An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a document that appears to have been scanned the quality of the images leaves a bit to be desired.

The update is from Auckland Transport and they say there are six top priority projects and a map of them is below.

  • North-South Cycle route (Nelson St)
  • Beaumont St/Westhaven Dr Cycleway
  • Quay St Cycleway
  • East West Route
  • K Rd Cycleway
  • Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway

CBD Cycling priority routes

Working through them

North-South Cycle route (Nelson St)

This has been divided into two stages. Stage one is the old Nelson St Off ramp bridge through to Victoria St – which is due to be completed by the middle of 2015 – and stage two is the section north of Victoria St as well as Union St. On Nelson St there will be a two way protected cycle lane on the Western side – which is presumably easier due to less carpark entrances. AT say it’s currently undecided which route they will build to get to Quay St either going by Nelson St – Sturdee St – Lower Hobson St or taking the route along Victoria St and then down Hobson St. Personally I think they probably need to do both.

AT have listed a range of constraints and issues for the project and almost comically one of these is that Nelson St is a constrained road corridor with narrow lanes. Below is an image of what the cycleway might look like.

Nelson St cycleway

Beaumont St/Westhaven Dr Cycleway

Readers may recall this one which I wrote about a few months ago. The plan was to install a separated cycle lane down the western side of Beaumont St to lead to the new Westhaven path currently under construction. Unfortunately the marine industry the cycleway would go past were up in arms about the loss of carparking despite them having significant off street parking and the on street carparks often being empty.

Unfortunately it seems that Auckland Transport have caved to their demands and are now only proposing a shared path despite their only issues list stating that high pedestrian volumes are an issue.

This is the only one of the projects that doesn’t have an image associated with it.

Quay St Cycleway

AT will create a two-way separated cycleway on the Northern side of Quay St by removing the median islands and some dedicated right turn lanes then turning one of the existing traffic lanes over for cyclists.

Quay St Cycleway

East West Route

This could be one of the most important of the lot – and not just because it’s the only route through the core of the CBD rather than skirting around the edge of it. It will link Grafton Rd, Wellesley St East, Kitchener St and Victoria St. It will also contain a direct link from the newly opened Grafton Gully. The plan calls for one way protected cycling routes on either side Victoria St, a two way path on Kitchener St past the Art Gallery and a shared path along Wellesley St.

Wellesley St corridor Cycling

K Rd Cycleway

This is of course a project that Generation Zero have pushed and it is set to become a reality. AT say the design will have one way protected cycle lanes on either side of the road. They are also looking at what happens with the four traffic lanes along the route. The two options are either two general traffic lanes and the outside lanes as peak hour bus/parking lanes or four general traffic lanes with no bus or parking provision.

K Rd Cycleway

Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway

With the opening of the Grafton Gully Cycleway there is an even clearer gap in the network of the NW cycleway. Currently users have to climb up the side of the Newton Rd motorway onramp, cross Newton Rd then drop back down to Ian McKinnon Dr to a poor quality shared path. It would be far better to be able to connect to and travel alongside Ian McKinnon on a safe cycleway. A two way cycleway is being proposed that would travel through Suffolk St Reserve which is land the NZTA already has a designation over and would then travel up Ian McKinnon Dr. For Ian McKinnon Dr there were two options considered, using the berm and NZTA land which would have required works such as significant retaining walls or to take a lane off the road itself. AT have opted for that option and suggest removing an outbound lane.

Ian McKinnon Cycleway

Overall there are some really good projects here and they all feel like they need to be completed yesterday however only the first stage of the North South Cycle Route (Nelson St) and the Beaumont/Westhaven Dr project have funding so the rest will be at the mercy of the councils LTP funding discussion.

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  1. It’s always funny how they put all these cyclists in the picture and few cars. When in reality there are few cyclists and too many cars.
    I don’t see these happening too soon. I hear mixed things about that beach road one and that wasn’t really impacting on traffic. These other routes would have greater impact and thus face greater resistance. The route they choose on Nelson/Hobson will have a big impact on how long cyclists get held up for. They should have gone the whole hog and taken one lane on Hobson and one on Nelson all the way down.

    1. I think they are well accurate actually, at least for traffic. Go to Nelson St between 9.30 and 4pm, after 6pm or any time on the weekend and you’d be lucky to catch a tumbleweed.

  2. I’m not sure why AT has to cave on Beaumont. Can they not put forward their figures that show the current off-street parking is adequate, that the on-street parking is underutilised, push forward and to hell with what the marine industry “think” they know the impact will be? Too aggressive? It’s as if the local businesses have the power of veto over cycleways that I wish we had over roads.

