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.