigate the facts of this particular case, and not for others to speculate.

      With regard to traffic lights and cyclists, it will not take you long to do the research online, and please remember to have an open mind when you do. There are plenty of accessible and rigorous academic papers and consultancy reports into red light running and jump-starting by cyclists, including here in NZ.

      Here’s a recent short summary PPT by AT that may help.. http://conf.hardingconsultants.co.nz/workspace/uploads/daniel-newcombe-5174b953be74d.pdf

      Equally, you could very quickly ascertain the percentages and reasons behind car / truck red light running, again using recent NZ peer-reviewed literature to ensure your insights are relevant.

      I look forward to hearing your rational evidence-based basis for banning cyclists from the CBD.

  29. Agree, we need to be very careful with a blame the victim approach. What is the root of the problem here? I would argue inadequate planning and infrastructure for cyclists to use the roads safely.

  30. There should be cycle arenas built where cyclists can put on all that weird cycle-wear, ride around and around and around until their tour-de-france urges are satisfied. Even put in a couple of dummy red lights for them to run with no risk of cycling into a vehicle. That way, cyclists would stop running red lights and getting killed in the cbd and not leaving innocent vehicle drivers with the scars of unavoidably being involved in fatal accidents.

    1. You obviously show a complete lack of understanding of what most cycling is (which is not Lycra clad sport racing wanna-be’s) or you are just trolling. Either educate yourself or go troll somewhere else.

    2. There should be truck arenas where truck drivers can put on all their weird trucker hats and drive around and around until their truck driving urges are satisfied… etc etc.

    3. Youmean like Hampton Downs but for cyclists? Funny how there are still cars on the road, because you know, people need to get places. Some of us put on our lycra,and hop on our bikes because we have jobs to get to.

  31. I think we can all agree that running red lights is an all too often occurrence in Auckland for both cyclists and drivers. We all need to stop that habit dead in its tracks before it stops us dead.
    I would prefer the container terminal be re located outside of the city, I can not see one good reason for its location in the CBD. Having said that, if it does have to stay, I do like a cut and cover tunnel as suggested by Ian as a way of getting the big trucks off the city streets.
    Let Ports of Auckland decide – move out of town – or pay up to become a better neighbour.

    1. I agree that the container wharf should ultimately be moved from the CBD, but I also think that focusing on large scale projects like this does little to help cycling in the short term, particularly when there are so many easy improvements that could be made basically overnight. I would like to echo the sentiment of many other commenters that AT and related agencies really do scrape the bottom of the useless barrel when it comes to cycling related matters, and that the council should definitely be held accountable, if not for this incident directly, then for the generally lacklustre response even in the face of death (re: Jane Bishop).

      It bears repeating that this is a terrible start to the year.

  32. Hey Andrew, according to your twisted logic, people who are king-hit shouldn’t have had their head in the fist’s way. You cyclists really are clutching at straws. Like Bryce suggesting the truck driver’s brakes might have failed. Desperate stuff Bryce. The facts…. according to police witnesses, a cyclist ran a red light and cycled under a trucks wheels. Further proof that cyclists who run red lights risk death. End of story.

    1. “You cyclists”?? Actually I haven’t been on my bike in nine months. Talk about assumptions.

      And no your atytempt at a strawman is backwards and very poorly applied – for starters, a king-hit is a deliberate attempt to injure or kill someone and in no way can be called an accident!

  33. Even more desperate clutching at straws Bryce. Take on board the overwhelming likelihood that the dead cyclist ran a red light as reported by witnesses and has paid the ultimate price

    1. I’m saying we don’t know why this happened. Do you really think someone would logically just ride into and under a truck? Couldn’t see it? We don’t know and won’t know until a full investigation is carried out. All that has been mentioned is that he ran a red light. We know nothing else at this time. If you cannot understand this then I will let you carry on your life. Chow.

