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.

Sturdee St

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.

Market St

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?).

Customs St West

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.

Lower Hobson St

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?

Hobson St viaduct

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.

Hobson St Viaduct Cycleway 1

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.

Hobson St Viaduct Cycleway 2

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.

Hobson St Viaduct Cycleway 4

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.

Hobson St Viaduct Cycleway 3

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.

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  1. I just checked with AT. Consultation closes at 10pm, so you have time after work to submit.

    This looks like a great, but will it delay busses (that was the concern by the AT guy at the consultation).

    We also need better Market Place connection, and ideally right of way at Wyndham (the principle of turning traffic should give way to straight through traffic should apply).

    1. I’m torn, at peak times congestion on the very short distance between Fanshawe and Britomart can easily add 10 mins to a trip to/from the shore. If I could reallocate I would give the entire route a dedicated bus lane, including the flyover. Same goes for Customs St W.

  2. A genius solution! Why am I not surprised that this solution hasn’t emerged from the roading engineer-stuffed ranks of AT? Please submit!

      1. They’re good at that; AT is an organisation with many voices and views, some of whom are good with change, some not. From the outside there are plenty of signs of internal struggle going on.

        And in many cases the culture has not yet caught up with policy change, especially around street design. Or ‘engineering’, as they regrettably call it.

  3. This is a great proposal. There certainly in no need for two lanes onto the viaduct from Princess wharf. And stepping it down to a mere (!) three lanes throughout is a good first step towards its removal. Why would buses in particular be delayed by it?

  4. I would question that the footpath on Fanshawe St is “extremely under-used” having driven the NEX buses until recently, I can say that there is fairly constant use of the ped crossing, with 3-5 people and more at each cycle of the lights

    this doesn’t mean that the cycle lane couldn’t share the path, but that would be because I rarely saw a cyclist in the vicinity

    I’m not saying it’s a bad idea (it’s not) but it’s just just one man’s observations on an erroneous post

    1. could just widen the footpath by a metre and move the road lanes over slightly/narrow them slightly. Better than share-space

        1. Or move the old barrier out into airspace by a metre on that side. Would be costlier but not hugely so. Would provide shelter for the footpath below too.

    2. What I meant by the northern footpath of Fanshawe footpath being under-used is between the steps and Nelson St, here: http://i.imgur.com/bXbMEs2.jpg

      Yes there are peds that use the footpath from the Sturdee St steps to Hobson St crossing (and the air bridge to the carpark too). This area would need to be a shared space for cycles and peds. I suppose I could have illustrated that better with some checker-board style green paint on the images instead of plain left/right as I did. Maybe in the next round of visuals 😉

  5. Brilliant. I still prefer the market option but this one is still good and will have reduced delay over the current plans. Submit it. Submission will probably be ignored. But at least they can’t say they never heard of this plan.

  6. “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.”

    Has someone hijacked TransportBlog?

    1. There is a giant underground carpark for Parc residents/office tenants so the off-street parking on Market Place isn’t for them. (Maybe the occasional visitor). They are mostly used by people who are going to the Viaduct area even though there are at least two public parking buildings nearby. Won’t be sorry to see them go. The footpaths are so narrow you couldn’t comfortably walk two abreast, not to say wheelchair/baby carrier unfriendly. Source: I’m a resident.

    2. I work in the viaduct so cycle round here a bit whenever i need to pop into town. I’m not sure why the angle parking needs to go? The streets are lovely to cycle on as they are today.

  7. The issue is the removal of a right turning lane at the top of the Bridge. Without a significant reduction in traffic from Quay Street, this will cause delays to Buses.

    Not saying that it shouldn’t be done, just that we need to remove cars from Quay street first. 😉

    1. there are currently two through lanes on Hobson St, the buses may turn right from the centre through lane, if there was only one through lane then the buses could turn right from that one, with some, but not great additional delay as the through traffic is not great

      but this concept needs to be extended to indicate what happens at the Fanshawe/Nelson intersection

      1. I dont use that route often any more but during evening peak, the reason buses have the option to turn right from the right hand through lane is because the two turning lanes are overflowing. Reduce that to one and Quay Street will back up. The buses go up the far left lane before moving across.

