Yesterday in their closed session of their board meeting, the Auckland Transport board approved the Cycling Programme Business Case (PBC). The PBC is a fantastic, evidence based assessment of where cycling investment should be directed between 2018 and 2028 to build on upon the great projects currently being built or are part of other projects such as AMETI. If fully funded, it will see over $635 million spent and that is expected to result in 150km of new cycleways being built, helping to increase cycling modeshare in Auckland from 1.2% to over 4%. To put that level of spending into perspective, over the three years from 2015-18, the combined investment from Auckland Transport, the NZTA and the government’s Urban Cycleway Fund is expected to be about $200 million.

My initial thought on the PBC is that it’s more than just a business case but actually a cycling strategy for Auckland because it clearly defines what the priorities and desired outcomes are. What it doesn’t do, at least in the summary document, is list what the specific projects are that will be built.

Auckland has a huge opportunity to get more people on bikes. Despite the common refrains of being too wet and hilly, Auckland isn’t too different from many other cities and this is especially boosted with the growing uptake of e-bikes. Like with transit, Vancouver is used as an example of how usage can change with mode share increasing from 1% to 5% following investment in bike infrastructure like what is proposed.

The challenge in getting more people on bikes are well known and the PBC articulates some of these well.

The PBC will see cycling investment focused on a number of key areas around the region, these areas is shown on the map below. I quite like how a wide range of areas are represented, particularly some lower income areas where there are often poor transport options.

These areas weren’t just picked at random and the image below shows how those particular areas were selected based on detailed analysis of numerous metrics. They’ve clearly had to make some tough calls about some areas. The reality is, as much as we’d like, there simply isn’t enough funding to advance quality projects everywhere. That doesn’t mean there will be nothing in areas not highlighted though as local boards could still spend their limited budgets on cycle projects, like some have already been doing.

The focus of investment is on four key trip types where people would be using bikes for everyday activities rather than long distance commuters or sports cyclists.

Particularly on the first two, these two graphics show how many people could potentially use a bike for part or all of their journey under each of the scenarios of short trips (to the city centre) or connecting to key PT stations.

Four different types of infrastructure are proposed to be used in Auckland going forward and painted lanes on roads is not one of those.

Of the $635 million total budget, $35 million is expected to be used for:

Lastly, here’s the impact the investment will have:;

Overall this looks like a great strategy for the city and one that’s been presented quite well visually. It will be interesting to see if improved visual rubs off on other areasThe key will be ensuring it’s funded correctly. That means that ideally we’d see further tranches of the Urban Cycleway Fund (*hint all political parties*) and AT/Council will need to continue to invest in cycling at similar rates to now, not cut funding like is currently planned from mid-2018 onwards. Critical to that will be ensuring that the council’s next Long Term Plan, along with other important planning documents, include for this investment.

Updated post with link to the doc now that it’s online

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  1. Took my family for a ride along Westhaven promenade, Wynyard and Quay Street on Saturday, including their first on-road mixing it with buses, trucks, cars (Beaumont St). What an awesome day for a ride.

    As we pass the Port the 5 year old says (completely unprompted), “Daddy, I love riding my bike. It’s just like the car, only we have a car each and I can go wherever I want to”. I think I accomplished one of my major objectives as a parent this weekend. My wife says “this reminds me of biking the seawall in Vancouver”. Ice creams all round.

    This is what great investment in cycle networks achieves – it empowers people, liberates them, and adds value to our city and economy. I can see the payback for every $ being substantial in the case of my kids.

    I’d like to say a huge thanks to AT, and to Kathryn’s team in particular for their dedication and battling behind the scenes to secure for a meaningful, quality bike network. Your work is hugely important and appreciated much.

  2. Those diagrams are very good and telling.
    Are they GA or AT made?
    A lot of work has been put into making them.
    So much better than many paragraphs of words.

      1. Yes you can see the types of people they used for example
        Liz , a place activator
        Mat a planner

        I was bought up using bikes in NZ , and have seen a photo of my mum with me ( 4 yrs) in a child seat over the rear wheel and my baby brother in a basket over the handlebars…oh and we were off to the monastery to buy some plonk

        1. So in place of Liz, Matt, and Maliu they should have had:
          Duker’s Mum, drinker-of-plonk
          This Mat Hanh, monk-of-plonk, and
          Cute Little Duker
          And this would have made a difference to the report how? 🙂

  3. As a daily cycle/ferry/train commuter travelling between Takapuna and Mt Wellington, I welcome this news! +1

  4. Wow, beautiful work this!

    I like the integration with other modes, but what is obvious and worrying is our lack of transit stations. In that second map, only half of Auckland is within 15 minutes travel of a transit station, and the failure to provide for the other half is something that needs the most urgent attention in my view.

