In the second in my series of posts wrapping up the year I will look at Walking and Cycling

There have been a couple of major projects but in many ways not that much seems to have been done with most of progress being on proposed projects that have yet to start construction. Further perhaps the most disappointing aspect is there main focus continues to be on large feature projects – which are definitely needed – but little progress seems to be being made on the less glamorous but equally important need of connecting people to local amenities like shops and schools. Here’s what has been some of the biggest stories.

Grafton Gully and Beach Rd

The biggest advancement this year would have to be the opening of the NZTA’s Grafton Gully cycleway and the first stage of Auckland Transport’s Beach Rd cycleway providing a protected route all the way from Upper Queen St to Quay St. Just last week the latest link was added providing a connection to Whittaker Pl.

Grafton Gully Opening - Grafton Bridge

Beach Rd is only a short section so far but will be extended in 2015 to become more useful but is a great example of what can be achieved when Auckland Transport have the courage to remove parking. We need a lot more of this all around the city. In 2015 it will be extended from Mahuhu Cres to Britomart Pl.

Beach Rd Cycle Way

Government Cycling Budget

Perhaps one of the more important aspects this year wasn’t something physical but the increasing political realisation that cycling needs investment. The election saw all major parties pledge to put more money towards creating urban cycleways. While the government’s proposal of $100 million over four years was the lowest of suggestions, it is still a significant improvement compared to what we’ve been spending.

Skypath Resource Consent

Skypath is probably the single most important cycling project in Auckland. When completed finally adds the major missing mode the Harbour Bridge and gives residents of the North Shore a walk/cycle connection to the rest of  the region without having to go via Upper Harbour or catch a ferry. Earlier this month the project took a huge step forward when the resource consent for it was publicly notified and is open for submissions till 23 January.

Skypath Consent - From Westhaven

Northcote Cycleway

Connecting to Skypath and providing more connections to locals, this year Auckland Transport proposed a series of walking and cycling upgrades to roads in around Northcote.

Northcote Safecycle Overview

Unfortunately it seems to have met stiff resistance from locals fearful of losing carparks (despite most having off street parking) and the latest comments in the AT board papers suggest AT is scaling back the design. Some of that resistance and scaremongering has been driven by George Wood who put out this comical video.

Dominion Rd Parallel Routes

A big bone of contention in recent years has been plans to improve cycling around the Dominion Rd corridor. This was especially the case a few years ago when Auckland Transport decided not to put cycle lanes on Dominion Rd and instead focus on a series of back street connections. This year those local road upgrades got underway.

2357_Dominion Rd Cycle lane map_10.04.14 GF

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path

This year we learned that the NZTA and AT were planning to push ahead with another major off road cycleway in the form of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path which will follow the rail line between those two locations. The urgency of this route is partly being pushed by the NZTA who want use the existing designation originally intended for the eastern motorway before it expires. Work should start next year.

Sections of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path 1

Nelson St Cycleway

Sometimes a project manages to catch on and move ahead much faster than normal and that is especially the case with the proposal to use the old Nelson St off ramp to provide a connection to an upgraded Nelson St. The NZTA and AT picked up the idea and seem to be moving ahead with construction due to start next year. The image below shows the proposal for Nelson St.

Nelson St cycleway

City Centre Priority Routes

Along with Nelson St we also learned about a number of other priority routes in the city centre that re being explored that when complete will provide a backbone of protected routes around and through the city centre. These include

  • 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

O’Connell St

O’Connell St was completed this year and is undoubtedly the best shared space so far thanks to it’s narrower space and heritage buildings. It’s worth remembering that this outcome was far from certain a few years ago when AT said it was too narrow for a shared space and proposed to retain a defined road but without any parking that would have slowed vehicles down. While it is the best street more does need to be done to remind drivers what shared spaces are as a few treat it like a race track, especially courier drivers.


Federal St

This should have been an addition to Auckland’s shared space network however unfortunately it’s poor design and multiple vehicle access needs mean there are still far too many vehicles on the street, many of which travel too fast scaring most pedestrians to the edges.

What have I missed?

Share this


  1. Do we have a good timeline for the cycle component of the Waterview Connection yet? Or for the upgrade of the SH16 cycleway itself? Te Atatu Road? The quality of connections to the SH16 cycleway over the next year or two seems important.

