Yesterday the John Key and Simon Bridges announced the planned cycling investment throughout New Zealand for the next three years and pleasingly it represents a massive increase on anything we’ve seen before. There are two primary reasons for this increase in funding.

  • One of the government’s election promises was to create a $100 million Urban Cycleway Fund (UCF) to be spent over four years. The first year of projects (well half year really) totalling just under $10 million was launched in January and this announcement constitutes the remainder of the funding.
  • The NZTA are spending significantly more money from the National Land Transport Fund (which comes from fuel taxes, road user charges, licencing fees etc.). This funding is governed by the Government Policy Statement (GPS) which was confirmed at the end of last year and sets funding bands

In effect this is the first announcement of what’s inside the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) which is the three year programme of transport activities that will be funded throughout the country and ties in with regional land transport programmes – which AT consulted on at the beginning of the year. I understand the rest of the NLTP funding will be announced next week.

The funding announced today is broken up by city below

NLTP 2015-15 cycling

We knew the urban cycleways funding was coming – and the government deserves credit for seeing it fully implemented – however as mentioned above the NZTA are also spending a lot more money. To highlight just how much of an increase in spending this $107m from the NLTF is, in the 2012-15 NLTP there was $53 million allocated for walking and cycling. That’s less than half what this announcement contains and itself was a 27% increase above the 2009-12 GPS. So even without the urban cycleway funding the level of money available for cycling has increased dramatically. Add in that remaining $90 million from the UCF and it represents significant increases in spending from Central Government.

One interesting aspect I’ve also noticed is that the $107 million from the NLTF is actually higher than the upper limit of the funding band in the GPS – if only they would also do that to PT funding.

The money shown above is going towards 41 separate projects.  Below are just the Auckland projects however you can see a table of all of them here. It’s worth noting that what’s shown only represents the projects where joint funding is taking place, a lot more cycle facilities will be delivered as part of other projects too. In addition the council have voted to significantly increase spending on cycling and that means it will be funding some projects on its own. It would be interesting to know just how much more network we could have had rolled out if were were able to at least get a 50% contribution from the NZTA for those other projects. The Auckland projects are split into four categories.

NLTP 2015-15 cycling - Auckland Projects

And here’s a map of the projects

Auckland urbancycleways map 2015-18

We’ve talked about many of these projects before and it’s really great that we should be seeing all of this within just three years. One new part I also really like is the addition of two programmes to link up the surrounding areas of New Lynn and Glen Innes to their train stations as well as other local amenities. I think that will be really useful in getting more people cycling not just to those town centres but also to catch trains and buses.

Quay St cycleway impression
An artist impression of a cycleway on Quay St that will be built within 3 years

Here’s Bridges and Key after making the announcement.

All up a great announcement and one that should see some major progress on improving cycling facilities in Auckland – and elsewhere around the country. After years and years of pushing for more funding it’s finally starting to arrive which is a testament to all the people who pushed so hard for a better future. Let’s just hope the various transport agencies have the capacity and capability to deliver all of these projects.

Next up – perhaps even today – we should hear if Skypath will be approved.

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101 comments

  1. More funding is essential and so this increase is great. But we need to look closely at the shape and structure of the projects that it funds — dollars does not equal quality of outcome — and the situation in Auckland is not so good.

    The network they’re funding (more or less AT’s vision) is severely limited in connectivity and exposure to frontage (i.e. fails to maximize places people want to go). Although there are more on-street designations than we’re used to (K Rd!), it’s an odd, arbitrary grab bag of routes overall — not a dense grid focused around, say, schools or public transport nodes. And yet there’s still a heavy motorway focus, not only in corridor choice but also in determining what branch routes to develop. And I’d emphasize that the planned network farcically considers Symonds St, Grafton Bridge, Khyber Pass Rd, Dominion Rd and others as already “existing”.

    There’s a lot of fundamental stuff this funding round is missing out on that could and should be done ASAP. The funding increase alone doesn’t represent a shift in priorities. We still need a better network and development strategy.

  2. That eastern access to CBD project looks to be more expensive than SkyPath now. For a route that duplicates the train line and hardly reaches any shops or schools.