    My other question would be, given that there are earlier and later parts of construction, does that mean never for those many areas not included in the programme?

    1. “only half of Auckland is within 15 minutes travel of a transit station, and the failure to provide for the other half is something that needs the most urgent attention in my view.”

      +1, looking at the map, this also highlights why the NW and SE busways and LRT to the airport are so important. A Rosedale Road station on the northern busway will also really help and an airport to Botany RT route too.

  5. I have mixed feelings about this report.

    On the one hand, it’s great to see message getting through that cycling can play a major part in an integrated transport solution, and that it provides extra benefits to health and well being in the process.

    But if the targets are really school kids and people doing short trips to the shops, then why is the focus so heavily on the CBD? Why isn’t every shopping centre, secondary school, library and leisure centre the focus of local network of cycleways? In time they will knit together to provide total coverage.

    If nothing on the shore is going to get built apart from the projects indicated (could this be referring to the Northcote Safe Cylce Route, Seapath and the local board-funded Glenfield Rd improvements?) until 2028, then I don’t see how there’ll be any take-up of cycling for short trips outside of those narrow corridors. I only speak of the Shore because those are the projects that I’m familiar with, but the same thing applies for all of Auckland.

    1. I don’t follow your logic. More retail spending happens in the city centre than anywhere else in Auckland?

      1. Are you saying that more people live within a short trip of the CBD shops than all the other shopping centres put together? With this plan we’ll end up with gold plated cycle lanes in the city centre but only those already in the centre will be able to get to them without riding on unprotected roads.

        Meanwhile, in all the other areas, the car will continue to be the default choice for getting the kids to school, nipping to the shops for a couple of extras between weekly shops, going to the library, meeting friends at the cafe, etc. It’s those little trips that AT says they are targeting, and it’s those little trips that cause a disproportionate amount of pollution. Failing to address these local short trips is an great opportunity missed.

        1. Thats not an equivalent comparison, all other shopping centres put together covers perhaps a hundred times more area, a hundred times more network, an hundred times more costs.

          To build a good network to serve the City Centre will involve the same general time, cost and budget as building a good network to serve one other shopping centre. So sure, you could do the network around Henderson at the same cost, or a network around Manukau. But you’d get far fewer people benefiting from the same spend. Over 200,000 people travel to the City Centre each day, for somewhere like Manukau it would be more like 10,000.

          If you are going to build one local network, then build it in the city centre first, because the number of Aucklanders who benefit will be an order of magnitude greater than any other local centre.

        2. Makes sense, but that will all still be true 10 years from now. So then what, will we permanently leave those further out areas behind?

        3. I’m not suggesting a complete network in each of those locations, but addressing some of the worst roads surrounding each of the centres would be a big help in starting to form a network. Once there is a toe-hold, it is easier for local boards to use discretionary funds to join gaps.

          One way to achieve this would be to rewrite the rules AT’s renewals team uses. At present they replace like-for-like, even if the road is scheduled for future cycling improvements. Getting AT’s silos talking to each other and ensuring that roads scheduled for renewal get cycle lanes introduced at the same time where appropriate, and that all road renewals are done with cycle safety in mind, so sunken drains are brought up to level and advanced stop boxes are introduced.

          Doing this work at renewals time should give far more value for money, and prevent perfectly good infrastructure being ripped up before it’s time due to a lack of planning.

        4. Actually, I think you will find that Manukau has a lot more people travel to Manukau that you think. There is a shopping centre, council offices, business park plus education facilities (MIT/AUT), library, a Superclinc as well as entertainment (Rainbow ends, Wero, Pacific Area and Movies). Plus it is a major public transport Hub. After CBD it is probably the next biggest employment centre.

          There are about 17,000 workers and 10,000 students per day plus shoppers around the Maunkau central area. This is only going to grow. I doubt if you will find another area of Auckland with this level of intensification. Currently HNZ and private developer (SHA) are intensifying residential housing within 10 minutes bike ride of train station.