    1. Waterview cycleway had open days in July, haven’t seen anything new published since then.
      “We expect that works will begin in late 2016 and take around 12 months to complete”, so finishing late 2017.
      Also note the number of blind corners and generally how indirect it is.
      “Completion: Early 2017″

      There is something very wrong when a 3.5m wide footpath takes longer to design & build than two 3 lane wide motorway tunnels.

      Funding of $8M was granted based on preliminary designs back in June 2011. Somebody needs to explain why it takes 6 1/2 years to design & build 2km of footpath.
      Also, as per the SH20 consent conditions, this was supposed to be construction-period mitigation, not only long-term mitigation.

      1. SH16 cycleway beside the causeway is due for completion late 2016
        SH16 cycleway west of Te Atatu is due to open in 2015

        Rode the causeway section of the cycleway today. It’s a bit of a mess and the surface is rough in places. There’s a section where the surface has grooves caused by one of those machines that chews up bitumen. Its like getting caught in tramlines.
        The “boardwalk” at the waterview end of the causeway looks pretty narrow to me.

        1. I love how “The Causeway Alliance” ( good grief, they’re roading engineers ffs ) produce a glossy brochure that makes motorway upgrades look like some kind of fluffy environmental project.

          The “Boardwalk” is horrific and an offense to the senses. Clearly that had some yellow leftover from the paint job on the new bus livery….( I realise we’re supposed to subscribe to the beauty is subjective line of thought, but really? That’s the best we can do?).

        2. The Oakley boardwalk is 3m clear width between the hand rails. This is the same width as most of the new cycle way will be.

        3. That’s 2m narrower than the guidelines in NZTA’s own Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide, which for shared paths (it’s not a cycleway!) says that

          “it is important to:
          • leave a lateral clearance distance of one metre on both sides of the path to allow for recovery by cyclists after a loss of control or swerving” (p14-20)

          – but no-one in the road-designing side of NZTA seems to have read these guidelines, or even be aware of their existence.

  2. A year of some significant advances – still haven’t commuted the Grafton and Beach Road cycleway (illness) but am looking forward to it hugely. Also, thrilled that Nelson Street may get underway…

    But I have to say, when I see that Dominion Road map… good God, what a sad mess. In what way is that supposed to be an efficient legible network for anyone? If all we can do is improve some side streets (which will make them safer for bikes but won’t ever create the safe through route on Dominion Road that was supposedly the goal), why not do that at some stage after all the other pressing projects seeking funding?

    Not knocking anyone’s efforts here but hopefully 2015 will bring some increased courage from decisionmakers to give us the right option from the start, and spare us face-saving exercises that just read like insults to actual network users.

  3. Some great progress considering. For car modes own sake we need to put on biggest loser, diet both spending and road width. Free up the other networks for some go forward or keep getting fat blocking the hallway and not going anywhere. With the bus network hopefully more aggressive than seen and put in separated cycling over this network at same time. It is only a roadmark away, volunteers could probably donate to get some physical seperation if need be.

  4. Just a comment about the speed bumps on the dominion rd alternate routes. They are too steep and too frequent. The result is as you ride next to a car you continuously pass the car on the bumps and then the car passes you in between bumps – this creates a huge hazard.
    Not sure what the solution is but it needs to be fixed before someone gets hurt.

  5. On Dominion Rd, I’ll be glad to see the dedicated cycle lanes north of Onslow Rd, and the signals to cross Mt Albert Rd and Balmoral Rd will be useful, but the rest of it is such a mess. I’m all for calming local streets, but as an addition to direct routes, not as a poor substitute. I ride part of it on my commute, and the extra intersections slow you down even more than the added distance from the circuitousness of the route. (Plus sometimes I want to ride through the shops, not around them! Local businesses take note: cyclists stop and buy things.)

    And the King Edward St/Burnley Tce detour is *ridiculous*. I hope they’re planning to acquire one of the sections that would work for a through path as soon as one becomes available.

  6. I’m curious to know what other improvements for walking will occur next year. 2014 has been a good year with Halsey Rd, Daldy St, O’connell St, Federal St, Bledisoe Lane and
    Fanshaw St upgrades, new cycle lanes come with new footpaths etc, are there plans for
    further street upgrades like Freyburg Place.

