Auckland Council took over the Queen St changes some time ago after seemingly getting frustrated at Auckland Transports inability to do its job. They’ve been behind the recent changes between Customs and Shortland St and yesterday released the latest in their plans for improving Queen St. The good news is they’re getting better but the bad news is that in a few key areas they’re still not good enough.
Following the needless and premature removal of the temporary COVID works and the upgrade to the section north of Shortland St, the Council asked for feedback on what was done. Separately they proposed to do the rest of Queen St in stages in a similar design and with consultations at every step.
We questioned why the designs made no provision for bikes and scooters, despite it being considered a major cycling route in Auckland Transport’s strategic plans. We also questioned the process to consult at each and every step which would only result in every consultation fatigue with every change ending up a hard-fought battle and why officials kept resisting their own plans which call for cars to be removed from Queen St.
We weren’t alone in thinking this with these three issues and comments about the materials used so far ended up being the four key themes in the feedback received by the council. Somewhat positively, those that were the least satisfied with the changes were drivers which means at least part of it is working.
In response to the feedback, the council have decided to:
- Complete the rest of Queen St as a single project
- introduce a new design and include provision for bikes/scooters in the design
- Put some measures in place to reduce cars being on Queen St
Looking at these in more detail.
There’s not too much to say about the first one. It’s good that they’ll be delivering it as a single project, however they say the physical work will begin later this year and take till September next year to complete.
The new design will use pavers to fill in the existing loading/parking bays, like on the first section, but will then extend them out to cover a couple of the traffic lanes too instead of the High Street style boardwalk. Though there will still be some loading zones and of course bus stops.
The main feature of the design is substantially wider footpaths, giving all people on foot and on wheels designated spaces to ensure they co-exist safely.
From Shortland Street to Wellesley Street on the eastern footpath, the new layout enables:
- pedestrians to continue to use the existing footpath, closest to the shops, free of scooters, bikes and people moving quickly on foot.
- people using more active modes – described as ‘slow wheels and fast feet’ – to use a 3.5 metre multi-use path along the strip closest to the carriageway.
A tactile rim, contrasting colour, a change in paving texture, planting, street furniture and some surface signage will all delineate the multi-use path for the safe movement of slow cyclists, scooters and people moving quickly on foot, away from slower moving pedestrians enjoying the shops and activities in the street.
Cyclists travelling fast will be expected to use the road.
The main problem with the design is the spared space. What even are ‘fast feet’. How many kilometres an hour do I have to be walking to be considered a fast walker? It all just sounds like officials and/or designers trying to find something to use justify a bad decision. The comment below is from one of the designers involved.
“Managing the potential conflict between pedestrians and wheeled mobility is challenging the minds of urban designers around the world. Seeking to address it in this way in Auckland’s premier street, in my view, is a good solution,”
I don’t get why we keep trying to reinvent the wheel with this stuff. These types of issues were solved long ago and design guidelines all around the world, and even Auckland Transport’s design manual say that shared paths aren’t appropriate. The image below is from AT’s design manual. Queen St is one of if not the busiest pedestrian street in the country and sees 2000-4000 pedestrian movements an hour during the daytime even post-Covid.
We’ve even got local examples of what happens when we don’t do follow guidelines like this. The cycleway on Beach Rd is often full of pedestrians because it looks like a footpath. Meanwhile, the recent upgrade of Quay St still has temporary fences as well as ugly orange cones, bollards and signs to help keep pedestrians off the cycleway, despite it having contrasting paving and furniture etc.
I have heard the argument that this needs to be a shared path due to legislation banning scooters from bike lanes. But work is currently under way by Waka Kotahi to change that and that’s likely to be completed by the time this upgrade is completed.
One example of how to do it is this gorgeous new golden cycleway in Rotterdam. There’s only a slight kerb so it’s near level but that combined with the colour makes it clear it’s a space for bikes while still looking beautiful. The gold would even work well for Auckland’s ‘Golden Mile’.
The Coolsingel is the boulevard of @Rotterdam.
It recently underwent a three year €58 million "road diet", with two of its automobile lanes transformed into a walking and cycling promenade, including this iconic 4.5 meter wide cycle track.
Full gallery: https://t.co/dTZ9khTple pic.twitter.com/aZOYegxkce
— Dutch Cycling Embassy (@Cycling_Embassy) March 31, 2021
Here’s a look at the proposed cross section for Queen St.
And a document showing the design
Click to access Queen-St-zones-3-5-design-doc.pdf
Interestingly for the first time they’ve decided not to consult on the design, only only the loading zone designations and the changes below.
Reducing Cars on Queen St
The second change is to reduce – but frustratingly not remove, cars in Queen St.
We are aiming to achieve this in a few ways:
- We are proposing to stop private cars travelling the length of Queen Street by introducing an Essential Vehicles Area (EVA) between Wellesley and Wakefield Streets. This would prevent end-to-end through traffic while still supporting the efficient delivery of goods. Buses, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, goods and service vehicles, and emergency vehicles will be able to use the area as normal. At the southern boundary of the EVA, four lanes will reduce to three between Wakefield Street and Mayoral Drive, allowing a pick-up and drop-off area outside the Town Hall.