  34. truck drivers are at work Nick. Making the economy work. You and your pink lycra-clad Armstrong wanna-bes are a blight on the city roads

    1. That’s funny, when I rode to work yesterday I don’t recall wearing any lycra, or anything pink. And I guess my job exists in a vacuum outside the economy too right?

      Who is Armstrong?

    2. Wearing a suit and driving in a car makes me a productive member of society whereas wearing my favourite pink lycra bike shorts and using my own muscles makes me a blight eh?

    3. John, when I ride to/from work, I am one less car than when I drive to work. Collectively, cyclists reduce traffic. Ditto PT users. Which is great when I am driving at work. Why is that hard to grasp?

    4. Indeed John, I am going to work, sometimes in black lycra, sometimes in black jeans, always on my bike, not sure how that isn’t getting the economy going. In fact, now I only drive for leisure, so should I have to go to a race track to do it?

  35. Get real Bryce. When cyclists run red lights, they instantly take the very real risk of crashing into a vehicle that is proceeding legally through a green light.
    What is it about the truth that you have a problem with?

    1. Have a look at the FACT’s I presented above about the numbers of motor vehicles running red lights at a few intersections in Auckland or are you conveniently going to ignore it as it does not suit your argument? Anyone who runs a red light risks death – either to themselves or another party.

      I drive a car, I have my Class 2 and I ride a bike (a crusty old MTB). You have an issue with people on bikes and can not see any other side to the story.

      1. Regardless of how many motorists cross red lights and how many cyclists cross red lights – both in the wrong and selfish towards other road users, it still doesn’t change the fact that if you do cross a red on a bike there is nothing to protect you, it is you versus a metal box. I certainly agree that motorists attitudes towards cyclists needs to change dramatically, HOWEVER so does those attitudes of most cyclists!

  36. boy racers should be locked up and have their cars confiscated. The same should happen to red-light running cyclists who scar innocent drivers

    1. Does that lock up include the over 600,000 motorists who incur speeding infringement notices annually? Or the drunk drivers? How are they any different to your ‘boy racers’?

    2. “..red-light running cyclists who scar innocent drivers… [should be locked up]”

      Well I’ll be sure to pass that sentiment on to the family of the deceased.

  37. Chill out Bryce. All your posturing and fact postings and smoke screen logic doesn’t alter the fact that a cyclist ran a red light yesterday according to police witnesses and ended up dead by riding under a trucks wheels. Thems the facts Bryce and none of your pointing the finger at vehicle drivers in anyway will bring the poor man back to life. Best you put on your lycra and your cleats and your water bottle and all the other weird stuff, go for a big ride and see if that enables you more to face the facts of what happened yesterday

    1. “fact
      a thing that is known or proved to be true.”

      Just thought you might have missed this. That the cyclists ran a red is neither known or proven, it is suspected.

  38. I’m sorry to add to this off topic, but guys, for those not used to comments or boards – we are feeding a troll. Discussing logically does not work. A very sad subject to troll on, but I’m sure he’ll sleep easy.

  39. Here’s a fact:

    ‘City studies found that when protected bike lanes were installed, crashes causing injury for all road users typically drop by a whopping 40%.’

    Bike Lanes, Memorandum, City of New York, Office of the Mayor 2011

  40. I agree with Adam. At a time when someone has actually died (no, john dempsey, it isn’t a playstation game) Most people have confined themselves to expressions of condolence for the family or anger at pointlessness of another cycling death. It is a pity the trolls seem to lack the modesty, self-reflection and self-discipline required to restrain themselves.

  41. Don’t feed trolls.

    How about this – what is actually required to do the cheap/easy cycle fixes? I mean, what action can be taken to shame/embarass/force the money to be spent from the existing budget and get things rolling.

    I (while having a minor anxiety attack) asked at Brent Toderian Auckland Conversation about closing queen street on weekends as a trial, using the same ‘guerilla’ approach as NY city – Ludo Campbell-Reid, after Brent’s and Paul Steely White’s talks, immediately went on to sya that they don’t want to upset the retailers by doing large works etc. When I pushed again the quick and easy stuff he basically confirmed that no one was even thinking about it and that they would consider it. And this is the guy who is supposed to be the ‘champion’ of this thinking in Auckland. How do we fix this?