  7. That George wood video is a hoot – the visuals and audio are completely at odds with each other most of the time.

    e.g. when George says there is no off street parking for properties at the southern end of Queen St, camera shows a shot behind him of 3 houses (villas), all with off street parking/access to garages/car ports and a SUV is pulling out of a third property next to them on the extreme right of the picture obviously from a drive way.

    He shows Northcote tavern, but neglects to mention the cavernous car-park right next door to it, that means none of its patrons need on-street parking to use the pub.

    Anyway lets hope AT stays the course on this one and pulls some parking to allow proper cycling facilities to be put in place.
    Maybe not both sides, after all you gotta protect that “heritage” concrete roadway from the evil tar seal.

      1. It’s about time negative councillors like George retired. A long video to say we must have parking spaces. ! Tough, if you haven’t street parking car owners will have to start doing as in Europe and rent parking nearby and walk the last bit. Does he not realise the bicycle is a vehicle and does not need a car to transport it to the bridge?

        As far as the concrete road is concerned after the regular ferries stopped in 1959 the wear stopped and hence we still have a concrete road. Why reseal it when it doesn’t need it, now that is a point when all those nasty cyclists start tearing down Queen St. they might wear the road out and it will need resealing. Terrible

        1. You are choosing to ignore Skypaths own traffic survey that stated a significant number of path users would want to park and ride on Northcote point.

        2. From that Skypath car park traffic assessment, completed in October 2014: “Applying 100% of the projected car park traffic of SkyPath during the peak seasonal period is projected to create *negligible to small* capacity impacts and delay increases”.

          That’s on the likely busiest days of the year, and assuming the Council does nothing to mitigate the increased traffic (such as a resident’s parking scheme).

          They even *doubled* the likely maximum traffic flow for the sake of completeness, ran the same assessment, and found the only likely issue would be an extra 30 seconds wait at peak times on one leg of one intersection near Skypath.

          You may not be wrong on the fact of increased parking demand itself, but the conclusion you want people to draw from that fact (that it’ll create traffic and parking problems) isn’t borne out by the report you quote.

          Are all “local residents” as blinkered and loose with the truth as you are?

        3. Ahh, but Sam you ignore this:

          1. These residents obviously believe even 1 more vehicle (or cyclist) on “their” road(s) – Queen, Princes, Alma Streets – completely unacceptable
          2. They simultaneously predict:
          (a) SkyPath will be an outrageous success leading to the everyone from all ends of the earth descending upon Northcote point in short order in car and busloads, completely overwhelming both the roads and the Skypath structure itself leading to death and mayhem.
          (b) SkyPath will be an abject failure so none of these traffic issues will ever come to pass and the failure will forever burdening ratepayers with $2m worth of bailout costs.

        4. Oh Sam, please get your reports right. The report you refer to is a ‘traffic report’ that does not take into account parking. Here is a quote from the first page “As the query refers to the impacts of car traffic – not car parking – impacts, this response necessarily concentrates on somewhat different timeframes than the application traffic report.” That is completely different to the original report that shows how many people want to park and ride and how much available parking exists on Northcote Point.

        5. Sam, If you read the report you will see the numbers of available parking spaces on Northcote Point. Then if you read the Patronage report and the survey results that say how many people want to park and ride then clearly there is a parking problem.
          Now you may think that a new private enterprise venture should take precedence over residents and existing long established businesses but you would be out of step with the local community.
          Skypath is a private venture – no different from the Casino or any other private business – as such they need to prove that they can provide sufficient parking for its patrons or else the resource consent should not be granted. There is no reason to give Skypath any dispensation over any other business venture.
          The resource consent has deliberately not filed the parking report it commissioned – one can only assume this is because it is mindful of the negative impact the implied results would have on the local area. In fact Skypath say it is a facility people will not need to park at as it is a walking/riding facility. That is like Auckland Airport failing to provide parking because it is a flying facility.

        6. There is not enough parking anywhere to take all the people that could conceivably want to go there at the same time (according to every parking report I have ever read) …yet life endures.

        7. Isn’t fixing the root of the issue the solution. Put in physical separated cycling on all north shore arterials and you won’t be putting the bike in/on car to start off with. If Copenhagen can get a majority mode share, why not Auckland, make the grid safe.

