Earlier this year Auckland Transport consulted on walking and cycling routes for the Inner West of Auckland with improving connections in the area included as part of the Government’s Urban Cycleway Programme. In August they released the results of the consultation which saw 865 submissions. The consultation also included an online map where people could identify issues and in addition to the submissions mentioned, there were 484 pins dropped on the map from 75 people.

In total from the submissions AT say 5,332 routes were suggested which when grouped together resulted in 381 individual routes. There were also 2681 issues or concerns identified which when grouped by location boiled down to 303 in the area. These are shown below where you can see some fairly strong trends emerge.

inner-west-feedback-routes-and-issues

As a result of this, AT revised their cycle network for the area to the one below.

inner-west-feedback-revised-network

When completed, and of course depending on the quality of the infrastructure, this part of the city will end up with a well-connected cycle network. Unfortunately, not everything is able to be built within the current funding window to mid-2018 and so following on from the initial consultation, Auckland Transport are now consulting on four specific cycleway proposals for the area. There are a combination of protected cycleways, on-road cycle lanes and traffic calming measures. They’ll also improve things for pedestrians and in some cases buses too. The four routes are shown below.

inner-west-cycle-network-route-consultation-2

I’ll just look quickly at each of the proposals.

Route 1: Surrey Crescent to Garnet Road

AT are looking at two different options for this 2km section, and both will see at least parts of the route have parking protected bike lanes installed. Where the two options differ is to amount of the route that is on the street with option A including some sections placed on the grass verge to retain more on street carparking and a painted median. As a result of the differences over the 2km, Option A would see the removal of around 40 carparks (10-15%) while option B would remove about 120 carparks (35-40%). AT say based on parking surveys there will still be enough parking on these routes and side roads to accommodate demand. Below shows the cross section of one part of the route where the two options are different.

inner-west-cycle-network-route-consultation-route-1-cross-section

AT are looking at options for how to deal with the bus stops along this route and options include using floating bus stops, where the bus stop is effectively on an island with cycle lane going behind it. In addition to the cycle lanes, AT are planning on improving pedestrian crossings.

Route 2: Richmond Road

This 1.2km section appears to be more of the traditional painted cycle lane approach we’ve seen in the past. AT say “people on bikes will be separated from pedestrians and vehicles to create a safer, more enjoyable journey for all” but the plans show carparks being retained against the kerb protected by the meat barrier offered by passing cyclists. Of course is almost certainly not going to encourage less confident cyclists or children to use the route. Here’s one example from the drawings.

inner-west-cycle-network-route-consultation-route-2-cross-section

As a positive though it is good to see items like pedestrian build outs on entrances to side streets – but why divert the footpath away from the desire line, will almost certainly be ignored by people.

Route 3: Greenways Route

Many parts of this route already exist and for the most part, the plans for this route involve traffic calming roads to improve safety on them for people on bikes. At the Gt North Rd end of the route on Grosvener this even includes using back in angle parking which I’m not sure I’ve seen in Auckland before.

Route 4: Great North Road

This is will be the most visible of all of the routes and easily the most used too, especially with all of the apartment development currently underway along here. All up 1.5km of Gt North Rd will have protected cycleways added – with one small exception – while the bus lanes will still be retained and even enhanced. The cross section of the road will look like the Streetmix layout below. The one exception is on the corner outside the Grey Lynn Library where there isn’t enough space to keep protected lanes on the road – in this location a shared path will be provided for less confident cyclists.

inner-west-cycle-network-route-consultation-route-4-cross-section

In addition to the bike lane changes, things will also improve for buses. The bus lanes will have their ours of operation extended by an hour in the morning and afternoon (City-bound 7-10am, West-bound 4-7pm) and they will be continuous along this stretch of road rather than disappearing frequently. There will also be a rationalisation of bus stops along the route with it dropping from 14 stops in 10 stops across both directions. The bus stops will likely be a mix of floating bus stops and likely some other solutions too. Both of these improvements should help in speeding up buses. The changed bus stop locations are shown below.

inner-west-cycle-network-route-consultation-route-4-map

Overall there are some good wins here across a number of areas which is great to see. If you look at the details, you’ll see a couple of key sections missing with the two big ones being the Karangahape/Gt North/Ponsonby Rd intersection and through the Grey Lynn shops. The first of those two is being investigated as part of the K Rd project underway while the Grey Lynn shops will be looked at separately. Given the anger from some locals about the bus stop there, I’m guessing some retailers will really fight changes very hard.