- Going forward, there will be no general parking on Queen Street. We are proposing to introduce 24/7 loading and servicing along the length of the project area, and mobility parking around the arts precinct.
- We are proposing to remove the right-hand turn out of High Street at Victoria Street East, to stop traffic turning onto Queen Street as a way to get through the city.
- We are also proposing to make a change to the existing pedestrian mall at Vulcan Lane, and to create two short sections of pedestrian mall at Fort Street and Lorne Street. This will further prioritise pedestrians and reduce traffic into Queen Street.
The Vulcan Lane changes are more just a legal formality while the Fort St changes just formalises the new pocket park that has been installed.
The EVA is a good idea and will help remove some traffic. It also sounds like Auckland Transport will enforce it using their automated cameras like they do on many bus lanes now. There will apparently be processes in place as to what qualifies as an essential vehicle.
The downside is there will still be access to Queen St from Wellesley, Wyndham, Shortland and Customs Streets. At the very least they should look to add a second EVA at the Customs St end. When I asked about this at a briefing recently, I was told they couldn’t do one there as it hadn’t been done before, which is odd.
More concerning though is they are consulting on two options for EVA. One would see it operate 24/7 but the other only 6am to 11pm which would mean a free for all at night. The argument for that that the businesses aren’t there at night but that ignores the thousands of the residents who live in and around Queen St.
Finally, the City Centre Master Plan also calls for the Queen St valley to become a Zero Emissions Area. There is nothing in this plan that suggests that will be implemented or part of the conditions for essential vehicles.
As mentioned earlier, there is some consultation but it is limited to the network changes, EVA , and loading zones. They do however ask for other comments so it would be good to still push for a dedicated cycleway.
No good reason for cars to be there yet the same desperate attempts to carve out excuses to grant access that will be exploited by car drivers as we see all across town
Just ban cars the whole length, as agreed by the Council’s Planning Committee like 2 years ago.
Just. Do. It.
The cost of 9 or 10 months work will be many $miilions. AT rarely do a pop up job. If light rail is decided on Queen St there will be a new plan coming.
It is ok to have part of a street in Auckland where there are no cars. Just one small area in our sprawling city
I just don’t get it. Let’s say LR construction starts in 2 years, why do all this (and cause business disruption) just for probably one year of use? Yet plenty of other city centre roads desperately need to be improved and there are no funds to do it. Why not at least wait for the LR decision which is before the end of the year?
Because it just becomes another reason to defer and this is years overdue already
But it is a bloody good reason. And its not like Queen Street was that bad as it was. And we don’t even have any tourists to show off to. Maybe divert the funds and attention somewhere else in the city for a year or two.
“the City Centre Master Plan also calls for the Queen St valley to become a Zero Emissions Area”: another very good reason not to dig it all up twice in 2 years.
There are several things they can do now as a step towards the final plans when Light Rail comes. Since they’re bringing in vehicle restrictions, this is the time to start limiting vehicles based on emissions.
And other things they can do now to test to see if we want it for the final design. For example, they have an unsymmetrical design in this project. I imagine most people won’t like it, but it’s worth trying. Some high streets with light rail overseas have a bidirectional cycle lane next to the light rail tracks. Some have a unidirectional cycle lane either side of the light rail tracks. To me it doesn’t matter that much; I’m just after functionality. So let’s try it now to know.
Surely its two phases:
1) stop private vehicle access. Buses and emergency vehicles only, running on outer lanes. Delivery vehicles at set times. Minimal viable product being planter boxes up the middle lanes for bi-directional bicycles, e-scooters, etc. Little $$ spent to get it up and running.
2) upon LR decision, implement transit mall with with main construction taking place at this point. LR shifts to middle lanes, footpaths widened, cycleway on each side of the street.
Mmmm….Underground infrastructure might have to be taken from one part of the street, and put into another part at the same time…? Otherwise seems a goodish idea. Don’t really want to be left with a central running cycleway if LR doesn’t go ahead, though…
“Don’t really want to be left with a central running cycleway if LR doesn’t go ahead, though…”
Implement the same but it would be buses running down the center instead of LR, if LR gets scuppered or a different route is chosen. Same 2-phased approach.
The Rotterdam example shows what cycle lanes should be: wide enough for two people to cycle pretty much care free side by side, having a conversation exactly like two people walking together.
Literally none of Auckland’s shared paths of cycle lanes allow you to do this reliably. Even the massive pink path. Why don’t the Council or AT get this?
I love that pic of the Rotterdam example, it really makes cycling look accessible and fun! I’m shocked at how stringent the test is for when shared use paths are no longer appropriate (barely more than one person per minute should be a departure from the standard). I think there would be very few shared use paths that meet their own standard. So there should be urgent funding for upgrades then, imagine if, say, 90% of their roads didn’t meet the standards…
Much of what’s being built across Auckland by way of “cycling infrastructure” is just woefully inadequate – poor design, insufficient space.
