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.

Nelson St

Stage 2

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.

Stage 3

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.

West Lynn

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.

Bike boom

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.

Bike Share

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.

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  1. The opening of the Waterview Shared Path was also a big deal in 2017 – meaning you can ride from the city centre to Onehunga via the NW Cycleway, Waterview Shared Path & SW Cycleway with only a few on-road sections on lightly-trafficked local streets. On a sourer note, the number of injuries and deaths of people riding bikes is a clear wake-up call that Auckland still has a long, long way to go – and that there’s a yawning gap between the very high comfort level of some recent facilities and pretty much everything else. That said, 2018 should see a whole pile of wider cycling connections happening with Quay St extension, K Road cycleway, Victoria Street cycleway, the final stage of the Nelson St cycleway and Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive all either completed or making major progress.

        1. You might think it’s important to plan, design and allocate resources based on the area of land covered, but personally I think the number of citizens and ratepayers covered is much more important than dirt.

        2. Yea so the bulk of the development in West Auckland is happening well beyond that map. Just like the CRL services terminating at Henderson which everyone is apparently fine with. It’s a valid point.

        3. Most of the development is in Westgate-Whenuapai-Hobsonville which is on the map. Yes it doesn’t include one suburb in Kumeu and a few other places, it also doesn’t include the Hibiscus Coast, Maraitai or Pukekohe. Nonetheless, it still has 95% of Aucklanders on it. If you try and make a map that includes every last little community you miss the detail on where almost all Aucklanders live.

          CRL service runs to Swanson, not Henderson!

        4. And while our infrastructure spend sits at 0 and yours is in the billions I’ll keep pissing and moaning about it.

        5. @tony – I also think we should look at infrastructure spend as a per person total when talking about area’s. I know people who live in rural Auckland dont like the thought of that though.

        6. Yes exactly, the renewals on your existing roads alone is a higher spend per person than the suburbs get. It may look like zero because its spread so thin, but thats the only fair outcome when the population is spread so thin.

        7. Yeah cause no aucklander ever used a road out here.
          Or used sand trucked in. Or clean fill trucked out. Or or or.

        8. I would suggest most people in Auckland have never driven on the vast majority of roads in Rodney. I just looked at a map and it would be a very small proportion I have driven on and most of that would be state highways, which are not council funded anyway.

        9. “the renewals on your existing roads alone is a higher spend per person than the suburbs get.“

          Where’s your proof?

        10. I would have thought that you would already know this. You have stated many times that your area pays for other areas. So perhaps you could provide this evidence else we can only surmise that you have just made up this claim.

        11. Auckland has 7,300 kilometres of legal road, of which approximately 868km (12%) is unsealed. 678km (78%) of the unsealed road network is in Rodney.

          Rodney has 1,031 km of sealed non-state highway road.

          The annual cost of maintenance and renewals for a sealed road is approximately $18,500 per km, and for an unsealed road approximately $4,500 per km.

          In summary, Rodney has 678km of unsealed road @ $4,500 per km per year to maintain and renew, plus 1,031km of sealed road @ $18,500 per km per year. That’s a total maintenance and renewals liability of $22,125,000 per year.

          In 2013, there were 20,058 households in the Rodney Local Board area, 4 per cent of the regional count.

          That’s $1,050 per household per year just to keep your existing roads from falling apart.

        12. So if roughly 1/2 of our rates go to AT then that means we’re pretty much paying our own way. Without borrowings. Even though most most of the damage Is caused by trucks carting shit in and out of Auckland.
          How do your numbers stack up? Bet a hundy it’s worse.

        13. Ok sure, lets look at the suburban parts of North Harbour then, the old NSCC area.

          According to the Ministry of Transport it has 704 km of sealed road, @ $18,500 per km that’s an annual maintenance and renewals budget of $13,024,000.

          At the 2013 census it had 81,000 households, so an annual road renewals cost of $161 per ratepayer for the suburban North Shore.

          So the cost of maintaining existing roads in Rodney is six times higher per ratepayer than in the suburban north.

          So how does that compare overall? Well according to AT’s 2016 annual report:

          “In 2016 we spent $371m operating, maintaining and renewing road and public
          transport assets.”