  3. Any cycling funding is good but the balance of the projects seem to be located out east, reinforcing a sense that this is all about Saturday morning lycra-clad middle-aged males getting their speed jollies without having to sully themselves by taking PT or, heaven forbode, interrupting the holy grail of traffic flow, as they exchange boastful reminiscences of deals done, risks taken and profits banked.

  4. Any increase in funding that is directed to active modes or PT is welcomed. It will probably never be enough as all champions for whatever cause will tell you.

    Is it better than what was before yes, is it perfect, no. The outcomes it will produce are the baby steps required to shift focus and those involved, especially those who have lobbied hard to achieve this small win should be congratulated.

    1. >> “It will probably never be enough as all champions for whatever cause will tell you.”

      “Whatever cause” being a liveable, people-friendly, child-friendly city. There’s plenty of room for disagreement about how to build such a thing, but it’s not helpful to simply dismiss better alternatives as impossibly hard.

      >> “Is it better than what was before yes, is it perfect, no.”

      Agreed. But why stop there? Is it good enough for Auckland today? No. Could we have done reasonably better? Yes. Should we have? Probably.

      >> “The outcomes it will produce are the baby steps required to shift focus”

      If we’re still taking baby steps, then Auckland is an adult in diapers.

      1. Long term campaigning for better outcomes has made a difference for cycling funding, how is this replicated across the other areas that we care about? I’m looking forward to cycling over Skypath when its opened.

        I agree the outcomes could be a lot better and lets not stop here. The question becomes how do we get to where we want to be and what is the next step to get there.

        1. Except in it’s current shared path plan it will be next to impossible to actually cycle over and you will end up walking your bike over since it is shared space on a fairly steep gradient. It really needs to have cycle lanes designated with a pedestrian lane on the outside lane where people can stop and admire the view etc.

      2. >> “The outcomes it will produce are the baby steps required to shift focus”
        The risk of doing the wrong thing first is that when it’a done the moarr roads people will say “What? You want more money? We just spent a fortune on you”

        I’d dearly love just $1m to spend on @BikeDevonport’s bike plan for the peninsula – we could do so much: copenhaganise parts of Lake Rd, rumble strips on the rest of the cycle lane, ramps, cut throughs, signage, more bike parking, 30 km/h zones in the village, on road bike lanes on Bayswater Ave and Calliope Rd, make Bike to Soccer an annual event and expand it to Bike to Rugby, Bike to Cricket, Bike to Netball etc, etc

        Imagine that replicated in 88 suburbs around Auckland

        1. Good idea! Why not give $4-5 million to each local board to implement local cycleways and then you might see some interesting, maybe even transformational outcomes for all of Auckland. Perhaps AT could instead provide technical advice to the local boards and coordinate the local lanes so that they link up where possible.

        2. Really important to realise this is all just a start. Your suggestions for Devonport and then replicating are bang on the mark. Get in touch and work with us to make it happen.

        3. Bruce/Patrick – Bike Devonport has presented plans a number of times to the Local Board and we have good support from CAA. However, the main answer is that there is no money and no will to do anything.

          None of the local board members are people who travel by bicycle. We also had very negative reactions from AT.

          This was even when we presented our micro projects that were 10 really small projects (improving ramps for shared footpaths, improving some intersections, two way cycle ways on one way roads) that would have cost almost nothing.

          I think the general view from the bureaucracy is that large, motorway style cycling projects are 1. more effective because they appear to allow people to travel long distances and that is what we want for cars so it must be the same for bikes, right?, and 2. much better photo ops for local politicians – an intersection that has been made redesigned so school children can cross more safely is not very sexy.

          However, these small incremental projects are much more effective at getting people to cycle those short distances to PT stations, school or the shops.

          In saying that, it is still great to get this extra money and we all know that showing cycling a bit of love will get more people out on their bikes.

      1. Why do we need the qualifier. Is there anything good that they have done in any other area?

        Probably the least awful thing that they have done is to raise fuel tax, and set ACC levies as a function of vehicle safety, but that is still in transport.

  5. Perhaps NZTA are holding off announcing the rest of the NLTP funding to wait for the SkyPath approval, then they will surprise us all and announce that they are funding the walking/cycling project over their own bridge without a toll.