We have to move on from shared paths. Many of those recently built don’t allow for relaxed cycling (at modest pace) even in single file because you often have to watch for and meander through people and dogs walking in both directions. They may be great paths for walking or running, but they’re hopeless for cycling. Even wide shared paths are like this when they get busy – the Pink Path and Orakei Basin Boardwalk for example, neither of which has any form of delineation for cycling and walking (unlike for example, the Brisbane river paths or Hagley Park in Christchurch). And most of our shared paths are much narrower.
Even where separated cycle paths have been built, these just about cater for the levels of cycling we have today and have nothing like the space required to be future proof. Quay Street is a great example, or the new lanes on Tamaki Drive between Mechanics Bay and Ngapipi. They’re two-way cycle lanes built to the width of a one-way cycle lane. Or K-Road – which now has a pair of one-way cycle lanes, but they’re narrow and compromised.
Where’s the bigger picture thinking?
Do we have to tolerate this for another 20 years?
Yes the Rotterdam lane is nice alright, we need to use colour here too.
“I have heard the argument that this needs to be a shared path due to legislation banning scooters from bike lanes.”
This is complete and utter bollocks. I think these designers latch onto any old legal reckon to support their decision.
I think it’s more a matter of risk-aversion. With risk in this case being a grab bag of concerns: legal, job security, reputation, internal culture, etc…
WK getting their act together and allowing scooters in the bike lanes would be a bloody good start.
Also, perhaps we have too many shared paths. Perhaps some could be converted to bike lanes. The first block of Beach Rd being a prime candidate.
“I think it’s more a matter of risk-aversion” hmmm… I think Heidi said it better: “complete and utter bollocks”. Professional incompetence if you like.
not sure what the issue is.
Lower Hutt has a perking-protected cycleway that is signposted as “Includes E-scooters”
That sign isn’t legal. Road signs must comply with the TCD Rule, and regulatory ones with the red border must be listed in the rule.
AT are correct that e-scoorters can’t use cycle lanes or cycle paths where there is a footpath or roadway available. However, the solution is for AT to design cycleways under the assumption that e-scooters will use them.
The real issue is that AT have said that they can’t build a cycle path because e-scooters would ride on the footpath, and solved that by also putting cyclists on the footpath.
“AT are correct that e-scooters can’t use cycle lanes or cycle paths where there is a footpath or roadway available.”
Is this coming from AT, SB? I thought it was the Council’s designers.
Read Section 11.1A of the LT RUR. E-scooters are wheeled recreational devices and these are listed as being able to use cycle paths. And the definition of cycle paths I’ve given below.
“Driver means a person driving a vehicle; and includes the rider of an all-terrain vehicle, a motor cycle, a moped, a cycle, a mobility device or a wheeled recreational device.” (Road User Rule)
“A driver, when driving, must not use[…]a special vehicle lane reserved for a specific class or classes of vehicle unless the vehicle is one of the class or classes of vehicle for which the lane is reserved; or the vehicle is an emergency vehicle being used in an emergency.” (Road User Rule)
“cycle lane means a longitudinal strip within a roadway designed for the passage of cycles
cycle path means part of the road that is physically separated from the roadway that is intended for the use of cyclists, but which may be used also by pedestrians; and includes a cycle track formed under section 332 of the Local Government Act 1974” (Road User Rule)
This is coming from the MoT and Waka Kotahi, who recognised the issue and prepared part of the accessible streets package in response. This is a huge issue in our transport law and needs to be urgently resolve.
That’s about special vehicle lanes, and applies to the Lower Hutt example (presumably they’ve decided to state that escooters are one of the vehicles for which the lane is reserved – It’s a straight forward solution until the Accessible Streets legislation is passed).
It doesn’t apply to Queen St where a cycle path can be used, which uses part of the road that is physically separated from the roadway.
Look at the definition of lane.
Sorry, you are correct that wheeled recreational devices may be driven on a cycle path. I had gotten my wires crossed.
Thanks, Sailor Boy.
Thanks. That’s interesting, because those are just painted lanes, too. “Cycle lanes” are the harder one to allow scooters in – and they’ve clearly allowed it there. “Cycle paths” however, are super easy.
The Accessible Streets documentation made this clear and I’ve double checked it. The Land Transport Road User Rules defines a cycle path, and this is what they can and should achieve on Queen St:
(a) means part of the road that is physically separated from the roadway that is intended for the use of cyclists, but which may be used also by pedestrians;
And it goes on to say:
(4) If a sign or marking on the path gives priority to pedestrians or cyclists, the following rules apply on the path:
(a) pedestrians, riders of mobility devices, and riders of wheeled recreational devices must give priority to cyclists if the sign or marking gives priority to cyclists:
(b) cyclists must give priority to pedestrians, riders of mobility devices, and riders of wheeled recreational devices if the sign or marking gives priority to pedestrians:
Auckland, the world’s most legally challengeable city [council].
Jesus, some competence would be good.
Heidi, you’ve crossed wites there. Half of your quotes are in relation to cycle paths, and half are in relation to shared paths. Pedestrians may use cycle paths if it is impracticable to use the footpath, but people on e-scooters aren’t pedestrians under the law.
No, Sailor Boy!! Read it again. It applies.