        8. And of course the opposite holds true too, parking begets traffic. So a piece of cycling infrastructure with “insufficient” parking is ideal: less cars, less traffic, more sustainable transport.

          If he is really worried about parking (and not just looking for any way to moan about the project) the answer is simple, don’t have any public parking.

        9. Agree Nick any form of parking for a sustainable mode is just counterproductive,duplicating traffic and a waste of space. Off-road cycling fantastic but on-road needs to be safe and functional. I think all arterials in Auckland need a full redistribution with a sustainable focus, the time is now especially with bus looking at getting some priority in the grid. It should just be widespread and phase in physical protection or get some approved conc planter boxes and cyclists can just donate one to help out cause. Getting the width and correct space is the main thing. Removing parking, flush medians and maximizing each corridor so bus and bike can go freely and safely and have their own networks not little green boxes if you are lucky enough to get there. Trimming a bit of fat off one unsustainable mode and gaining 2 others that are sustainable. Corridor design on what you want not designing around what you have. Roadmarking is cheap, widening when you don’t need to is not and counterproductive.

        10. NZTA have mastered supply and demand for car mode and no others. AT needs to do the same thing in reverse open up the other networks on the arterials, watch the bus, (and therefore rail), cycle shoot through the roof. If I was vindictive would put ramp metering on the off-ramps but a car park rates levy will do just the same thing but better as addresses wasted space where there is infrastructure.

        11. The whole arterial repriorisation should be launched with Calgary fares or approx 50% what they are now then even car drivers can see the benefits of the new painted arterial layout plus then you add safe cycling for kids back in and less cars on the grid anyway. After plans sorted reviewing actual width kerb to kerb and best config a full scale re-mark could happen faster than people think. This would have a bigger positive impact than the full.motorway spend last 60 years, for what something 6 figures not tens of billions. Sorry if it means less work to do but focus on upgrading to busways and rail on rapid routes so useful.

        12. So you think the patrons of the Bridgeway cinema and all the other local businesses should walk to and from these facilities instead of being able to drive and park? I am not sure many Aucklanders would agree with you on that.

        13. No parking on the arterial roads, doesn’t mean nothing available elsewhere like local roads. An arterial road is supposed to be for maximizing transport options,parking and flush medians don’t actually do this. If these main roads were maximised, physical protected cycling, bus lanes added in, people wouldn’t drive to the bridge to then get on a bike safely they would just bike there. And frankly with more improved options on the main roads there will be significantly less demand for car parking anywhere as there will be more people using public transport and bikes, because they can and have a safe/viable choice.

  8. I used to live along Dominion rd and cycle to town every day (on Mt Eden rd, whuch is safer). I think that these parallel cycle routes are not good use of money, it’d have been much more useful if the cycle routes followed the main roads (even if more expensive), using the most direct,fastest and most intuitive route instead of circuitous detours. by forcing cyclists off the main road, AT are making cycling a much less attractive option to travel to any of the amenities found ON the main road.

    1. +1, when the ‘fuel’ comes out of your legs you want the shortest route possible, and preferably one without stops & starts so you can maintain your momentum.

      1. Yeah, it’s not the distance so much as the constant stops and having to check at intersections that makes this less appealing.

        1. Agree, I’ll be very unlikely to use these routes and will persist with the hazards on the road / in the bus lane.
          The wiggly nature of many of the cycle projects of late suggests they’re being deigned and managed by non cyclists in complete isolation.

        2. On the Dominion Rd Parallel Routes, do the intersections on the green wiggly routes have right of way? Will it be possible to ride without lots of stops/starts?

    2. I think all around the wrong way. Why not close to cars have 2 x 3m two way protected cyclepaths on Dominion Rd, Cars take the detour if they want.

    3. Getting some key roads, almost car free would really help steer in right direction. Residents only on bus lane? Car mode needs some tubes tied. Dominion Rd,Queen St,Tamaki Dr , Parnell Rd good start bus lanes, protected cycle, great for walkers.

      1. The wasted critical pavement width of carparks and flush medians would open up physical separated cycling on all arterials. So why not open up a full sustainable network instead of these things? Put all adjoining properties on notice and just do it AT you govern the road reserve not anyone else. What is the cycle mode share in Copenhagen?quite a bit.