  6. I’m sick of this bike washing

    There are no existing cycle ways on Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd, Sandringham Rd, Remuera Rd ….etc

    When will AT honestly depict the current state of the network

    1. Just like there are no continuous bus lanes or clearways because of obstructive private car parking which neither the politicians or the bureaucrats have the guts to remove.

  7. I also note that AT haven’t bothered to show the infamous Dominion Rd alternative parallel routes as an existing cycle way

  8. I get irritated by those people who keep asking “What about the North Shore?” when it comes to PT, CRL etc, because obviously these things benefit Auckland as a whole. But cycleways are different. If they’re not local to you they’re not nearly as beneficial, because after all, as is often emphasised, they’re for children to get to school etc.

    So what about the North Shore? It seems odd that anyone would prepare a map that cuts Auckland off at the harbour bridge and not think it’s odd.

    1. There’s nothing here for the South, the East (across the river), or the Shore. In fact, this is massively concentrated in the inner city and around the suburbs of Grey Lynn and Herne Bay.

      But that’s because this is about the next three years. I’m confident that we’ll see a lot more across the entire city over the 6-10 after that.

      1. Yes this is really just getting a core in place from which to expand from. East will get more as part of AMETI – but maybe not in in next 3 years. Also remember that works will be happening as part of other projects.

        1. Should really say Central / Isthmus Auckland. So that’s $88m for Central Auckland. And so far $0 millions of the UCF for South, East, West or North Auckland?

        2. Nope, AMETI for East, SH20 cycleway south, NW cycleway extension West, Northcote route, Albany Highway and seapath North, just off of the top of my head, all in the next 3 years.

          Also, these are the areas where cycling is politically the easiest to fit in, which builds the case for other places. Better to have a good network building use well than crap individual routes everywhere doing nothing

        3. But AMETI isn’t Manurewa or Clendon? Or Papakura or Pukekohe?

          My bigger point is the use of the word “Auckland” but then only focuses on the isthmus. This happens too often. Those of us that live beyond the isthmus are part of Auckland, and this damned Super City forced the rest of us to be part of it too.

        4. Manurewa just had a whole load of cycle lanes installed.

          Perhaps you should read the second half of my original comment.

        5. Sailor Boy – does it really need to be a network like we want for buses/trains/ferries?

          I would argue that most cycling is local, and that most of it is children commuting to school, local centres and other facilities. Their safety should be the priority rather than the catering for the much smaller number of more experienced cyclists commuting to and from the CBD.

          I think we’ve ended up with a very CBD-centric solution, which I fear will suck much-needed funds from other cycling projects all around Auckland.

        6. Actually Manurewa has a few bits or green paint on the roads. No separated cycle-ways and some very busy roundabouts you need to navigate. To make things worst there is very few facilities to secure your bike to once you get there (I think some of the schools have even got rid of there bike sheds).

          green paint does not make a cycleway

        7. Yes, we need really fine grids in neighbourhoods for cycling to really take off. If we can only build say 100km with the budget then it makes sense for it to be in the densest neighbourhoods, where there are more people and the journeys to everything are more cyclefriendly distances.

        8. You can’t tell me the isthmus is getting more than its fair share of the transport budget! All those expensive motorways and bridges and rail lines are mainly there for the people who live in the outer suburbs. The Isthmus would be a lot nicer place without them!

          Its quite nice of us Isthmus dwellers to subsidise your transport. I’m sure we could move to a fairer transport spending or funding model if you’d prefer.

      2. There are in fact several projects underway or being planned for the Shore including the Northcote Safe Cycleway and SeaPath which NZTA is developing.

      3. Most of the existing separated cycleways are outside of the isthmus: https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/auckland-cycle-run-walkway-maps/

        While many of them look quite good from a design and scenic-ness perspective, they’re lacking “last mile” connections into local street networks, which I’ve highlighted before: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2015/02/19/now-connect-them/

        Overall, I’d see this as a welcome (if hopefully not permanent) focus on areas where existing demands are highest. I.E. focusing investment for a few years in order to give us a good sense of what a better-connected network can offer.

    2. Bigger question: does this indicate a long term (partial) shift in funding priorities at the NZTA?

      They’re not a monolithically terrible organisation, but money speaks loudest in actual outcomes. Is this a bump in the road, or a change of course?