11.1A Use of shared path
(1) This clause applies to a path that—
(a) may be a cycle path, a footpath, or some other kind of path; and
Email me. This is so straight forward and arguing about it is putting unnecessary doubt here. Do I have to go and pay for another legal opinion?
At the time of the Accessible Streets consultation, it was well known that the stupidity was that cycle lanes didn’t allow scooters, but cycle paths did. And that needed resolving. But you and the Council seem to have forgotten the cycle path bit – and this is what is needed on Queen St now.
Look at Table 1B in the Accessible Streets documentation. It gives a tick to wheeled recreational devices being able to use cycle paths.
Yep, these would be bike paths not bike lanes as they are physically separated from traffic. Scooters are allowed in bike paths
Yes, and Simon Wilson has possibly located the source of the errors in this article https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/loading-drop-offs-cycling-fewer-cars-queen-st-plans-unveiled-at-last/TVJ2XAB6T6ED56H6BE5AJBFCKI/:
“The multi-use lane is not a legal cycleway.” – But it could be a legal cycle path, which is what it should be.
“calling something a cycleway raises a number of legal and technical issues that conflict with the requirements on Queen St.” – Whatever. But so does providing an unsafe shared path.
“e-scooters are still not legally allowed to use dedicated cycleways, although that rule is not enforced.” – Did Council tell him this in error, or did he tell Council this in error? Either way it needs setting right.
Another GA article on WTF. Specifically the question :-
” why the designs made no provision for bikes and scooters? ”
GA seems to be the home of critique of what could have been.
Auckland Council – Get your CCO’s sorted or bring on the revolucion.
Someone was killed on Queen St in 2019 in the early hours of the morning in a hit and run by a driver who then failed a breath test. This could’ve happened on any part of the street.
If they have the area designated as an Essential Vehicles Area only during the day, and then it’s free-for-all at night, spaces that people have become accustomed to as extremely-low-traffic suddenly become regular streets.
So just as:
– difficulties with visibility increase,
– people become tired (which causes crashes to the same sort of degree that drink driving does)
– we have more drink-affected decision-making and behaviour
People ALSO have to contend with the use of the space regressing into car space.
Why would you put people at risk like that?
The “fast feet” stands out as particularly bizarre. If you are running at 10-15kph, you are still much slower than an average cyclist at say 25kph. Also you can easily avoid slower pedestrians if you are also on foot. If you are a fast cyclist who goes 45kph, well you’re exceeding the speed limit on Queen Street anyway. I have no idea who they expect to self-select into the shared use path.
Why not just have a path for pedestrians, a path for non-motorised vehicles, then (if they must) lanes for motorised traffic? It would take the same space and be far less confusing. I also agree that the change in colour and texture is insufficient between the three areas (I suspect vision impaired people weren’t consulted).
A brief glance at travel speeds reveals that “fast feet” does not stand up to scrutiny. There is practically zero overlap between the speed of the fastest walker and the slowest cyclist.
What a useful video! Thanks for sharing it. I’m pleased to see my uneducated musings were roughly correct. Which really does raise the question of how every person with clout in AT and AC is unaware of this issue.
Fantastic, that really is an excellent video. Why is this do hard for our transport designers to understand?
Great video. Importantly, the UK has already struggled through this. A decade ago they were, too, under the misconception that high street movement corridors should be shared paths.
They learnt, and changed. The most recent UK cycling infrastructure experts coming to NZ are bringing good practice. But those UK designers who came out to NZ before the change are stuck in outdated design ideas.
Same thing happened with mini roundabouts in the 1980s. The UK put them in anywhere they could and just as they figured out they were dangerous on busy roads and started to pull them out NZ started to put them in. What do you know they were a problem here too.
I’d call 25km/h a fast cyclist, and they should be on the road, which has a 30km/h speed limit.
Fast feet is clarified by the pictograms painted in the lane, it means runners. E-scooters are limited to 15km/h in the CBD so assume this is the intended speed limit for these lanes.
After initially not liking the look of it I think its a reasonable compromise to separate and make safer:
-30km/h road lanes for delivery vehicles, fire engines and fast cyclists
-15km/h e-scooter, runners and slower cyclist lanes
We’ve adopted Vision Zero. We don’t design for people on bikes to mix with traffic any more. Bottom line. And this is a movement corridor as well as a place.
Sorry, fingers typed the wrong words. We don’t design for people on bikes to mix with buses any more. They are not compatible.
The number of people running up and down Queen St is likely to be minimal.
Minimal but not zero, Brutus. In those dim, dark ages pre-Covid, when I worked in the CBD with thousands of others, I would regularly (two to three times a week) go for a jog at lunchtime. My route usually started and finished with a couple of blocks on Queen St. It would be rare for me not to pass another jogger in that time (lunchtime, remember).
I’m not fast – no faster than your average short bloke in his 50s – but my speed along Queen St, where I was going slower than usual in deference to the other pedestrians, was 6 min / km or 10kph. Had a lane for “slow wheels or fast feet” existed, I would have used it, going around 5 min 20 / km or 13kph. This seems reasonable to me; as others have pointed out, the speed limit on Queen St is now 30kph and scooters are supposedly limited to 15kph (is that right?) so, assuming that “fast wheels” stay on the road – and most do, in my experience – my “fast feet” would have fitted in well with the “slow wheels” in this environment.