  42. Patrick, the same amount of savings are made when you convert to one-way systems. Imagine if we combined the two approaches! Plenty of cities in the US have converted from one-way to two-way roads and have seen huge increases in pedestrian and cyclist accidents, but that information is swept under the rug because it is incredibly embarassing to planners. For example, Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico saw a +200% increase in cyclist accidents after they converted to two-way back in 2003 (I’m still trying to verify this). If we are serious about pedestrian and cycling safety then we need to base our decisions on the facts and get the politicians to stop approving more motorways and build more cycle infrastructure.

    1. What streets in Auckland could you really one-way that aren’t one-way already? Since you need a parallel pair, maybe Queen/Albert and Wellesley/Victoria? That’s about all I can see. Even then, they’d be horrible as four lanes one way: you’d want to narrow to two lanes (one bus, one car), plus bus stops and parking. Queen and Albert offers the slight upside that you’d be getting off the bus on the high side coming in to town, and getting on at the low side 🙂

      Stanley Street doesn’t have any real option for one-waying, along with most arterial roads in Auckland. I do think there’s a scope to one-way residential streets, though, given the tiny traffic volumes on them. Existing streets could probably free up a fair bit of on-street parking, plus space for more planting and kerb extensions, and new streets could be built significantly more narrowly if they didn’t have to accommodate two directions. Of course, that means we need to require more connected street patterns, and get rid of dead ends…

    2. I’d like to see that paper Ari. What were the actual figures?

      If that is an absolute figure, what is the exposure rate? Did they simply start experiencing cyclist injuries because cyclist actually started using it, whereas previously they avoided it completely?

      Going from one injury to three is indeed a 200% increase in injuries. However if that is in the context of going from 50 cyclists a day to 500 a day, then it is a 330% reduction in the injury rate.

      A little evidence if you please, I can’t but remain sceptical without anything but your oft repeated claim.

  43. One more thing about this accident – don’t jump to conclusions based trying to second guess what you read in the paper & on the internet. For all we know, he may have had equipment failure.

  44. I really hope this poor guy’s family and friends are not reading this – disgusting comments from those prepared to put their hatred of cycling above common human decency. Shame on you both.

  45. Well I’m just back in from a bike ride around my neighbourhood (trying to shed the Christmas weight gain!) and was abused by some idiots sitting behind me in a truck at an intersection. I was told “the roads are for f’ing cars mate”. They are right, our roads have not been designed for cycling and Auckland will continue to sit at the bottom of the cycling league tables and people will still get hurt and killed until such time as we set about reversing the dominance of cars in our city.

  46. The Strand is designated as a ‘Strategic Route’, which means trucks can use it to get out of Auckland, and onto the motorway.
    Manukau Road Epsom is also a strategic route, which means you get as many trucks rolling through there as you do a motorway.
    It sounds like he ran a red light, the truck was probably doing 50 going through a green, he would have had some speed as he came down from Parnel rise, but how was he thrown off his bike and under the truck I wonder??? Could he have hit a car stopped at the red and been thrown under the truck? He must have been booting it!!!

    My point is that there should be dedicated and barriered cycle/pedestrian lanes on all Strategic Routes.

    Get rid of the port maybe? Rail to take containers out of Auckland.

  47. What worries me is that AT implied that the intersection is not so bad for bikes because there aren’t so many crashes involving bikes! Sorry? Maybe because few people are brave enough to cycle through there?

    1. It’s just like as the way they only build roads once enough cars and trucks have beaten a rutted track across the paddocks. Oh, wait..

      1. It’s just like the way they only build roads after enough cars and trucks have beaten a rutted track across the paddocks.

        Coffee or an Edit function. Need at least one of those.

