If you were to listen to some of the media, you might get the impression that cycleways are popping up all over Auckland. In reality it had been over a year since the last one opened, the Waterview Shared Path back in July 2017. That has now finally changed with the opening of Quay St cycleway extension.

The Quay Street Cycleway Extension is now open for people on bikes to ride safety into the city centre from east Auckland. The project extends the original two-way Quay Street Cycleway from Plumer Street, past Spark Arena, to near The Strand intersection.

The 800m cycleway safely separates people on bikes from traffic and gives people walking and running their own dedicated space.

AT’s Manager Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Kathryn King says the cycleway extension is an important addition to the city centre’s cycling infrastructure.

“The Quay Street Cycleway is one of Auckland’s busiest. In 2017 we recorded 299,544 trips at our totem counter near the Ferry Building, and this year we are averaging 878 trips per day. The cycleway extension will encourage even more people to ride bikes, and we look forward to seeing more people giving bike riding a go as the weather improves.”

The project includes a floating bus stop with pedestrian crossings across the cycleway opposite Tapora Street, and landscaping and planting has been done by Ngāti Whātua Orākei.

Councillor Chris Darby, Auckland Council’s cycling champion says “it is important that we connect up our cycling network to make these trips safer and easier, so that even more people can join the bike revolution. This project is a vital step towards a citywide cycling network.”

The project is part of the Urban Cycleways Programme, funded in partnership with NZTA.

NZTA’s Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships for the Upper North Island, says this is an exciting project and it will not only make it easier and safer for people to cycle it will help to encourage cycling as an everyday travel choice.

“The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are continuing to work together to substantially improve Auckland’s cycling network to encourage more people to cycle, more often and safely to help make Auckland a more liveable, vibrant and thriving city.”

It’s good to finally see this section open, especially after the disruption the project suffered at the beginning of the year. I’m also pretty sure that all of the Pohutukawa that were moved are still alive.

One of the things that makes this project unique is that for (I think) the first time we’re splitting out a shared path into walking and cycling uses.

I think one of, if not the biggest benefit of these works is in separating out pedestrians and cyclists from the old shared path. The plan is to eventually extend this further along Tamaki Dr to at least Ngapipi Rd where it will join the planned Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path.

As AT note, Quay St is one of the busiest routes in Auckland for cycling, second only to Tamaki Dr which it connects to. In the 12 months to the end of August, around 400,000 bikes were recorded on Quay St opposite Spark Arena and the counter (with the display) picked up 330,000 bikes further west near the Ferry Building (shown below)

It’s also worth pointing out that cycling is growing well all over Auckland. At all of Auckland Transport’s automated counters with two or more years of data, growth in cyclists is sitting at 6.3%

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next opening as the long awaited Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway project is listed on ATs website as being due to be completed in October.

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  1. Great to see and once there is a more visible use of some of the more quiet cycleways, the haters may quieten down a bit.

    Yes didn’t click about that: “One of the things that makes this project unique is that for (I think) the first time we’re splitting out a shared path into walking and cycling uses.”

  2. It’s really nice. Also quite well leveled despite being made of concrete (other concrete one along NW around St Lukes rd is quite bumpy).

  3. I would say the Mt Albert town upgrade can count as “a cycleway opening”? But then that was a major town centre overhaul so we’re back to the point made earlier this week of a “healthy streets” vs “cyclepath” distinction.

  4. Why is the GI cycleway not following the rail line across Hobson Bay.?

    If it has to go up Ngapipi Rd it’s a bad joke, narrow, usually damp and slippery, busy with heavy trucks as well and very hilly.

      1. I watched the installation of some new boards on the NW cycleway near Carrington on Friday. They are fibre cement sheets that have strong fibres at right angles to the sheet plane – seemed really good, really grippy. I suppose this is what they’ll use on the new route here in the Orakei Basin. Hopefully it’ll stand up to the extreme environment there. It certainly looked promising. Anyone know if this is a new product or just me coming up to speed because I happened to be there at the right time?