    1. Agree – a shared space is a really bad short term solution. They have designed a great area for families to enjoy in the central city and now they want a retrograde change to happen while keeping those lover wide roads with lots of car parks that are hardly used.

      In that area they should implement 30kmh speeds and cycle lanes (do they need to be protected if you reduce the car speed?).

    2. Is there somewhere we can make submissions on the Beaumont St cycleway? I don’t understand why the Beaumont St cycleway doesn’t connect up with the protected cycling routes on either side Victoria St. As a resident off of Beaumont St, I’d much rather have a cycleway than the current bus parking.

      1. I think the only people AT consulted with are the property owners and CAA. It seems AT didn’t feel there was a need for public consultation as this is only supposed to be a “temporary” path.

        However, the marine industry is apparently already calling for evenn the permanent path also to be somewhere else (Daldy or wherever, because that has “cycle facilities” now, apparently).

        1. Beaumont is really critical to me, as it is part of a much bigger and important network that is developing. As others have said, with a fully developed set of paths from Takapuna (Seapath) over Skypath to Wynyard and beyond, along the waterfront, you are seeing something that could become a world-famous urban cycle route developing.

          Lots of companies in the general area (including AirNZ, Vodafone etc)… and mine, so getting from the Ferry to work, means navigating Quay street (please, please bring cycle lanes there as feels very dangerous at times on that road) through the Viaduct and Te Whereo bridge (which is jam packed with pedestrians most of the time) to the Wynyard quarter.

          Lovely place to cycle to work, and even better in the weekends, but Beaumont street on the seaward side has heavy traffic at times with people rat running to the motorway. Daldy street is not great either – cobblestones and tramlines are bit of a hazard when you are on a road bike – talking from experience after crashing off the bike last week after slipping on a tram track. 🙁

          Looking at the width of Beaumont (somewhere between 1 and 2 lanes), looks like it really could take a cycle lane, with relatively few car parks lost.

        2. Totally agree an important link. I think this is a bigger issue that affects good quality transport solutions in lots of locations. Auckland Transport needs to put all roadside businesses that have adjacent road parking on notice especially arterials , strategic and city nodes. Frankly the corridors need to be maximised for all transport modes. I think admittidly in the past there were no viable options except probably when the trams were working 50 years ago. With the new bus network , utilising rail to maximum and also creating a successful cycle network things will change for the better but roadside car parking shouldn’t inhibit all these things. I thought the game plan was making a liveable city. This is something that needs to start with the mayor.

  3. They look like great projects. The impact of the bus network/network repriorisation I think will create opportunies for cycle in areas not even dreamed just save your paint and get ready. Quay St , are they thinking separated two way cycle tamaki drive north side also would really help turn the tap on this network, then you have links to skypath etc I guess keep going shooting outwards.

    1. On the bus network which includes city centre won’t plans be done on those routes and have consideration for cycling too? Pref fitting in the two way separated ones? and being a bit brutal to car mode and on-street parking.

  4. How does the Victoria street changes tie in with the proposed linear park and road changes (or is this an interim solution?

  5. With the required rapid transit projects as per the congestion free network ( and the current growth trend) wouldn’t separated cycle be done at the same time similar to AMETI but a car footprint designed after the bus network given 2 years.

  6. The K Rd image shows shared Bus stop / cycle lane, e.g. cycle lane ramp up/down to bus across accessing level. (not behind bus stop)
    Does any one know of working example?

  7. Ian McKinnon Dr would make the last hurdle getting to town so much simpler and with only one road to cross to the cycleway it would be significantly faster. Just a pity that it would seem the cycle only path from Queen Street to Grafton Road is set to become a shared path.

    Since this will mean using more of the width does anyone know who is responsible for planting the edges of the Grafton Gully Cycleway and the new section of the North Western from Lincoln Rd as the grasses that hang over the edge and whip the shins as you go past are an inspired choice for a cycleway.

    1. Bryce what are the Copenhagen ones made of and approx width? Just thinking at the moment getting the width , getting the cycle network up getting the patronage then phasing in long term maint efficient surfacing which isn’t asphalt. It would appear car mode, been a bit greedy, or is that an understatement? Road surfacing needs to be done every 10 years so all roads will get re-roadmarked for no extra cost so hope this opportunity by cycling isn’t overlooked across the whole grid.

  8. Another thing about these downtown routes is that they will instantly receive a surge in users (ridership) when SkyPath opens. It would be nice if these pieces of city infrastructure were in place to connect when peiople are able to go back and forth to/from the North Shore.

    1. Further to that, the value of an individual cycle lane to increase usage is limited. You need the full network (on all dangerous/busy roads anyway) to ensure those that done currently ride able able to get from start to finish in a safe way. To the extent there is a unsafe gap on their route, they may still choose not to.

