If the cycleways have been feeling a bit busier than usual of late, you’re not imagining things. The latest numbers are out and confirm Auckland’s bike lanes are booming, with many counters in February recording their busiest month ever, despite there only being 28 days.
Overall, Auckland Transport’s network of 43 automated cycleway counters recorded an increase of over 23% for the month compared to February 2018. On a 12-month rolling basis the numbers are up an impressive 8.4%, making cycling probably the fastest growing mode in Auckland right now – although it is coming off a very low base.
While the overall picture is great, some individual counters are even more impressive and seeing substantially higher increases in usage. Below is a one month rolling average of each of the last few years for some of the most prominent cycleways.
- The Kingsland counter is the highest it’s ever been, averaging over 1,130 trips per day but with some individual days near the end of the month approaching 2,000 trips.
- Further up the path at Te Atatu, the growth looks even more stark.
- Tamaki Dr is our busiest cycleway/path and one that hasn’t seen a lot of growth in recent years in the first part of the year. But 2019 is looking a bit different.
The following two are notable as these are the two where AT say they have adjusted the counters “to detect scooters and other similar devices such as skateboards“. While this may lose a little fidelity on bike numbers, I think it shows well that our bike lanes are now being used by a lot of small mobility devices and that they’re something we need to be including for going forward in project assessments. The government should really get on with changing legislation to officially allow these other small mobility devices to use bike lanes.
- Nelson St is seeing the biggest increase so far with usage nearly doubling from this time last year.
- Less pronounced nut just as important is Quay St where the significant disruption is perhaps also having an impact.
These great results would certainly have been helped by February being so warm and dry. NIWA’s monthly summary says the first half of the month was part of the 9th longest recorded dry spells in Auckland’s history and in total there was only 22mm of rain for the month, just 30% of normal and well below the 185mm we had during February 2018.
The other notable factor many have been noticing is a surge in the numbers riding e-bikes.
Given March is typically the busiest month for transport, including cycleways, as you can see above, and with the weather largely holding off (touching wood), we should have some big numbers coming up for this month too.
So, where’s Hosking with this latest news?