In places where cycling is common the average speed of cyclists is 15 to 18 km/h.
Over here the speed is probably faster because riding slowly in car traffic is so stressful.
“Fast feet” Sounds like a cop out to try to justify sub-optimal design under the banner of kiwi ingenuity lmfao
Yes I laughed pretty hard and now we’re all playing “Fast Feet” [running away from each other, usually after some minor cheekiness] in my household.
It looks like the actual footpath is no wider than what is already there. This is just BS, some temporary crap dumped in to reallocate a small space from one group of people passing through to another group just passing through.
Here’s a thought why not widen the actual footpaths and put in place a permanent pedestrianised street with proper planting and street furniture. Oh that’s right they can’t allow anything in there that makes it harder to shove in a mythical train set. Once again light rail is ruining things.
light rail iscars are ruining things.
It is hardly cars doing this. The strategy appears to be to keep buses on Queen St even after Albert St is finished so there will be space for light rail. Imagine if they pedestrianised Queen Street and made it a busy public space without bus noise and without a 7m space up the middle used for transport. After seeing that the public would never allow them to stuff trams up the middle.
There are three excellent chances of not getting light rail on Queen St:
They choose light metro (and why wouldn’t they? It’ll cost more and deliver less) and actually do it.
They choose light metro and the country’s backlash to the cost means they don’t actually do it.
They dither until there’s a change of government who put it into the third decade.
If either of these come to pass, Queen St will be left in this state until they find a whole lot of money to change it. Money that’ll be harder and harder to come by as we realise we actually can’t keep putting it all on the kids’ tab.
By third decade I guess you mean the ATAP meaning of third decade (something people want but we are never going to do), rather than the actual third decade. Auckland City council Voted for light rail in Queen Street in I think 1989. So we are already in the fourth decade, three more from now is the seventh decade.
Seven is a magical number.
I’m getting a bit concerned Heidi, at your persistent theme that on-street light rail is “better than” light or conventional metro. I appreciate that Women in Urbanism has expressed a preference for access into vehicles directly from the street, not via separate stations.
However the roles that on-street and segregated public-transport fulfill are actually quite different. On-street LRT is generally limited to shorter-distance, lower-demand routes as a better alternative to buses in areas that warrant it. Segregated metro is more suited to major arterial routes serving population centers further afield. Many cities in the world have both systems fulfilling these distinct roles. Sure there are examples of cross-over, but it is fallacious to claim that one size can fit all. I believe LRT in Queen Street would be ideal for a cross isthmus service to Onehunga or even Mangere, via Dominion Road. I do not believe it should be considered for arterial services to the North Shore or North West. If on-street LRT was really the panacea for all urban transport, why do so many cities persist with metro services? Do you think the London Underground would be better replaced by LRT in the streets above? Do women not happily use segregated rail services all over the world, and the ease-of-access to them depends very much on how they have been designed?
“I believe LRT in Queen Street would be ideal for a cross isthmus service to Onehunga or even Mangere, via Dominion Road. I do not believe it should be considered for arterial services to the North Shore or North West.”
We have the capacity on street to cope for decades. Why spend another $4b on a second CRL when we can run on street in the city, but still run as a metro on 90% of the route? Even at 30km/h, it only takes 4 minutes to traverse the city centre. Is it worth paying $4b to save 4 minutes?
Sailor boy it depends on the quality of the corridor, not very much distance yes, but quite a few sets of lights. If they get that right, then it could be fine for a few decades, but they may not. There is more room for error here.
Plus there are advantages to doing the whole route grade separated that you cant get with even having it 99% grade separated. Namely automated running, and the remarkably higher frequencies that can bring.
I’m not saying its worth it, but the trade off isn’t so easy.
Say an extra few billion (I don’t think it would be so expensive as CRL) for much better frequencies, higher capacity, and perhaps savings on other parts of the line, eg with the better frequencies and fully automated you could make the platforms, system wide much shorter, and save on that station building cost. Ongoing savings from having less staff.
Dave B (Wellington) , The only place that I have seen in the World with segregation for Woman is the metro in India as most woman there don’t trust the their Male counterparts , and I’m not sure about the Muslin countries in the Middle East .
“Plus there are advantages to doing the whole route grade separated that you cant get with even having it 99% grade separated. Namely automated running, and the remarkably higher frequencies that can bring.”
But the frequencies aren’t remarkably higher. You can get 2-3 minutes on street with full signal pre-emption. The only reason to go to automation is opex reduction and capacity.
Sailor Boy, the rationale for my concerns about intensive LRT in Queen St is more about capacity than speed, though speed is a factor also. The following reply that I wrote to you elsewhere is pertinent here also: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2021/08/30/how-wed-build-light-rail/#comment-460965
David L, by “segregation” I was referring to segregation of the rail route and its stations from public streets and their various traffics. I was not meaning segregation of stations by gender, though I can see why you may have construed this from my ambiguous wording above in relation to “Women in Urbanism . . . preference . . . not via separate stations”. I meant metro stations which are separate from the street, as opposed to LRT stops which are on the street.
I think you have grossly overestimate how ‘intensive’ a 3 minute frequency is. If a 100m vehicle is doing 30km/h at it’s top speed it takes 12s to pass you. There would be 20 vehicles per hour. There are several streets in Melbourne that have trams running at a significantly higher frequency than this (admittedly with smaller vehicles). The thing is, you local cul de sac probably has more vehicle movements than that.
Dave, I believe, that both Light Rail and Light Metro have their place. My recent comments have been about the specific project of CC2M, I didn’t mean for them to be generalised to any corridor.
I guess what I’m saying is that from the gender perspective explored by WiU, CPTED issues must be considered closely at the mode choice stage, not as a tack on afterwards. Which one is better – even from a CPTED perspective – depends on the context and corridor in question. Do these thoughts of mine make sense to you?:
The traffic in our present transport corridors create enormous severance problems. Where we can resolve that at street level by civilising the street, we should. This means using Light Rail, cycle lanes and improved footpaths and trees.
But there are places where Light Metro can help resolve the severance and improve CPTED and access better than Light Rail can, even with the differences in level that grade separation involve. This is generally where:
– there is no street to civilise anyway (so no street to prefer to be on while waiting for the tram),
– a large amount of severance will remain anyway (eg on a motorway) so grade separation is needed or preferable, or
– the differences in level between station and street will remain anyway (eg between a motorway level station platform and an overbridge).
I believe Light Metro can improve CPTED and accessibility in these places with more bridges / lifts / elevators / people present / lighting etc, whereas street-level Light Rail would be hopeless. NW is an excellent example.
There will also be stages in Auckland’s development when upgrading from Light Rail (or from BRT) to Light Metro will be appropriate, due to growing capacity constraints. (If people tried to accommodate more trips using Light Rail beyond its general capacity, additional severance would be one of the issues created, which wouldn’t serve women well either).
I was really meaning the above response to miffy’s “mythical train set” comment to just be light hearted.
Sailor boy. You could probably get 90 second frequencies if you went with a really good LM system. So that is a significant capacity upgrade over 3 minute headways.
But the remarkably higher frequencies are more of a feature off peak. Eg on the skytrain when I got a train that runs every ~3-4 minutes at 10pm. They just shorten the trains to their smallest size, and run them almost as often as at peak times. This is not a reasonable feature for light rail.
I’m pretty sure we would get some bunching if we were running 100+ meter light rail trains at sub 3 minute frequencies, which is a bit of a degradation of the service.
The only operation cost difference between LRT and light metro is the staffing cost. But you can run the line every three minutes 24/7/365 with LRT if you want to, and the staff cost would be ‘only’ about $18m a year.
Bear that in mind when proposing three or four billion of extra capital to ‘save’ money with automated trains.
Sailor Boy, a 3-minute frequency each-way on a 2-way street (eg Queen St proposed) is a 90sec frequency in that street. The time taken for a 100m unit to decelerate for a stop, dwell, then reaccelerate and pull its length out of the way is as follows:
Deceleration 30->0 at say 1m/s² = 8.3s (unit moves 34.7m during this process)
Dwell (at peak times) say . . . 30s
Re-acceleration 0>30 at 1m/s² = 8.3s (unit moves 34.7m during this process)
30.6m of 100m remaining at 30m/s = 7.8s
. . . . . .Total = 50.3s
So if you are waiting at or near a stop to cross the road, by this calc it will take 50s before the unit has cleared. Add say another 5 sec for the margin during which you wouldn’t cross in front of the approaching unit, that’s 55 sec. Out of 180s that leaves 125s.
Now if by bad luck the same thing then repeats in the other direction, this potentially blocks the road for another 55c, leaving only 70s free out of every 180. There will be places where this coincidence occurs.
My point is that the “peaceful pedestrian mall” will be dominated by trains equivalent in length to a ‘4-car CAF unit’ coming and going every 90 sec. Not dissimilar to the approach tracks to Britomart!
Correction: 30.6m of 100m remaining at 30m/s = 3.7s (not 7.86s)
Total is still correct at 50.3s as the correct figure was added.
Peds currently get 35 seconds crossing out of the 180 second cycle, so that all sounds awesome.
And the fact there is only two lanes to cross, not four, means you easily be able to do it anywhere. Nice.
Heidi, yes I see what you are saying. And I will certainly acknowledge that if done wrong, metro stations – particularly if unattended and with low-usage at night-time, can be forbidding places. It is not hard to imagine some random station on a theoretical viaduct high above Dominion Road falling into this category. Metro authorities would tend to counter this with intensive camera surveillance, but it is better for sure to avoid such designs in the first place. I concur that LRT stops at street-level would be better in this situation and this ought to be appropriate for CC-2-Mangere provided Dominion Road can be suitably adapted.
But contrast this with metro stations that are actively designed to be focal-points in the communities they serve, with pleasant surroundings, nearby amenites and regular pedestrian activity naturally occurring. And place-destroying traffic kept well-away (the real bugbear) .