  9. Something vaguely hinting toward a grid, at last, but this is the densest part of the city, so it deserves a much more fine-grained and well-connected network of bike-enabled streets than what’s proposed. What’s proposed here is more suited to suburban forms. Also, the emphasis on “routes” also appears to have distracted from the question of intersections, crossings and permeability, as usual from AT.

    Looking closely, again there is the magnetic pull of absent or low-quality frontage along a number of these routes, which must have taken some skill and effort to locate in such a densely built environment. Instead, the city centre of all places should have near 100% frontage exposure for high priority cycling routes.

    Beach Rd is a relative success in many ways, but its design is hardly exemplary. The K’ Rd indicative image would be a much better design (with separation), so it’s interesting that it wasn’t adopted for all the cross-sections.

    Of course this should all have been done yesterday. I’d only suggest that a number of other projects should have been done the day before that.

    1. All the streets in the Britomart area need to be slowed and made safe for riding bikes. There are a myriad of destinations.

        1. Plus, I have heard that AT are extra-cautious about any changes in the area at the moment, as they expect to have to shift buses back and forth due to the CRL enabling works.

          Sadly, I think this paralyses quite a few cycle / walking projects – “No, we can’t do something here, there’s a future bus project here”. Cue 3 years later and nothing has happened either for bikes OR buses. Now I get that you don’t want to do re-builds, but the big issue with AT remains that they are so institutionally averse to pilot and temporary projects, cheap stuff that CAN stick around just for a few years. It all has to go through a whole approvals and quality concept that is designed for 30-50 year lifetimes, and is horribly afraid of being found wanting on some code spec.

        2. Indeed. A traffic lane can be reclaimed with planters in a day but it doesn’t happen. Why the aversion to trialing things JSK styles?

        3. Lack of high-level champions. Between the guidelines on one hand, the risk of a complaining public on the other side, Council staff can only act actively and courageously when they know that the upper management has their backs.

          And AT + political management has thoroughly failed them on this for years. JSK could only be JSK because Bloomberg had her back. Len Brown doesn’t expend any political capital on cycling – he just likes photo ops. And David Warburton at AT doesn’t give a toss about cycling, except when writing introductions to strategy documents (and sometimes not even then).

        4. Ironically most of those pictures show planters being used, as such quite a few could be done O/N for minimal cost and then a la NYC removed again if Auckland’s economy collapsed because of there only being 2 rather than 3 lanes on Ian McKinnon. Great to see these images, but people have been talking about cycling on Wellesley Street under Symonds Street for years and I’ve yet to see anything happen. If anything, we’ve gone backwards as money was spent on planting it out with thousands of shrubs and flaxes.

        5. Is it actually a symptom of a failure of democracy at heart? When a particular business group (e.g. the marine industry, or rather a small, misguided subset of the marine industry) gets pandered to by an obsequious executive. Of a left leaning council. National and local government in this country is hopelessly corporatised. No wonder young people can’t be bothered voting. They/we are underrepresented.

        6. Re Democracy/TheBigWheel.

          Democracy is a problem. Although it has it’s uses in terms of setting agreed outcomes, it has no place in deciding the best way to achieve these.

          Engineers don’t democratically decide how to construct a bridge, launch a rocket or tunnel through volcanic rock. Surgeons don’t hold a vote to decide the best way to perform open heart surgery.

          At some point we figured out planes need wings to fly just like Copenhagen demonstrated the best way to build cycling infrastructure ( so far ).

          Instead of politicians, it!’s a shame we don’t vote for questions.

          “Do you want private vehicle ownership in Auckland to be optional?”
          Right, based on the evidence available what are the best methods of achieving this? How can we fund it? Right. Go.

        7. Not all of them. Let us do the ones we can. If they’re to be shared spaces, ditch the damned parking.

        8. Most of them could simply be blocked with some planter pots and removed again if in a few years we need them for buses. Why must everything take so long in Auckland and also be done to million-dollar spec when decades later something finally happens.

  10. These routes have been shown on the future cycle network the council promoted years ago. There used to be a date published for completing the network. Where is the implementation plan?
    All but one of these routes doesn’t have a completion date. How can this be?

    I’d probably use the old Nelson St offramp portion of the North-South route, and Ian McKinnon Drive cycleway daily, even thou they’d be double the distance my current on road route.

    Hard to understand where the $2M cost of IanMcKinnon Drive cycleway goes.

    1. Probably mostly on retaining walls along the motorway edge. Not much space along some of the route, plus works will be needed close to the Newton Road bridge (next to the current ramp from Takau Street) which presumably is also a bit tricky.

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