          There are plans to expand it, with ideas to put Museum, art gallery, more high rise apartments and even schools floated over the last couple of years. Look at Panukau Development plans to Transform Manukau. Currently 20% of Auckland GDP is undertaken within 600 ha area.

          South Auckland people pay there rates just like every one else and just focusing on the city centre will be short sighted.

        5. arum1 – Albany would give it a run for it’s money – 3rd largest mall in the country + big box shops, large and growing University, large industrial/office estate, stadium, public pool, Millenium Centre etcoffice parks, North Shore Court, housing (with the largest apartment building in NZ being built too).

        6. Andy – you’re right. If the focus had been enabling children to cycle to school and access their immediate neighbourhood, the areas prioritised would have been suburban. Left to me, I would always build the infrastructure for the children first.

        7. Gotta agree with you Andy. 2028 is far too far away, and given a return of 2-4 dollars per dollar spent, plus a really low starting point of 3.9%, I don’t see why we need to be so limited on funding. I think it’s beyond bizarre that nothing is allowed for north of Takapuna.

    2. I think the ‘How we came up with the programme’ graphic sums it up best. It looks as though the population density is highest and average commute is shortest. I imagine those things also mean shops are often closer.

      It looks like a best bang for buck approach to me.

      1. But there is a law of diminishing returns.

        How good does the coverage in the centre have to be before the goodness spreads to the fringes?

        1. Obviously not *that*good because we are improving things in other areas at the same time.

          Peaple seem to forget that we could have separated cycle lanes on every arterial for less than the cost of the EWL sometimes.

        2. Exactly. Pushing forward with that road-of-no-sense (rons) is impoverishing the city. We can have this cycle infrastructure in all suburbs if we don’t waste money on the EWL.

      2. I’d like to know how they got from the combined analysis showing the best areas for investment to the programme overview early/late construction map.

        Reason for asking is that some areas have been prioritised ahead of others when they actually have lower scores.

        For example Henderson has a lower score than New Lynn/Avondale but it is early when New Lynn/Avondale is later. And Henderson has the same score as Blockhouse Bay/Hillsborough but Henderson is early and Blockhouse Bay/Hillsborough is not even included in the programme at all. What gives?

  6. Would love to see the cycle lane along mt albert road extend past sandringham through to Royal Oak and all the way through to mt smart/penrose. A lot of people work in the Penrose/Ellerslie area and the current safe/cycle path routes are too long (28km) and hilly. It would make cycling to work out that way more viable for people in Te Atatu, New Lynn, Pt Chev, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert, Three Kings, Kingsland, St Lukes. Not to mention much safer for cycle commuters like myself 🙂

      1. + 2. And even better, on beyond Penrose to Mt Wellington, connecting up with the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path!

        1. +3. I cycled from Sandringham to Onehunga for work for a few months. Mt. Albert Road is a death trap for cycling, there needs to be a direct, safe west-east route established through that part of town.

        2. To be fair, the SW motorway corridor has a pretty good route, and it’s not a million miles away. Not ideal, but a good option if safety is the priority. But agree with your underlying point – like the buses, the crosstown part of a network can easily fall back in priorities.

        3. Perhaps the best way to create safe cycle routes is to join up quiet side streets with non-vehicle links. For instance: the quiet north-south route west of Dominion Rd would be dramatically improved by putting in a link between King Edward St and Burnley Terrace. Just one property would be affected. Even if we’re talking 2 mil including outright purchase, it’s still going to be way cheaper than Tamaki path style options.

          Possibly throw in some bollards and other street furniture to quieten the streets even more and soon the route would actually become quite attractive. And you’d hope the locals might actually support changing their streets from car rat-runs to bike rat-runs.

          I still think cyclists should be going straight and the cars should be winding in and out – but crawl before walk, etc

  7. This is great work coming from AT. Usually I see no strategy, or crap strategy come out of AT. But this is a generally a cohesive strategy which is great. As long as they can stick to it and continue to focus on connecting the existing network together. The graphics are really good at getting the key points across.

    Rain is a huge barrier for me. I only cycle when there is 100% guarantee of no rain, otherwise I drive. Auckland gets lots of rain throughout the whole year. Munich,Tokyo,Vancouver all get more rain in winter than Auckland and a lot less rain in summer so I’d be interested to know when in the year they get their mode share value from.

    However, I disagree with investing into poorer isolated areas like Mangere or Te Atatu, but I’m happy to be proved wrong in the long term. I’ve lived in a poor area my whole life and I don’t think I’ll leave any time soon. But I can’t help but see this strategy as conceived by a bunch of middle class white folk deciding what is best for the poor brown folk without having any understanding of the issues they face. Children don’t cycle to school because their bikes get stolen on the way or at school or they can’t even afford bikes. Their parents are working 2-3 jobs and don’t have the luxury of time to cycle to work or are shift workers who can’t rely on PT. They have big families with several children so they need a vehicle or two to get around and to do shopping.

    Cycle lanes in poor areas just end up being empty or just parking for cars that isn’t enforced because the owners can’t afford the tickets and council knows it is a waste of time and energy to go after poor people who can’t afford to pay.

    1. Tbf its local board people in places such as Te-Atatu and Mangere that are pushing really hard for cycling in their area and have been engaged for awhile.

    2. Can I ask why you don’t cycle in rain? I just invested in a good jacket and waterproof trousers and it is really no problem. I would say that on average I get caught in really bad rain maybe 5 times a year – a bit more this year as it has been really wet.

      I always like the Dutch saying, “You’re not made of sugar!”

      1. Most of the rain that falls in Auckland is only drizzle or showers as well. Drizzle is rarely a problem even if it is falling as you ride, and showers are only really a problem if you have to leave right in the middle of one.

      2. Can’t agree more goosoid.
        I cycle to work every day, and a good waterproof jacket sees me right. The odd occasion I get drenched, I just take a shower and get changed. It’s really no big deal.

        If Auckland had a history of being a cycling city, people would be used to the weather and this would not even be a point of discussion.

      3. Goosoid. I guess what someone sees as not an issue, another person might see as a huge problem.

        Various reasons, but mainly I’m lazy, so incredibly lazy.

        So I do whatever expends the least amount of energy/time and causes me the least hassle/discomfort. My commute is about 9km of hilly cycling each way so I have an E-bike and I just cycle in my work clothes and arrive to work without breaking a sweat, park my bike and walk straight to my desk. I have an E-bike because it takes less time than the bus and I don’t particularly care about exercise and the cycle route is a nice, safe ride, but I think it is mainly I don’t like getting to work wet. I cycle with a laptop in my bag which I don’t want to get wet and can’t be bothered spending money on waterproof gear. I don’t like carrying spare sets of clothes. I don’t like having to shower/change at work because the facilities are terrible. I start work really early, so most mornings I am cycling in the dark. I wear glasses, so when they get wet I can’t see anything in the dark.

        So yeah, maybe I’ll get around to buying a better jacket/pants and start cycling a bit more, but I’m not really in a hurry.

        1. Glasses are the main reason I find it hard to cycle in the rain – usually I quite like the feeling of being in the elements otherwise. Anyone got any ideas about better visibility for glasses wearers? I can’t wear contact lenses.

    3. > Munich,Tokyo,Vancouver all get more rain in winter than Auckland and a lot less rain in summer

      I can’t speak for Munich and Vancouver, but Tokyo gets far more rain in the rainy season in early summer than it does in winter. In fact the winter months (Dec-Feb) are the driest in Tokyo. Having lived in greater Tokyo for eight years, I found the main weather risk cycling in Tokyo in winter was chapped lips and hands from the dry cold – so no big deal.

    4. There is also the flip side of that argument.

      Consider that many developing economies were only able to develop via transport options offered by the bike. Look at China in 80s vs today.

      Providing the facilities – safe transport – in areas where people can’t afford more expensive transport is another way of making sure the floating boat lifts everyone.

  8. What happens to the cyclists when they arrive at the northcote end of sky path, the shore is a bit of a protected cycling dead zone?

      1. To the detriment of all other Aucklanders because they are under the mistaken impression that they own the streets and can decide what happens in their area.

  9. I love it when I sit for ages on Nelson St waiting for the green to turn left into Wellesley and not a cyclist in sight.
    But hey lets cater for the occasional cyclist while the majority of road users are inconvenienced.

    1. Funny that, because that is an on-demand light. If there’s no cyclist or pedestrian to press the button, the crossing light is not activated that cycle.

        1. And then there’s the reverse point of view. How often have I waited at cycle crossings on Quay St. for the right or left filter lights when there is no traffic making that turn?

      1. That’s because the pedestrians have figured out they can press the cyclist button to get an extended cross phase…as they walk from their cheap all day carpark somewhere round lower Cook St or Vicky park. As usual, the selfish inconsiderate arsewipes you’re encountering are the drivers.

    2. That’s because cycle congestion doesn’t exist except at very high levels of use. Unlike cars, bicycles are an amazingly efficient way to move large numbers of people. Simple geometry.

      The same reason why bus lanes always look empty. Too efficient.

      You are just used to seeing traffic lanes full of traffic because an area of 15-20 sqm is needed to move a single person. Same mistake Hosking made when it opened. Well, one of many.

        1. Yes, in New Zealand. No, in the city centre in Auckland.

          However, it’s important to remember that we didn’t build our cities like this because most people would prefer to use a car; most people prefer to use a car because we built our cities like this.

    3. “I love it when I sit for ages ”
      If you love it then you must love Auckland congestion; obviously you do, as you are part of said congestion.
      Any more negativity?

        1. We best remove all traffic lights and just apply the priority rules at intersections. If forcing motor vehicles to stop can only ever impede business.

        2. And speed limits. They really hold up productivity. Should just be good old neolib law of the jungle.

          And of course user pays for all roads. then we will see productivity soar – as all the trucking firms go broke paying for the damage they cause to the roads and all the extra infrastructure built to accommodate them.

    4. Actually that was intersection was recently changed. Left turning cars used to have to wait a while. I think too many drivers complained and now cyclists have to wait. Get some cyclists to complain and maybe AT will put it back.

      1. Indeed, IIRC just after the cycleway was built cyclists always got a green phase. There was a bit of a cock up in the first weeks, but it worked reasonably well after that.

        But I can also confirm that there were a lot more cars taking that left turn than cyclists going straight. Usually I wouldn’t spot any cyclists at all (which is confirmed by the cycle counter — 500 cyclists per day is a tiny amount).

        1. As a daily rider through that intersection, I don’t mind the beg button rather than an automatic cross, but the duration and timing of the crossing need fixing.

          You get about 10 seconds tops to get across, and it seems like it’s been expressly programmed so you will never be able to get a green cycle light at both Victoria Street and Wellesley Street on the same trip.

          Would love just a few seconds longer on the green phase, and some adjustment so it’s actually possible to get a green at Victoria and make it to the button at Wellesley without being guaranteed to have just missed the last Wellesley phase!

  10. Great report. What is sad for me to see is that commuters are not really catered for. We live in Otahuhu and I cycle into the city to work. Along Great South Road… It’s scary as hell, and I use footpaths wherever possible before hitting Ellerslie and the bus lanes. The initiatives in the article do not allow for any upgrades for cycling to the south. I am quite jealous of my colleagues from the west who cycle on dedicated safe cycle ways – something that is not on the books for us at all, it seems. Lack of cycling also comes from lack of facilities. There are commuter cyclists along Great South Road every day, despite the danger of trucks and trailers, high curbs and tightly packed traffic. It would be great if we could get some support, at least for the currently most unsafe extent from Otahuhu to Ellerslie roundabout.

    1. Agree that the GSR is terrible for cycling. It (in Ellerslie/Penrose) would be part of my fastest route to work, but I go a longer route as it’s safer.

      As Harriet said, a proactive local board is a fantastic asset. Have you tried constructive engagement with your LB on cycleways/cycle safety improvement? Now that AT has published a strategy document, they may be more willing to listen.

        1. You obviously haven’t had the unfortunate experience of speaking to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. Very depressing.

        2. No, I am very lucky where I am. But I’d hope they’re all wanting to do the right thing… just need some information. :/?

        3. Oh Heidi, Heidi, if only. Information and evidence is water off a duck’s back to our local board.

          Anything that happened after 1990 is very confusing to them. Their starting point is that the area is perfect and any change would be detrimental. Unless of course that change is to “fix” Lake Road – by widening it, because of course that always fixes congestion.

        4. I’ve been imagining preparing an information session about induced traffic and how outdated transport models produce incorrect travel times and therefore business cases, and taking it to each local board in turn… same thing could be done with information about cycling, public transport, etc.

