Aucklands newest and one of its most prominent cycleways was opened this morning on Quay St by John Key along with transport minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and a host of other officials. The opening was certainly helped by the thunderstorms of we had overnight easing and the clouds even parting to make for a calm winter morning.

John Key, Simon Bridges, Len Brown and AT Chairman Dr Lester Levy all spoke before the ribbon was cut. I thought all spoke well about the need for us to develop integrated networks that are safe for all and not mixed with other vehicles like cars and buses. Lester also put his health hat on reminding people that on top of the transport benefits of being about to move a lot more people in the same about of space, those cycling also tend to be healthier which has benefits to the health system.

After the speeches it was time to cut the ribbon and for officials to take a ride.

Quay St Cycleway Opening 1

Like other cycleways, AT have installed cycleway counters but for the first time they’ve also added a visible counter so everyone can see how many people have passed every day and year.

Quay St Cycleway Opening 2

I suspect this will quickly become the busiest cycleway in Auckland. Before and even during the speeches there were cyclists passing by on a fairly frequent basis.

Quay St Cycleway Opening 3

As part of the project the entry to the port has also been made safer.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project happen..

Here’s the official release from AT on it which also highlights that there are a couple of consultations for other major project coming up soon including Ian McKinnon Dr later this month.

Auckland’s waterfront will be an improved urban space and an even busier cycle route following the opening of the Quay St Cycleway today.

The Prime Minister, Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and a large group of people on bikes, were the first to use the city centre’s newest cycleway. The opening was preceded by a dawn blessing with Iwi representatives.

A new cycle counter on the promenade, a first for Auckland, will highlight the number of people cycling along one of Auckland busiest routes.

On the waterfront side of Quay St, the 1km, two way cycleway goes from Princes Wharf at Lower Hobson St to Plumer St. The $2.18m cycleway is being delivered by Auckland Transport and has local funding and an investment from the Government through NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme.

It will benefit everyone who spends time at the waterfront and will encourage more people to start cycling into the city centre says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking manager.

“Having a dedicated cycleway like this means there is more space on the promenade for people to walk and enjoy the harbour views. The planter boxes, which provide protection from traffic, improve this wonderful space by adding some greenery.

“The cycle route into the city centre along Tamaki Dr is the busiest route in Auckland, and this will make cycling from the east even more attractive. Providing a protected cycleway on Quay St gives people working in the downtown area greater travel choice and an excellent cross-town route that avoids a lot of city traffic.”

Mayor Len Brown says it’s another important chapter in his vision for Auckland as the world’s most liveable city as it transforms the city centre into a pedestrian and cycle friendly destination.

“This project is another example of Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the Transport Agency working well together to achieve a great outcome.”

Bike Auckland, chair, Barbara Cuthbert says the cycleway is a great addition to downtown Auckland. “It’s hugely exciting to have a safe separated space for people cycling and those walking close to rail and ferry services.”

Map QuaystThe three-metre-wide cycleway connects with the Beach Rd Cycleway at Britomart Pl and by the end of 2018 will link with the Nelson St Cycleway and Westhaven to City Cycleway at Princes Wharf and the Tamaki Dr Cycleway.

When phase two of Nelson St Cycleway is constructed next year, the city centre cycle loop will be complete. This loop includes Lightpath, Nelson St, Grafton Gully, Beach Rd and Quay St cycleways.

Auckland Transport is working with project partners Auckland Council and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme on a $200m programme of cycle improvements from 2015 to 2018.

Quay St Cycleway

  • The Quay Street Cycleway is delivered by Auckland Transport and is one of the projects funded in the 2015-18 Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP).
  • Auckland Transport is working with project partners Auckland Council and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme on a $200m programme of cycle improvements from 2015 to 2018.
  • The UCP involves central government partnering with local government to accelerate the delivery of $333 million of key cycle projects around New Zealand over the next three years
  • The $2.18 million cycleway is funded from $0.70M Central Government, $0.75M National Land Transport Fund, $0.73 million Auckland Transport. This project is part of the wider Auckland city centre package project announced through the Urban Cycleways Programme.
  • The one kilometre long, three metres wide, two-way cycleway goes from Princes Wharf, Lower Hobson to Plumer St. The majority of the route is on-road, physically protected from traffic with concrete separators (similar to Nelson St Cycleway) and planter boxes.
  • This cycleway connects with the existing shared path on Quay St in the east. By 2018 AT will have delivered another cycleway that will connect Quay St Cycleway at Plumer St with the start of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr Shared Path at Hobson Bay. People will be able to cycle and walk from Glen Innes to the city centre.
  • Beach Rd Cycleway connects with Quay St at Britomart Pl allowing people to cycle all the way to the Northwestern Cycleway via Beach Rd Cycleway and Grafton Gully Cycleway.In the west, people can now cycle over Te Wero Bridge to Wynyard Quarter and around the Viaduct. Ultimately it will connect with Westhaven Dr to City Cycleway and Nelson St Cycleway when they are completed in 2017.
  • When Nelson St Cycleway phase two is complete next year, a city centre cycle loop will be complete including the pink Lightpath, Grafton Gully Cycleway, Beach Rd Cycleway and Quay St Cycleway. The project team is currently working on how best to connect Nelson St Cycleway (which currently ends at Victoria St) with Quay St Cycleway.

