This is a cross post from our friends over at Bike Auckland.

Feedback is now open on the revamped designs for Grey Lynn, which include not only neighbourhood bikeways, but great stuff for pedestrians, more trees, and quality landscaping. Here’s Auckland Transport’s project page with full info and detailed plans – and the consultation brochureFeedback is now open until Friday 14 December. 

We’ll be back with more nuanced observations, but for now we’ll keep it simple. This is beautiful, smart, proud design. It puts pedestrians first, creates safe and connected bikeways for kids and adults alike, and greens the streets by adding over 200 new trees. It’s a model for neighbourhoods across Auckland. We’re excited, and you should be, too!

So it’s time to say yes to beauty, and yes to streets that help the youngest and oldest get around. It’s time to rise above negativity and embrace positivity. YES to protected bike lanes for safety and comfort, for riders big and small! YES to raised side road crossings for a quality pedestrian environment! And YES to heaps of new trees and higher quality streets!

Ordinarily we’d have a few things we’d ask you to make a noise about to ensure AT will fix them before construction. (And if you prefer to give in-depth feedback, you can hold for a while longer until we identify any niggles we still have.) But this time, we’re confident AT is on the right track – so the main thing is to enthusiastically support this bold, exciting move towards beauty, safety, and connection.

Here’s the feedback button… go for it!

SAY YES TO GREAT DESIGNS FOR GREY LYNN

So what’s the plan? 

As we previously reported, the designs for these two neighbourhood routes have been under review all year, with input from community representatives and design work by Boffa Miskell. Now it’s time for the public to see them. After the feedback, there’ll be more design, and then – fingers crossed – construction would start in late 2019, for completion within a year. That’s three years behind schedule…

… but, ultimately, should be worth the wait. Now is a critical moment, not just for Grey Lynn, but for Aucklanders at large. If Auckland Transport gets this project right, it will restore trust in the idea that our streets can be made both safe and lovely. And then we can all start to get excited about how our neighbourhoods can be transformed in our lifetimes.

AT is looking to prioritise the works, which makes sense. Everybody wants to see the work done efficiently and effectively, with a minimum of disruption, and with maximum value for money. But let’s be clear: the cost of not delivering this project would far outweigh the cost of just cracking on and building it right. People and design must come first, because this is about realising a fresh and complete vision for healthy, beautiful streets that can then be built anywhere.

What’s in that vision? Here we go…

Route 1 – Surrey Crescent to Garnet Road

This section features two primary schools – Grey Lynn and Westmere; several clusters of local shops, including Old Mill Village, and several busy intersections that are currently very forbidding for walking and biking, including the Richmond Road/ Surrey Crescent junction, the top of the Bullock Track, and where Motions Road meets Old Mill Village.

The design will add:

  • Raised tables at side streets and at pedestrian crossings, to calm vehicle speeds.
  • New pedestrian crossings.
  • 129 new trees!! Plus more greenery and planting in general.
  • A mix of bus-stops along the way.
  • And of course, continuous bikeways on both sides of the street! On-road, these will be protected from parked cars by a raised separator – and, wherever they pass schools or shops, they’ll be raised to the level of the footpath, but separated from it, Copenhagen-style.

You can see the detailed plans and typical cross-sections over on the project page. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s what the combination might look and feel like in practice. [All renderings by Auckland Transport/ Boffa Miskell.]

Outside Westmere School: note the Copenhagen bike lanes and raised pedestrian crossing.
An example side street treatment (this is Garnet Rd and Cumberland). Note the raised, continuous footpath and bikeway, the threshold for cars, and the planted build-outs.
An example design for Old Mill Road, looking towards the Bullock Track: another raised crossing; and parking-protected bikeways with wide separators

Route 2 – Richmond Road

This section includes the West Lynn Village shops, where the works in general really weren’t up to scratch last time round, and the bikeways weren’t brilliant. Happily, the new design manages to serve all desired outcomes, straightens out the bendy bikeways (yes!) and miraculously also manages to keep as much parking as possible.

Major new features include:

  • Fixing the stormwater and ponding issues (this is an essential task, which adds to the overall cost).
  • New and relocated pedestrian crossings, with less steep access (this is crucial for accessibility).
  • 89 new trees (!!) and more planting for a greener, more vegetated streetscape.
  • Measures to slow vehicle speeds, like raised tables at all side streets.
  • Relocated bus stops, in line with traffic.
  • And, of course, continuous separated and connected bikeways, with people using the on-road sections protected by wide separators and parked cars; and adjacent to (but separate from) the footpath as they travel through the village.
An example view of West Lynn village, showing inline bus stops, new planting, and the separated (and straight!) cycle path for all ages.
An example view of Richmond Road, closer to Surrey Crescent, showing a side street raised table, and how the bike path reverts to on-road but remains protected.

So, that’s the quick overview. As we said earlier, we’ll be looking more closely at the details in the next weeks, especially the intersection designs, such as the Surrey Crescent / Richmond Road T-intersection, and the roundabout at Richmond Road / Peel Street. But the important thing is that these designs don’t need any loud calls to fix core issues.

What we need from the community at large right now is a huge vote of confidence in Auckland Transport’s new approach to neighbourhoods.

Street design can no longer be about ushering cars like VIPs through every street and then squeezing everybody who walks, bikes, or buses into what’s left over. This is a wholesale rethink that finally taps the power of great streets to make things better for everyone – with greenery and beauty, smooth travel and safety – welcoming walkers and bikers alike, and bringing local streets and shopping villages back to life.