    3. Works around Skypath and Seapath are on the “reserve list” in case other projects don’t come through – couldn’t fund everything (the fund was heavily oversubscribed)

      1. NZTA are funding Seapath, from what I’ve heard. And NZTA promised that Seapath will be done before Skypath is done. Apparently NZTA are already working on options for Seapath, but it’s been pretty quiet from them for a while.

        1. Consultation on SeaPath is likely to start in the next months, from what we have been told. NZTA would fund it, and the inclusion in the UCF map as a non-UCF project likely to be complete by 2018 makes me hopefuly, even if it came with a “pending funding and consents” qualifier.

          That said, it really needs SkyPath to go ahead too. SeaPath may well still stack up even without it, but it likely wouldn’t get nearly as high priority in terms of funding and political will…

  9. $20m in… Nelson. That’s a fair amount for our sunny southern neighbour. That city has the possibility to be NZ’s most cycle-friendly city. And why not?

    1. $39 million in Orakei… more than Skypath would cost, and more than any other area.

      But the most important point is that this is the first of three instalments in the the 10 year plan. So we can expect this to be repeated again and again. Although the certainly/scale of further funding is probably dependent on uptake. So these routes do have to work, need to be well chosen, and well designed, and executed in a timely fashion. I do hope rush does not lead to poor standards being rolled out; saw a lot of poor shared paths in Rotorua.

      1. Suitable cycleway standards (national guidelines currently being developed) and requirements for design reviews are part of the conditions for these cycleways. Won’t be perfect no doubt, but should hopefully catch the obvious “cheap half-baked solutions”

      2. What would be nice for shared paths, like the existing one on Quay St, is some clear signage to indicate it’s a shared path, not just a regular footpath. I feel slightly uncomfortable riding on them as I suspect many pedestrians believe I shouldn’t be there. Perhaps some large bike + pedestrian symbols painted on the ground would help.

        1. Shared paths only work with one condition: serious width. Metres and metres of it. Next thing is the removal of crap and clutter; especially stoopid signage every couple of metres. Quay St and Tamaki Dr are far too narrow to function as shared paths. Grafton Gully only works now because there are few people using it of either mode as it is currently disconnected from anywhere much. Conflicts will arise as it becomes more useful with further connections. Will cross that bridge when it comes…..

        2. 12.27 … shared paths only work with meters and meters of width? What, you mean like the Skypath design? Did the resource consent commissioners actively listen to the submissions and video on shared paths? We will know next week.

        3. Shard, yeah it would be great if all shared paths were 4m wide with no obstructions, that is pretty luxurious. Alas most being built at the moment are well short of that, and are littered with obstructions.

        4. The should have shown a better video, with more chaos and disruption. Perhaps images of the holocaust or nuclear winter for good measure?

        5. Yes, obviously a 4m shared path is so bad that we should just disallow any cyclists or pedestrians to cross the harbour, /sarc

    2. Nelson has 8% cycle mode share of work commuters – the highest in NZ? The government was probably encouraged by that figure and felt confident that a high level of investment would be well used. Nelson’s main cycleway also does something that cycleways in Auckland don’t yet do – has level crossings where cars must give way to cycleway users.

      1. Nelson also has another thing in the city centre that Auckland doesn’t have. Zebra crossings at crossroads, where turning traffic has to give way to pedestrians.

      2. You’ll notice that most of Nelson’s money is coming from the NLTP, not the UCF. A large part of this is for Rocks Rd, which is a state highway project (i.e. fully Govt funded). So Nelson didn’t really get an extra boost.

  10. What’s the Government’s real motives here? We know they’re fixated on roads, is this just to keep the “greenies” happy for a while? Is it just to score a few points with the public, because I don’t know if the general public would be supportive of this much spending on cycleways or really understands the benefit of them.

    Also I can’t see any of the politician’s on bikes with the trousers tucked into the sock to avoid destroying their trousers. They obviously hardly ever jump on a bike.

    1. In my view this is sincere. I was at the launch yesterday and spoke with all the main players. I see no need to be suspicious of this policy, after all, the real test of policy makers’ sincerity are the budgets they sign. This is real money and the promise of more. I say get on with making these projects as good as possible in execution. Anyone critical of a location or project missing out work on a proposal and get your local community, Board, or advocacy group to work it up all ready for the next funding round. The best projects will likely make it through. Especially those that connect new or existing routes.