  48. Tragic circumstances aside, this really isn’t a question of which group runs red lights more than others. If you run a red light, you are in the wrong, end of story. If you choose to violate a safety measure, you have to be prepared to face some consequence. Cycling puts us in a far more precarious position, yes, but why do we keep, time and time again (anecdotally, but often seen from my bike and I’ve been guilty of doing it too) running red lights? Surely, given our more exposed nature, we as cyclists should be far more cautious than motorists. You can beat your heads against the wall asking why local government and the NZTA don’t act, or you can eliminate non compliance with traffic signals and ensure we’ve got the moral high ground for future debate. In this way, the car lobby will not be able to lob the “cyclists run red lights, our roads are safe” bomb into their arguments. I’m not saying we do it more, just the fact that we do it at all fundamentally weakens our argument.

  49. Having read the Dutch research on ‘advancing sustainable safety’ it is my opinion that mixing bikes, pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic at this location would not be acceptable to Dutch traffic engineers.

    1. So what? How is that relevant. Mixing (ie not segregating) those modes will always be difficult, you don’t need to read dutch research to know that.

      the fact is that we have no hope in achieving positive outcomes if people flaunt or disobey the rules.

  50. All of these short term immediate actions for the particular intersection in question are the very least we should expect from NZTA and Auckland Transport, however the big win that we should be pushing for in light of this latest tragedy is the formal prioritisation within transport modes, rather than the balancing of them within AT / AC policy and strategy.

    This is the very first step towards fundamentally changing the system towards a safer Auckland for everybody, and every intersection. Until Len Brown, Stephen Town ( new Chief Exec of AC) and David Warburton ( AT) take this first basic ( and easy!) step they accept some level of responsibility for all future cycling and pedestrian deaths.

    Auckland Transport’s Code of Practice is out for review currently, and has failed to address prioritisation, advocating for ‘balancing’ transport modes – the results of which are all too tragic in light of the latest death. This is the ‘bible’ for road design and until this guidance changes, we will continue to make the same mistakes.

    I believe now is the time that we should all start to push, protest, lobby and cajole with a single voice, and a common purpose for this one simple change that could fundamentally make a safer Auckland. Its the start of a new political term, and a new chief exec at Auckland Council, a time for change, with time to action it. Prioritisation not balancing.

    1. Agree 100%. Everyone who cares, contact you LB members, your councillors (or all of them – I have email addresses) and / or your local MP. Get writing. Increase the noise so we cannot be swept aside as a minor nuisance to be kept at bay.

    2. Harry, your comment is unfair. It is not AC’s or AT’s fault if an accident occurs due to somebody running a red light. The driver, of whatever mode of transport, must follow the rules and drive to the conditions. In the case of a cyclist if there is a known dodgy intersection with lots of heavy vehicles I would expect them to take additional precautions (or heaven forbid dismount and push), the fact that there is no dedicated cycling facility is not an excuse.

      You guys who are arguing about lack of infrastructure are missing/skewing the facts towards a different issue rather than looking at the root cause of this accident.

      1. Ok, so let’s just ignore that many think the intersection is dangerous and carry on arguing that he shouldn’t have gone (apparently) through a red light. A great way to instigate improvements.

        1. its only dangerous if people don’t follow the rules (regardless of mode). Are you suggesting that we should spend money on making improvements to accommodate people who don’t want to follow the rules just in case?

        2. Thanks fiddlestix, my comment was purely aimed at trying to tackle the systemic issue that leads to poorer safety for everybody regardless of their mode of transport. The motorists and pedestrians alike who witnessed this horrific incident were all affected, and whilst they haven’t paid with their lives – unlike the poor fellow who did, there is still a cost to them. The simplest and cheapest of all steps is to prioritise rather than balance. It cost virtually nothing, just change the wording of the appropriate policy. The impact however would be seismic, fundamentally changing the design process for future projects, regardless of whether they are reactive street enhancements, or new road projects. There is no excuse for anymore delay in moving to prioritization. However only the public voice appear to be able to move this agenda, as the technocrats are not listening to their own experts!

