While AT have been proposing some rubbish lately with Mt Albert and some of their cycleway projects, there has been some good news too on Quay St.

Firstly, on Sunday an important milestone was reached with the cycleway counter tipping over 100,000. That’s pretty good given the cycleway only opened five months ago on July 8 and also only two months after reaching the 50,000 trip milestone. What’s more a lot more work is still needed to connect it to other routes, such as Nelson St – which should start construction early next year.

Quay St Cycleway Opening 2
Back in July, John Key and Simon Bridges kicked the cycleway counter off

The numbers using the cycleway, at least in the mornings and evenings are starting to be impressive. Just yesterday I was transferring between a bus on Albert St and a train to head home in the afternoon and in the brief walk along Quay St a quick chat to a friend I bumped in to, I must have seen a dozen or more bikes glide past. This is of course reflected in the numbers. As shown below, recently the cycleway has more frequently been seeing counts of over 1,000 per per day and with warmer weather now here, that’s likely to continue for some time so we could see the tally pass 200k by around the end of summer.

The second piece of good news relating to Quay St is that AT will start work in February next year to extend it further east to just before the intersection with the Strand. The works are planned to to be finished by the middle of the year. For perhaps the first time with a cycleway project, there’s also no consultation for this one, AT are just getting on with it


The plan is to use the same basic design as what already exists and like completed section, comes mainly from narrowing down the un-neccessarly wide median and traffic lanes. AT say the changes include

  • Minor alterations to bus stops between Plumer Street and The Strand to ensure safety for passengers waiting for and transferring on and off buses.
  • The design for this first stage of construction requires a narrower centre (median) island, which means we’ll be shortening the right turning lane on Quay Street that gives access to the western entrance of the apartment complex near The Strand.
  • A temporary ramp will be installed to connect the cycleway back onto the existing shared path where this first stage of works stops at the eastern end of Quay Street near The Strand intersection. The existing bus stop will shift a short distance towards The Strand.
  • To create room for the cycleway, we plan to move the traffic lanes and narrow the median island in the centre of the road. Changes to the median island mean relocating around 14 trees as it will become too narrow to support them. One additional tree will also be relocated from the berm, between the existing shared path and the cycleway. It will make way for the upgraded bus stop east of Plumer Street. An arborist is currently assessing the health of the trees and identifying those that can be relocated. At the same time, we are working with Auckland Council Parks to identify suitable locations for those trees.
  • Around 18 car parks will be removed from the northern side of Quay Street, opposite the shopping area and apartment complex near The Strand. The complex is served by off-street carparks.


You can see the plans for the project but here are just a couple of images from it showing the design that is planned.



The plan is to extend the cycleway along Tamaki Dr in 2018 as part of the Eastern Path project

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  1. Excellent result! This success proves the high underlying demand for safe cycling in Auckland – now we need to get safe cycle lanes all over the city and absolutely not just in the old Auckland City Council.

    Must say I was impressed by how quickly this project was implemented as well.

  2. The Quay St extension is great news. The number of walkers/runners/cyclists along that stretch means that often people end up on the wrong side of the white line, so it will be welcomed by all users of the current shared path.

  3. Are there any plans to add a counter to the pink path? Would be great to see some real time numbers on that – we live at the Nelson St end and the number of families out at the weekend was incredible!

    1. Yeah, shame there was no public counter totem added (there are counters). I think they were still looking into suppliers at the time – and right now, budget’s are all tight / allocated, so probably no retrofitting one soon.

  4. 600+ per day for Quay Street cycleway, means it’s just surpassed the Havelock North Rd cycleway (about 500 per day). Well done! Of course per capita, it should be in the tens of thousands to be a match, but it’s a start.

    Retrofitting into Auckland what the provinces take for granted may yet be achieved, with hard work and dedication.

    1. Yeah, here in the Waikato we would love to have any functional cycle routes. It’s almost like cycle success is more dependent on the council actually choosing to build a decent network.

    2. The online monitoring data suggests an average of 242 cyclists per day on the Hastings/Havelock North cycleway, and 676 per day on Quay St. But you’re right that the per-capita totals for Hastings are relatively quite strong.

      However, take a look at some of the counters in small cities in Europe! Over 9000 cyclists per day in central Freiburg (DE) – that’s a city of 220,000 people. Over 3700 per day in Heidelberg (DE) (156,000 people) and 2200 per day in Halmstad (SW) (80,000 people). There are even over 1400 cyclists counted per day in Gävle (SW), which has around 276,000 people and seems to be perilously close to the Arctic Circle.

      Regardless of how you slice it, New Zealand cities of all sizes have great potential to get more people on bikes if we make it safe and easy to do so.

      1. Especially places like the Hawkes Bay where the weather is generally pretty agreeable to cycling. I think outside of Auckland and Wellington, it is cycling rather than PT that will have the greatest impact on transport choices in the future, there is huge potential for growth, but it will require to the I’ll just drive anywhere mentality that is even stronger outside the main centres.

    3. Quay Street / Tamaki Drive actually has many more than 600 / day cyclists, but for a number of reasons, the counter totem was added west of the ferry terminal – whereas the highest numbers at the moment, I expect, would be somewhere around Commerce.

      This link is to the (pre-Quay Street Cycleway) counter further east:

      Of course, once Nelson Street is connected, and SkyPath comes in, the counter totem may well be right in the busiest spot after all…

  5. I want to say that I am highly unlikely to ever use this piece of cycle way and neither are my family. But it seems a great asset for the city. It will obviously facilitate the healthy activity of cycling and may help slow our general plunge towards obesity.

    Similarly I welcome Skypath and Sea path that will provide a great amenity for Aucklanders and tourists. I do not believe that all tourists land at the airport, hire a car and head for points elsewhere. (Yes I know that the infrastructure that we are building there reinforces that idea. I also don’t support the proposition that because AIA makes $12 million from parking annually we shouldn’t have a rail link.)

    Others have pointed to the success of cycling projects in Europe. For me the single best demonstration of how one project can start to transform a city is the opening of Paulista Ave in Sao Paulo (population circa 12 mill) to cycling on a Sunday. What a wonderful sight to see the huge number of people that this brought to the city centre. It seems that this has spawned a proposed network of 400km of cycleways over the next few years.

  6. I stole a bike the other day and had a ride down the Quay St cycle way to see what the fuss was all about. Very nice. I thought the planter boxes were annoying, but it is a huge step forward. It is good that the are expanding the network. Once they finish the rest of Nelson st I might try doing the big completed loop around the city. Well other than the missing crossing at upper queen. With the completed loop I would expect cycling numbers to increase further.

  7. The car entry/exit for the Ferry terminal is the only blight on the Quay Street cycleway – does anyone know if there are plans to make it safer? There are numerous near misses everyday, with cars (particularly those exiting) not realising that bike can come from both directions. Will it take an injury accident before AT act?

  8. This is great, I cant wait until we have a properly connected cycle network in Auckland, we are finally making progress on it! For casual cycle use it will be good when you can get to Mission Bay/St Heliers without a mountain bike, dodging tree branches and pedestrians, or cars. Even out west in Whenuapai a new development is getting properly separated cycle lanes, which even go behind bus stops!!

    Exciting future which I hope is not hampered by a new PM. John Key has been very supportive of cycling in NZ.

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