You may recall my post recently about how Auckland Transport installing cycle lanes on Upper Harbour Dr – which I use to ride to work sometimes – actually made the road less safe. This was because in the process of installing the cycle lanes AT removed the existing broken yellow lines (BYLs) and it resulted in drivers parking in the cycle lanes. In some case like the example below they even parked over the cycle lane marking

Upper Harbour Cars Parked - 6

AT’s response to why the BYLs were removed is below.

Motorists are not allowed to stop, stand or park in a cycle lane, relevant section is 6.6 of the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004.

The requirements for marking cycle lanes are outlined in section 11.2 of the Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004. A road controlling authority is not required to install broken yellow line markings to indicate that motorists should not park in cycle lanes. However, Section 12.1 (3) of the Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004 does allow a road controlling authority to install broken yellow lines if it deems it necessary.

Some of the legacy Council’s choose to install broken yellow line markings in addition to the cycle lane markings and some did not. This resulted in inconsistencies across the region, in some cases customers believed that if the broken yellow lines were not present they were allowed to park in the cycle lane.

In order to address this issue the Traffic Control Committee issued a directive in December 2014 advising that broken yellow lines should no longer be installed in cycle lanes. Existing broken yellow lines would be allowed to fade and would not be remarked. The purposes of this directive was to try to move the region towards a consistent approach that customers could easily understand.

The Traffic Control Committee consists of the Manager Road Corridor Access, Manager Parking and Enforcement, and Manager Road Corridor Operations. Authority for passing resolutions under bylaws was delegated by the Auckland Transport Board of Directors to the Traffic Control Committee at its meeting of 26 October 2010.

My post was followed up by one by Barb Cuthbert at Cycle Action Auckland about the issue and also about how often cycle lane marking is not up to scratch being faded not re-instated properly after road maintenance.

Following these posts Barb and I were invited to a meeting at AT to discuss the issue. We discussed a number of issues and the outcome was AT would reconsider their position. The great news is that has now happened and they’ve advised us the following

Following our meeting two weeks ago we have agreed a process for ensuring cyclelanes in our network are fit for purpose and consistent. We will be requiring the following from now:

  • setting a new standard for marking cycle lanes which mandates the use of broken yellow lines.
  • requiring that for maintenance of streets that include cycle lanes, as well as construction of new cycle lanes, the cycle symbols are marked when the lane markings are done rather than waiting for the greening to be applied.

In order to bring the current network up to standard we will be:

  • reviewing all cycle lanes to ensure the markings are correct and that they have all required resolutions.
  • developing a priority list of cyclelanes to bring up to standard.
  • requiring the above be implemented on lower priority routes when routine maintenance occurs.

To help imbed these changes once we complete our review and priority location treatment we will:

  • run an information campaign.
  • develop a more robust education and information campaign for construction of new cyclelanes.
  • work with our Parking team to enforce priority cycle lanes.

In my mind this is an excellent outcome and well done to AT for listening. It will obviously take some time for these changes to be rolled out across the city but it will be good to have a clear directive going forward.

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56 comments

  1. While painted lanes aren’t my idea of cycle infrastructure, this is a great result. Research by Chch company ViaStrada indicates BYL’s have good compliance so it makes sense given the affordability of painting some yellow lines. Thanks.

    1. Consistency is great. From memory (6+ years old) ViaStrada suggest in the training they offer traffic planners and engineers, that Consistency of cycle path treatment is paramount.
      And that it was even more important than say Connectivity… (I’m really dredging my grey matter here. But assume this is cos Connectivity is implied by Consistent)
      Might be time for a refresher

    2. Been observing construction sites in a number of locations across wider Auckland where cycle lanes exist. The practicality and safety of cyclists is not enhanced if concrete trucks etc have to park one metre out when delivering goods / services to new buildings / homes etc. Take a wee drive and you’ll see what I mean. Safest for these vehicles to park closest to curbs. Otherwise cyclist are almost forced to other side of the road by virtue of cables, pump hoses etc that would naturally drape across the cycle lanes from where the trucks are stopped (if they have to be a metre out from curb). This will be an interesting one to see if legislation is vehemently adhered to or common sense used. So far none of the trucks I have witnessed so far are parking out from the curb indicating either commonsense or a non understanding of legislation. Will be interesting.

      1. It is illegal for them to park on that section at all.

        If you see this please report it as it is almost certainly in breach of their traffic management plan and endangers the lives of vulnerable road users.

      2. Doing so should require a traffic management plan that includes cyclists. This could mean a temporary cycle lane is installed around the work site.