  9. Whats happened to the Westhaven promenade – has it been completed and opened or is it still under construction still?

  10. Also, that Nelsom St Cycleway – how (well) will it tie in with the old Nelson St Off-ramp.

    As I recall the original design had the cycleway down the right hand side of Nelson St as the cycles could go at the same time as the cars went in the adjacent motorway off ramp due to no right turns allowed.
    With this design that won’t be possible, so cyclist will now have to cross the motorway off-ramp to get to the left hand side of Nelson St somehow.

    Just curious on this design change.

  11. Dominion Road: Does anyone have figures for the distance and elevation differences between the cycle way and the actual road distance and grades? (I will be using the east side of the Dominion Road and it seems quite a convuluted route along with some fairly steep gradients).

  12. You did manage to ignore that triumph of Auckland Transport traffic engineering, the Tiverton/Wolverton ‘shared pathway’, the afterthought to an ‘arterial’ scheme seemingly planned to deter pedestrians and cyclists from ever using it, that was finally completed this year (except for the walking/cycling bit). The perfect illustration of Warburton’s inadvertent but revealing slip that pedestrians shouldn’t be using arterial corridors anyway.

  13. Thanks for all the year-end summaries, and for all the efforts all year, team.

    I note that, while you stray outside Auckland in your discussions on roads and PT, this walk/cycle one is very Auckland focused (Govt cycling budget notwithstanding). Plenty of other stuff happening elsewhere in NZ (or at least controversy raging, .e.g. Wgtn), particularly when it comes to cycling. Plus the national Cycle Safety Panel report went to Govt. Here’s a Chch-based viewpoint:

  14. Is there any progress on pedestrianising queen Street? Nelson street is quite out of the way for getting around the central city

    1. No can do until after the CRL is built. Queen St will be needed for traffic loads as parts of Albert St are closed.

  15. Local Resident @ 1:27am – I stand corrected. Apologies. I did find a report on the Northcote Residents Association from 2013 which may be the one you meant (I’m guessing) – this does note a potential for high parking demand some of the time, but notes that mitigation such as resident parking schemes and limits on parking should sort it out.

    Sorry again for being intemperate above but this will not be the apocalypse for Northcote that you are claiming it to be, of that I’m pretty sure.

  16. Local Resident could you tell us why car parking will be needed for skypath cycle way ,when there is no parking needed for the Twin streams in Henderson ,North Westeren cycle way ,South Westeren cycle way ,Takapuna to Devonport on road and the Green Route cycle way ,Grafton/ Beach rd cycle way …..I could go on but I think you get the idea …..Please answer this now you have had time to think about it , not ignore it like you did on the other forum when I asked you last year .

  17. If you look at the ‘Patronage Report’ published by Skypath on 20th June 2014 you will see they claim Year 1 patronage weekend Summer numbers of 8769 every Saturday, and 8065 every Sunday. By year 5 weekend Summer numbers grow to 14,337 every Saturday, and 13,171 every Sunday. If you look at the Skypath ‘Transportation assessment report’ from May 2013 you will see that 24% of all commuters and 39% of all recreational users intend to park to and ride the facility. The report was quite specific and these respondents said they would expect to be able to park very near to the facility – many responded they intended to do this even if parking was not available.In total – across all of Northcote point – there are 781 car parking spaces. This will be considerably reduced should the Northcote Safe Cycle route be introduced. On a Saturday there are between 200-350 car parking spaces available (the lower figure is after 3pm) for the entire Northcote Point. If you take the southern point (after the Bridgeway) spare capacity drops to between 80-150.
    I am sure you can do the math but the headline figure is a need for about 1545 new car spaces every Saturday in summer ( the survey assumes 2.2 users per car). We could be generous and say half that figure will park on the city side (ignoring the absence of parking near the southern end of Skypath). You could then divide the parking requirement by 5 to assume a two hour park for recreational users and all day for commuters and in year one it is about 170 car parks needed for Skypath (assuming the Safe Cycle Route is not built).By year 5 Skypath would need every curbside parking space on Northcote point leaving no room for locals or patrons of existing businesses and still wopuld not have enough parking.I hope that answers your question and remember – the data comes from Skypaths own reports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *