Tuesday’s sad event of a cyclist being killed at the intersection of Parnell Rise and Stanley St immediately raised a lot of questions about what is and isn’t being done for cycling in Auckland. While the most recent public information available suggests that the cyclist may have run a red light we need to remember that it will probably be some time before we get the all the information on what happened. It also doesn’t diminish the outcome and for many doesn’t do anything to change the perception that not enough is being done to improve cycling infrastructure in Auckland (regardless of what use it may or may not have been in this particular case).

So I asked Auckland Transport for some information about what they’ve done and to their credit they have responded with some quite detailed information. I’m just going to post it all here pretty much as is as I think all parts of it are valuable. First of all they had this to say about the incident and cycling in general:

Auckland Transport would like to extend its condolences to the family and friends of the cyclist who died in yesterday’s accident in Parnell. Our sympathy also goes to the driver involved and to the witnesses and emergency services. Regardless of who is at fault, one accident like this is one too many.

The intersection of Parnell Road and The Strand has had no cycle crashes in the past ten years.  For the five year period 2008 to 2012 there were 42 crashes, four of which were minor and 38 non-injury. There have been no fatal or serious crashes at the intersection in the past five years.

2012 saw an impressive 64 per cent reduction in fatal and serious cycle injuries in Auckland from 51 in 2011 to 18 in 2012, while cycling increased across the region.


Auckland Transport runs focused campaigns during spring and summer, we also run year-round cycle training and “share the road” safety campaigns. Cycle training has also been delivered to around 10,000 people from school children to businesses and community groups, along with cycle maintenance and safety courses.

In August, Auckland Transport and the Police ran a media campaign highlighting “Red Light Running”. This targeted motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The annual cost of red light running is estimated at $43 million. The campaign followed an announcement in July 2013 that the government is stepping up the use of red light cameras.

From 11 November to 8 December 2013 Auckland Transport ran a programme “Share the Road”.  The campaign objective was to encourage motorists to be more aware of cyclists on the roads and more specifically:

  1. To give cyclists 1.5 metres space when passing;
  2. To look out for cyclists when turning; and
  3. To look out for cyclists when opening their car door.

AT Cycle Campaign

Our summer cycling campaign will run from 20 January to 21 March 2014.

The campaign objectives are to increase the levels of cycling across the Auckland region, and to encourage Aucklanders to sign up and attend our free summer cycling training courses to enhance their skill level and confidence and to increase their knowledge of safe cycling behaviour.

There are a total of 34 summer cycling training courses including:

  • Beginner bike training for adults
  • The basics of bike maintenance
  • Commuter leg up course
  • Novice on-road training for adults
  • Intermediate on-road training for adults

So on to the questions

How much AT has been spent and budgeted for on walking and cycling each year since AT’s existence?

A budget of $10.3m is identified for new cycle and walking infrastructure in the 2012-15 Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP). In addition to this approximately an additional $15m is spent on cycle and walking projects per annum as part of other transport projects eg road corridor improvements, road safety initiatives and road maintenance. The budget takes into account delivering new footpaths as well as new cycleways.

$2m per annum is budgeted on promoting cycle and walking and enhancing road safety education including cycling training for children and adults.

The following amounts have been spent from the stand alone cycle and walking infrastructure budget. This amount does not include operational improvements and promotions undertaken or cycle facilities delivered by other projects such as Glenfield Road.

  • 2011/12 – $7m (prior to 2012-15 RLTP)
  • 2012/13 – $9.967m spent
  • 2013/14 – $10.3m planned

Auckland Transport’s cycle programme undertakes a dual approach of improving cycle infrastructure and education to provide for greater number of cyclists and improved safety.

There are six goals in the cycle programme:

  • Provide a safe, well connected cycle metro network that is separated from traffic to increase numbers of cyclists.
  • Provide key community cycling links for work and recreation to encourage cycling as a mode of choice for community trips.
  • Integrate cycling with other transport modes to optimise Auckland’s transport system
  • Raising awareness and promoting the benefits of cycling.
  • Deliver effective cycle training programmes with a focus on cycle safety skills.
  • Optimise investments in cycling across the network to maximise benefits and ensure value for money.

Providing separated dedicated bicycle lanes, shared paths and other types of cycle lanes to link the cycle network, transport interchanges and local services is the focus of the cycle infrastructure programme. This was confirmed in a 2013 Auckland Cycle perception study where 60 per cent of participated identified the delivery of separated cycle facilities as a key priority.

How much of the cycling network does AT plan to implement and implemented each year?

  • In 2012/13 delivered 7.4km of new cycle lanes and shared paths and 8.7km of new footpaths
  • In 2013/14 plan is to implement 15.4km of new cycleways and 6km of new footpath

Can you please provide a list of all cycling projects that have been built in recent years and what is planned?

Cycleway schemes that have been delivered include:

AT Completed Cycle Projects 1

Planned Cycleways

The recently revised Auckland Cycle Network provides the plan for the delivery of the network at three different levels – Metro, Connector and Feeder.

  • METRO –  provide segregation from traffic along shared paths, off road routes and protected cycle lanes
  • CONNECTOR –  are not fully segregated routes and are the more traditional cycle lanes marked by painted lines
  • FEEDER can be a mixture of segregation, shared paths and on-road routes but are located on quiet neighbourhood streets and where there are low traffic speeds.  These routes link residential streets, parks and community facilities including schools. The Feeder network also aligns with Local Board Greenway proposals

The completion of the Auckland Cycle Network will take a number of years to complete and will be delivered in partnership with other organisations including NZTA and Auckland Council. The following is the list of cycle infrastructure projects currently being undertaken:

Central area

In the Central area delivery of major sections of cycle ways are linked to other key transport projects including AMETI, and Waterview. Additional Metro connections are being investigated to maximise connectivity to these new routes. These include linking New Lynn to the Waterview shared path and linking AMETI at Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive and improving local connection between Point England and Panmure. Design and delivery to connect the network is underway and is influenced by the timeframes of the overall projects.

Construction is already underway on the NZTA Grafton Gully cycleway and this will be linked to the waterfront through Beach Road, which will begin construction in 2014. Feeder connections are also in development providing safe routes and linkages to Auckland Council Greenway networks. This includes the recent completion of the improvements for cyclists in the Auckland Domain and delivery in 2014 of the Dominion Road parallel routes and Mt Roskill safe routes.