          If you divide that among all 469,500 households in the Auckland Council area (2013 census figure, a bit higher now), Auckland transport spends $790 per household, per year on all roads and transport.

          So to recap, the existing road network in Rodney costs $1,050 per household per year for maintenance and renewals, but Auckland Transport spends $790 per household on average across the region.

          Therefore each ratepayer living in Rodney is being subsidised to the tune of $260 a year by suburban Auckland to ensure the existing roads don’t fall apart, let alone any new investments, seal extensions or other transport infrastructure.

          Now we are all one region with one transport system here so it’s a bit arbitrary to draw these distinctions. Indeed people from the suburbs drive through Rodney and trucks running businesses out of Rodney drive through the city, etc etc…. but at the end of the day your idea that Rodney is somehow subsidising Auckland is just plain backwards, the good folk of Rodney are being propped up by suburban ratepayers.

        14. Now add the billions upon billions of planned spend almost entirely inside the metro area and see how the numbers look.

        15. You’ve also no proof of a subsidy there. You’re assumption is that our rates aren’t covering that cost.

        16. It’s certainly a lot better than any of your attempts to show that Rodney is propping up the rest of Auckland.

          Your best example so far appears to be a whole lot of sand that was trucked out back when Rodney was an independent council.

        17. A set of bridle paths and cycle paths are much cheaper to maintain than roads, and are sufficient for people who don’t drive into the city for work, recreation or services. Maybe there’s a solution there? 🙂

        18. I’m not saying Rodney is propping up Auckland. I’m complaining because the new infrastructure spend in my area is 0 and in the metro area it’s billions.
          No footpaths and the rail crossing is a roll of hi-vis plastic tied to waratahs that fall over most of the time. It’s a fucking joke.

        19. You have to bear in mind that your area, or rather the whole Rodney area, has less than 4% of Aucklanders in it.

          So if the city is spending ratepayers money fairly, for every billion dollars spent in the metro area, Rodney should get $40m. That doesn’t go very far spread across such a huge area, that may seem like almost zero but its still a fair share.

          Its not surprising there are few footpaths in Rodney, with 20,000 households and 1,709 km of road, Rodney averages 171m of kerb length between houses.

          Again compare that to the suburban North Shore which averages 17m kerb length between houses, one tenth that of Rodney.

          So if every street in the North Shore had footpaths, then to be fair only 1 in 10 streets in Rodney should get them. If you expect more than that in such a spread out area then you are expecting far more than your fair share.

          If you want suburban level amenities then you need to live in a suburban area close to your neighbours. If you want to live a rural lifestyle with plenty of space that’s fine, but don’t expect the same amenities and infrastructure as the suburbs.

        20. ‘I’m not saying Rodney is propping up Auckland’. So you are basically complaining that Rodney isn’t being propped up by Auckland and you want it to be!

        21. WTF? No one said anything about footpathing the whole of Rodney.

          I know how big Rodney is and I know how many people live in it. And I know how much 4% of 1 billion is. Which means that if they’re spending $4billion over the next 10 years we can expect $160 millions spent in Rodney right? Ha fat chance.
          But I’m not even talking about Rodney. It’s too big think of as 1 place. I’m talking about my place. Where if you walk north from the primary school toward a residential (not rural) area the footpath isn’t continuous with several massive holes and a plastic fence for a rail crossing. If you walk south towards another residential area there is NO footpath. Don’t try to cross the bridge on foot you will die.
          Not to mention the massive open stormwater drain in front of the school.
          It’s not like AT even have to o maintain the road, it’s a state highway. Or run buses. Or trains.
          You see, while you think I’m complaining about big stuff and want to enjoy all the things you do, all I’m looking for is the most basic stuff. Is that really so much to ask for?

        22. You don’t think Rodney will get $16m of capital improvements a year for the next ten years? I reckon it will get that and then some.

          No nobody said anything about footpaths in all of Rodney, I said 10% of streets would be fair. But your situation does sound terrible, no footpath between a primary school and adjacent residential areas?

          Have you spoken to NZTA about it, that is their road if it’s a state highway. This is why I think the RoNS were such a bad idea, they’re spending almost a billion bucks to duplicate the highway between Puhoi and Wellsford so have no money for rudimentary state highway improvements like fixing up the footpath at a primary school.

