In just a few weeks Auckland Transport will start construction on a separated cycleway on Quay St and even better news is it will be completed by the end of May. The cycleway which will run for about 1km from the intersection with Hobson St through to Plumber St will cost $2m and AT want to get it in place before the main CRL works start. Given how many bikes are already seen using Quay St this could possibly be the busiest bike route in Auckland once complete.
The final design for the Quay St Cycleway was announced today, with the opening in late May. The two-way separated cycleway, which will go from Lower Hobson St by Princes Wharf to Plumer St, will make it even easier to cycle into the city centre says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking manager.
“This cycleway is being fast-tracked so it will be constructed prior to works beginning on the City Rail Link in the downtown area,” she says
“As these important works begin and the network of cycle routes in the city expands, the growth in the number of people cycling into the city centre is expected to continue,” she says.
“People are choosing to cycle into the city because there is a certainty of travel time, it’s cost effective and for some people, it’s quicker than driving or public transport.”
“The pink Lightpath, Northwestern Cycleway, Grafton Gully Cycleway and Tamaki Drive are already popular routes for people cycling. Over the next three years we will add to these existing routes creating a network of cycle improvements which will give people better travel options.”
Construction on the Quay St Cycleway will begin in early March. A short section of the cycleway from Queen St to Commerce St has yet to be finalised.
The cycleway will join with the existing Beach Rd Cycleway at Britomart Pl. Future connections to the cycleway include Tamaki Drive Cycleway in the east and Nelson St Cycleway and Westhaven to City Cycleway at Lower Hobson St.
Cycling and walking paths are an important way the Government, through the NZ Transport Agency, is creating better travel options, says the Transport Agency’s Auckland Regional Director, Ernst Zollner.
“Projects such as these make travel for everyone including those in their cars more reliable and safer,” says the Transport Agency’s Auckland Regional Director, Ernst Zollner. “That’s why the Government is currently investing so significantly in the Urban Cycleways Programme. Our aim is to grow the number of cycling trips by more than 30% over the next three years”
The plans look largely the same to the ones consulted on back in November with the a few minor changes such as ramps up to the footpath at the signalised intersections so that people on bikes can use it to wait at the crossing to get to streets to the south.
In other news AT say they should be able to finalise what the plans are for stage 2 of Nelson St soon
And while talking about bikes in the area, I’ve been thinking recently about bike storage. We’re now starting to see a lot of the bike racks all around Britomart very full a lot of the time – to the point I’ve heard stories of people struggling to find space. Soon AT will start building the CRL though what is now the bus stops outside Britomart. Once they finish the plan is to turn it into a public space.
Given we’re digging the whole area up why not put in some underground bike parking when we rebuild the area. Something like this from Rotterdam under the square would be ideal – even if not quite as big. Like Rotterdam it could incorporate storage for both personal bikes and bike share
This could provide a fantastic first/last mile solution for a lot of the city, especially for people connecting from train or ferry to places like Wynyard Quarter.
Admittedly it would add to the cost but given the way things are trending, we’ll need to do something more serious about bike parking in the nearish future. Why not take the opportunity to do while we’ve already dug up the area. Not only will it link in to the Quay St cycle lanes but it would also link into Queen St too which will likely have bike lanes when light rail is built and it is turned into a transit mall.
So how about it AT?