Projects being currently undertaken include:

  • Beach Road  – METRO
  • Waterview shared path – METRO
  • Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive – METRO
  • New Lynn to Waterview – METRO
  • Ngahue Drive cycle route – METRO
  • AMETI – cycle lanes delivered as part of the transport upgrade – CONNECTOR
  • Tiverton Road – parallel cycle route – CONNECTOR
  • Point England safe routes – CONNECTOR / FEEDER
  • Orpheus Drive – FEEDER
  • Waitemata Safe Routes Scheme – FEEDER
  • Mount Roskill Safe Routes Scheme – FEEDER
  • Dominion Road  – Parallel cycle routes – FEEDER
  • Stanley Street pedestrian overbridge

Northern area

In the North, cycle metro facilities have been designed and will be constructed as part of the Albany Highway corridor upgrade. Designs are underway for the Upper Harbour Drive cycle route linking to the west and new developments in Hobsonville. Linking the network is continuing with development of the Northcote safe routes scheme linking Northcote Ferry Terminal with Northcote town centre, and connecting to existing facilities at Smales Farm.

Auckland Transport is also working with NZTA to investigate opportunities to improve cycling with highway upgrades at Greville Road and at key intersections on the motorway network. Additional cycle facilities have been incorporated into the investigation for improvement on Glenvar Road and East Coast Bay Road to accompany growth in the Long Bay area.

Projects being currently undertaken include:

  • Albany Highway –  METRO
  • Northcote Safe Routes Scheme – FEEDER
  • Upper Harbour Drive  – METRO /CONNECTOR
  • Whangaparaoa cycle lanes – as part of corridor upgrade – METRO /CONNECTOR
  • Glenvar Road – METRO /CONNECTOR

Western area

In the West of Auckland construction this year includes Portage Road (between Neville and Kinross Street), Don Buck Road cycle lanes (linking Triangle Road and Fred Taylor Drive), and commencement of cycle lanes as part of corridor improvements on Te Atatu Road. Auckland Transport is also working with NZTA to tie into the improvements being undertaken as part of the SH16 motorway works and linking through to Feeder improvements adjacent to Lincoln Road incorporating Rathgar Road and connecting the local schools.

Projects being currently undertaken include:

  • Portage Road – CONNECTOR
  • Don Buck Road Cycleway Stage 3 – CONNECTOR
  • Rathgar cycle lanes – FEEDER
  • Te Atatu Road – CONNECTOR

Southern area

In the South area of Auckland there is focus on the connections to rail stations with four routes to begin construction in 2014 – Bridge Street, (Puhinui to Noel Burnside Road, Papatoetoe); St Georges Street (linking to Papatoetoe Station); Browns Road (linking to Homai Station) and Station Road (linking to Manurewa Station).

These are complimented by the construction of secure covered bike parks which have recently been completed at Papatoetoe and Papakura train stations. Improvements for cycle safety are also in design for sections of Great South Road in the south of the region to connect existing sections of cycle lanes. Community connections and safety improvements are also being design for the central Mangere area, integrating with the greenways network for the area.

Projects being currently undertaken include:

  • Great South Road, Papakura Bridge – CONNECTOR –
  • Station Road, Manurewa – CONNECTOR
  • Browns Road, Manurewa – CONNECTOR
  • St George Street, Papatoetoe – CONNECTOR
  • Puhinui Road and Bridge Street, Papatoetoe – CONNECTOR
  • Great South Road, Wellington Street Papakura – CONNECTOR
  • NZ National Cycle Trail (Auckland Airport to CBD)

Area wide

  • Delivery of bike parking  – a mixture of public transport and on street facilities
  • Continued role out of advance stop boxes
  • Review of current cycle network to address known deficiencies

Probably the most interesting part in this answer is the description of the revised Auckland Cycle Network. I had known work was being done on updating it last year but AT have been incredibly quiet about it till now. I suspect they were planning a more flashy launch but the unfortunate events have probably changed that. It also puts into a different light the project listed at the end of the Central Area section – a Stanley St Pedestrian Overbridge which I presume is going to be designed to tie in with the new Parnell rail station somehow.

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  1. They’d better quickly get onto improving cycling infrastructure around the area where the tragedy happened. Once the Grafton Gully cycleway is built it’s easy to see a vast increase in the number of cyclists passing through this very intersection.

    1. Pushing in and putting this post near the top of the list…..

      I would like to see some study done with the Netherlands on cycle stats, in particular, attitudes of car drivers (and truck drivers) and cycle riders. How often cyclists break the law, how often cars or trucks hit cyclists, and what the fines are in each instance. It is probably going to be difficult to make a direct comparison due to the differences in scale, and roading layout but there may be some useful trends that might be able to be compared.

      I spoke with a Dutch gentleman this morning. His take on things in the Netherlands are that cyclists run red lights, weave in front of cars and trucks, ride more than one abreast blocking roads, use roads in preference to cycle-ways and do all the bad things cyclists get accused of here. However, the attitude of car, truck and bus drivers is completely different in that they are very aware of the risk of collision with cyclists and drive accordingly.

      It may be that there are automatic fines for drivers who hit cyclists, it is probably more likely that the greater awareness is due to the sheer number of cyclists. That random cyclist exhibiting bad behaviour on the road may be your child, or your neighbour’s grandmother, or your co-employee riding home without lights after a night out “on the piss”. In every instance, no matter how badly cyclist is riding, it is socially unacceptable to knock them over, to cause injury or worse (in the Netherlands).

      I would be interested in the viewpoints of any others who have experience of how cyclists and other road users interact in places like the Netherlands or Copenhagen.

      1. He may be right but in all of the videos I’ve watched from the 2 main Dutch bike blogs, I have never seen anyone riding on a road when they were supposed to be on a bike path. Be aware that many Dutch streets form part of their bike network where traffic speed and volumes are limited. Context is very important.

        1. ‘Be aware that many Dutch streets form part of their bike network where traffic speed and volumes are limited. Context is very important.’

          OK, fair point. So would it be fair to say that there is a better understood demarcation between ‘Dutch streets’ and multi-lane carriageways where bicycle lanes are clearly separated away and motorised traffic is indeed “king”? ‘Dutch streets’ might be comparable to our mixed use streets – in the case of the Netherlands, primarily historic carriageways through old towns and villages.