        3. This intersection is not up to standard. The roads leading to it, and the traffic volumes do not make it convenient for anyone and people end up doing dumb things. Sitting back and saying ‘it’s ok as long as people obey the rules’ does not offer a solution. After all, most roads in New Zealand are actually safe to travel in a modern vehicle at 100 km/h but NZTA are continually improving them to offer protection to drivers who make mistakes. Hell, we spend billions on saving motorists 10 minutes on a trip. Why can pedestrians and people in bikes not have the same consideration?

        4. Yes of course, fiddlestix, precisely. That’s why we have a function called safety management at most workplaces. It’s apparent failure in the timber industry is why 100s of contracting organisations are currently under investigation by MBIE, with so far, 182 non-compliance notices handed out.. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9506557/Opinions-split-on-whats-causing-forestry-deaths

          Why would you not try to mitigate both the likelihood and the consequences of a hazard such as a bike v vehicle interaction? When NZ’s cycling death rate is several times that of best practice e.g. Holland. Disproportionately worse than our overall road death rate.

        5. You’re so very right. If this were a workplace accident (it almost is as a commercial truck is involved), regardless of fault there would be an investigation into how to make it safer so that mistakes don’t lead to injury or death. An interesting line to follow….

        6. Another point is that traffic lights were designed to make it safer for converging traffic to safely navigate intersections. So, they were installed as a reaction to safety issues (and flow of course. Always the flow). If it is ok to install traffic lights to improve vehicle safety and flow then why not make improvements to areas of concern for other road users?

        7. If this were an accident (or even a near miss) involving any mode of transport other than road, there would be a full investigation into all the causes, going far beyond the immediate cause and what the rules said should have happened – see umpteen TAIC reports.

          Unfortunately, the mode of transport that has by far the most crashes has by far the least investigation of them, and then generally only for prosecution purposes. If we took road safety seriously, there would be TAIC-type investigations into, at the very least, all fatal crashes, and I’m sure that the recommendations would make very sobering reading.

        8. “its only dangerous if people don’t follow the rules (regardless of mode).”

          So the more than 2/3rds of cyclists that the Ministry of Transport itself acknowledges are not at fault in their own deaths (Safer Journeys strategy document, if you need the reference) – all those cyclists were just hit by lightning?

          Damn, we seem to have a lot mroe lightning here in NZ compared to Netherlands, where cycle death rates are a third of ours.

  51. According to the Ministry of Transport the cost of each road death is $4.5 million – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9590337/Every-road-death-costs-4-54m and each serious accident is half a million.

    What gets me is how you could make gigantic safety advances for piffling amounts, and make cycling so much easier for everyone. Take the road layout for users of the Northwestern cycleway who want to divert along St Lukes road to St. Lukes shopping mall to do a bit of shopping. The stretch of St Lukes road between Western Springs Road and Morningside Drive is near suicidally dangerous for cyclists. The road layout has a marked cycle lane, then it doesn’t, then it does and all the time motor traffic expect it to be a two lane road and you have to pray they all see you and can merge into the right hand lane before they hit you. Although illegal, I use the footpath there. Yet it would cost next to nothing (in the great scheme of things) to covert some of the hugely generous berm into a safe, separated cycle lane that would then link a a major cycle route to a big shopping centre. Why hasn’t that been done? On form, AT will wait until a cyclist is killed – at an average cost to the country of 4.54 million – before the drongoes who work there wake up reactively will spend some money on improving safety for cyclists on this stretch of road.

    And same with this poor dude who was killed on the Strand. How much cycleway upgrades around the domain would the $4.54 million cost of his entirely predictable death have brought? And he would still be alive today. After all, you can’t hit a truck if you are not there in the first place.

      1. We don’t know actually seem to know whether he cycled through a red light or was shunted through it by collision with another vehicle. None of the witnesses quoted in the newspaper actually *saw* him cycle through the red light. And most of those witnesses mention a loud bang *before* they saw a cyclist flying through the air into the path of the truck.