AT have now extended the consultation to Friday 21 October so make sure you have your say.

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18 comments

  1. Generally looks good but the Richmond Road treatment is rubbish. How can they propose no protection there while offering protection everywhere else?

    1. There’s some protected sections through the town centre, but true, compared to Route 1 and 4 its a lot less ambitious. Blame a very vocal local business association and their wish for parking – the local board, while supportive of the route in itself, has not been supportive of more removal either.

      At least the angle parking sections (worst for bikes) will have protected lanes.

      1. Hi Damian. You are making stuff up. The Local Board wasn’t asked to sign off on AT’s design and certainly didn’t pressure AT to compromise the cycleway layout for car parking. The whole point of consultation is to improve the design and work through the issues (and yes the retailers/businesses are going to raise issues but this is just part of the process and I’m approaching this positively working with the business association to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone) . The Local Board will give input once we’ve heard the public feedback.

    2. I suggest submitting a response during the consultation period. Enough people encouraging for protected cycle lane rather than painted lanes might get AT to change their mind.

  2. Great North Rd is, well, great. A really needed and valuable step on the way to this neglected part of town being transformed into the city boulevard it so should be. This kind of treatment: Both the bus and bike priority and the quality ped space and street trees should always have been the payoff when a parallel motorway [in this case SH16] or other high volume vehicle route is built to a road or street. Holistic treatment of whole areas by both NZTA and AT need to become the standard way of working. The Bus stop rationalisation looks, well, rational.

    The Richmond Rd plan is not really anything different from how it is now; the only difference is drivers are at least encouraged to accept a bike rider’s presence on the road by the green, but riders are expected to stick to riding in the door flinging zone? Really? Why not on the other side of the parked cars? I ride this road pretty much daily, would love to be further from the traffic here.

    Section G. why are there no parked cars shown on the second option? It feels like there are fewer lanes for cars but there aren’t. I certainly would prefer not paving more of the grassy berm for cycling, lets keep it, also separating riders from walkers more is always a good aim too.

  3. The first option for section G has a narrow footpath on the west side. The little man might cut himself on the sharp diagonal lines.

  4. I rode Richmond Rd frequently for 8 years. On the downhill (from either end of the road) you need to ride in the middle of the lane (it’s easy to do the same speed as the cars so you don’t actually get in their way). There are too many cars pulling out from both sides of the road at multiple locations. The angle parking is a nightmare in both directions.
    The Hope St modification might not actually help. When the cars pull out in front of you they typically slide out and don’t move right into the centre of the road leaving room for a bike. I suspect there won’t be so much room if they’re turning through a larger angle. Given driver attitudes in the area they won’t give way even of they do see you, particularly if they’re driving a German car or a 4WD.
    Then there are those that suddenly come to a complete halt in the middle of the road without indicating which direction they’re turning…

  5. I would like to see how AT believes it has reduced risks to cyclists along Richmond Rd so far as is reasonably practicable. I might submit and ask them. How can they believe this is acceptable? This is supposed to be our flagship cycling network.

  6. A lost opportunity for AT not to be dealing with Meola and Westend Rd now before Waterview opens and turns this into a rat run from Pt Chev to Curran St. Westend from Cox’s Bay up the hill is going to be problematic as virtually all the houses along there park their cars on the street.

    Same for the cars outside Summerfield Villas on Richmond Rd. i wonder if some lateral thinking isn’t required there and the route should perhaps go down Sackville St instead. That would avoid the problematic intersections at Peel and Richmond and also the Countdown exit.

  7. Glad to see a small reduction in the amount of stops along there, the amount of stops can be very frustrating for West Auckland commuters, less erratic/more continuous bus shoulders would be welcomed too.

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