Such combinations of metro station and village-centre can work really well, even if underground or elevated, but they must be woven into the fabric of the community, not just plonked on to whatever is there.
Riccardo, a 180-second cycle in Queen Street? You’re kidding surely.
I wish I was. But with all turning movements given separate lanes, shared through and right turns for buses and various other shitty decisions designed around cars, those intersections are terrible. The Barnes dance used to be double phased, but they pulled that out because it was delaying traffic which was delaying buses.
They need something like light rail to force them to get rid of cars from Queen street.
Yes, I fully agree with your reply to me there, Dave. And have my concerns about whether any of this is being properly considered.
Exactly Dave, dwell time would normally be under 10s. So the road directly in front of you is blocked less than 1/3 of the time, even at a station. Away from a station, it would be less than 1/6th of the time.
In the absolute worst case with a 30s dwell and perfectly bad timing, the road is blocked for 2/3 of the time and you may have to walk up to 50m up the road in order to cross. I.e it is several orders of magnitude better than the delay and detour caused to pedestrians now.
I asked AC why can’t cars just be banned from the entire length of road, they said because there are a few apartments with car parks and car parking building. Sounds dumb to me.
Also, that bi directional bike way needs to well protected from courier vans. I feel bi directorial bike ways are far too common in Auckland.
Can anyone say whereabouts in Queen St there is a car parking building that only has access off Queen St? Racking my brain but I can’t think of one.
There are a couple on Durham Street where it is one way away from Queen Street. However, these could be accessed by making Durham Street a two way shared space in that block.
Other than Durham St they are all south of Mayoral Drive. There is a bunch of buildings with vehicle crossings and there is also the Liverpool St White St block that only has access out to Queen Street.
It has been well-known for many years that shared-use paths are not best practice, e.g. GB Cycle Embassy, 2013: https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/do-the-dutch-create-shared-use-pavements-like-us/
“The Dutch do not build shared use routes.
They build cycle tracks, and provide pavements alongside those cycle tracks. They treat bicycle users and walkers separately, and don’t try to shoehorn them both into the same design solution.”
Think it’s probably about time for me to stop reading this blog because all the news is unremittingly negative. No offence to any of the writers, but I remember when we had hope for the future.
Sorry, Daphne. I am actually working on a positive ‘how to’ post, but it keeps getting interrupted by fire fighting.
Well it looks great to me does that help. On another positive note and more
Importantly the new bus lanes from Manukau to the airport also look great. Of course the odd dipstick will venture into the T3 lane to overtake cars who are travelling at the speed limit but that just needs some enforcement. I wonder if Mill Road couldn’t be upgraded in a similar way.
Being on top of the current lockdown doesn’t help. I’ve been cutting back on my commenting for that reason. No point getting into the same arguments about the same frustrations that are ultimately out of our hands.
Absolutely the ideas and delivery around transport do not seem to improve. Queen St is crap and this is just a massive waste of money for no real benefit. Worse for cyclists having to navigate large concrete planters and people drifting into “shared space”.
Shared spaces are so bad why do we keep making them – somehow people think sharing a space with 1 tonne fast moving steel objects is a smart idea?
Still retaining car movements and loading bays. And some boring, washed out grey stone and small native trees.
I’ve given up on Queen St, just unfortunate have to walk down it to work each day.
However, the reality is that sometimes anger and indeed violence is needed to push things along.
uhhhhh, thats quite the leap
Daphne,l was thinking the same. There will be some pen pushers at AT/AC who have spent all of their working lives on consulting on Queen St. They must love it when new technology comes along ,ebikes,scooters,that gives them another chance to further consult,without actually doing anything. Imagine the gold watch presentation,when the list of achievements is read out, ” longest service without presenting a project,that involved a spade in the ground “.
Fast feet FFS,l have heard it all now,it cannot get anymore silly than this,oh wait ,it can and will,
Agree wit Daphne, it’s not so much that its negative but that you can only read the same story so many times over the years before you get fed up reading about it 🙁
Who are the designers responsible? Which part of council lead the process ?
Exactly, I’m not sure why AC/AT keep persisting with shared paths? They’re the worst outcome for pedestrians and cyclists alike let alone micromobility devices!
Why don’t AC/AT do it at the same time as when they finally put LR up Queen St . Or is that in the too hard basket and is there a bottomless pit for all the money they will waste .
And the other thing that’s never mention is access for Emergency services as they like to block roads even when a fautly Fire Alarm goes off , as there doesn’t seem to be any room for them especially when at least 3 engines turn up from all directions .
people using more active modes – described as ‘slow wheels and fast feet’ – to use a 3.5 metre multi-use path along the strip closest to the carriageway.
“Fast feet”,sorry l just cannot let this go, I,m presuming this is the new “norm ” and will be included in all future proposals. It will certainly be part of my submissions on any future AT projects. “Where is the path for people with “fast feet”,will make a change from asking ” Where is the bike path”
In defense of ‘fast feet’: Queen St during busy times of the day is so crowded that faster walking people do need space to travel that doesn’t involve constant zig-zagging between slow meandering people. There are good reasons for wanting to walk fast down Queen St including not missing your infrequent PT service, or making transfers between infrequent PT services that aren’t co-located.