It’s been quite a journey, but we’re nearly there. As well as embracing the big picture of what healthy streets might look like, AT has lifted the idea of ‘cycleways’ out of the gutter and into the realm of everyday transport for everyday people. Our streets shape our whole lives. This design shapes them for the better, and sets a new standard for what Aucklanders can and should expect.

We love it. Please support it and spread the word. Thanks!

HAVE YOUR SAY NOW!

Share this

16 comments

  1. I hope that raised table on the bottom image isn’t to scale. I’m not convinced that Ford’s splitter would clear it. It looks to be half the height on the cyclist’s wheel. That’s some raised table.

      1. I’d rather not further normalise monster trucks on the road! I’m doing my part by driving something small, don’t make me pay for it with my front splitter 😛

  2. Looking much better – still room for improvement though!

    Why not underground the powerlines rather than wait til the next opportunity (about 70 years, probably).

    Also, I’m so pleased to know that my favourite park bench in the city is not being touched by this project – it’s slightly out of the project scope:
    https://goo.gl/maps/1oVzFDwjMoz

    1. Powerlines – it seems that if the powerlines need to be put underground to enable a project to proceed then AT might be able to convince Vector. It increases the cost of the overall project, of course, and like the cost of planting trees and attending to stormwater, won’t be remembered. The ‘cycleway’ cost will be remembered.

      That Vector should be undergrounding the power to prevent the community having the street dug up later to do so, and to save rates by doing it all at once, is a city-wide problem. Keeping our rates low for so many decades means there many higher-priority undergrounding projects. It’s impossible to move forward projects such as this one ‘just’ to save rates on doing it in one go.

  3. Definitely make sure you get your comments of support in there, especially because the hammer-wielding lunatics are mobilising with mis-information about the project. https://www.facebook.com/367290873719100/posts/556176561497196/
    They are trying to say that turning right from a protected cycleway is unsafe and therefore you must ride safely in traffic. They also claim that the bus stop “used to be” at the community centre (Opt 5), but neglect to mention that there was also a stop up by Harvest and that moving the stop out of the town centre would totally shaft the majority of bus riders who are going to that end of town. Opt 5 would be a terrible outcome unless they also reinstated Opt 1.

      1. Yes, they also try to use global warming as their crutch when it comes to trees, but yet still support increased car dependance despite the obvious fact that one or two trees has a hell of a lot less impact on climate change than more car driving.

  4. This project is absolutely fantastic! …except for the Peel Street Roundabout. The only thing keeping it from being absolutely terrible is the protected cycle lanes around some of it.

    If you’re submitting, please ask them to at least put ped crossings over the two legs without them, and maybe also to not push the cyclists onto a shared path on the crossings. AT have learned a lot from the Dutch and they should be praised for their efforts here, but they still haven’t learned how to make a safe cycling intersection apparently!

    1. Agree this is the weakest spot, and I’ve submitted that it needs pedestrian crossings too.

      The other weak spot is near the Meola Rd roundabout. Kids walking up from Western Springs College wanting to go straight over Garnet Rd and onto William Denny should be able to do so on a crossing. It’s really great that they’re putting a new crossing on Garnet Rd 250m further along Garnet Rd, and that is probably a desire line too. But the strongest desire line is at the intersection. If reducing travel times is important, this would cut 5 minutes or more, and wouldn’t be undermined by induced traffic.

  5. This is wonderful were it to happen all over Auckland, but we know it’s not going to happen.

    Whilst 4.1 million dollar cycleway spending and other beautification works were taking place in Grey Lynn they chucked some road marking in my area. Now it is rumoured the next spend up in Grey Lynn to be in the vacinity of 20 million +? Rather a large amount of money pouring into one favoured suburb isn’t it?

    And I think the used car salesman pitch of telling the rest of us ratepayers that if we support this enthusiastically AC will feel empowered to repeat this throughout Auckland is a little patronising to say the least.

    If most of the burbs in Auckland could get half of the current greenery that Grey Lynn has we would doing well. Try driving through Flatbush, a suburb that ironically lives up to its name, there is little to none! Pretty confident bugger all cash is going to end up spent on those streets.

    I mean if some of those streets in GL get many more trees it will competing with the Amazon.

    Can I suggest the money would be far better spent on the open sewer that is Coxs creek, the public money of which would benefit not only Grey Lynn but the rest of Auckland as well!

    1. Don’t forget the expense has come because of the militant response of a few car crusaders to the cheaper version 1, which would have been adequate and they could’ve moved on to the next place.

      If you’re after bang for your buck, there is a cheaper and better way. Make the entire city – bar motorways and roads where people are separated from cars – 30 km/hr and enforce it. No entry treatments required. No raised tables. No cyclelanes.

      Well proven mode shift to active modes, reduction in emissions, decrease in public health costs, improved safety with fewer injuries and deaths, and a more liveable city. So many people shown to take up cycling that the public push for improvements.

      Then the money spent can be on places with highest priority for fixing up instead of on places with the most vitriolic self-entitled car dependents.

      1. Ironically without that militant response this vastly improved redesign wouldn’t have happened.
        I suspect a lot will be cut during detailed design due to cost.
        As an (evil ) non cyclist who drives that way twice a day I am happy with almost all of the new plans including the raised crossings etc.
        My only criticisms are the floating bus stops, the lost right turning bay to Bullock track and no design for Richmond Rd intersection.
        I assume the Meola Rd intersection will get the treatment with Pt Chev leg.

      2. Then there will be more broad support for cycle facilities because people who want to raise the speed limit on their road must get the cycleways put in first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *