The Grafton Gully Cycleway has been under construction for some time now and it’s clearly getting close to completion. It’s due to open in September along with the first section of the Beach Rd cycleway which will be our first protected cycleway. Here are some images from the Southern end.

Coming from Upper Queen St and travelling above the motorway.

Grafton Gully Cycleway July 14 3

Weaving under the motorway ramp

Grafton Gully Cycleway July 14 4

Looking North from Grafton Bridge, still some concrete to be poured here.

Grafton Gully Cycleway July 14 2

Looking North from Grafton Bridge towards Wellesley St where an underpass has been built

Grafton Gully Cycleway July 14 1

I’m looking forward to this being open.

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  1. I work close to the upper queen street end and I saw they’ve now added a couple of massive staggered yellow barriers close to the entrance, you can just see them in the photo above. They look to be permanent. I’d expect a bollard or two to stop cars entering the pathway but these barriers are huge. From the angle I was looking it looked to me like only one bike at a time would be able to get through them which would be frustrating if you’re trying to use the path to commute. Does anyone know why these barriers are so big and what the story behind them is?

    1. I’m with you. I saw these in person when walking home one night and they’re going to be pain in the ass. A single centre bollard would do just fine.

      1. P.S. You’re right. It’s a tight squeeze. Will have to be one bike at a time and most people would probably need to dismount/unclip to make it through. Having a decent sized pannier on either side will make it even harder!

    2. I understand the idea’s to stop riders shootting out onto the footpath / shared path past the apartment building on UQ St and htting a pedestrian. Visibility at that corner is not that good.

    3. Cycled through the one at the very bottom of the hill yesterday, was fine in clips but will definitely be one at a time. The one at the bottom is clearly there to stop people accidentally barreling accross Alten Rd, can’t think what the top is for….

      1. It is actually downhill for 30-40m coming into upper queen, and flat for at least 100m before that, so people will be coming in with pretty high speeds…

    4. Isn’t it ironic that 20 metres away there’s the chance for cars to hit pedestrians and they aren’t building huge chicanes to make the cars slow down. The potential damage from a car is much greater. It’s not just visibility- it’s done on the sections below the university too where visibility is fine.
      In Denmark they just put a couple of gentle speed bumps on a cycle path when it’s coming up to a junction- much more humane way of treating cyclists.

        1. The Northwestern motorway is a shared path. Beach Rd is an on road cycle way separate from pedestrians and separated from cars with a raised median.

    1. Probably because they don’t intend to ever do any maintenance now that it’s installed, the other bits are usually covered in rubbish and glass.

    1. It took many years of advocacy to get these two started – but now there are a wide number of benefits coming through. Not just the two cycleway parts, but also other changes, such as five urban slip lanes removed, new crossings added etc…

        1. Getting in the way is probably the point of them – they”ll ensure bikes don’t go plowing into passing pedestrians or vehicles

          1. No sorry, it’s still overkill. Riders are generally not that stupid to want to fly out into motor traffic or pedestrians; it’s not particularly good for them either to crash into someone. A couple of (well highlighted) bollards would do the trick of highlighting a change of environment without requiring contortions on the part of the rider.

          2. That’s exactly the point of them, on the Upper Queen St end, counterintuitively you actually run downhill towards the end of the cycleway, then you will have to cross over the pedestrian strip onto the new semi-separated cyclelane. There are large bulidings right up against this junction and form an acute angle and completely block any visibility. You really do need to slow cyclists down to walking speed in this zone.

  2. Can we please call it the ‘Shared path’ that it is. Wouldn’t want people on bikes thinking the wrong thing when they come across pedestrians.

  3. That’s quite a gradient and will be like Greenhithe, 15kph going up and freewheel at 60 kph down, presumably 100 kph speed limit applies?? Personally I do not like shared paths, pedestrians and cyclists don’t mix particularly on long gradients like this.

    1. On the road the cyclist is the vulnerable party, and ideally needs protection from drivers, or at least needs drivers to behave responsibly. While cyclists break the rules too, quite rightly the focus should be more on drivers behaviour, as they control the massive lumps of metal that move at high speeds. But on a shared pedestrian / bike path like this it’s the cyclist that now creates the danger, and the focus should be on their behaviour and how to protect pedestrians from them. Just like we expect drivers to put up with inconvenience to protect other road users, and get irate when NZTA etc don’t think the same, we should be happy for cyclists to put up with inconvenience if it means protecting pedestrians.

  4. So is anyone grateful? Or is there a problem that now cyclists wont be hit by cars if they are on a cyclepath or be able to ignore standard traffic rules?

    1. Grateful. Thank you.
      Regarding ignoring traffic rules: As I biked along Tamaki drive this morning, almost every car was going faster than 50km/hr when they could – motorists consistently “ignore standard traffic rules” and the results are a lot of death and injury of innocent parties. You’re looking in the wrong place.

      1. NCD see Richard Horner’s comment above (10.46pm). My targeted observations when driving around the inner city (but not limited to) numerous times a day is few cyclists stop at a red light, and if they do, they will then proceed through a pedestrian crossing light, will travel in the middle of the lane, is oblivious to what is happening around them, weaves in/out and across roads and intersections, and is abusive to drivers that get “caught out” with this behaviour. From these observations and then the comments above, it is very frustrating that when safety measures are put in place, that the general response is to moan. The cycleway isn’t a shared path. How will the cyclists behaviour change when it is they that are flying down the path and take out an unsuspecting pedestrian who has inadvertently wandered into the middle of the path? Thank goodness for the barriers I say!