          1. Most Dutch who drive also ride bikes so there is a very clear understanding of the associated risks involved and the need to make room and allow for errors. Did you know for instance that the Dutch are taught (so I’m told) to open the car door with the opposite hand which in turn causes the top part of the body to move which increases the chances of looking in the rear view mirror before opening the door? Crazy huh?

            And what do 30 km/h streets look like? Here is one right outside my front door. My son is in the photo, He is 6 and is allowed to explore the entire development by himself. There is nothing special about this street other than the speed limit and the limited traffic volumes in that it is not a through route. Have a look and see if you can imagine many areas of Auckland’s suburbs looking like this. It would be very cheap and we can join these areas together with on or off road lanes on connector streets leading to arterials.


          2. Nice. This is just another example of how Auckland Council completely undersold medium density housing – that picture tells a thousand words.

            To get a comparable level of safety in NZ for cycling for kids, you’d be looking at the back streets of a very small NZ town……we recently spent summer time in an NZ town with a permanent population of 400, although it swells to perhaps 800 at holidays. There, people of all ages do ride their bikes and it is directly along the route of the Waikato River cycleway. The town’s resident community generally encourages adult vehicle drivers to look out for kids on bikes where they roam during the school holidays with a sense of freedom almost completely unknown in our cities now.

            Of interest, the town is off the main highway which therefore keeps the through traffic off even the main street.
            So – it is possible in NZ with better planning, and a change in attitude.

          3. And, unlike the common assumption, much of it requires very little in the way of budget. Sure, there are some big dollar items in Auckland City but only because we left them out when building the city over the past 60 years. Those kind of retrofits (Grafton) are expensive.

            I agree with council underselling this kind of development during the DUP process. We’ve been here for 3 weeks and love it. Who needs a backyard when you have nearly an acre of grass, trees and a pool? I was painting inside my garage tonight and a neighbour walked over with a beer. He’s a conservative and we had a good chat. Never happened once in my old suburb.

      2. I understand the Dutch have a form of strict liability for vehicle-bike accidents, and that’s an idea I’d support in NZ.

  2. There appears to be a serious disconnection between what AT thinks of as a cycle lane and a proper, safe, separated cycleway. I’ve been going up Grafton Road quite a lot recently, towards Park Road, and the cycle lane consists of an intermittent line painted a metre out from the kerb that is neither safe nor particularly visible to motorists. Basically it appears that aside from a couple of painted lines and ‘advance boxes’ (which, more often than not are ignored by motorists), AT’s cycling strategy is largely based on a marketing campaign with its usual surfeit of photographs of smiley smirkers, on bikes this time, rather than staring through decal wraps on trains. Another traffic engineering failure from AT.

    1. Cycle lanes (if they don’t cut out at intersections) actually provide significant real safety benefits – what they don’t provide is PERCEIVED safety for newbies and casual cyclists. This keeps many Aucklanders from even giving cycling a go, and thus keeps the numbers down.

      And since cycle numbers have a stronger effect on safety than anything else (doubling cycle numbers from 1% to 2% halves the per-person crashes), protected cycle lanes would help safety both ways, and are urgently needed. Painted cycle lanes mainly help the more courageous ones who already cycle. Appreciated, but not the best solution for a better cycling city.

  3. WTF???

    “….The following amounts have been spent from the stand alone cycle and walking infrastructure budget. This amount does not include operational improvements and promotions undertaken or cycle facilities delivered by other projects such as Glenfield Road.

    2011/12 – $7m (prior to 2012-15 RLTP)
    2012/13 – $9.967m spent
    2013/14 – $10.3m planned…

    …In 2012/13 delivered 7.4km of new cycle lanes and shared paths and 8.7km of new footpaths
    In 2013/14 plan is to implement 15.4km of new cycleways and 6km of new footpath…”

    21.8 km of new cycleways in two years is derisory, and utterly inadequate – especially when you consider it has cost them TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS. Even adding in the footpaths, this comes to $550 per metre. Jesus H. Christ, I can buy a 40kg bag of cement for $15 retail (on special) at Mitre 10!!!!!!!

    I am in the wrong game, I ought to be contracting to AT. I’d be rich.

    1. Reading Christopher T’s comment it occurs to me it is worse than I first considered. That 20 million for new cycleways and footpaths may in the case of tthe cycleways amount to $500 per metre for a some paint. Still, I guess all the consultants, flow engineers, project managers, consultants and lastly and probably leastly old Uncle Tom Cobbly who actually paints the road will all get paid.

      1. To be fair, cycle lane projects (for better or worse) usually also include things like reseals, changes to stormwater catchpits, at least local changes to kerblines etc… and the sums above also include numerous (small) bridges and so on.

        The issue lies more in the “is it fit for purpose” (most Aucklanders still say no, they won’t cycle on paint-only lanes) and “it is enough progress” (at 7-15km a year, no).

        1. If our cycleways were the impressive, well thought separated cycleways like you see from Holland then yes, $550 a metre might be fine. But what cycling commuters seem to get for the money in Auckland is a bit of of asphalt linking up nowhere in particular and a few painted lines on a busy feeder road, as if that will act as a magic amulet of safety.

          I suspect most of the money is being spent on lovely recreational cycle facilities like the one around the lagoon up in Orewa. In other words, AT still refuse to accept cycling as anything other than an elective passtime for weekends. Commuting cyclist are still treated like something annoying that they have scrape of their shoes.

      2. Note how AT has presented the data..

        In 2012/13 delivered 7.4km of new *cycle lanes and shared paths* and 8.7km of new footpaths
        In 2013/14 plan is to implement 15.4km of new *cycleways* and 6km of new footpath

        It’s not clear to me that any of the 7.4 km delivered are segregated cycleways

        Or for that matter that the cycleways planned for 2013/14 are segregated.

        In any event, $ 10 m for all cycling and footpath infrastructure combined is hopeless. Notwithstanding NZTAs contributions by way of Grafton Gully etc.

        No doubt generally there is a well intended dedicated team in AT but more broadly it’s hard to take AT seriously. Most of what is listed doesn’t even catch up with the last 10-20 years of roading growth and general development. 15 km a year merely slows the rate of decline.