          But it sounds like with your local board someone needs to make a film about the realities of what it’s actually like in their own area if you are a non-motorised user. Say, from the point of view of someone in a wheelchair, or a child wanting to cycle?

        5. I’ll ask admin to give my email address to you. I would LOVE you to challenge the traffic modelling itself.

        6. +1, if you could demonstrate that modelling has ignored induced traffic, that would be a massive adverse effect that has not been mitigated.

        7. Sure can. NZTA don’t even deny it. Of course they use the words induced traffic when they really mean traffic diverted from other modes, routes and times. But when it comes to actual “newly created trips” it “is not normal practice to include them”.

          I thought I’d done my research too late to be able to help with EWL. Delighted to hear otherwise.

        8. 10m is not a lot of time. I was sure I’d to focus too much on traffic – don’t have the time to wade though 100s of pages of their modelling. Thus wasn’t sure I can represent enough to be seen as credible. So just tried to focus on high level aspects.

          A 1-2min highlight for speaking and a whitepage (or similar) I could throw at them though would be useful.

          Ping me on Linkedin:

      1. It’s that very reason I hop on a train at Britomart and alight at Penrose to cycle the rest of the way to the office (and vice versa). I’ve had 2 occasions where I had to either cycle from the Penrose train station to the Ferry Building or vice versa.

        Great South Road between Penrose and Greenlane is not a pleasant ride due to the large numbers of heavy goods vehicles and no separation from general traffic. When GSR is gridlocked, it’s “tolerable” as you’re essentially riding alongside “parked cars”. South to north is marginal at the E-P Hwy/GSR intersection/roundabout as it’s a pinch point. I’ve never considered cycling north to south through that area on GSR for that reason. I turn off at Main Hwy and ride through Ellerslie village instead. Much safer.

        1. An obvious solution is a shared pathway on the western boundary of the rail corridor between Remuera and Penrose picking up the dead end streets that adjoin the rail corridor for access.
          NZTA are doing an investigation into a sound wall between Ellerslie and Greenlane in this area. Should really be a combined effort being a cycle way and sound wall.

    2. Commuting isn’t a bed of roses for all Western riders either – personally I’m desperate for the day we finally get some proper connections for New Lynn and Glen Eden. Yes, there’s the Waterview path, and yes, we’ll eventually get Te Whau Pathway to connect to SH16, but to get to any of those routes from Kelson or Glen Eden is a dangerous mess; no surprise that few locals try getting anywhere on a bike.

  11. I’d be happy to support further cycle infrastructure provided it didn’t steal road space from other users and provided it was used a lot more than existing cycle infrastructure. I’ve been disappointed with the numbers using the gold plated pink path and the downtown cycle lane.

    Problem is the entitled cycling fraternity thinks they are superior to the rest of society and has somehow managed to con our authorities using dodgy research and inflated analysis. The theft of road space from other users has thus far resulted in induced congestion and longer travel times, not the disappearance of traffic as previously claimed by this blog.

    It should be a condition of consent that any additional cycling infrastructure is a genuine addition to the transport network, not a repurposement of existing used infrastructure.

    1. Again, take everything written there, reverse it and you are much closer to the truth.

      If you are disappointed by the numbers cycling, you are the only one.

      All actual evidence, not anecdotes, shows no difference in travel times as a result of cycling friendly changes in the city centre (in line with international evidence).

      You can’t steal something that never belonged to anyone in the first place, by the way.

    2. If you don’t like the theft of road space for cycle lanes you would have hated the theft of road space for vehicle lanes last century! It went from people being able to cross the road on foot at their leisure to having wait for their cycle at the lights at their nearest intersection in many places.

    3. “I’d be happy to support further cycle infrastructure provided it didn’t steal road space from other users”

      Glad you will support it then. No one owns road space and thus it cannot be stolen.

      1. The word he prefers – “stealing” – says all you need to know about what his priorities are in terms of mode and the hostility he has at having to share. And he gets more hostile with every post.

        Luckily, common sense will prevail and and already is with announcements like this on advancing the other modes at the (perceived) expense of the SOV.

    4. I’d be happy to support further car infrastructure provided it didn’t steal public space from other users and provided it was used a lot more efficiently than existing car infrastructure. I’ve been disappointed with the numbers using the gold plated CBD roads and the motorways(especially at 2am).

