One of the major upcoming projects for Auckland is an upgrade of Lincoln Rd. Lincoln Rd, a major arterial route in West Auckland between Henderson and the Northwestern Motorway, has been hard done by over the years, basically turned into a large onramp to SH16. This and a pretty horrible mix of auto-dependent land-uses has made it a very hostile for pedestrians and cyclists. Around $85 million has been approved for an upgrade, adding T3 lanes, bike lanes and upgrading the intersections. Thanks to Bike Auckland the project is not completely horrible for cyclists, but in general, it is still far too much of a traffic engineer’s dream with slip lane after slip lane, stacking lane after stacking lane, widening and more widening. This upgrade will cement Lincoln Rd’s future as just a glorified on-ramp.

The proposed upgrade of Lincoln Road aims to:

  • Widen the road to provide an additional bus/T3 transit lane on each side.
  • Install an on-road kerbside cycleway segregated from the transit lane on both sides of the road.
  • Upgrade existing intersections.
  • Build a solid raised and planted median to replace the existing painted median.
  • Upgrade traffic signals and implement stormwater treatments.Relocate and upgrade existing utility services.
  • Integrate with the NZ Transport Agency’s motorway interchange upgrade at Lincoln Road.

You can see it in all its proposed glory below.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With a new Government and new priorities for transport, we have a chance of rethinking Lincoln Rd to create a future where it can be a beautiful efficient boulevard not just an on-ramp. With its future need as a key part of the Henderson to Constellation crosstown public transport corridor and an important cycle/bus connection to both faster/more frequent Western Line trains at Henderson post-CRL and a future Northwest Light Rail station, Lincoln Rd’s future can be bright:

  1. Lincoln Rd is proposed crosstown strategic PT corridor in ATAP. If we are going to upgrade Lincoln Rd lets dig once and do it right. Instead of T3 lanes, let’s consider centre running BRT with appropriate signal priority.
  2. Let’s improve the footpaths and make the crossings more accessible and safe. I was on Lincoln Rd recently and the crossing was hard and felt unsafe. One crossing refuge was in a section that had no pram ramps and was aligned so you had to cross an offline bus stop. Let’s remove the slip lanes not put more in and square up the sidestreet intersections a little.
  3. Give it the boulevard treatment lining it with street trees etc. with all the benefits they bring as well as helping the Mayor with the 1 million trees initiative.
  4. Best practice protected cycle infrastructure this could be a major cycling corridor with it being an easy cycle to both the Western Line and future Northwest Light Rail.

Doing Lincoln Rd properly will deliver a highly efficient and amenable street that will strike a fantastic balance between the movement of people and place as well as enabling the future regeneration of the area which has largely liberal zoning laws in the Unitary Plan.

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33 comments

  1. So everyone on the busway would transfer to LRT at Lincoln Rd interchange? Why not branch the LRT down Lincoln Rd?
    Looks like on road parking also provided on the lower sketch. Why?

    1. Its a picture from NACTO Transit Street Design Guide rather than Lincoln Rd.

      Shows what a rethink could look like.

      Because its much better to have a full crosstown BRT connecting the W/NW/NS from a network perspective. LRT is a little overkill for a crosstown at current.

    2. Get off the train at Lincoln, hop straight on a bus and zip down Lincoln road in a priority lane to wherever you want to go. Nothing wrong with that.

  2. West Auckland’s outer suburbs are a step too far for our motorway system as Lincoln Rd proves on a long daily basis.

    Unfortunately Lincoln Rd carries the vast bulk of Henderson, Swanson, Ranui and Massey South/South East traffic to the motorway.

    And equally unfortunately the Lincoln Rd motorway interchange does its level best to hold traffic up going down Lincoln Road by virtue of being a very poor design.

    Worse still it is a long, busy industrial/commercial road with multiple major intersections.

    Central Park drive, I assume, was supposed to relieve Lincoln Rd of the volumes of traffic but as anyone who has used it in the morning will attest, its intersection with Triangle and Lincoln Rd’s is a major obstacle to free flowing traffic that has exacerbated Lincoln Rd’s problems.

    There is no easy answer to this mess but cutting down the roads feeding it would help and designing a proper motorway interchange is badly needed but at any rate, Auckland Councils glacial speed road works schemes is going to make it an even bigger nightmare for years to come.

    One to be avoided if you can, seriously!

  3. My view on Lincoln Road is this: what’s realistic?

    It’s a horrific stretch of autodependency that isn’t likely to change fundamentally

    HOWEVER – we can make it *look* better. If there’s a street that needs more street trees, nice berms, and other such bits and pieces, I don’t know what it is.

  4. My dad suggested something deep and meaningful the other day, what if we redesigned the city with bikes as the first thought, public transport as the first and a half, and private motor vehicles squeezed in around all the good infrastructure. How marvelous would that be? Perhaps we can start with Lincoln Road. How can it best serve cyclists and rapid public transport? Cars need to have their privileged status removed for the greater good. The better our alternatives, the less drivers can complain about the frailty of the public system.

    1. Not sure designing a city around a transport method that is literally impossible for most differently abled people is particularly friendly.

        1. +1. JDELH – totally wrong assumption that the option to drive is available to everybody. Overall it may be less available than the cycling option is. Just a different set of people physically excluded.

  5. Just wondered would BRT end at Henderson rail station or Henderson main street?. Going the other way I suppose you follow the motorway from Lincoln rd interchange to Constellation bus station?

  6. Yes, please. It’s already horrible enough as it is (and permanently congested) let’s not make it worse.

    I think its an interesting point as to the mode – if we have a BRT along there – what happens with it once it reaches SH16? Do we make the LR corridor to accomodate for the BRT by making it wider and putting the tracks on level with the surface, or perhaps using something like the O-Bahn to carry it over to Westgate?

  7. How about we limit the change of hours used? School hours and work hours could change perhaps? Public transport should be utilised better and more, reason why people use cars is for reliability and convenience? No more trees to plant as they cause issues with roads, and looking nice isn’t always better, our rubbish and plastic etc need better disposal for environmental sakes…..Lincoln Road doesn’t need change, we do!

    1. “No more trees to plant as they cause issues with roads,” True, we need to make sure we’re not wasting money on repair unnecessarily, but trees are basic to many of our and the environment’s needs. They help reduce the urban heat effect, filter pollution from the air, sequester carbon, provide habitat, improve both social health and individual’s mental health, increase an area’s beauty, and much more. I agree rubbish and plastic are an issue.

  8. You can not introduce new traffic to any road by building wider roads with more lanes. It is just silly way of thinking. Wider roads are needed to cope with the increased amount of traffic projected from growth. Providing options of other modes of transport just a way to give some of the existing road users more options if they wish to swich.

    Aspiration and reality are different especially on existing roads like Lincoln Rd. Did anyone thought about the amout of impact on buildings and businesses resulted from any proposal? Finding the balance between effects/impact and benefits is the tricky part that may drive any solution for a roading problem.

  9. So if you’re biking all the way down Lincoln Rd, the proposed option seems to gives you a riding facility all the way, largely separated (not sure about the priority at the side-roads though). But what if you actually wanted to get to one of the side-roads or destinations ALONG the route? I’m struggling to see many practical ways to get yourself to the other side of the road if that’s where your destination is, other than riding contra-flow on what appear to be one-way cycleways.

    This seems to be a common failing of many linear biking facilities (Auckland’s not alone in this problem). They’re great if you want to go all the way from one end to the other, but not very useful if you want to join/leave them somewhere along the route (like *most* people will probably be doing). And we wonder why many people don’t bike…

      1. As confirmation of the design’s unfriendliness to people:
        * it appears that people on bikes are expected to give way at every driveway;
        * people will have to get on and off buses in the cycle lanes, with just a bit of paint hatching for protection;
        * there’s hardly anywhere to cross Lincoln Road, whether on foot or on a bike (there’s just one mid-block crossing);
        * bus stops and crossing points are not near each other.

  10. Lincoln Road cannot cope with car flows and hard to see how a strip up the middle will solve this. It looks pretty and is something to look at while waiting in traffic queues back to universal drive. This is the main route to Henderson, Ranui, Swanson, Scenic Drive (south) Taupaki and Te Henga. Lots more housing will be built in this area. Have the traffic flows been analysed? Needs a radical rethink to
    remove this dreadful bottle neck that we all plan our travel times and routes to avoid as much as possible.
    Planned changed need serious analysis. Will they really make a difference?
    Dale Hunter

    1. Removing bottlenecks is usually just achieved by moving the problem along. Wider roads beget more traffic. What people need is the choice not to have to take the car at all. The new houses in these areas will add to the problem whereas new homes along corridors of good PT would increase PT use and thus frequency and improve PT for all.

      You’re right that a proper analysis is needed, and it involves rethinking land use.

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