This is part 2 of our series wrapping up the key news and events of the year. You can see Part 1 on PT here.
In this section I’ll look at walking and cycling. When it comes to our active modes it feels a bit like there’s been a lot of consultation but not a lot of action. This is hopefully setting us up for a big year of roll outs next year.
After a long delay the extension of the Nelson St cycleway from Victoria St to Market Pl finally got underway with works recently being completed.
Auckland Transport also held consultation on the third and final stage of the project to connect from Market Pl through to Quay St.
Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr
A big change was made this year on the final stage of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr cycleway with a decision made to send it on a longer route around the coast line on the eastern edge of Hobson Bay. This is instead of the original plan for it to go alongside the rail line across the harbour.
Tamaki Dr Cycleway
Slightly related to the GI to Tamaki Dr cycleway above, earlier this year Auckland Transport consulted on a cycleway between Quay St and the hot mess of an intersection they’re currently building at Ngapipi Rd. Their original plan for Tamaki Dr was far from ideal and our friends at Bike Auckland lead the charge on getting that improved. Later in the year, AT confirmed that they would extend the Quay St cycleway all the way to Ngapipi Rd.
Quay St Extension
The Quay St cycleway has been a fantastic addition to the city, resulting in more people riding shifting most bikes off the road and off the footpaths. AT were to have extended the cycleway to almost The Strand however that is yet to occur.
Victoria St Cycleway
In May, Auckland Transport consulted on the Victoria St Cycleway. It will see a cycleway built between Beaumont St and Hobson St – the section east of Hobson should be built as part of the CRL/Linear Park works.
Victoria St Linear Park
In the first half of the year we spent a lot time to defend the Victoria St Linear Park. Auckland Transport put out a consultation that proposed to use Victoria St for buses, completely ignoring the councils City Centre Master Plan that called for Victoria St to become a Linear Park. It wasn’t even a good route for buses, making them slower and less customer friendly.
We even learned that ATs preferred option in the consultation was one of the worst performing in the business case they’d created. It appears this was in part due to a deal ATs former CEO made with the University, who seem to oppose most of the improvements in the city and who didn’t want buses past their new science building.
With the help of our friends at Generation Zero, thousands of people submitted to save the Linear Park and in August, AT announced we’d been successful.
Te Ara Tomo – The Underline
In July we learnt about Te Ara Tomo. Regular commenter and occasional poster, Nick, had been working with others on a scheme to open up the Albert Park tunnels for walking and cycling, cutting out one of Aucklands hills.
Federal St Shared Space – Phase 2
In November, AT held a consultation to create a shared space on the section of Federal St between Mayoral Dr and Wellesley St. The plan is to eventually turn all of Federal St into a shared space with investigation into the next phase, from Victoria St to Wyndham St likely to start ext year.
The value of Pedestrians
There were a couple of interesting reports this year looking at the value of pedestrians to the city centre. One looked at the relationship between pedestrian connectivity and productivity while the other the impact of pedestrian congestion. Both showed that there is huge value in improving pedestrian connectivity and priority in the city (and elsewhere).
The bike business case for the next decade
This year ATs board approved a business case looking at how and where cycle investment will be focused over the next decade. If implemented fully it would see over $600 million invested in cycling over that time frame. Overall it looks like a great piece of work and we’ll be pushing for it to be implemented.
The year has ended on a bit of a sour note with some of the locals at West Lynn protesting about the installation of cycle lanes in their are. We agree that the implementation doesn’t appear to have been spectacular and Auckland Transport need to improve it, however at the same time, some of the complaints now look more like the typical anti-cycleway bikelash we’ve seen elsewhere. We’re hoping AT will be able to get the genuine issues addressed and the bike lane roll out resumed asap. Also if you haven’t already, don’t forget about the petition by our friends at Generation Zero calling for safe streets.
Despite tracking towards being one of the wettest years on record, bike count numbers were holding up throughout 2017 which was great. Then the fine weather hit and the numbers just took off. Many cycleways have since been recording record numbers of users which is a great sign.
It’d be hard not to mention that one October morning when suddenly the city centres streets were filled with dockless bike share bikes that had turned up overnight. While there have been some issues, and many appear to have gone missing, the one thing ONZO has done is to highlight the value of having bike share in Auckland.
I think that’s all for this post. Let me know in the comments if I missed any key events.