  2. good outcome guys, I note with some irony that the northbound cycle lane on Taharoto Rd has three different designs of bike symbol often within a couple of metres of each other

    also that concrete gutter sump takes up almost half the lane and will become more of a hazard as the road is progressively re-sealed and overlaid with bitumen

    1. AC has a major problem (i.e. cost) lifting the large number of below-grade catchpit grates that line the city’s roads They also destroy the LH shock absorbers of vehicles traveling on the inside lane of clearways,so I would hope that a campaign
      to remediate them would, at least, not be opposed by the motoring lobby. And there’s also the sunken manhole covers in the ‘middle’ of the roads which presumably belong to Watercare……….

      1. many rainwater sumps in East Coast Bays are located on bus stops, can be handy for “kneeling” buses, but they don’t promote smooth progress

  3. Great result. Drove down Puhinui Rd in Papatoetoe last weekend where cycle lanes are similarly being painted on and saw the exact same issues recurring (people parked all over the cycle lanes). In some places it seemed the work crews had sand-blasted off existing broken yellow lines I guess to ensure compliance with the standard. AT’s decision to revise how their policy/standards are applied should lead to much better results.

    Painting the broken yellow lines on, thus helping people understand they shouldn’t park there, is a much better approach than ticketing people who don’t understand what they’ve done wrong. Tickets would be more likely to turn people against the cycle lanes and make it harder to find popular support to get more put in. Vs most people would more gracefully accept a ticket for parking on a broken yellow line.

        1. The biggest risk is opening a door in front of a bicyclist and having him injured or killed, depending on which side of the parking the bicycle lane is. So tell your children to look out before opening the car door (and make sure you do so yourself), and you’ll be fine.

          About bicyclists running over you or your children: don’t worry about that. Bicycles are not as heavy or fast as cars. Usually they’ll be able to stop. Even a hit will not have too severe consequences, probably some cuts and bruises for both parties. I’ve never heard about someone being killed by a bicycle.

          Or maybe you can send your children to school on their bike.

  4. Might be a good idea to have a campaign to remind motorists that parking in a cycle lane or footpath is illegal. When I lived in the UK parking wardens would ticket a vehicle for parked partly on a footpath and road for both offences.

  5. It would be nice if we could encourage children at primary school back onto bicycles and that would mean safe infrastructure around schools. So pamphlet distribution at the school gate could be part of the education.

  6. Well done that is a result you can be proud of! The concept of marking a cycle lane and expecting people to somehow just know they couldn’t park there was one of the more brainless ideas to appear. Fixing that really is an achievement.

      1. Even the Police don’t know the road laws let alone the public. One told me the other day that I was in breach of the law because I wasn’t riding my bike to the left of the white line (which meant left of a band of ATP and on the 20cms of gravel covered hard shoulder between the ATP and the road barrier). He appeared really confused when I said I was actually required by law, on a road marked with lanes, to ride completely within the lane (as bicycles are defined by law as vehicles and their riders are defined as drivers).

      2. Matthew in a perfect world all drivers would look at the road code annually. In the real world after obtaining a licence no-one looks again.

        1. Actually, as an example, near my work some new cycle lanes have been installed. Some of the older guys didn’t know the rules, they looked them up and now they do. It’s five minutes of googling.

      3. When I say it is a brainless idea I don’t just mean on Upper Harbour Drive, I mean the whole concept of passing a traffic regulation that makes little obvious sense to people. We are supposed to create roads that are self explaining. Allowing road controlling authorities to mark a cycle lane without a no parking sign or broken yellow lines fails that test completely. The idea that people will see a new layout and be expected to go home and google it is just as daft.
        My real issue isn’t that AT cut costs here it is that the traffic regulations let them get away with it. More power to Matt and Barabara!

        1. Yeah fair enough thing should be made as simple as possible to understand from a design point of view. I am just highly dubious that the average person literally parking over green paint is not going to know the rules. See my conmment below about people “not knowing” the rules when it comes to transit lanes.

          1. If people cant recognise cycle lanes (I’m doubtful), then we have a bigger problem than parking – it is a safety issue. And that wont be solved by BLYs. But I was actually referring to the photo of the car directly on the green paint.

          2. I would have thought that picture was all the evidence you would need to understand that people don’t see a cycle lane as including a parking restriction. They see a parking restriction marking as being a parking restriction.

          3. I believe it as much as I believe single occupancy vehicles driving in transit lanes don’t understand they are not allowed to be there. i.e. Of course they don’t until they think there is a chance the rule might be enforced and they suddenly “understand”.

      1. Add BYL in cycling lanes to the list of redundant road markings which already includes cross-hatching in intersections; double yellow lines along flush medians; give way signs at T-intersections; BYL across driveways

  7. As a motorist, and not a cyclist, I sure did not know not to park in a cycle lane. A BYL tells me where not to park. I have had a driver licence for more than 30 years and do not read the Road Code regularly looking for amendments.

    1. I doubt it has ever been legal to park in a cycle lane. Cycle lanes have been on our roads for many years now in Auckland, did you not think it prudent to acquaint yourself with the rules around them as a driver?