        Also, my understanding of the new North Shore bus routes is taht there will be more using the Hobson flyover???

        1. Actually, in earlier discussions, CAA was told that the constraint was the left turn from Quay Street onto the flyover, NOT the flyover itself. So we suggested two options of achieving that, and still arriving with the cycleway at Quay Street (note that at that time, the cycleway was on the east side of the flyover, because it continued down Hobson Street itself).

          The sketches we sent AT at that time are shown here – we never got a comment back on why this wasn’t doable.


    2. The way around that is, at the top of the flyover, make right lane and centre lanes both right turn only, and buses can turn right from the left lane, everyone else in left lane goes straight. That way it’s the same as now but one less lane going straight.

  8. Certainly is a much higher profile solution; makes the connection between Nelson St and the waterfront obvious and unambiguous, especially good for visitors and general legibility. Market Pl has it’s virtues too, in particular it quickly gets riders away from traffic, but is relatively hidden. Some sort of barrier or at least level change would probably be required on the viaduct.

    1. I suspect cyclists travelling to and from Westhaven Drive would still prefer to go through the Viaduct that use the flyover – crossing Fanshawe St adds a bit of a delay into the proceedings. The internal streets of the viaduct are fairly cycle friendly already, due to low travel volumes. I don’t think a lot of physical infrastructure is needed compared to the arterials (although if you route through Customs St West and Lower Hobson, I’d put something on Lower Hobson).

  9. Funny, I suggested just that when I made my submission yesterday. The fact that different people come up with the same idea means it’s a fairly obvious choice!? Thanks for the visuals!

  10. This is the wrong approach for the same reason I don’t like Sturdee – this is thinking like a commuter.

    What is here? Nothing, who would want to be here? No one.

    Market place to Customs West has houses, business and location features, it has a purpose in of itself.

    /Edit: Long term thinking too – the viaduct will go an we’ll have to ‘solve’ this again.

  11. Is everyone forgetting that AC want to remove the flyover in the long term? – check the CCMP. Im pretty sure this blog has even commented on removing the flyover in the past (please correct me if im wrong). That flyover completely kills the space around lower hobson – you can see in how the buildings in the viaduct have developed, its a dark hole where the buildings turn its back away from.

    1. Absolutely haven’t forgotten but that won’t be happening any time soon. The whole thing can be rethought again as part of that project as there will obviously be significant impact from the changes.

    2. Not forgotten at all, in fact I mentioned it in the notes under the photos.

      When the flyover is removed it will leave space for the existing ramp (currently east of the flyover) to be completely joined up to Fanshawe St. In fact, I think it was probably the old road that got closed off when the flyover was put in? Easy and cheap fix as it makes use of what’s already there and not being used.

        1. The old ramp was the last cobbled section of road in Auckland. I recall as a child in the early 1960s insisting my mother drive up or down it as many times as possible; one of the highlights of a visit to the city.

        2. If you walk around at the top of the viaduct you can see it actually go under the viaduct on the east side. On the west side if you look closely you can see how the old barrier is already sloping downwards where it terminates against the viaduct. From underneath on Sturdee Street you still see an overhang where the ramp used to start.

          I guess that once upon a time Fanshawe Street used to be a cliff top while Sturdee Street was the sea.

  12. Nothing wrong with pink. 🙂

    The Nelson St off ramp is being painted ‘pink’ or ‘magneta’ so that it forms a kind of sculptural gesture within the urban environment. It will be quite the sight from the Sky Tower.

  13. Can the section on Fanshawe Street not be created by removing one of the empty traffic lanes?

    Surely this section only needs one lane.

  14. Your plan makes a lot of sense, and I struggle to understand why AT think it all has to be so hard. Having cycleways split in different directions and go this way and that is silly.

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