      1. Patrick, based on your discussions would you say we’re heading towards a CWONS-like climate, where these are given a high status and funded consistently? (Even if the funding is lumpy and project-based rather than smooth and consistent).

        This is particularly welcome if it represents the beginning of a long-term investment.

        1. That, I believe, is more than a possibility. Dependent somewhat on people getting out and riding in good numbers. Which should happen following good joined up infra delivery.

        2. The whole point of the controversial “concentrate on the City Centre and Inner Isthmus” policy is to get good numbers, fast & CONCENTRATED so you SEE the difference. If we spent this money all over the wide city of Auckland here and there, we might lift our cycling mode share everywhere by 1-2%. Which would be barely noticeable to the average punter.

          Concentrate it, and we have a real change of getting 5 or more % mode share increase in just a few years – in a smaller area, but one in the spotlight. THAT will then draw more money, for all of the city. The other alternative is sprinkling it all away, and then in a few years going “Oh, yeah, we had this initiative, back in 15′ – whatever happened to it?”

    2. I’m enthusiastic about this move for two reasons. First, it’s great to see the government committing to a new direction in transport spending. This investment’s not going to reach everywhere, but where it is spent it will improve people’s transport choices. (Here’s hoping that they are open to the same thing in public transport as well.)

      Second, the fact that a National government is spending money on urban cycling is a good thing, as it makes it easier for future central governments and local governments to do it as well. It’s a “Nixon goes to China” moment, in a way. With luck, investment in safe urban cycle infrastructure will just become a normal thing that all NZ governments do.

  11. Why only 88 million in Auckland? Auckland has almost 4x the population than Wellington and Christchurch, so shouldn’t it get about 4x the funding? In fact Auckland has 30x the population of Nelson, so how about $600 million!
    Auckland never seems to get its fair share of funding, and when it does the rest of the country complain that too much is being spent there (forgetting that it is 1/3rd of the country).

    1. Because funding is political in that people want to see what they perceive as their “share” of the funding – balanced or not. There’s a perception in New Zealanders outside Auckland that “Auckland gets everything” – even if that represents where the lion’s share of funding and growth actually are.

      These projects will prop up industry and business across all parts of New Zealand, and the Government has been clever enough to spread the money around to reach voters in as many corners of the country as possible.

    2. Three main reasons:
      – The applications from regional centres were very good, so it was only fair to “share the love” more than originally envisaged
      – The biggest risk for the main three centres is failure to deliver their large programmes (remembering that we’ve never done anything like this before). E.g. if Auckland couldn’t deliver say $10m of UCF projects in time, that would be difficult to replace with other “reserve list” projects. So it made sense to limit the exposure to that kind of risk.
      – Those figures are also only for this funding round; you’re forgetting the other $37m of funding announced in January, of which Akld received $23m. So $111m out of $333m seems almost about right.

    3. Not sure that I’d agree with Auckland “not getting its fair share of funding” – from where the rest of the country sits, it is a voracious monster that is gobbling up everything – money, people, businesses, cars, roads, etc. What is absolutely desperately needed, is money going into the provinces, so that instead of dying, they retain their one key advantage over Auckland: better quality of life. Otherwise, screw it, we’ll all pack up and leave our small towns and come and make your life more miserable in Auckland.

      1. I have no issue with this either. However I am concerned about the politics behind it. The rush to whack Auckland at every turn is not helpful for the nation. NZ needs Auckland to be performing at the top of its game. Our services industry is centred here and the economy relies on this as we do other more visible industries like meat and wool. If AKL’s growth is either starved of support or it is spent on the wrong kit then this industry will lose competitiveness and fail to contribute to the Nation’s well being as much as it could and should.

        No good for anyone. Also a third of the pop and 40% of GDP in generated here. No-one wins by strangling our only city of scale.
        The launch wasn’t in Rotorua by accident. All four speakers emphasised that this ‘isn’t about the main centres’. No complaint from me however about spread.

        1. Why does Auckland need to GROW though? Sure, don’t make it less productive, but NZ would be healthier if Auckland remained the same size economic engine but the rest of the country doubled in economic capacity.

          People always confuse “growth” and “benefit.” Yes, Auckland is the most beneficial part of NZ. No, it doesn’t need to grow. If you have a McLaren F1, you don’t need more horsepower. You have enough.

        2. AKL does not have to grow. But growth is hard to get to happen anywhere and a gov or society turns it down where it is naturally occurring at their peril. You can choose to strangle AKL if you like but that will not improve Te Kuiti.

          I am talking economic growth not population growth. I agree all growthis not a priori good, sometimes it’s just flab, eg sprawl. But productivity growth is always good. Exploitation of the existing rail corridor and existing capacity on trains is productivity growth.

          Numbers are great, but not everything is easily quantifiable. Only looking at numbers can mean only what is easily counted or selected to be counted is considered. The numeric in service of the big picture is what is required.

        3. Will NZ be richer if Melbourne grows instead of Auckland? Set a limit on auckland and sure some people will stay in the provinces, and some people who want to move here will choose to settle in the provinces. But for lots of migrants, both internal and external, if they can’t settle in Auckland they will choose Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane or Perth or Singapore etc etc.

        4. What are the performance targets for this investment?

          If I spent say $100m on the police I’d expect x percentage more crimes resolved or y percent more patrols or a z percent drop in crime.

          What is this $100m generating? (health outcomes through increased uptake? reduced congestion times?)

          Would (as always) like to see the numbers

        5. Can’t give you any numbers here, but the difference in Hawkes Bay with their cycleways has been tremendous. It seems to be a lot more people – both from within HB but also outside HB, and outside NZ. The money may not result in a readily identifiable $ for $ conclusion, but the casual benefits in Napier are more tourists, more overnight stays in motels, more custom for bars and restaurants, etc. And yes, more fit people, so hopefully less heart attacks. And a lot more wine being drunk, which hopefully is also on the plus side of the equation.

          I think the key thing for me is that this is an actual thing – speed campaigns by cops, and making your house warm campaigns by EECA, spend huge amounts of money on advertising – especially expensive TV advertising. I’m really happy that this money is going to actually build a thing of use.

        6. Increased cycling numbers is the key, with all the benefits that brings. A requirement of all of these projects is that councils monitor cycle numbers on site so that we can see the impact they have.

      2. You want Auckland to subsidise the provinces?
        The rest of the country don’t seem to realise that when the government spends say $1 billion in Auckland, that is the equivalent spending per capita of about $33 million in Napier. They see the big dollars being spent in Auckland and think we are gobbling up more than our fair share when I doubt that is often the case. The government don’t want to fund a lot of infrastructure that they should do in Auckland because they don’t want to look like they are spending too much in Auckland, yet it seems to be fine when it is the other way around.

        1. Jimbo, farmers would argue that they have been subsidizing urban areas for years. The vast majority of our exports are primary industry. Technically, get rid of all the people in the big cities as they’re doing bugger all except consume cheap Chinese imports in vast quantities.

          Or, we just get over it and move on.

        2. This is the kind of debate that could go on forever.
          It is interesting though that even though the milk price has dropped significantly, the government’s tax take has increased. Maybe farmers don’t contribute as much in tax as they think they do?

      3. Typical small town attitude. Ever think most people living in Auckland (and other large cities) live there because they actually want to? Not everyone wants to live in ‘provincia’. I would HATE to live in small town even if there were lots of jobs there. I love city life.

        As for it consuming everything, pretty sure Auckland gets less than what it puts in for almost everything.

      4. “their one key advantage over Auckland: better quality of life” – If that’s all smaller centres have then I suggest that rural NZ is in even bigger trouble than I thought.

        It seems most young NZers completely disagree with you as they are flooding into Auckland. From their point of view, rural areas are boring while cities have a wide variety of things to do – especially with a city like Auckland with beautiful beaches and easy access to national parks.

        I would say the one key advantage rural NZ has is low house prices. If house prices in Auckland were only 20-30% higher than the provinces (rather than 200-300%) I suspect you would see a hell of a lot more growth in Auckland.

        Rural NZ really need to stop asking for subsidies to prop up their failing economies. It isn’t the farmers that are the problem, it is the rural hangers on who contribute very little to the rural economy but demand roads to their sprawling lifestyle blocks so they can drive their precious snow flakes to school every day in the SUV. Is that rural life?

  12. Is the proposed route alongside the southern motorway from south of Tip Top corner to come off at Newmarket and joint Remuera Road existing cycleway?

