A quick reminder that this is the last day to submit on the Nelson St cycleway. I’ve written about the issues with Auckland Transports proposals here and here. I’ve suggested that one option would be to keep the cycleway on the western side and to use Market St as a way to access the Waterfront and beyond. A few others have also suggested using the oversized Hobson St viaduct and reader Jonty has created some images of what that could look like. Here’s his view.
As a cyclist and city dweller who this cycle lane affects directly, I’m concerned about the plans for the connection between Nelson St and Quay St.
As you already know, Sturdee St is heavily used by cars, buses and heavy trucks. Putting crossings all over it is not only going to slow cyclists down while they wait for the green bike, but it will slow down this major road as well.
Market St as an alternative would require changes to nose-in parking to become parallel to make more space, to the detriment of The Parc residents’ parking spaces.
If Market St was used, the Viaduct area in front of the bars and restaurants wouldn’t be a good option for cyclists as they would constantly be running into pedestrians (although some cruisers might like to go that way). Customs St West is earmarked for trams, so there may not be room for cycle lanes here (possibly why you suggested the Viaduct option?).
This fugly thing should be removed. It takes up heaps of space and turns the whole area into a horrible dodgy carpark waste of space. If the flyover was removed it could be a nice, open-air place for all the modes to get though. However that means redirecting all traffic that goes up it to somewhere else.
Those massive support poles are wide enough for a cycle lane on their own. But let’s assume for now that the council doesn’t want to go ahead with this plan yet, although they have talked about removing it previously. Maybe it is in their long-term plan. So what about now, how should the Nelson St cycle way connect to Quay St?
What about this option? Take one lane away from the flyover and turn it into a cycle lane.
Cars coming off Princes Wharf would only get one lane to go straight. The other one would need to be a left turn only lane. Cars coming from Quay St still have their normal 2 lanes to go up the flyover. Their 3rd lane, the slip lane, can stay and the pedestrians can manoeuvre around the air-bridge poles like normal. No expensive changes. Just paint and some concrete separator things. Cyclists would need to have their own crossing lights for the intersection, like at the Beach Road diagonal, but this would be the only lights needed that AT haven’t already budgeted for.
The cycle lane would continue up the flyover on the right hand side, separated from the 2 road lanes with a raised thing like on Nelson St. By the way, I’ve made these cycle lanes classic green, I’m not sure about the pink yet.
At the top of the flyover the cycle lane would turn free right onto the footpath that is currently there and extremely under-used. Most pedestrians walk along Sturdee St where the many buses drop them off/pick them up, or they walk along the Southern side of Fanshawe St where there is a nice new wide footpath.
Cars coming off the flyover still have 3 lanes as it widens at the top. Currently they have 4 lanes but this is overkill, as there are only 2 options from this intersection; turn right or go straight. So with 3 lanes the left lane goes straight, the middle lane can go either way, and the right lane turns right.
At the end of this cycle lane it would join up to Nelson St and there are no carparks lost, no extra intersections to encounter and no extra crossings in front of buses, trucks, etc.
These are great images from Jonty and really highlight an opportunity that AT seem to be missing. Given the dual needs to connect Wynyard and Quay St I think both this and better connections to Market Place are needed.
What do you think and if you haven’t already, don’t forget to submit as it closes at 5pm today.