        AT needs a step change in its approach at the highest level.

    2. Is it actually possible for this politically divided bureaucratic monster called Auckland Council to deliver anything in a cost effective timely manner? I say no!

  4. Just on your last point Matt, in general trying to put pedestrians and cyclists up in the air or in tunnels and away from the street doesn’t work (people still take the most direct route) and gets the wrong mode away from the streetscape, but in this case, because this local road has been made into yet another defacto motorway I think it is the best solution.

    Furthermore because of the topography there is a good chance that, done properly, it would work. Probably the best location for an elevated crossing is at Alten Rd. The western end would be at grade as the street climbs steeply here, can connect to the cyclepath (which should have retained its altitude by following the cliff and not terminated down at Stanley St), and, as you say, project east to the Train station. Heather St should be included in this network of wide and direct cycle and walking routes. Changes in elevation must be minimised too to attract users.

    Good links through the station and Heather St and therefore across to the University would create a new and much more direct Parnell- Uni- legal district route that are way more viable and attractive than the existential challenge that walking or cycling through this highway ruined place currently offers.

  5. Sharrows?

    Part of the general progress is the addition of more Sharrows. I had to google that.

    But at I learnt something today.

    1. I think we could Sharrow every road in Ak by the time AT makes any meaningful change….

      Can of paint and a stencil…. Mind you Sharrows, simply being a picture of a bike on blacktop, won’t achieve much.

  6. Unless a shared path is a direct route with no driveways or streets to cross, it will not work as intended. The reason people do not use shared paths is simple – they have to stop at each ‘t’ intersection to in order to cross, while motorists carry on along the roadway. The shared path along Central Park Drive is a classic example. Stop building these and calling them cycle infrastructure. For what it’s worth, the shared path to the Silverdale P’n’R will not work either. I will get some photos of the obstacles facing anyone who would like to ride to the P’n’R. Perhaps it’s worth a post?

    1. These shared paths are really frustrating (and a bit of a waste of time and money). I personally have no problem with the painted cycle lanes next to the kerb, so long as they are continuous and don’t abrubtly end when you hit a car park or other kerb protursion, requiring you to sweve out into the traffic. As an added safety feature AT could just add a rumble line and / or plastic posts. I am at a bit of a loss as to how they can be so expensive though, as in my experience the road surface is usually rubbish and there are usually still stormwater drains and the standard accompanying potholes. The road code also needs to be more explicit about cyclists going straight at intersections having right of way over turning cars coming up from behind. I have had so many near misses with cars accelerating around me to get into a turning slip lane at intersections (of which, as an aside, Auckland has far too many).

      1. Especially as the road is usually not rebuilt as such so the cost is in paint. Some ‘armadillos’ or ‘flexi boallards’ would go a long way to providing an element of both perceived and real safety for all riders. Cheap as.

      2. That’s interesting Ian. I haven’t been sure who has the ROW where a left-turning driver is effectively crossing a straight-ahead (cycle) lane to his left, but have assumed the cyclist does for safety reasons. A few days ago I was about to turn left onto Ngapipi Rd from Tamaki Drive and passed a cyclist about 75m before the turn so slowed to a crawl to let him through; to his credit he gave a little wave of acknowledgement. That doesn’t often happen.

        The worst example of this conflict that I’ve come across (where the cycle lane becomes dotted) is the left turn from Manukau Station Rd onto Wiri Station Rd (ie heading towards the EMU depot), as the overlap is quite long. Fortunately I’ve never seen a cyclist on it but it still makes me a little nervous as a cyclist matching the car’s speed can easily be obscured.

        I’ve formed an impression that the running of red lights by cyclists has reduced markedly in the past year or so. Not a scientific study, just a perception. Some still slowly cycle through a pedestrian phase, but I guess that’s not so bad. The cycle box also seems to work well, although I’ve noticed some commenters on this blog don’t like them.

        1. You have to give way to a cyclist in a cycle lane, in the same way that you would have to give way to a car that was in a lane to the left of you as well. See http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2004/0427/latest/DLM303043.html particularly sections 1(f), 2(b), 4(a)(i)-(ii), and 4(c).

          If the cyclist is not in a cycle lane, you can’t overtake and then turn if you’d get in the cyclist’s way. If you start out behind the cyclist, you can overtake, but must wait to turn until he’s passed the intersection in accordance with http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2004/0427/latest/DLM303048.html section (3). It’s unlikely you started out ahead: the cyclist would have to have been going faster than you and caught up, improbable, or have only just very recently joined the traffic, in which case he would have had to give way to you when joining the traffic in the first place.

          These rules are not generally followed and practically unenforced, so if you are cycling – don’t rely on this for a second.

          On the other hand, for when you’re cycling, but not in a cycle lane, and want to pass on the left: it’s usually illegal, the only exception being traffic that is completely stopped. see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2004/0427/latest/DLM303050.html

          1. So that’s probably the reason they end cycle ways before intersections. Actually applying European or American standards where traffic no matter if pedestrian cyclist or car moving in the same direction have the ROW over turning traffic would probably improve a lot and also improve generally the traffic flow.

          2. You mean on-road cycle lanes ending before intersections then restarting on the other side? I don’t know of anywhere like that, have you got an example in mind?

            I do support the idea of giving straight-ahead pedestrians priority over turning traffic, but I don’t think a law change alone will really change behaviour. America has that law, and you see a dramatic difference in motorist compliance with the rule when there’s a painted crosswalk, despite the rule being the same either way. Painting zebra crossings will get the message across better and be clearer to everyone. It’s also something an individual council can do alone, rather than needing a national law change.

          3. Thanks Steve. That is really interesting re not being able to pass on the left unless in a cycle lane. This is one area where I may well have been breaking the road code up until now – especially on the commute when the traffic is at a crawl and I am happily whizzing by on my way to work and laughing at all the one-driver cars stuck in traffic – so very good to know this. This does reinforce to me that we need more cycle lanes on busy roads (just as we need more bus lanes).

  7. New Lynn to water view is in critcal need of a cycle lane. Accident waiting to happen there.

    Would love to see a place like Te Atatu turn in to a mini copenhagen. Infrastructure and facilities making cycling the best way to get around so it’s no longer viewed as just recreation.

    1. Agreed. Depends on the route though. What I read here suggests “New Lynn to Waterview Cycleway” – ie, to Mount Albert where the new Waterview Tunnel cycleway will connect to New North Road near Pak’n’Save.

      While every new cycle facility is to be welcomed, one that is an indirect diversion away from the obvious corridor of Great North Road from New Lynn to Waterview is frankly a waste of cyclist’s time as a “Metro” route. Scenic but slow, with greater gradients. I would be pleased to have AT put me right on this one….

      1. TimR – the Waterview-New Lynn route is, as far as CAA are aware, going to be via the Waterview Tunnel path, linking in at Trent Street at the east, and near Rata Street near New Lynn. Route in between has not yet been finalised to our knowledge.

        So I guess yes, you would have to use the “scenic” route if you wanted to avoid the hellroad that is Ash-GNR through Avondale and Waterview. That said, the Waterview cycleway will have few gradients, and will be to a much better standard than past cycleways in Auckland (a bit more Northern Cycleway than winding backroute path). So longer? Yes. Worth to avoid these particularly bad roads? I would think so.

        1. Although, people who want to ride on bikes will fall in between these links. How do they get to the bike path? That’s the only issue I have with big off-street cycle paths. Unless they are linked to by a network of on-road paths or cycle streets, they’re a bit lost. I’d love to see the solutions for that.

  8. Geoff, no one is denying that there are instances of poor decision making by cyclists leading to accidents. The same is true for every road accident – accidents generally result from people making poor decisions. The problem is that the infrastructure makes cycling in a safe way very difficult andf increases the risk to cyclists from any mistake, either by them or by a motorist. Your criticism of “moving sideways into traffic without looking” is a bit disingenous. If someone opens their door in front of you when you are cycling you don’t really have much of an option.

    A better analogy would be the amount of money spent on highway realignment to eliminate dangerous corners where accidents are caused by people not driving to the conditions and slowing down at corners. You could make the same argument hat 100% of these accidents are the fault of motorists, however HUGE amounts of money are spent on this. All the cycling community is asking for is a fair share of the transport budget to cater for their safety, and reduce the risk of a genuine mistake (on either their part or the part of a motorists) leading to death.

  9. “and gets the wrong mode away from the streetscape”

    Wow, you’re implying that the primary mode of streets, that pays for the streets and is why the streets are built, is the mode that somehow doesn’t belong there?


    1. Motorists don’t pay for streets – they pay about half of the costs of the facilities on the street and zero of the cost of the land the street occupies.

        1. And, if you look at old photos, people. Yes, people, wandering on the street, talking and socialising. I wonder, did the horse and cart owners pay for streets through fuel tax or registration or were the original corridors paid for out of general taxes?

          1. For the most part, until the later 19th century, city streets weren’t paid for at all, since they didn’t cost anything. They were just left empty when an area was originally subdivided, and the traffic along the street quickly turned it into uniform mud. Footpaths were sometimes built by property owners, and even paving in some commercial centres, for their own benefit, and to attract customers. But mostly, the streets cost nothing, and they became rutted and close to impassable by wheels in bad weather.

            Most streets weren’t paved until the early 20th century. Right from the start, though, paving the streets was paid for via rates and taxes. In America, paving for cars was even subsidised by the tram companies, I don’t know if that happened here.

            For a history of how intercity roads were funded in New Zealand, see http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/roads/page-5

            But in short – for centuries, city streets have been the responsibility of property owners, either directly maintaining the street outside, or by paying rates. Intercity roads were built by local, provincial and central governments, and since about the 1920s motorists have made a gradually increasing contribution to the cost (never anywhere near the whole cost) of paving, widening and realigning those streets and roads to make them suitable for cars and trucks. Sometimes they’d provide separate footpaths for pedestrians, so that cars could safely travel at speed. (When they didn’t, cars would just travel unsafely at speed and endanger everyone). Very little of our State Highways were built for cars – they generally took over existing routes.

            When the car became dominant in cities from about the 1930s, new streets started to be actually designed from the start to include cars. But they were always paid for by property developers: to subdivide a parcel, you had to build the streets first, then hand them over to the council to maintain. That’s still the case today. Arterial roads often took over old rural routes, but sometimes they were built new – at the council’s expense.

            People love to talk about “subsidies” when it comes to transport. It’s pointless. Every mode of transport is “subsidised” in some way, because governments for millennia have actually provided services to their citizens to improve the functioning of their country, and help the economy. It makes no more sense to complain that cyclists “do not pay” for cycle lanes, than to complain that motorists “do not pay” for streets either (since they don’t), or that neither of them pay for the police who keep the streets safe enough from crime for them to travel on, or the fire service to cut them free when they crash, or the dustmen who pick up the trash they leave behind, or the public radio they might be listening to, or the weather reports they might have consulted, or the maps* they might have used.

            Sure, we levy some car-specific taxes that do not have an equivalent for bikes. That’s a pragmatic piece of public policy, because providing for cars costs a fortune, and has plenty of other negative effects on the city and the environment. The problems in providing for bikes are nowhere close to that. The taxes provide an incentive for people to drive less, and thus reduce the burden on the public.

            But it’s just a tax. It’s not an arrangement by which the government is somehow selling public property to motorists for their exclusive use. We could raise the petrol tax to $50 per litre and spend none of it on anything that would benefit anyone while they were driving, and it still doesn’t give them a better claim to the streets than everyone else. Your income tax and GST does not buy you a greater right to the services of government than any other citizen, and the exact same applies to petrol excise.

            (* if you think that the couple of dollars you spend on paper road maps or data for your GPS covers even a tiny fraction of what the government spends providing that data, you’re dreaming.)

    2. Geoff you funny.

      Yes trains and trucks are the first vehicles you grade separate from the street, you know that place where humans and human transactions take place. Then all other motorised vehicles moving at speed. Leaving people walking, people on bikes, and people slowly operating vehicles. Why? So that that place can function; in your world everywhere is a motorway, except of course then there is no point in going to any place at all. You want to render a place useless, then remove all the people. It’s not really that hard to understand; vehicles are there to serve the city and the people; not the other way around.

      1. Not sure why you mention trains, as they don’t run on roads. Your belief that roads would function better without cars is just bizzare.

        I think your hatred of cars has seen you convince yourself that roads should be redefined as something other than for road vehicles. The truth is, without road vehicles, there would be no roads. We wouldn’t build roads for bicycles and pedestrians. That’s what cycleways and footpaths are for.

        1. Trains did once upon a time run in city streets and rural roads! But even by the end of the 19th century, they’d mostly been separated. We’re not making nearly such good progress with cars, unfortunately.

        2. “The truth is, without road vehicles, there would be no roads.”

          I asked this on the other thread but never got a response, so I’ll try one more time. What do you think cities looked like between, say, 4000BC and 1880?

        3. Roads are for cars and trucks. Streets are for people. The question is, how much of our city do we want to be roads, and how much do we want to be streets? At the moment, they’re practically all “roads”, even down to the smallest residential accessway.

          The problem with specifically Stanley Street and the Strand is the port trucks. As long as the port is there, and we’re not sending the freight by rail, those are going to have to be roads. Since it blasts through the middle of the city, we have to find an alternative, so that cyclists and pedestrians don’t have to mix with cars. For pedestrians, the issue is mostly* solved – we have the footpath. The solution for cyclists is the same – separate them from road traffic.

          (* we still need better light phasing, to remove the slip lanes, put crossings over every leg of every intersection, and to calm the traffic to a sensible speed)

        4. Many roads were first built for bicycles:

          And a more amusing assessment of all the things invented for bikes that cars benefited from:

          In the beginning car drivers and cyclists (or wheelmen) often worked together to get roads paved for both modes. There were so few cars that there was no conflict.

          You have a very short term idea of history.

          1. Cyclists are getting a bashing on the streets too, presumably by the same people – encouraged by the protective shield of an SUV around them, they seem willing to say the same things as from the protection of the internet. Logic goes out of the window, and 99% of all cyclists suddenly run lights in their eyes, so it’s only fair to abuse them.

    3. I suspect Patrick’s phrase was meant to be just shorthand for something like, ‘in a busy inner city area, cars are the “wrong” mode to favour because they use up a lot of space and create disproportionate noise, danger and general ugliness for everyone else.’

      Streets are public land with a variety of uses, from ‘mass transit by motor vehicle’ (urban arterial) to ‘children playing cricket’ (suburban culdesac). The best way to allocate the space among the possible uses varies greatly depending on the situation.

    1. Cheers Wally. Thanks for letting the blog know about this. Good to have a proper cycleway go in between New Lynn and Waterview, even if its a couple of years away.

  10. can I summarize that AT response as I read it?:
    1- condolences
    2- very few cyclists crash in that intersection. means: The intersection is therefore well designed
    3- AT does cycling training. means: dead cyclist was not good
    4- we’re putting up red light cameras: means: the guy run a red light
    5- we put some pretty pictures on the buses. means: that’s what we will do to fix it

    1. Heck, CAA is all behind red light cameras! While statistics from Auckland show that only ~2% of all drivers and ~4% of all cyclists disobey normal red lights, that is still way too many. We would also love to see more police being on site and doing same, but their resources are probably stretched too thin to do it w/o cameras…

  11. nonsense, excellent. love it.

    Rather than this intersection is well designed I’d suggest that it is purposely designed to keep cyclists away from it. The only road leading into or out of it that has any room whatsoever for cycling is the Parnell Road’s bus lane approach at the traffic lights. While cyclists on the west of Stanley St have the beginnings of a nice cyclepath, those of us on the east will continue to use the footpath between Parnell Rd and the Domain.

  12. I ride occasionally for errands to the shops. I have 4 lights, helmet, hi viz and a bell so don’t need to spend more there. What I would really like to buy (especially as a pedestrian) is a small but ultra-loud air horn to blast at drivers who fail to look or give way but haven’t been able to find anything suitable…

    Good to see AT are doing something. I’ve noticed recently they’ve start to improve some of the cycle infrastructure on Tamaki Drive – it’s almost like someone responsible for it actually went and tried to ride along it. But I agree with the complaints above about counting the shared paths as cycle lanes as they always have problems at intersections. Perhaps someone can add up the true amount of cycle lanes in the projects above?

      1. Thanks Max – that is very interesting. It would be good if AT were more to-the-point with their reporting of progress, but thank you for helping do their job 🙂

  13. “… it’s almost like someone responsible for it actually went and tried to ride along it…”

    Associated Press
    Aug 15, 5:30 PM EDT

    Chastened by his fall, LA mayor peddles message favoring cyclists in
    nation’s car capital

    Associated Press Writer

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is the new champion of
    cyclists’ rights in the nation’s second-largest city, a conversion that
    came after a bone-breaking fall from his own bicycle.

    The mayor, who said little on the topic during five years in office, is
    campaigning to make streets safer for cyclists after a parked cab
    abruptly pulled out across a bike lane, causing him to shatter an elbow.
    The ill-fated ride was his first on city streets since taking office.

    Since the July 17 accident, Villaraigosa has utilized the Huffington
    Post and YouTube to say that it’s time to recognize that bicycles also
    belong on LA’s streets, which were largely designed for autos. In the
    YouTube video, he announced plans to convene a bicycle safety summit.

    Cyclists who have tilted at LA’s car-crazy culture for years were
    shocked that the mayor was even on a bike…”

    1. That cloud sure has a silver lining.

      Serious question: does anyone have evidence of Gerry Brownlee ever riding a bike or walking to get somewhere? Transport Blog could run a fundraiser, let’s say for the City Mission, where readers pledge for every km Gerry/Len/etc. cycle in Auckland in a month. It could be called “Antonio April”. I’ll donate.

      1. Gerry was a teacher at my school and I have seen him coach his Rugby team by driving up and down the school driveway yelling out the window.

        I doubt he had ridden a bike (or ridden on PT) since he was at that same school as a pupil. Yes, Gerry’s work history is basically teaching at the same school he attended.

        He is not a bad guy, I actually quite liked him, but he is woefully underqualified to be the Minister of Transport.

  14. Equals? Yes, someone on a bike is very equal to a car driver and share exactly the same risk factor – not. Face it, you love trains and cars and hate to see anyone else using roadspace.

    1. Ben, we agree that grade separation is a good idea for rail lines right? In that context, why is it so wrong then to request better facilities to separate active transport users from a very busy de’facto motorway? Yes, no one should run red lights but plenty of bikes, cars, trucks and pedestrians do. People make errors in judgement. The motorist has the upper hand when it comes to safety and survivability. In the same way that a train has the upper hand vs a car. Perhaps we don’t need grade separation after all? Cars will just have to make sure they stop for trains.