      Problem is the entitled car fraternity thinks they are superior to the rest of society and has somehow managed to con our authorities using bribes, ideology, dodgy research and inflated analysis. The theft of public space from other users has thus far resulted in induced congestion and longer travel times, not the disappearance of traffic as previously claimed by politicians and road designers.

      It should be a condition of consent that any additional roading infrastructure is a genuine addition to the transport network, not an overly expensive duplicate of existing car infrastructure.

  12. Great to see the steadily-improving focus on providing cycling infrastructure, but to me the best way to benefit cycling in a city is to shift the whole investment-culture from roads+cars to public transport. Get this sorted out, and cycling + walking cultures naturally follow.

    Otherwise the paranoia over any departure from a car-takes-all scenario will ensure that cycling and walking provision remain stunted and begrudged. This is broadly where we are now, as a visit to Island Bay will demonstrate.

    Those cities that already have good public-transit cultures are generally much better to cycle in, even without a whole raft of dedicated infrastructure. It often simply requires a cycling and walking mentality on the part of scheme-designers, and this is engendered by a healthy PT-culture and not car-is-king.

    1. I have to disagree. Vienna is consistently considered the best city in the world for public transport but has only just managed to get a 5% mode share. And, not surprisingly, this only happened when separated cycling infrastructure was built.

      Another goo example is Prague. The most used Metro system in the world per capita and an excellent pubic transport system overall. But cycle use in that city is even lower than in Auckland. There is effectively no on road cycle infrastructure (there are some lanes along the Vltava) and the local government completely ignores cycling.

      Also, in the Netherlands, cycling just overtook PT for kms travelled. So cycling doesn’t have to take second place to PT.

      If you want cycling, you have to invest in cycling.

  13. While cycle lanes are good news, I think there’s a few other unsolved problems.

    – How to deal with local streets? We’re probably not able put cycle lanes on every last little street. Speed management is one thing. Probably parking management will be involved too — cycling next to a wall of parked cars is dangerous and unpleasant. Note how most streets in Houten do not have cycle lanes.

    – How to build town centres? Let’s just say, lot of them are a bit awkward if you’re not in a car. Again, see the previous post about Houten. Here it is, side by side with
     · Botany:,5.16183,-36.93161,174.91201,17,H,H
     · Albany:,5.16183,-36.72920,174.70794,17,H,H
    Spot the problem. As far as I can tell, this is partially enforced with the zoning code, and it will still be with the new unitary plan.
    On the other hand, Hobsonville Point looks like it will fare better:,5.16183,-36.79276,174.65831,17,H,H
    (off-topic: note the comparatively high coverage by buildings in Hobsonville point)

    Let’s see what our next greenfield development will look like.

    – Cycles on buses is a red herring: first, you can fit only a couple of bikes on a bus (while there’s room for 50 people), and secondly, dwell times. I can’t see how that would work if more than a couple of people do that. The same with bicycles on a train, that only works if the train is almost empty.

    1. Cycles on buses work fine – I’ve used them many times overseas – It’s quick and easy to use them, you just make sure once the bus stops you start loading on your bike while others are boarding. If you’re the only person getting on/off at the stop then just be quick!

      Yes sure a bus can fit 50, and normally bike racks on buses only hold 2-4 bikes, but you’ll find that is usually enough.
      If a bus has to leave someone behind because there’s not enough bike racks its not a big deal.

      1. Having used them a lot in Christchurch, I totally agree with Roeland. They are a red herring. They are not scaleable and will only work while your mode share is very low.

        Much better to invest in good cycle parking at bus stops.

    2. But all you are saying is that we are not implementing streets that are good for all users. Which was the point of the article. I see all your questions answered in the article – i.e. just start building like in the Netherlands.

      As for existing town centres and residential areas in NZ, just do this:

      All we need is political will. Everything else is details.

      1. Yes, now the problem is to make it work in Auckland. I know the Dutch solved these problems a long time ago.

        AT is on record stating rather explicitly that we’re unlikely to see streets with a limit under 50 km/h because the police can’t be bothered to enforce that anyway.