The concept of making fast walkers (8km/h+) share a path with e-scooters and slow cyclists (15km/h+) is stupid but that doesn’t mean ‘fast feet’ don’t need a place to go. Part of the solution to this could be achieving further footpath widening by not including any parking bays / loading zones in the design.
Have you ever been to Netherlands? Bike traffic there is absolutely insane and dare I say more dangerous than cars. Many times It’s hard to be a pedestrian there. Not exactly what we want to achieve on Queen Street, is it.
Plus I don’t think it’s fair to compare a random ultra wide street to our Queen Street which is the ultimate core of Auckland centre and should be kept strictly pedestrian plus public transport.
You’re pretty daring to say that when the Netherlands has lower fatalies pre person, per km walking, per km cycling, and per km driving.
And from what I can tell, have a cheaper % of GDP infra spend to boot. Although I have to look that up more. Makes sense to me though. Cost of bikes is so cheap infrastructure wise.
I just have one request… get rid of those f***** concrete planters! Literally the ugliest addition to Queen Street ever!
Different tastes I guess. I think they look pretty good. Certainly better than not having them.
Does Waka Kotahi plan to allow scooters on bike lanes?
This would be great. Scooter fits my needs better than bicycle and I don’t like to feel like an offender when I scoot down the Franklin road.
Yes, the Accessible Streets package of legislation includes a number of good improvements.
Why aren’t the cycle lanes in each side of the roadway like normal? What’s the point of squeezing downhill bikes between uphill buses and uphill bikes?!
This blog seems to be where car haters hang out when the cafes are closed. Has anybody thought that the macro problem is the idea of uncontrolled growth in Auckland. The whole idea of putting half of NZs population into this hopelessly constricted location is flawed. Look at the wide open spaces in that Dutch example. Auckland cant cope with the population plan. We should be relocating all these ideas and most of the population growth to somewhere like Hamilton instead.
john A, is anyone actually “putting half of NZs population” into Auckland? It seems to me that people are choosing to live there because they want to, for a whole variety of reasons (that I have to say, haven’t tempted me).
So should people be turned away from living in Auckland?
“The whole idea of putting half of NZs population into this hopelessly constricted location is flawed. Look at the wide open spaces in that Dutch example.”
Pretty much every city in the Netherlands is several times more densely populated than Auckland. What we actually need to do is use our existing streets better. Fanshawe Street has just as much space as that example.
These arguments are always funny.
Either public transit and biking wont work because the city is too sprawling and sparsely populated,
or the city is too constrained for solutions that work overseas. In cities that are much more dense, in countries that are much more dense, than Auckland / NZ.
There is demand for living in Auckland, living is more expensive here, that’s the (significant) incentive to move elsewhere in the country, and yet clearly the demand is high and accelerating away from the rest of the country.
I don’t see any macro problems, having more people living in the same city makes that city more competitive and better. And allows for all kinds of things that aren’t feasible in smaller centers.
“We should be relocating all these ideas and most of the population growth to somewhere like Hamilton instead.”
You first, John. 🙂
“This blog seems to be where car haters hang out when the cafes are closed.”
No, just when we aren’t driving our cars, John. Some of us have the intellectual capacity to drive cars and like it, but also promote better outcomes than we have.
Sorry its all a bit over your head.
pathetic as always. why not just remove cars in one go without pointless consultations for the next 10 years
We need cars on Queens, would help businesses down there
And the way Queen St is now is stupid , came down by red bus and got to the stop at the bottom and there was a Police car parked on the Footpath by that Bus Stop and then a 2nd car came up from the bottom and closed off that lane opposite that stop also and watching i from a distance all traffic had to go around that one , so what will happen if the Fire Service turns up due to a faulty alarm the whole street will be total gridlock with nowhere to go .
And those that say we should do this and that , are never around to see what happens with great ideas .
We need public transport not obstructed by cars to help businesses. Do you actually think someone from other part of Auckland want to drive to Queen St and sit in that riddiculous traffic (limited to 30kmh on top of that) just to go to the specific store and drive back home? Maybe something like Prada or Gucci, yes. But somehow I think those ‘local businesses’ will survive even without parking. If public transport is reliable people might actually go to Queen Street. It’s better if it benefits majority of people rahter than few rich who want to go on a whim to the center in their flashy car. Have a walk, take a bus or park soemwhere close (plenty of paid parking around) and go where you need to. No need to make it painful for everyone else.
I wonder if this may have application in Auckland? https://usa.streetsblog.org/2021/09/16/opinion-how-to-win-over-opponents-of-street-safety/?utm_source=Sightline+Newsletters+II&utm_campaign=7b49505be6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_22_09_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e1b0f73ac-7b49505be6-296389901
I don’t understand why there should be private cars driving through the city at night (or at any time for that matter) anyways…
So what do you want ? , do you want to go back to the 19th Century and use horse and cart ? . As there are people that need to use a car in the city namely taxis .