For the second time this week I’m able to say that AT have improved the design of a cycleway, this time on Franklin Rd.
Franklin Rd is one of the most iconic streets in Auckland with its large established trees.
The plans to upgrade Franklin Rd have been fairly contentious over the last year or so resulting in multiple designs, redesigns and debates. There were cycle lanes, then there weren’t, then there were as AT kept changing how it responded to feedback from locals and others who use the street. The same applied for the painted median and parking between the trees.
- On road painted cycle lanes with a median and cars parked between the trees
- On road painted cycle lanes with no median and cars parked between the trees
- Raised cycle lanes inside of parked cars and no median
In the end they chose Option 1 saying amongst other reasons why it was preferred that “it provides for confident cyclists”
But AT are now back with a new consulting on the plans following their more detailed design work. They’re now proposing to slightly raise the cycle lanes by 50-70mm above the road and on the inside of the kerb line. The kerb itself will be rounded rather than vertical so still easy to mount but will still be much better than what was proposed before of just paint.
As I understand it, one of the key drivers for the change was that the previous design would have required digging storm water catch pits in the tree roots – and AT are trying to avoid damaging the trees. This seems like a much better outcome for both the trees and those on bikes.
In addition to the cycle lanes there are other good changes too such as having raised tables over the side streets and at the intersection of Wellington/England streets where a narrow roundabout will be installed on top of a raised table with pedestrian crossings included and even cycle bypasses.
Positively the design also appears to be acceptable to local residents including Waitemata Councillor candidate Bill Ralston.
Congrats to @AklTransport for coming up with a workable compromise on the upgrade of Franklin Rd. A dramatic improvement on what we have now
— Bill Ralston (@BillyRalston) April 26, 2016
While I’m aware Bill hadn’t opposed them before, some others had and that AT have been able to come up with a solution that is acceptable to the various interest groups is a great sign.
In addition to the cycle lane changes, AT are also consulting on the street lighting. Traditional street lighting would require regular and ongoing tree maintenance and so they’re also considering using a catenary system – something they say could also be used for the annual Christmas lights further enhancing the street.
They are consulting on these changes with it open till 10 May.
Well done AT