      1. FIFY: ….because of very successful lobbying by the wealthy members of the Outboard Boating Club of the conservative Eastern Suburbs politicians – Des Simpson chiefly.
        Lobbying part of which is based on their desire to retain use of public land alongside the railway; land the OBC member’s like very much having to park lovely lovely powerboats on.

  5. It’s a good project and nice to ride, but I’m surprised it was so far up the priority list, the existing shared path wasn’t great, but it was perfectly usable. We ahven’t added a single extra meter to the network with this project.

    How this got funded when phase 2 of GI to Tamaki which has clear safety gains and is transformational in terms of a completed network got pushed two years is beyond comprehension. Another example of city centre first.

    Also It’d be nice if we could somehow discourage people walking up the new cycle way, all the green paint doesn’t seem to have done the trick.

    1. The existing shared path isn’t great at all with the current user volumes. If you had built Phase 2 of GI2T first then that would have increased even more the numbers feeding in and using the existing path, making it even more of a nightmare. So it makes absolute sense to start from the centre outwards.

      1. I disagree, imperfect though the existing quay street path was, it was safe.

        The lack of phase 2 of GI2T forces people down Kepa Rd which is dangerous. Also, it leaves the phase 1 of the path, orphaned and almost entirely pointless

      2. Building centre out is always more logical within reason. Not leaving phase 1 orphaned for a while more is not a compelling reason enough to not do the Quay St extension first. Really it comes down to other logistical & practical timing reasons as well I’m sure.

    2. Yeah agree to some extent. I occasionally cycle along there for commuting and find it tricky.
      People all over the path and I don’t like yelling at people. Maybe I’ll just use an airhorn.
      Also the speed differential on a narrow path can be dangerous, but hardly lethal.

      I think the problem is more the volumes of cyclists using that stretch of road. Just so many so better to deal with it now.

    1. It would be hard to access everything on the southern side of the road without going on the road at some point. Sometimes drivers don’t really think about access, do they? I guess it’s one of the socially damaging side effects of hopping into a car and driving through areas rather than being part of them.

      I’m beginning to wonder if one step to getting a driving license should be being tested as a cyclist on a busy road, in a trishaw if physically unable to cycle.

    2. Maybe ban cars from the footpaths first?
      Waterloo Quadrant, Anzac Avenue are shocking. I often have to walk on the road as cars are blocking the footpath.

      1. Parking on footpaths is already banned, issue just needs enforcement. Councils are scared to take action because there might be a backlash from the entitled over-privileged motorists.

        Cars should be on the CARriageway (where they belong)

      1. That’s daft. Motorways aren’t built to take all the cars off the road. But cycleways are. Though I’ve seen many cyclists still using the road when there’s a perfectly good cycleway right next to them.

        1. No, they’re built to provide a safe alternative. Taking everyone off the road on a bike was never part of any plan.

        2. I’ve seen plenty of motorists using a road when there is a perfectly good motorway next to them. It’s almost like the dedicated infrastructure isn’t perfect for every journey…

        3. His comment actually had nuggets of wisdom, if you deliberately misinterpret it.

          “Motorways aren’t built to take the cars off the road.” Correct, they put cars on the road – that’s called induced demand.

          “Cycleways are.” Correct, providing cycleways gives people options so they don’t have to drive, and those that take traffic road space to do so, most definitely take cars off the road – that’s called traffic evaporation.

    1. Glacial progress, isn’t it?

      Why do they split it in to small sections and consult on them individually? It almost like they deliberately want to stall things. Same tedious hate filled bigoted rubbish every time…

      Consult on a network, and then do it, rather than every last detail. And then build them in phases that are connected, rather than disjoint bits here and there. And from the centre outwards.

    2. The new Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road cycleway is good (as far as it currently goes). Lots of space re-claimed from unofficial parking and encroachment on to the road reserve.