        1. As a cyclist who commutes 5 days a week covering 180km, I can say that most cyclists do obey the road rules. It would be about 5% that don’t. Similar to the amount of motorists that don’t obey the road rules, and yet I never hear calls for all motorists to be banned. It is part of human nature that some people won’t obey the rules.It is ironic that motorists can spot and remember every time a cyclists makes a mistake or breaks the road code but can’t spot us to give way at intersections. We are allowed to ride to the front of queues as long as the cars are stationary, how else would we get to the cycle advance boxes, that most times are blocked by cars. On the matter of shared paths. Cyclists and pedestrians do mix very well. When was the last time you heard of a cyclist killing or seriously injuring a pedestrian? So the next time you see a cyclist doing something wrong, ask yourself did it affect me in any way, other than injuring your sense of self righteousness, if not then that a deep breath and carry on with your life.

          1. I’m not sure having one community being able to pick and choose which rules they follow is a great idea, but the reality is everyone needs to do it on the roads as it stands. Tamaki Drive, for instance, would be lethal if we weren’t able to use the medians to overtake cyclists, but according to the letter of the law, you can’t use a median strip to affect a pass. It goes both ways.

            The thing to note about Tamaki Drive is that now that there are proper designated cycle lanes, it moved a bunch of road users out of danger and freed up a lot more space for cars. It was win-win. It sort of falls to pieces when it comes to riding double-file while passing stationary vehicles, but the point is that if you give people infrastructure they can use, they probably will, in the in the interests of you know, not dying.

        2. “If the road is too narrow to safely allow vehicles to pass, you are in
          danger of being run off the road or hit by a passing car. In this situation
          it is acceptable to ‘take the lane’ and move further out into the path of
          traffic to prevent other users from passing you”

          Of course I ride in the centre of the lane in town. All of the lanes there are too narrow to safely pass.

    2. Yes, I am extremely grateful that my tax dollars are finally being spent on something that actually makes sense financially and transport wise, rather than just widening another road and causing more congestion. Are you grateful for the billions of dollars of rates and general taxation spent on the local roads you use every day?

      “will travel in the middle of the lane” – as people on bikes are entitled to do if it is not practical to cycle to the left.

      “is oblivious to what is happening around them” – I can assure you that a person on a bike is far more aware of what is happening around them than the person in the car. Their increased vulnerability assures that. It is usually the person in the car that misses things and so are surprised when a cyclist pops up.

      “weaves in/out and across roads and intersections” – as many people in cars do – also illegally – and this is a general problem in Auckland I find. Note how many people in cars are left stranded in the middle of intersections after the lights change – very dangerous and illegal.

      “and is abusive to drivers that get “caught out” with this behaviour” – yes sometimes. When a person gets a horrible fright or is threatened physically in some way, the natural reaction is (whether on a bike or in a car) to lash out verbally. People on bikes get road rage just as much as people in cars.

      Glad to have been able to educate you on these points.

      1. Trying to explain things to people who don’t cycle/never have in Auckland too often just falls on deaf ears. They believe cyclists are “being selfish by not keeping left like they should” no matter how many times someone who both drives and cycles explains the rationale behind temporarily taking the lane in order to maximise safety by preventing vehicles from passing at pinch points. And this only one of many examples! I feel there’s really no substitute for actually getting in the saddle and seeing what it’s like first hand.

  5. This looks fantastic. Does any one know if it has some “off-ramps” to Wellsely St or Grafton Rd or is it one uninterrupted run from Upper Queens St to Alten Rd?

    1. I understand that there may be an “off ramp” into Grafton Cemetery – but that involves steps and unsealed paths.

      1. Hopefully the University will facilitate connections on each side of Wellesley St for their students and staff (like me). A cycle way is not like a motorway; it’s effectiveness is not reduced by adding connectivity, quite the reverse!

        1. There is an offramp going in on the upper side of Wellesley. Not the lower side though. And yep Cemetery is on the cards but not in the current package.

    2. There were supposed to be connections into the Cemetery but I remember reading a lot of opposition for some bizarre reason to that, you’d have thought more people walking through it would make it safer for everybody, but some people apparently want it kept in its current state as somewhere to avoid. The only other connections were to be onto Wellesley Street but that’s delayed too. But this is really the issue when you have a motorway builder building cycling infrastructure, they build it the only way they know how like a motorway for commuters.

      1. The issue isn’t the NZTA but the university who are opposing cycle connections and also opposing buses being anywhere near them. The administration are completely removed from what their students want and use. I hope to be able to provide more info on this in the next few days.

    3. The path has to cross Grafton Rd at lights too so connections are easily made there.

      If what you said is true Matt then it is disgusting.

  6. Bloody hell. Those barriers are the worst.

    So typical of the NZTA. They would *never* do this to drivers. Inconveniencing drivers for even a moment is an impossibility.

    1. Indeed, for cars they’d have simply removed the footpath and given 100% priority to cars exiting their motorway.

      1. Actually, NZTA and AT have removed three (!) car lanes at just this location for the walk and cycleway, so calm down a little bit with the “they do everything for cars but nothing for others”. For this project, it certainly isn’t true.

  7. I was at the opening of the cycleway yesterday, in the tunnel under Wellesley St, which was fun and inspiring, and I cycled up as far as the rest area before the corner which leads to upper Queen St, then whizzed down the hill and all the way to Beach Rd. It is fantastic to now have this connector route in place and I give big thanks to all those who made it happen. That includes all the people who use their bikes to go from A to B. We are all part of the critical mass.

    Today I rode along the gully, having come off the north-western cycleway. There were a good number of people cycling to and fro, including some dads and kids (Father’s Day).

    Can someone tell me how close we are to getting an “on/off-ramp” at Wellesley St?

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