Cycling in Auckland by numbers

  • 750 cycle trips per day on pink Lightpath since it opened December
  • A doubling of the number of people cycling into the city over three years.
  • 50% increase in people cycling in Symonds St/Grafton Gully corridor following opening of Grafton Gully Cycleway in 2014
  • 20% increase in people cycling on Northwestern Cycleway in May 2016 compared with May 2015.

Upcoming cycle projects in Auckland

  • Mangere Future Streets opening late September
  • Mt Roskill Safe Routes opening late October
  • Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway public consultation starts July
  • Karangahape Rd Streetscape Enhancement and Cycleway public consultation by August.
  • Great North Rd Cycleway public consultation by the end of 2016.
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50 comments

  1. I look forward to the K Road and Great North Road opening up. Should give a fairly good route from Newmarket to the West along the ridgeline and will bring into glaring focus the hospital hole.

    1. Yeah the choice of hats does make them look like idiots. Don’t let that take away from a useful project delivered tho.

    2. Indeed – is there any movement or support for bringing NZ in line with the rest of the world (bar Australia) and removing the helmet law?

    1. The project to link up the NW with Ian McKinnon Drive will cut out the tortuous climb up to Newton Rd and then back down to go back up to Upper Queen St.

  2. As they are finally stitching together a proper City Centre cycle loop, the crossing situation at the Canada Street and Upper Queen Street intersection becomes more and more ridiculous. When are they going to add a proper crossing at the end of the Canada Street footpath, so that people can continue directly across to the Grafton Gully cycleway, without having to make the unnecessary, and non-intuitive detour that involves two sets of pedestrian crossing lights, and a further trek back up Upper Queen Street?

    1. Bike Auckland has been pushing for that to hapen as part of Ian McKinnon. We will discuss it in more detail as part of that consultation.

  3. Dang it, now I’ll have another detour from usuall route in CBD from the ferry to Grafton Gully. I will first need to head to the viaduct, and then turn around so that I’m counted in on that fancy counter!!!

  4. “$2.18m cycleway” for 1 km…. But can’t find $4 to $5 million to reopen 212 kms of Napier to Gisborne railway line.

    Hmmm Good on you John Key. Well done.

    1. $2m for 1km on an existing road does seem to be quite expensive. Planter box every 5m say on average is 200 boxes… a bit of green paint, a couple of crossing signals onto existing traffic lights, a fancy new counter, a handful of contractors to put it all in…..
      me thinks it should probably have cost half that amount realistically. But it is nice to see.

      1. kerb rebuilds, multiple crossing platforms, rubber barriers, temporary traffic management, design fees, consenting, auditing. 2.1m is cheap for a standalone project of 1 km. It starts to get a lot cheaper if route is longer though.

        1. Good point. I guess if it continued on down Quay St past the McD’s etc for another 1km it would have been perhaps $3m for 2km rather than $2m for 1km.
          Still think it is rather high though considering its on an existing road surface.

    2. Multiple intersections were redesigned and rebuilt, the entire road markings for cars was removed, redesigned and repainted, curbs were rebuilt and a section of footpath reinstated. This was far more than simply removing a lane with some planter boxes.

      1. Most incredible for me is that Auckland Transport actually installed that rare rare animal in Auckland, the zebra crossing, and what’s more did it at the desire line rather than set 50m back down the road so as not to inconvenience car drivers.

        1. Any setback is indeed inconvenient, but generally safer (especially for bikes where the detour time is minimal) as cars have much fuller vision facing towards something (i.e. immediately after they turn). Trusting Aucklanders to check their blind spots and behind them for cyclists is …. pretty trusting (for now, anyway!)

    3. Not the point of the thread, but I’m sure the Napier-Gisborne line will reopen if Labour wins the next election, or possibly if John Key needs NZ First’s votes to maintain power. Nats would rather spend the $4m on building passing lanes on the state highway linking those two cities than fixing a rail bridge. Modal bias.

  5. So great to see someone gave Key & Bridges proper transportation bikes rather than the mountain bikes they used to turn up to openings on. They actually look reasonably at ease this time. Maybe they will understand the ‘transport not sport’ concept now?