  6. Would be good if you can get an update on the Glen Innes to City path as work has stalled. We were originally told the whole thing would be open this year.

  7. Matt you may have missed the opening of the Kirbride shared path on June 22 this year. Some 2 km of new cycleway connecting to the airport cycleway on GBMD. There is plenty of other cycleway activity outside of the CBD

  8. Looks great. They always seem to do the easy sections, then leave out the bottlenecks.

    Just make Ms King the CEO and be done with it. We’ll have a connected cycle network in no time. I’ve seen her on her bike about town a few times and she looks exactly like that. Normal clothes and high heels and everything. Just a normal person on a bike. I bet the rest of the board/exec still think that sometimes using the bus is some radical, provocative statement about how progressive the leadership all are.

    1. She’s certainly a good face for the organisation with her sensible messages and “walk the talk” approach. She is undoubtedly too busy to be CEO, but Shane needs to be checking in with her at every stage, that’s for sure.

  9. As an occassional runner along Quay St and Tamaki Drive, this is good news. It’ll be great when it goes all the way down to St. Heliers.

    When I last ran down Quay St a few weeks back, the cycleway was pretty much already complete and in use. However, there were still several cyclists hooning down the footpath and, incredibly, some kind of motor bike driving down the cycleway.

    1. RE: pedestrians walking on the Cycleway… this is a common problem. Would it not be worth trialling a ‘ghostbusters’ style stencil (with a pedestrian icon) at various points on the path to deter walkers? Maybe also put a pedestrian icon on the footpath with a green tick?

      This might seem childish but maybe it will stop the confusion since I see pedestrians on cyclepaths all the time (usually in the city). Just until everyone gets used to this ‘new’ cycle path culture thing…

  10. Ian McKinnon completed in October, yeah right.

    At announced a week ago :

    “Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway goes on road
    The next stage of the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway is now in construction as we build the separated cycleway from Piwakawaka Street to Upper Queen Street.”

    Now unless “now in construction” is common parlance for “we have stashed a few cones and signs in the weeds behind the armco” i would have to say they have misspoken.

    1. Well it’s now a month since they said the on road construction was starting. Still nothing has started on the road, progress being made on the first off road stage though.

      They’ve had signs up for a week advertising that the lanes were changing today. Still nothing has changed. Maybe they will do it overnight.

      ian mckinnon cycleway complete on schedule looking as unlikely as ever

      1. The on road works are marking and bolting down concrete blocks. It could (and probably will) be done over a single night, but AT will have to get all of the other ducks in a row. The on road section will be the last bit done so that people don’t try to cycle down it only to find themselves midblock with nowhere to go.

        1. Agree it should be possible to do in a night, given that it’s all prefabricated offsite. But given their media releases said on road works were going to start 6 weeks ago, and given they have signs up for a week that yesterday 6/10 still said it was going to happen on 4/10, and still nothing, I don’t have much hope that they will do it all overnight one night and meet the project completion date.

        2. Cones out today, game on!

          On road works started 6 weeks late, but they have still got 3 weeks to 1) place prefabricated contrete islands on the road.
          2) paint new lane markings.
          3) push out the update traffic light phasing.

          Im giving 50/50 odds they make it.

        3. Will you give us a running commentary, Dan? How about, if it’s finished by the end of October, you get a treat. If it’s not, you need to play a trick on us?

        4. They’ve started work on the huge drains in the gutter, i guess they need to smooth those out before the road can be a cycleway, they are a real hazard cycling that way at the moment.. More work than i thought.

          Had a pleasant cycle today with the coned off lane all to myself. Massive queue of traffic backed up to the fantail st turnoff. The queue will disappear again once the remarkings are done and it’s back to two lanes citybound.

          Treat: council funds the missing half of the cycleway budget
          Trick: council spends all the cycleway funding on street-scape upgrades for posh inner city town centres and no cycleways get built.

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