      As they say, to know is to know you know, so if you don’t know the rules around bike lanes why on earth would you presume it is ok to park in them?

        1. I am struggling to understand how someone unwittingly parks in a cycle lane. Is it:

          “Hmm a cycle lane. I wonder if I can park my motor vehicle there and block the lane?

          I don’t know the answer…

          I am going to assume … Yes!”

          Or is it actually:

          “I need to park my car. Cycle lane. Do you reckon I can get away with it? You don’t see many traffic wardens out here, and the cops probably won’t bother … Ok let’s do it!”

          See I struggle to believe people actually go through the former thought process, which leaves me thinking it is the second which is not really unwitting at all.

          1. I think it is more like “I assume I can park anywhere at all, except where there are dotted yellow lines”.

            I lot of Aucklanders live the bulk of their lives in a suburban context where you can basically park anywhere that is empty. The question is do they even realize it’s a cycle lane, and if they do why would they think they couldn’t park there?

          2. Matthew you are being silly. Other than those obsessed about cycling the majority of Aucklanders just go about their business and have little idea of changing rules.

          3. Has there been a change of rule? I don’t think there has. There are rules associated with special vehicle lanes, which are numerous across the city and have been around for decades.. I find it hard to believe the majority of motorists are oblivious to their existence. For example the T3 lane on Onewa Rd. Based on my observations the awareness of the rules associated with this lane fluctuate according to the presence of men in yellow hi viz with cameras. It’s amazing how quickly someone is able to apprise themselves of the rules when they see the cameras, usually only takes them half a second or so.

      1. I am not sure but I think it was up until the Land Transport Road User regulations in 2004. I think you can park in a special vehicle lane if signs permit it which is kind of the opposite of what most people assume. As discussed above I think that was a stupid rule and should have required either a sign or marking to show you can’t. Given you have to use signs and marking anyway to create a special lane it couldn’t have cost much extra. But they did what they did to save $.

    2. There’s quite often a vocal minority in the online comment section of Stuff who suggest that people on bicycles need to sit a licence. I often wonder if the purpose would be to lower bicycle riders’ knowledge of the road rules to the abysmal level of the average driver.

      1. Yes this one of the more silly arguments that cyclist should have a license. Most cyclists already have a drivers licence. Why on earth would you need a separate license when the current road code covers cyclists as well, and is tested as part of getting your drivers license.

      2. It’s not even about already having a car drivers license. You need a license to drive a car because cars are dangerous and if you don’t know what you’re doing when driving one you’ll end up killing people. You’re quite unlikely to kill other people when walking or riding a bicycle.

        And what the road code? I think parents should be able to teach their children the basics. The school may help a bit.

        Maybe some people have simply forgotten that a bicycle doesn’t weigh a ton and usually travels at less than 20kph.

  8. Sp Owen how do you use your indicators at roundabouts?
    That’s another item that has changed and it seems that many of us older drivers don’t understand the rules!

  9. > setting a new standard for marking cycle lanes which mandates the use of broken yellow lines.

    Well done guys. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you many more times over. Such a trivial thing for AT to understand that drivers will never understand unless the yellow broken lines are there.

    Is there anyway this could possibly be extended to bus lanes that are 24/7 ??? I’m thinking about Symonds Street, Fanshawe Street, Albert Street…???

    When I pointed out to a taxi driver that was parked in one on Symonds Street he told me with straight face that the lanes only operate until 9am… I was speechless. He was supposed to be a professional driver – what about all the non-professional ones there ..??!!! Also perhaps the trucks unloading goods in these would respect them if there was a broken yellow line there too.

    1. If trucks unloading goods adhered to all the rules nothing much would get delivered and everyone would complain about the resultant higher cartage charges and goods not being delivered on time. That’s why they are generally left alone.

  10. I’m a bit confused about the statement ‘setting a new standard for marking cycle lanes which mandates the use of broken yellow lines’
    Is AT going to set a new standard that requires ALL cycle lanes to also have broken yellow lines or is AT going to set a new standard that specifies under what circumstances cycle lanes should have Broken Yellow Lines.

  11. Road markings cost a lot. It would be better if we didn’t need more paint but the education needs to be of a much higher profile than presently exists. Also fines or it’s alternatives such as towing etc would be a very educational tool. I only need one fine and I read all the relevant information quickly.

    1. Nonsense – as Stephen Town, formerly NZTA’s Auckland boss said “Paint is cheap”.

      Road markings do NOT cost a lot – they’re a puny little byline in the typical cost of our roads OR our road maintenance. Motorways cost a lot. Resealing roads churned up by trucks cost a lot. Signalising intersections costs a lot. Car parks cost a lot (of land value).

      Broken yellow lines last 5-10 years easily, for litterally a bit of paint.

      Education without clear guidance is useless, and enforcement only creates angry Herald articles.

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