      1. We are looking at two different issues here Bryce and they need to be kept apart to get through the matter “intact” – something I am addressing now in a blog post.

        First aspect is the law. The law is the law and a red means stop. No if’s buts or maybes it means stop. This brings us to accidents and accidents. The first accident being a case of anything else but a willing act that causes the accident at hand. Mechanical failure, Act of Gods etc fall here.

        The other accident is deliberately, actively and willingly making a decision that is illegal thus puts you at increased risk of consequences including the ultimate – death.

        My tolerance is very low for people who carry out decisions that lead to the second class of accident – and that applies to car, truck, bus, pedestrian and cyclist.

        Now for infrastructure. More needs to be done yes. It can be something minor such as better phasings on traffic lights, to removal of slip lanes, to the bucket of white and green paint, to dedicated separated cycle ways.

        These things I agree and will happily support. We have dedicated cycle lanes, shared paths and cycle ways popping up in South Auckland specifically in Addison and soon Manukau as the roads go under upgrades there. The parking in Addison I particularly like as it is “bays” that indent into the side of the road. Meaning a cyclist on the road does not need to “bend” around the car nor worry about most car doors. Car and cyclist get along unimpeded. Remind me to get some pictures when I get some Manukau pictures tomorrow for the upcoming site visits by the Councillors.

        As for that cursed intersection at Stanley Street. I use it near daily and I hate it both as a car and pedestrian user and I mean HATE IT. If everyone obeys the lights you can get through the intersection relatively safely. But one slight misattention and BANG its usually all over.

        The port is not moving and that intersection serves as an access point to multiple areas for multimodes of transport.

        Improvements need to be done such as getting rid of the slip lane, an overbridge for pedestrians and cyclists, and yep that Eastern cursed Corridor 99% despise in here which could get the bulk of that port traffic off Stanley Street that heads to Mt Wellington and Southdown (if not further south)…

        Tough decisions will need to be made here for the entire suite of options to improve not just cycle safety – but all safety

        1. The thing we need everyone to remember is, why did he run the red? I can’t imagine anyone purposely riding into the side of a truck and they’re pretty hard not to see. Maybe we should wait until the coroners report is released? He may have had a brake issue, a tyre issue, a heath problem just prior to the crash? There are a multitude of possibilities to take into account here. He could possibly have just screwed up and he paid the ultimate price for his mistake.

          1. All this I have mentioned as well in my blog post that I am writing.

            I find it difficult he would T-Bone the truck. He might have tried to turn left that would have been “interesting.”

            But as said lets wait for the report.

        2. We already have a perfectly good way of getting freight along the Eastern Corridor. It’s called the North Island Main Trunk.

          1. Was waiting for that kind of answer. And my reply is no it does not. The rail freight shuttles move containers which is not the only thing moving out of the port.

            Those rail shuttles do not move bulk, cars nor LCL (less than car loads – so Box Cars) as well as the main port and Wiri not set up to handle that kind of freight handling (where Metro Port is).

            So how do they move that cargo then? Well it is by truck and a heck load of them. The Eastern Corridor as it was designed to do would take that truck traffic off Stanley Street and the inner Southern Motorway which is highly congested and move it through a local or express way class thoroughfare towards the industry in Penrose, Onehunga, Southdown and Wiri (via State Highway One).

            But hey wasting my breath in here aren’t I on the merits of the corridor?

          2. Anything that comes into the port can be re-shipped by rail, except for the occasional oversize load (which would go up Symonds Street instead of along the Eastern Motorway anyway!).

            Sure, we might need some upgrades to rail to provide for some goods, and to increase capacity, but they’d be way cheaper than even a two-lane truck-only expressway. Plus, the rail line already goes to industrial areas. The Eastern Motorway, on the other hand, would have stopped dead at Glen Innes, having run out of its right-of-way, and then you’d just be further trashing Panmure et al, instead of Parnell.

            You’re wasting your breath in here, and anywhere for that matter. The Eastern Motorway is dead and buried. It was hugely unpopular, and for very good reason. I hope the East-West motorway ends the same way.

          3. Rail is not suitable for deliveries within Auckland or some other places not far away. Trucks will be part of the picture, though the port may move eventually.

          4. Some deliveries need to trucked, perhaps, but not as many as at the moment. Even now, rail from the port isn’t generally door-to-door, much gets reshipped from the inland port at Wiri and other transshipment points that are actually in industrial areas, and can get to their destinations on industrial roads. It’s partly a vicious spiral – it’s hard to move freight to rail because it isn’t direct. It isn’t direct because there aren’t private sidings. There aren’t private sidings because rail wasn’t used…

            There’s a long-term solution to that: require new heavy industrial areas to be served with rail, and reinstall the sidings in the old ones. We already require them to be served with a certain level of roads, in our various district plans – we should be requiring at least rights-of-way for rail, as well.

            But leaving aside the idea of moving freight to rail – we already have a route from the port that serves trucks. We do not need another route for trucks. The city would benefit from separating the current route from street level, but

            A. the Eastern Motorway does not accomplish that separation at the southern end.
            B. the Eastern Motorway does not accomplish that separation for traffic that’s not going to the southern industrial areas past Glen Innes (which are the exact places best served by rail right now!).
            C. the Eastern Motorway is almost certainly more expensive than extending the motorway (cut and cover) from Grafton Gully to the port – which would actually connect to far more of the motorway network
            D. the Eastern Motorway, if it allowed cars, which it would, would be worse for the city centre than any trucks it might remove, and a blight on the areas it passed through
            E. any option would use up scarce funds that have way more pressing uses, not least for the CFN, regional cycle network, freight rail network, and rural highway safety improvements.

      2. Speaking of Manukau, I am still working my way through the MK1 pencil drawings of the Manukau City Centre area before I forward them off to the Council prior to their site visit either next month or in March.

        I have been looking at the roads there and pondered how can I make this cycle and people friendly.


        Those Boulevards are wonderful as you can get two way two lane traffic down an existing side (add an extra lane if you need it for the buses which was needed in two areas (Cavendish and Lambie Drives) while the then defunct other side can be flipped into a very wide and nice shared path.