        I should say ‘yes’, they have thought about ‘the poor truck driver’ – indeed little else. As far as I can see, ‘the poor driver’ has ten sympathy votes in these comments for every four doled out to ‘the cyclist’, presumably because ‘the poor driver’ is imaginatively acknowledged as a human being and ‘the cyclist’ is, er, ‘a cyclist’, and a dead one at that, whose culpability for his own demise can be safely deduced from…. oh, anything. Didn’t the police say he must have gone through a red light or something? That’ll do.

        1. The comments in the Herald article are simply awful, in the context of the death of a *person*. The Transport Authority’s new campaign is timely, tragically.. as is the start of committee set up following last year’s coroners report into cycling deaths.

          I wonder if any of those commenters would write such ignorant, hurtful words, or even think them, if the cyclist who died was their own brother / father / son.

          Sure in time another coroner will investigate what actually happened Tuesday.

          Meanwhile, 34% of Aucklanders in the inevitable Herald Poll say nothing should be done, “roads are for cars”. NOTHING. 34%?! Already more than 1000 people…

        2. > Meanwhile, 34% of Aucklanders in the inevitable Herald Poll say nothing should be done, “roads are for cars”. NOTHING. 34%?! Already more than 1000 people…

          It’s a bit ironic, and, if I may say, stupid: if they believe “roads are for cars” these respondents should be the first ones supporting dedicated cyclelanes so that cyclists bother them less. Unless they are the self-centered types who believe: “I don’t bike, why should you?”


        3. “We don’t know actually seem to know whether he cycled through a red light”

          Fair enough, it says the truck had a green light. That said, I’d expect that probably he DID run the red light. Is that deserving a death sentence? Then several thousand (quite possibly several tens of thousands) of Aucklanders of all stripes and transport modes please report themselves, you shouldn’t be alive anymore…

          Or, you know, we could work to find out the whys and how to prevent both red-light running and fatal accidents better. The next time someone drives a car over a cliff on some hill road because out of control, I don’t expect to hear “oh well, he should have slowed down”. I expect to hear people say “Well, there should be a barrier above that cliff!”

      2. From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11183904
        “Police are investigating the crash, and said Mr Tangiia was probably freewheeling down Parnell Rise, turning left into Stanley St. The truck driver appeared to have had the green light.”
        – Ah, good, so now the police are actually *investigating the crash*, and *not* saying, as all the motorists seem to want them to say or have said, that the cyclist went through a red light. There are a number of ways a cyclist can end up in the path of a truck on green, and *not every single one of them* would be his fault. So can we please all stop acting like we know the dead man brought it on himself.

        (I sound a bit cross. Maybe I am. I have no clear idea what happened, but I resent the herd mentality that insists on blaming the strange Other first, and looking into the facts afterwards).

      3. Hi ‘Enuf’, the reason why there is simply more focus on the cyclist is that he is dead. But I don’t think the issue is (or should be) about who needs more compassion: the driver or the cyclist.

        Some people opine that this accident is not an exemplar for cycling structure improvements because it was human error on the part of the cyclist. While that may or may not be true (ie, brakes failing: a very plausible scenario, from my pov having had my front brake fail quite recently, too; getting rear-ended), even if we just assume that it was the cyclist’s fault, the result is almost always going to be catastrophic for the cyclist ie death.

        What some don’t seem to comprehend is that everyone makes mistakes (and equipment fails), but people like to talk big as though they hadn’t made a mistake in their lives. The problem is that if a cyclist makes a mistake, he’s more likely to be a dead man. A driver making the same mistake is more protected than a cyclist, and may live to drive another day. And what if it wasn’t human error, but it was equipment failure? Makes it worse: it’s like we’re skydiving all the time.

        What bothers me is the gross insensitivity of people who think that “cyclists, who know how vulnerable they are, should be more ‘law-abiding’ and if they break the rules, then boo-hoo, they brought it on to themselves — they deserve to die.” Rather harsh? Well, this is what some people are actually implying, if not blatantly saying.

