Recently I came across this interesting article on how something as simple as a flexible bollard can really improve cycling infrastructure at a very low cost – the Fifty Bollard Game.
This, of course, comes from the guru of cycling growth David Hembrow, who went to school in Auckland and has fond memories of it.
New York has been one city that has used bollards in some very effective ways to create cycle safe areas, as this report from Transportation Alternatives (who are coming to Auckland soon!) shows. It has also been adopted in other US cities, such as Washington DC:
The bollards have often been used as a way of selling the infrastructure as a temporary trial situation that can be removed if it is proven to be unpopular or proves inappropriate. What seems to be happening though is that very few are being removed and eventually I expect they will be replaced by more permanent Dutch style concrete berms.
Here is an example of what one “guerrilla” group did in Seattle to create a de facto separated cycle lane where before there was only a strip of paint. How much would it cost to put such markers down, for example, the cycle lanes on Lake Road or other secondary arterials in Auckland (as scarce as they are) where on-street parking has been removed? Surely even Auckland’s anaemic cycling budget could handle that?
10 bollards – 5 at each end of the block of Queen Street between Customs Street and Victoria Street. That would create a fantastic walking and cycling area. It would also lead to a massive increase in retail spending as can be seen by the effect of the shared space in Fort Street. I know there would be an issue with buses so ideally these would be bollards that can be raised and lowered to allow buses and delivery vehicles through.
10 bollards – each end of Elliot Street. I know this is intended to be a shared space but I rode down there at about 6pm on a Wednesday and it was being used as a rat run between Wellesley and Victoria. It was nose to tail cars all the way down. Is that what a shared space is meant to be?
20 bollards – 5 each end of High Street and O’Connell Street. There is no reason why traffic should be accessing these streets. I believe even the retailers in High Street have conceded that a better pedestrian environment would be to their benefit but are now being told by the Council they have to wait in line. For the cost 10 bollards, these streets could at least be made pedestrian/cycling friendly at a very low cost.
10 bollards – one for my local neighbourhood. Bollards to narrow Roberts Avenue to a one lane bottle neck (with two way cycle access) on the Bayswater peninsula at: (a) 50metres after the turn off from Lake Road; and (b) just after Bayswater Park where it becomes Norwood Road. This route is used by a lot of school children because of the local schools and the football training at the park. Vehicles often pass me on my bike at 70-80km/h. I know the principal of Bayswater Primary School is very concerned by the excessive speeds on Bayswater Avenue as well but nothing is being done. The safety of school children is apparently not worth as much as 2 minutes extra drive time in Auckland.
So, where would you put your 50 bollards?