        A small local street suitable for all users is very easy to build. 5 m roadway. That’s it. No need for cycle lanes, no lines or anything. Maybe a footpath if you want to be fancy. 20 km/h speed limit (the Dutch call that a ‘woonerf’). But in practice, for some reason no public street ever gets built that way over here. Which is weird, because I’d think it’s cheaper (both construction and square metres) than the typical 8m + berms + footpaths.

        And towncentres — Westgate may be stupid, or impenetrable for people outside a car, and any retrofit for bicycles (or people on foot) afterwards will be at best very awkward. Doesn’t matter, the thing is getting built. Millwater got built. There’s no strategy for new developments. Who decides on the design of those things anyway, is that even controlled by the council or is that at the discretion of whatever big developer bought the land?

        1. Public street in Long Bay:

          Council really need to sort their internal process out so that *most* streets are built like this, instead of it being the exception. Major developments have to prepare road plans, and developers like land to be used for saleable housing, so clearly the problem is AT and AC not allowing/demanding that suburban roads be built sensibly.

        2. I’d thoroughly recommend goin up there and walking around. A lot of it is really good. Probably two years too early, otherwise, the cycle lanes on the main road would have been Copenhagen lanes.

  14. Great post. Great report. Great big job of community engagement required, AT. I love the work you’re doing with these cycleways, but you’ve got your work cut out for you. Coming out the other end of community consultation, I wish other both AT and other neighbourhoods could have an easier time. I think this is the process I would look at using:

    1/ Find or do the research, eg into how road reallocation affects retailers, how it changes numbers cycling
    2/ Wide education programme based on the research
    3/ Hold community discussions in which people can both express their needs AND hear the needs of others AND listen to how the research suggests change to meet their needs
    4/ Produce a detailed design based on the research and on the community’s expressed needs
    5/ Community Consultation on the detailed design

    As it has been, the routes have been locked in before submitters knew what the implications of those routes has meant (eg loss of pohutukawa trees), the community has been divided as people have been arguing across each other instead of listening and feeling heard.

    You’re such a progressive team. I’m sure you can also take on board some of these ideas. EC Streets for People report highlighted community engagement as important over and over again.

  15. Check out the people they claim they are building for. Mat the planner is out of luck, they are not including Birkenhead as its score wasn’t high enough.

      1. Not just that. The fact we have wear UPF 99+ is a lot to do with northern hemisphere industrial pollution and upper atmosphere currents.

        It’s funny when you go to beaches in Europe and the sun just feels like soft tissue paper.

        As such and if this is a real effect it’s important people don’t lump this in with greenhouse effects.

  16. I wonder – could we get AT to come down to Wellington and sort out the rabid bunch of mongrels that have turned the Island Bay Cycleway into such a farce? They seem to have a knack that WCC clearly don’t.

  17. They should include a budget to investigate a business case for helmet vs no helmet law, and follow up with legislation changes.

    1. Is there a helmet law ? If there is there seems to be no enforcement. Its even quite common to see riders on motorcycles without helmets out South and East.Perhaps a publicity campaign is needed if the law still exists?

      1. Riding with no helmet for 5 years. Stopped counting the number of police officers who ignored me a long time ago. Never had a fine. Another guy in my office has been 10 years, no fine.

        Then again, someone in Chch was telling me they were fined 3 times in 6 months so may just be Auckland?

        1. That might be how the Police decide to handle this, just stop enforcement and don’t raise the fine so inflation slowly chips away at it. That way the avoid the inevitable wowser complaints if it is repealed and one person suffers a head injury with no helmet on.

          I think everyone now acknowledges that it is a law lacking any practical benefit – certainly Israel, Spain and Dallas, Texas have acknowledged that by scrapping their MHL. Well other than the state government in NSW.

  18. Simon Bridges said there would be another round of Urban Cycleway Programme funding when we met him recently. We’re now talking with Labour to get a similar commitment. I notice that AT’s 30 minute catchment (by bike to the CBD) excludes cycling across the Harbour Bridge – which seems to occur often in AT’s material. We’re hoping that once David Warburton retires then AT will include it in their thinking.

  19. Would be good to see a bit more detail on their economic evaluation! I know it’s only at a programme level, but they should have showed a few delivery options (such as central isthmus focus, versus corridor focus, versus even spread) and budget options ($600m vs $1b). Would help answer some of the themes of the questions on here. If that $ budget achieves such a good return, show me what more would do?

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