        That’s why people are looking for structural improvements: improvements so that cyclists are not risking too much by just travelling around trucks or cars. At the moment, the cyclist has few reasonable choices but to tangle with motor vehicles. If a cyclist makes a mistake, and we all do, or slips on his pedals, or has his brake cables snap, or otherwise lost control, at least it doesn’t have to result in death. That’s what city-planning is all about: find an intelligent way to accommodate the nature of how people can travel around the city, account for human error, design it, and systematise it.

        Lastly, it puzzles me that some people don’t want public money spent on cycling infrastructure: motorists, who think cyclists are a ‘blight’, have a lot to benefit from this: less cyclists using the same space as cars/trucks, less cyclists overall meaning, hopefully, that will reduce the number of cars on the road. If we don’t, and the population keeps growing, and have no encouraging system for others to choose cycling as an alternative mode of transport, you might just end up taking four hours to travel 20k: http://tinyurl.com/nma2auj

  52. Unfortunately red light running is quite high as evidenced by the AT survey on the twitter feed. Regardless of whether cycle lanes are built (which they should) or not, cyclists need to stand up and improve their behaviour. If you’re on the road, follow the road rules!

    As long as Cyclists remain as ‘hated’ as they are currently there probably isn’t going to be much movement on the cycle facilities. Hopefully some of the ‘activist’ groups will start to take a visible stand against poor cyclist behaviour (sadly I don’t think this will happen).

    1. Hi Frank – I have just looked at the data, and the numbers show that the red light running in the study was very concentrated. over two thirds was on Quay Street / Tamaki Drive, with the numbers of red light running on other routes comparatively speaking, minuscule. So yes, it is a problem, and we would have no problem with more enforcement of the rules.

      I don’t get though why you feel that cyclist groups are not taking at stand. Have a look at “Good bunch”, a project created by Cycle Action Auckland and sports groups. A lot of effort (for an unpaid volunteer group) went into this.


    2. @Frank E:

      That logic assumes that cyclists are hated because they run red lights, rather than the criticism of red light running being because cyclists are hated in the first place, and it’s an acceptable criticism to use. Pedestrians cross illegally (or at least in a way that drivers think is illegal) as often as cyclists, surely, but they’re not hated for it.

      The more honest comments on news articles and that I’ve heard in person make it clear that the hatred that the hard-core “Motorists” have of cyclists is because they feel delayed when they get stuck behind bikes. Again, compare pedestrians – they have dedicated footpaths most of the time, so they do not “get in the way” of cars. So they’re not hated. Buses are very law-abiding, relative to cars, cyclists, and pedestrians, but there’s also a significant degree of hatred for them, because they are perceived as “delaying” cars.

      Part of that, it’s true, is that practically everyone is a pedestrian at some point, whereas public transport and especially cycling are more minority modes. But that holds just as true whether you’re a “model minority” or not. Even if cyclists changed their reputation to being “law-abiding”, that isn’t in itself going to make more people cycle, or increase the empathy that motorists have for them.

      A policy of building genuinely segregated cycleways should receive quite a lot of public support even from people who aren’t that positive about bikes, since it would appeal to motorists who think it would get bikes out of the way (even if it’s unlikely to speed their trips in reality). I’m pretty sure most people who hate bikes don’t think they realistically should be banned, or if they do, realise that banning them is incredibly unlikely. Segregated routes are the next best option from that cars-first perspective.

      1. Frank your logic is sadly twisted: Do you ‘hate’ all drivers too because so many use phones, speed, turn without indicating, drink, oh and some even kill while driving? No of course you don’t, or if you do you’re an even sadder person than you are making yourself sound already. No, some drivers seem to resent cyclists and use red light running, or not paying fuel tax, or the clothes some wear while riding, or whatever they can find to justify their irrational loathing. Repeating and trying to justify this unreasonable position is very disappointing.

  53. Your idea is that ‘cyclists’ deserve to be hated, unless ‘cyclists’ as individuals and as a group recognise that they are responsible for all cyclist transgressions, particularly those committed by other people,sorry, other ‘cyclists’. Well, are ‘motorists’ answerable for the transgressions of other people who drive? No. So your choice of the word ‘hated’ seems apt – only of the targets of hate speech does anyone say: you are not individuals.

