Bike Te Atatu has put together this fantastic video which they describe as:

A look into a possible future for Te Atatu and eventually Auckland. Made by Bike Te Atatu for the purpose of starting a conversation about our streets and what we want for our community.

I see a few blog regulars in there.

I think we’re going to increasingly see local communities stepping up and demanding more liveable streets. The question is if Auckland Transport will step up their game?

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  1. That’s great! And would be pretty cheap to implement with quick “New York style” changes to the roads and streetscape while it beds in, with permanent changes later.

  2. Fantastic. Feels just like my second home – Kugahara, Tokyo: cycling-oriented, traffic-calmed and deeply community-connected.

    Slap some bacon on a biscuit and lets go AT. Auckland can wait no longer for what the rest of the world has been enjoying for decades.

  3. TeAtatu is really good for cycling, pedestrians and walkable living which is why it’s popularity and prices have risen so markedly. It’s very flat, has houses that are a bit closer together. And they have traffic calming through the center. Because it’s a Peninsula, it has no through traffic and therefore feels like a contained and distinct community. Lots of these things are natural geographic advantage. But planners need to put more investment and support into ensuring that the vast majority of villages that don’t have geographical isolation can still have a hub and a distinct community feel. That each town feels like a place. And the places prioritise people.

  4. Compelling and nicely done guys.. I’ve been thinking for a while: how to visualise what our local neighbourhoods could look like if they were re-purposed for people rather than cars.. 30 k zones and low cost segregated cycle lanes etc. And here it is. Excellent!

    There are areas like Te Atatu peninsula all over the city. And plenty more could be created with a little bit of street network re-design and nothing more than bollards.

  5. Great stuff. Serious question. What is stopping us decreasing speed limits in urban and suburban areas? Are the impediments legal, professional or technical? With lower speed limits we could surely make vast areas of the city much more people friendly for very little cost.

      1. Sailor Boy, on the whole though I feel that people and communities want safer streets. Who doesn’t want their neighbourhood safer for their kids? Is this a case of politicians not understanding community preferences? I worry that in this case the issue goes deeper; that it is technical, professional and institutional bias that is holding us back.

        1. It is ambit political, and a bit technical. The base speed limit in NZ is 50km/h. In order to reduce the posted speed to 30km/h, you either need to show that vehicle speeds are close to 30 already or design the road to a standard suited to 30. Then it needs a bylaw to make it happen. From conversations I’ve had, AT’s engineers are not keen on 30kmh zones. A second issue is that NZ Police feel they are too hard to enforce.

          1. Low cost traffic calming is the way to go.

            But many hate the notion of slower vehicle speeds, as noted by Council’s Cycle Advisory Group: “Adverse reaction may arise if ‘20,000 other vehicles a day’ are slowed down to 30 km/h in shopping areas and those other vehicles users to not see new cyclists arising from the measures.”

  6. And to think, once upon a time the only people in Te Atatu who rode bikes were me and John Harris (who was a pretty handy bike racer). Now even my elderly Mum rides down to the shops and goes for a spin along the cycleway. This is progress 🙂

  7. Just like Bryce said, sticking up 30km/h signs won’t bring down speeds, you have to bring the speeds down first. People will ignore the signs just like the generally do else where. All you do is a create an enforcement problem which is stupid. The police have more important work to do than hand out speeding tickets all day and pissing off the community.

    1. a possible solution: automated speed radars, with integrated number plate readers, which can send out speeding tickets automagically in the mail without taking any time away from the police force.

      1. Well there’s Hackney and there’s Hackney.
        I wouldn’t call Stoke Newington a crime capital.
        Parts of Hackney are also rapidly gentrifying for the same reasons everywhere else a bit rundown and close to the centre of things is.

  8. Residents want slower speeds in their hood. It all seems to change when they get behind the wheel and become a motorist.
    We can all drive slower on residential streets right now if we choose to. Dont wait for speed reduction measures.

  9. I choose to drive at 40kmh in most 50kmh zones and I have to say that it’s bloody hard. The fact is that most of our roads have been designed to facilitate driving speeds in excess of urban speed limits and we’ve got a lot of work to do to roll back 50+ years of poor road engineering practices if we are to have more liveable, people friendly streets. The ideal situation would be for people-centric road design principles to be used when roads are due for major resealing or redesign upgrades as a matter of course and not as an afterthought.

    1. We also need to actually enforce keep left unless passing if we are going to do that though and kiwis will never accept occasionally having to change lanes.

    2. 120 is unsafe in most places on NZ highways. It’s only in the close proximity of large cities that the infrastructure is good enough for that. 50km away from Auckland, SH1 becomes a pretty normal 2 lane country road in most directions (OK, except towards Hamilton). and these stretches of highways are the ones that get congested twice a day so that the speed differential can become very large between different sections of the road. So no, I don’t think raising the general speed limit on NZ highways is a good idea. Most vehicles also become much less energy efficient over 100kph, so that driving at higher speeds is very wasteful. In Europe, the guideline is 90kph for regular country roads (similar to NZ highways, except close to large cities) and 110-120 only when you have a physical barrier between the two sides of the road, and then it’s usually either a 3 or 4-lane highway. Then you get 130kph limits on toll roads with 3 lanes each side.

  10. I liked Bryce P’s presentation and particularly the “Indicator Species”. That was a great thought that should be quoted more.
    I wonder if we can calm our teenagers who haven’t used the cycle mode but now have cars and the “Brrrrrmmmm Brrmmmm” mindset. How can we cut back on the coverage of mad motor sport and the V8 writing in the Herald motoring pages?

  11. It would be nice if this also happened to Te Atatu now poorer cousin Te Atatu South which thanks to a lot of factors is now over run by cars. I remember the days it too was fine to cycle safely there.

    1. Tat South should have jumped up and down about Tat South Rd becoming a traffic sewer from Henderson. It’s appalling. Completely severs the entire suburb.

      1. Completely agree. It was a disgrace. Poor urban planning and then taking away community facilities in Te Atatu south making the area less walkable and attractive. Money to improve the area still seems to get pumped to other places.

  12. The idea behind transforming Te Atatu is that if we can get a complete solution for good street design with almost total community backing then we can see how NZers would behave in an ideal scenario. You never know, we might start looking out for each other and open our minds to scenarios we once saw as out of the question. The success of the project relies on the community making it happen and also having ownership of the transformation to insure ongoing commitment to the changes. And it wouldn’t take much to make it happen in terms of engineering. The job is in opening the mind.

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