A little celebration as our favourite pink path has reached a new milestone today with now more than 100,000 trips made across it, just four months after opening.

Te Ara I Whiti ©Patrick Reynolds 2016
Te Ara I Whiti ©Patrick Reynolds 2016

What’s more, data from Auckland Transport shows that on a monthly basis Te Ara I Whiti is already the third busiest cycleway in Auckland trailing only Quay St and Tamaki Dr for the number of trips taken. Interestingly the data also shows that the opening of Lightpath hasn’t impacted on the other nearby routes with both Grafton Gully and Symonds St recording increased volumes compared to last year. It’s a good start and one that is likely to improve further as other parts of the city’s cycleway network continue to developed.

ATs press release

Auckland takes to the pink path 

More than 100,000 cycle journeys have now been made over Auckland’s Lightpath Cycleway since its opening in December, cementing its place as a favourite cycling destination.

Since its opening on 3 December 2015, there has been an average of 848 cycle journeys each day across the Lightpath leading  to a five-fold increase in people cycling on Nelson St during the week.

Lightpath was popular over Easter with an average of more than 1,000 cycling journeys each day.

Seeing these big numbers at the weekends and on holidays tells us that the Lightpath is well-used by Aucklanders for leisure and recreation as well as for commuting, says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking Manager.

“We know lots of parents are taking their kids on it during the weekend. Children seem to love the pink colour, the artwork and the lights at night.

“It confirms what the all research says, if you make a city bike-friendly, more people will cycle and they will cycle more often,” she says.

The NZ Transport Agency says it’s thrilled to see so many people making use of the new cycling facilities.

“The Lightpath and Nelson St Cycleway are a vital link in the Auckland Cycle Network and part of our vision of creating a world-class cycling infrastructure to make cycling a safe and efficient transport choice within the city,” says Ernst Zöllner, the Transport Agency’s Regional Director.

“Aucklanders have told us they want more cycling facilities, and the success of Lightpath shows that if we build them they will be used, which will help us achieve our goal of increasing cycling journeys by 30% by 2019.”

Lightpath is a shared walking and cycling path from Canada St to the Union/Nelson St intersection via a bridge and the disused Nelson St off-ramp. It is part of the Nelson St Cycleway which continues down Nelson St as a two way cyclepath.

The path is also popular with walkers and counters are being put in to record the numbers taking a stroll along it.

Lightpath and the remaining section of the Nelson Street Cycleway are funded through the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme and have been jointly delivered by the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.

Auckland Transport is currently working on phase two of the Nelson St Cycleway from Victoria St to Quay St with the final route to be announced soon.

The numbers

Average of 848 cycle journeys per day across Lightpath since opening 3 December 2015

7.4% increase in cycle counts across Auckland 2015/2014.

29% increase in people new to cycling in city centre (2015 survey)

27% (up from 20% in 2014) of Aucklanders do some cycling (2015 survey)

38% increase in people cycling on Grafton Gully (February 2015 compared with February 2014)

Nathan Spoonly from Mt Eden made the 100,000th journey across Lightpath this morning.
Nathan Spoonly from Mt Eden made the 100,000th journey across Lightpath this morning.
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  1. SkyPath

    Hurry UP!

    Auckland has got the potential to be the best cycling city in the world. We just need politicians who thinks forward rather than backwards.

  2. 424 commuters doing a round trip each on an average . Really really great ?! What was the cost again ? And like Bobo said — what were the predictions ? And Dec – Apr has been one of the best summers 3-4 months straight.

    1. How many cars get through a single phase at the lights? 10? Taking off 424 potential cars from entering the city is excellent considering we don’t have a joined up network yet.

      1. Dan C you live in Albany and cycle from there regularly ? Any idea about their suburban living patterns of people who live there? How do they manage kids school runs, childcare, kids activities, grocery shopping.

        And Rich what makes you think cars and cycles are the only option? No PT ? You are on a Trasport blog for f’s sake. Bottom line 424 riders per day in an over 1M city like Auckland in the best weather in years. Pathetic.

        I don’t come here often. But I see there are the same rabid cycling suppporters who have all the answers to everything in the world — cycles.

        I might visit this site next September.

        1. Wasn’t it an unused road before? So the cost was a lick of paint and a connecting bridge?

          That number of trips as a return on investment would embarress a lot of road projects. I’m rapt with it, as a non-cyclist.

          See you in September.

          1. How many pseudonyms does Phil have on this blog?? (Is this the same Phil as the Northcote Point guy from England?)

        2. Huh? I caught the bus today, but I cycled down to it. Why does it have to be one or the other? A cycle trip can also be PT trip, but unlikely to be a car trip. I cycle because the buses are full anyway.

          1. Re hybrid car/bike trips, funnily enough for a while I used to drive my daughter to daycare with the bike in the back (enduring / becoming part of traffic), then left the car parked outside daycare and biked the rest of the way in (there was a practical reason, my wife bussed directly to daycare to pick her up then drove the rest of the way home in the evening).

            Haven’t done that since buying a child bike seat tho.

      2. No one countered my key point. Just went off on tangents. ONLY 424 cyclists per day use supposedly the best cycling infrastructure this country has seen. I would have expected a lot more. Especially it looks so beautiful and is such a lovely colour and a great name. The pink lady is a nice touch too.

        Where the hell are the cyclists. And will they come in winter.