    1. That’s right David, unless cyclists start to behave properly they are not going to get peoples respect. You mention cars being answerable, they are, the cops in Auckland absolutely love catching and fining them. When was the last time that they gave much attention to cyclists who are breaking the law

      1. For crying out loud. These are not people going around mugging, killing etc. They are just people, the vast majority of whom are law abiding citizens, just going to work, friends houses, a cafe, or for a ride along some nice scenery. People. Respect them as human beings. No different to the person sitting in the car alongside.

  54. Interesting dichotomy in our house over this issue. I love the idea of cycle pathways and being able to ride safely. My wife has to follow a peleton of riders down Beach Rd on the Shore most mornings. The usually ride 2/3 abreast and there are very few safe passing places pretty much from Browns Bay to Milford. So her opinion of cyclists is somewhat clouded.

    1. If it’s really a whole peleton of cyclists, the cyclists are probably stuck behind the others and unable to overtake or merge left, either. That’s not the cyclists holding her up, it’s just the congestion caused by a lot of vehicles (whether bikes or cars) using the same road.

    2. I would say that there are several god passing opportunities on that segment, if you are struggling to pass on that stretch then the vehicles are going toofast for you topass anyway.

  55. To follow up, cycle lanes need to be totally divorced from car lanes to be safe for everybody. Don’t know if that is financially feasible.

    1. More a question of space, than money. As long as we prioritise car parking over cyclist safety, it is impossible. The cost itself is no big bother, compared to standard transport CAPEX costs.

      Where we can’t do it for space or money reasons, we can always reduce speeds to 30 km/h or below (town centres or residential areas, mainly). Then u don’t need bike lanes.

      1. Max can I improve that sentence for you:

        “As long as we prioritise car parking over road and street safety, it is impossible”

        It’s safety for everyone that needs to be the aim. Not anything special for any one group; people whether they’re driving, riding, or walking.

  56. You’re right that it’s an unreasoning hatred.

    The Herald’s print edition today stoked that by selecting *seven* letters to the editor for publication which ALL blamed cyclists, including repetition of the tired cliches about not following the rules and not paying for the roads. Not one letter was published supporting cyclists.

    The Herald sub-editor chipped in with a giant initial headline “Road rules binding for all, including cyclists”.

    The first letter by the supposedly-educated Roseanne Meo of Remuera proposed restricting access for cyclists to high-volume roads as a solution, like we do for motorways.

    I hope CAA or someone else complains formally to the Editor and to the Press Council about this blatant editorial bias and lack of balance. Impossible to justify selecting so many repetitions of a couple of views but none supporting the right of cyclists to be on our roads.

    1. Agreed, I thought the letter selection was very irresponsible. The Rod Emmerson cartoon was a small glimpse of sanity amidst the anti-cycling ranting.

    2. The very same paper that called a driver, who fell asleep, crashed his van, nearly killed his family (and if he’d crossed the centreline could have killed others), ‘heroic’ because he hauled his daughter up a bank.

  57. I have been interested to see the hatred as well – it is just so vitriolic. I really think it is borne out the general impatience of NZ drivers (myself included at times). People wanto to get where they are going as fast as they can and just get annoyed if they have to slow down for a second or two to pass a cyclist safely. I was honked at by a big black SUV while cycling on Tamaki drive last week because I held it up for a few seconds when it wanted to get past everyone by using the T2 lane (despite the fact that the general traffic lane was not congested at all). We just need to learn to chill out a bit when we are in our cars. This would also go a long way to resolving issues with speeding, red light running, failure to stop at pedestrian crossings etc etc.

    One issue where I don’t agrere with CAA is around the use of helmets. Why, oh why would you not want to wear a helmet when riding on the road?? Even if there were not cars on the road, I would still wear a helmet. Concrete + Skull = One big mess.

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