  13. I was introduced to this thought by my grand daughter: “trying to reduce traffic congestion by building roads is like trying to reduce obesity bt loosening belts”.

  14. $39m on the Orakei Cycleway to me represents a mis-allocation of resource. It is very poorly connected with land use. You could do more for less on road by reprioritising road space. So I am more than a little concerned about the type of project being funded, and what is not being done. The impression you get from this is that you need to spend big money for a modest network, so you need to spend huge money to get a decent network. But I dont think that needs to be the case.

    1. Know what you mean, but on the other hand this project will improve connectivity to RTN stations that are currently pretty disconnected from their communities. But yes it is more a Greenway Pe project than an urban cycleway.

    2. There are other issues at play with the eastern corridor. In particular they want to make use of the existing transport designation through the area before it lapses. That designation was originally for a highway of course but that has no chance of being built. That will also allow them to free up land around GI that could then be developed. If the cycleway wasn’t built now the designation will lapse and the cost to do the project would skyrocket as new designations would be needed

      1. Ah I see. That makes a difference. It isnt a bad project in and of itself, so I am personally happy for the money to be spent on it. We will see how things progress going forward.

        1. You folks should also realise that that those $39 million includes the Eastern Waterfront connections (upgrade of Eastern Quay Street and start of Tamaki Drive) as well as the Gladstone Road/St Stephen’s Ave/Broadway route to Newmarket!

  15. Again, Auckland gets short changed to Wellington. They have 1/3 the population of Auckland, but get about 60% of the funding Auckland gets.

    1. I think it might be partly a case that even with the money Auckland has (both from this announcement and the council’s extra funding) that we’re going to struggle to spend it all as there’s a lot of work to do designing, consenting, building all of these projects. It’s a bit like someone who’s unfit suddenly going for a run. They start of slow but if they keep at it they become fitter and faster. It’s probably going to take 3 years for AT (and NZTA) to get that fitness up to the levels needed to implement much more than what’s already planned.

      1. Doesn’t that hold true of Wellington too? If we are going to struggle to spend our share, then their might higher per capita spend is going to be much much harder. At least in Auckland you would be better able to fill some short term contracts due to a more liquid labour market.

    2. It’s better to be asking whether Auckland should be getting 30% or 50% of $300 million than having the certainty of getting 100% of very little.

  16. Narrowing my eyes here for a moment, why would these guys who have been as middle-NZ-conventional as the day is long suddenly go gangbusters on cycleways? I suspect it’s a cunning plan to prolong their stay in power. 9 years is a long time in terms of political loyalty, the right will inevitably lose sight of the bigger picture, get discontented and start looking for alternatives. So if National can make friends with the centre left then perhaps they can wind back the clock and gain a few more years by pandering to a fresh constituency. Shrug fine by me, bring on the intensified housing, carbon offset initiatives and wealth redistribution over the next couple of years. Looking forward to seeing Nick Smith light up on camera

    1. Agreed. Hard not to suspect some hidden agenda here. But if National decides to swing around wholesale to Green transport policies and abandons its absurd Roads of National Extravagance programme I might even consider voting for them. (Can’t see how this could happen as long as chief architects Key, Joyce, Brownlee and Bridges are around. Most of the present crop of Ministers would have to go before I could trust the Nats again).

    2. Lol, you’re surprised that politicians would do something that they think gives them votes? The outrage 😉

      Look, the real interesting bit here is that they (National!) think that ***cycling has votes in it***. That, absent all arguments as to genuine-ness, is a real thing to take home happily.

  17. Dan I’m an old codger too and I find those off roaders with their gears are a boon. My old roadster just got too hard to push when the hips started to go and arthritis set in. So I like the idea of them getting on their bikes (any bike will do) sop long as they start and that they talk about it with their peers.
    I think those old codgers really did a lot of damage with enabling the bigger trucks with greater vehicle mass and length and those close spaced non-steering axles on the road and maybe they will appreciate and change that when they have them alongside them on their bikes.

    1. Yeah you can’t beat a mountain bike for gears to climb up steep hills. But you can get pretty good gears on urban bikes too now. The one i pictured has an 8 speed internal hub, and an upright seating position that i expect would be much more comfortable for failing hips.

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