        I don’t know what it was before KLK. Still cost $18M .

        And I hear Nelson street cycleway is not well patronised–or is it just that b**tard Hoskings stating uncomfortable facts. I must go look to see if AT has a specific counter there to see what the number loks like. Maybe one of you chaps has the figure for the same hot summery 3-4 months for Nelson street ?

        Hopefully you can tell I am not from Auckland–but am acquainted. I do think AT is going about cyclceways the right way so far. Don’t expect 40-50 year of dev in Holland and Denmark magically to happen here in a few years chaps. Give it some time. In the meantime can you get your mates to actually cycle please instea dof making excuses like the whole network is not there.

        1. $18m? Pennies.

          We spend billions on roads that offer limited capacity increases, get people from A to B 2mins quicker, but both evaporate once induced demand kicks in.

          This is a rounding error on a motorway project, shows good growth potential and will clearly grow exponentially as the network is completed.

          I look forward to you joining again in September to rage against the poor return on investment for roading projects, you know, so you won’t look like a hypocrite. In fact, feel free to join sooner.

          1. sounds very much like what you are insisting. 100k must be using this every day already,otherwise it would have been better spent on a road,right?

        2. >>>Don’t expect 40-50 year of dev in Holland and Denmark magically to happen here in a few years chaps.

          Weren’t you just arguing that we shouldn’t have built it? Infrastructure definitely won’t happen if we don’t build any.

          Also, it didn’t take the Netherlands and Denmark 40-50 years to get a workable network of the sort we are aiming for and high levels of cycling. More like 10-20.

          PS – not all of us are chaps.

    2. Whats the price on my safety?

      My wife and kids are rapt that I can now commute from Mt Albert to Vic Park largely off road. Before the light path joined the dots there was no safe way from the end of the NW cycle path into the west of the CBD.

      I no longer endure a white knuckle ride along Williamson Ave, approaching every parked car and side street with fear – near misses being a daily occurrence. I have not had a single near miss since reverting to the the NW cycle path all the way into the city (BTW a 1500m longer journey which is quicker than my previous route).

      My only criticism is the Nelson Street section. Its not great and loses all momentum with long light phases crossing Wellesley and Victoria Streets.

      1. On your last comment, AT advised me yesterday that they will more than double the cycle signal at Wellesley St which will mean the cycle phase will be going for over 30% of the total signal cycle time so that should improve your experience

        1. Great news. Super frustrating to be right on all the signals from the top of Nelson Street, and moving at speed, but still miss the phase at Wellesley every time. There’s a major problem at any rate with cars pushing through the red arrow to turn left, as soon as the cycle signals goes orange. More time to get through will help.

          1. I may have experienced the new light phase at Wellesley Street on the weekend – ironically in my car! (taking my small boys to Silo Park for a cycle and fresh fish) – the phase seemed to take for ever. This morning I just made the phase on my bike so might have improved slightly

  3. Cycling & roading infrastructure investments are at opposite sides of the curve. Roading investments are generally behind the curve. We are used to waiting for the need for a new road to be well and truly demonstrated before building. (Even if that demonstration is for a thin sliver of time only; qv holiday highway). And we’re used to the years of queuing before and even worse during the construction phase (Well Connected Alliance, I’m looking at you!!). For cycling, for the great majority of users, the investment is ahead of the curve. There were not tens of 1000’s of cyclists lining up to use the light path before it was built, they have arrived since. Yes, demand has been induced. And it’s a great thing to be celebrated. I look forward to celebrating the 1st million and applaud NZTA & AT for investing ahead of cycling’ curve, long may it continue.

    1. Roading investments also alter the curve; induced demand of previous roads pushes/forces the curve out ahead of future projects.

      PT and cycling induce demand too, but they better cope with it – they have far better capacity/usage scaling.

    2. All transport infrastructure investment shapes use pattern, therefore we should build for what we want more of. Traffic congestion is clearly unwanted, it’s is simply too much traffic, we should stop spending money to make more of it.

      Increased demand for Cycling, Walking, and Transit are good problems for society because of their positive health, social, and productivity outcomes. Obviously we should invest happily to stimulate more of these.

    3. Very good point, in a nutshell: for PT and active modes, induced traffic is a good thing, for the economy, health and wellbeing of society, and the environment – as well as reducing road congestion; whereas for new/bigger roads inducing more car/truck traffic, it’s the opposite (bad) for all those things – and it achieves the opposite of what the objective was (if the objective was less road congestion), i.e., it fails on all counts.

  4. Congrats to everyone – the creators, sponsors and everyone who had anything to do with building Te Ara I Whiti – and all those that use it. Auckland and NZ need more of the same!!

  5. Being an important part of completing our network (as opposed to their silly network with those dumb car things backed up on them), the light path actually put me back on my bike after many years of avoiding exhaust pipes. Now every development for the bike network has me chomping at the bit. Maybe the numbers don’t impress everyone (Mr Bridges probably can’t count past ten so he is excluded), but you have to be reasonably brave to ride a bike in this city. If you haven’t discovered the happiness that is riding a bike past all those dorks in their motor vehicles, I would urge you to try it out. It is hilarious, especially on a Friday. That is course without mentioning the physical and mental benefits of self-propulsion. May we have many more light paths, cycleways and underpasses to remove this second class citizenship which we currently suffer. On ya bike!

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