        I’ll draw up Ronwood Avenue as an example and get it too you by the end of next week on what I mean

  15. One positive measure that could be taken is to require all heavy good vehicles to be fitted with safety skirts which make it almost impossible for pedestrians and cyclists to go under the wheels – this has been a hot topic in London where regulation requires most trucks to be fitted with these – the following quote is from the Greater London Authority. website.

    However, construction lorries, tipper trucks, waste vehicles, cement mixers and certain other forms of HGV are exempt from these and other safety requirements. The rising number of such vehicles in London’s building boom is a serious hazard to the growing number of cyclists, who now make up almost a quarter of all rush hour traffic in the centre. Of the nine cyclist deaths involving HGVs in 2011, seven involved construction lorries.

    Under national legislation, many HGVs, such as supermarket delivery lorries and the like, are fitted with sidebars or low skirts which protect cyclists from being dragged underneath the vehicle and crushed



  16. Nothing for the Eastern area I see, the area having perhaps among the worst passenger transport provision and consequently right up there with the most (if not THE most) insanely car dependent areas of Auckland. (Everything East of the Tamaki River) It’s almost like AT have given up on the East.

    1. Your previous Manukau City Council needs to take the lions share of the blame for this situation. AT were not around when East Auckland was developed as an auto oriented place. That doesn’t of course mean something should not be done to resolve the issue.

      1. seem to be some great greenway paths around Pakuranga and East Auckland, however don’t seem to lead anywhere and mostly recreational use. A few missing links, and short links to local shops would improves things a lot.
        A few more footbridges to fix missing links wouldn’t go amiss around here, however heard very hard to convince AT they are transport projects not park projects.
        AMETI is supposed to be improving the connections to Panmure. This should help a bit.
        Road hierarchy makes East Auckland difficult for on-road cycleways. Main roads much to be busy, side roads too windy and don’t lead anywhere.

  17. Nice. This is just another example of how Auckland Council completely undersold medium density housing – that picture tells a thousand words.

    To get a comparable level of safety in NZ for cycling for kids, you’d be looking at the back streets of a very small NZ town……we recently spent summer time in an NZ town with a permanent population of 400, although it swells to perhaps 800 at holidays. There, people of all ages do ride their bikes and it is directly along the route of the Waikato River cycleway. The town’s resident community generally encourages adult vehicle drivers to look out for kids on bikes where they roam during the school holidays with a sense of freedom almost completely unknown in our cities now.

    Of interest, the town is off the main highway which therefore keeps the through traffic off even the main street.
    So – it is possible in NZ with better planning, and a change in attitude.

  18. Matthew Dearnaley has a story in today’s Herald based on AT’s release above: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11183890

    It unfortunately conflates cycle lanes and cycleways, but mainly emphasises the lack of urgency.

    “Auckland Transport is being accused of dragging the chain in its provision of facilities to make cycling safer.

    “A hippopotamus would be faster,” Cycle Action Auckland chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert said of delays by the council body in building planned new cycleways.”

    1. Go Barb! Glacial is the word I’ve been using especially when you consider the pace that NYC is making the city fit for riding a bike. Councillors and Local Boards need to be told this is not good enough. Get writing people!

        1. We chould give the hippos a go at building some bike lanes! Can’t be slower/worse than what we already have. Non-sequitur, but when I lived in Zimbabwe the truckies were kinder to bike riders than NZers. I cycled everywhere there, but am too scared to here.

  19. Wow. I have just read through some of the comments on the Lance Wigg’s article on the NZ Herald webiste. I didn’t realise quite how much vitriol there was towards cyclists in New Zealand. I also don’t understand why this is. I actually thought NZ had quite a strong cycle culture – for example, look at the number of Olympic and Com Games medals won in cycling and triathalon, the enthusiasm for the national cycleway etc. Why is it that cycling as “transport” is so looked down on by so many in the public? I am genuinely interested.

    As a regular cyclist (both a commuter and sport cyclist), I follow the road code to the same level as I do when driving (ie with occassional lapses). However, I find that cycling around Auckland is just genuinely dangerous, no matter how well you follow the road code. The problem is that the infrastructure makes any lapse by either a motorist or a cyclist incredibly dangerous to cyclists. Tying to occupy the half meter verge along with the stormwater drains, parked cars, driveways and other obsacles is just impossible. The answer is to improve infrastructure so as to eliminate that risk as much as possible. As for the funding arguments, we spend millions (maybe tens or hundreds of millions?) every year realigning highways to prevent car crashers that can be avoided by drivers driving to the conditions. Why can’t we spend some money to improve road safety for cyclists? Having cyclists ride on the footpath (as suggested by many on the Herald site) cannot be the right answer.

    I personally don’t think large scale grade sperated cycleays (like the NW cycleway) are the answer either. My preference is to remove on street parking from major arterials and have decent cycle lanes (with rumble lines or posts) and for traffic calming in suburban areas. Alternatively, we could follow what Christchurch is moving towards and designate certain routes as cycle routes and car routes, and tailor the roads along those routes for their respective uses (for example, Mt Eden Road for buses and cyclists, Dominion Rd for cars etc etc). Neither of these options would be overly expensive (especially when compared with the money spent on highways and motorways).

    To truly addrerss safety issues for everyobody on the roads (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) we need to change the attitude of motorists (and some cyclists) that they own the road and are entitled to get where they are going as fast as possible. A little common courtesy to other road users would go a long way.

    1. Thanks harminder, but we actually think it could be quite useful. Much better than them running a “submit your latest hate story about cycling” competition. This points out what we are trying to say – Auckland is SH*TE in many places for cycling, and it’s great that the Herald is seeming to want to run a follow-up on that, rather than just focusing on red light angle.

      Plus, CAA is about a dozen folks, and a network of loose supporters – Auckland is over a million. There’s lots of danger spots we wouldn’t be aware of. I hope lots of people feed into that poll!

  20. Thanks Steve. That is really interesting re not being able to pass on the left unless in a cycle lane. This is one area where I may well have been breaking the road code up until now – especially on the commute when the traffic is at a crawl and I am happily whizzing by on my way to work and laughing at all the one-driver cars stuck in traffic – so very good to know this. This does reinforce to me that we need more cycle lanes on busy roads (just as we need more bus lanes).

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