        23. No I don’t. I have no faith in the council at all.
          As I understand it, NZTA is responsible for the road only. AT is responsible for the footpath. The council is responsible for the stormwater?

        24. Unless they have a specific agreement in place to delegate responsibility to the council, the whole state highway corridor including any footpaths, drainage, signage and other structures within it is the responsibility of the NZTA. I don’t know if there is such an agreement myself.

          Council is responsible for stormwater in general but not the drainage of the highway, so who owns and maintains the drain you have a problem with would depend on exactly what it does.

          The rail crossing is Kiwirail, who are intentionally hamstrung from investing in their network by the government and don’t have two cents to rub together.

        25. Matakana Link is likely to have a capital cost of well over $60M. That should be open by 2021. Then there are all the other road improvements like Sanspit Link, Western Collector Stage 3, etc. These will all be required in the next decade and will easily add up to your $160M. And that’s just Warkworth.

      1. East of the Tamaki river also covered with 1 blue square for Pakuranga. Nothing for Botany / Flat Bush.

        South Auckland also neglected, too much investment focus on the city fringe, not enough on the wider region

    1. I love how AT can reduce the vast majority of the North shore into one blue square that says North/Glen. and colour it blue to say they are not doing anything. Still the Northwest doesn’t even get a square. We only exist to fund these pricks.

      1. Yeah except it’s not AT and you’re not funding any of it. The Urban Cycleways Fund comes from NZTA. Classic moan job. I’m sure if they hadn’t prioritised Devonport and Belmont first and Glenfield and Takapuna second you’d bemoan how poor old Devonport gets left out once again, etc.

        To be fair the northwest barely exists yet. They are right to prioritise the existing area around Te Atatu and Henderson with 150,000 residents in it, over the bit further out with 15,000 residents.

        1. Yeah except it is AT. They decided where they would spend the money and they decided to sell it to people by making a map that ignores large parts of the Auckland population. Check out Albany, Upper Harbour, East Coast Bays, Birkenhead etc. It is all covered by one crapping little blue square called North/Glen. We can all spot bullshit when we see it. But unlike you we have more pride than to try and justify it.

        2. You’re reading the map wrong. There is one blue square for Northcote and Glenfield, showing the order in the second stage. Albany, Upper Harbour, East Coast Bays aren’t in the map at all, because they aren’t in the programme.

          Yes it is a programme focusing on a small number of specific suburbs first, especially central ones. That how you can actually get effective outcomes from a fixed budget. Much better than spending a tiny token amount in each suburb across the region and achieving nothing.

  2. Ah yes Skypath, the project that almost all but the citizen’s of Northcote Point seem to have forgotten. Let’s first of all set the admission charge, 50 cents with Hop card, and then get on and build it.

    Essentially I am saying that AT, the government, or whomever should find the funds to build it. This is obviously an environmentally friendly, congestion easing project that deserves to be built for these reasons alone. (I say environmentally friendly, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if AT found a reason to put a park n ride there).

    1. I’m a big fan of the concept of Skypath. Unfortunately the actual project build is sub-optimal and is a missed opportunity for Auckland.

      Anyway my question to you is what evidence do you have that this project will be congestion easing? Note if 100 people convert to utilising Skypath per day that would have zero measurable impact on congestion levels. I’m looking forward to your evidence.

        1. Err? They would be saving time and money by not being in congestion. And what makes you think only people that cycle everywhere would use it? I didn’t realise you had to hand in your licence and sell your car to be able to ride a bike.

          I’d like to know who are the people that have the time and lifestyle that allows them to sit in traffic for two hours a day?!

        2. *The lack of time and busy lifestyle, which is eased by cycling for some journeys*

          Fixed that for you

          Seriously, what sort of upside down world do people live in that sitting in traffic is faster or cheaper than cycling?

        3. I would certainly have much less time and be much busier if I was having to drive my children places instead of their being able to cycle.

        4. My cycle to work takes me 40-45 mins. It is important to remember that this is door to door time. When I talk to people about how long it takes to get to work by car they only account for driving time. That they have to walk 20 or more minutes from their parking spot is never taken into account.

        5. He was talking about the congestion for other people sitting in their cars.

          You know, as only people sitting behind the wheel of their 4wheeled vehicle matter.

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