  6. Ever noticed how in these shots (and its the same for most of those posted on other blogs tracking it’s construction) the vehicle lanes are practically empty.

    The usual suspects will flood this site, raging against congestion caused by painting cycle lanes on existing streets.

    My guess is the only lane to get consistent congestion throughout the day will be this cycle one while the car lanes have massive excess capacity 20 out of 24hrs a day.

    1. I suspect periods of congestions between the road and cycleway will occur at similar points (AM/PM peaks). This is consistent with what we are seeing with new cycle superhighways in London. The major impact we might see is in the proportion of traffic carried between the cycleway and general traffic lanes.

      1. If you cycle regularly you will know that roads are mostly empty when they are under traffic light control. The traffic lights send vehicles down the road in pulsed groups. If you are in a vehicle and in that pulse all you will see are other vehicles and you will naturally assume the roadway is always like that. But it isn’t. For those of us who cycle regularly, we know that there are empty pulses between the full ones when there are no vehicles about. Vehicle occupants never see that or experience it unless they come out of a side street and then they just hurry along and catch up to the pulse load of traffic ahead of them and are back feeling content that they are on a busy road and believing if it wasn’t for that painted cycleway or buslane they would be travelling so much faster.
        Your vantage point shapes your view of the world. Those of us who ride, walk, train, bus and drive have, I believe, a much broader perspective on these things than those whose life doesn’t extend much beyond the four walls of an SOV.

      1. More interesting having a counter showing how many taxis and cars drive in it and use it for parking. We’re already into double digits based on twitter posts yesterday.

    2. After Te Ara I Whiti was finished someone tweeted a photo to show how empty it was and that it was a waste of money. Unfortunately for them it also showed a completely empty motorway underneath it.

  7. I guess that Key has time for lame photo op’s cos he’s sure as hell doing nothing about Auckland’s housing crisis. Perhaps that’s the unexpected master plan though, driving people out of Auckland will certainly combat the traffic woes.

  8. I think it was the Mayor who reinforced how critical this link is for 17KM of cyclepath from Devonport to St Heliers, including SkyPath and NaturePath. Just get on and build it.

  9. Had a reason to try it this morning. If anyone is wandering:

    Heading east, you can turn right onto Britomart Place/Beach Road shared space by mounting the footpath on the west side of the intersection and then getting to the other side and waiting. Not possible going west, especially if anyone else is waiting, so I guess we’ll just block the lane waiting for pedestrian phase?
    In theory it will be possible to get into the countdown also, if you go to the petrol station then use the pedestrian crossing and pray that no one uses the slip lane as you complete your u-turn. That applies for heading west too.

    Heading west you can turn into queen street if you mount the very busy footpath and wait in everyone’s way.

    Also, the counter did not count either of my trips – it’s almost at the viaduct for some reason. This all is indicative that the only considered use case is to come in from east of the city and go all the way to the viaduct and not turn anywhere.

    /Edit:

    But it is functional enough for me to buy my groceries and avoid the beach road pedestrian mess.

    1. Seems to be a common problem with auckland cycleways, not much connectedness. Same with the pitt st cycleway as proposed, very good for going the full length K’Rd to lightpath, but very poor if you want to right right into any of the side streets, like taking greys ave down to aotea centre for instance.

    2. I found the same when heading from Princes Wharf to High Street last night. As a route straight along Quay Street in either direction it works well, but trying to get to destinations off the side is awkward. I ended up stopping on the footpath by the cycle crossing at Britomart Place, then riding on the road from Britomart Place through into Fort Street and up through Jean Batten to High Street. Functional, but a lot of wasted distance and felt pretty dicey at times. If I did it again I’d be tempted to join the pedestrians at the Ferry Building and go straight through Britomart onto Queen Street – less than ideal riding territory, but at least it’s somewhat direct.

  10. It would be neat to have AT do some on-line realtime cycleway use counting. Help those of us who can’t resist the “nobody ever uses those cycleways” comments on social media. A bit of live feed of the magenta adventure would be useful also.

    1. like traffic and PT. cycle data is published monthly. I don’t see much value in making it more real-time than that?!?

  11. can someone walk across the bridge. I am a tourist and see no indication that walking is allowed, say in the cycleway, but nothing says one cannot, either.

    1. Nope, Linda. Not a chance. It’s 2016 and you can’t yet walk or cycle from one side of Auckland to the other side of Auckland. This here is known as “Super City”. Now they want to build a path on the bridge… with a toll. Super Shitty. But then it makes more sense than Super Bus or Super Fullers ($2 vs $4.10/4.50) so we’re advised to eventually consider ourselves super lucky… Yay. And wait, they might very well paint it fuchsia too if they ever do it so landing planes can see it and go o wow I guess!… Super tacky!!!

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