Picket fence, lych gate, and phone box (in case you need to order some new plants while working in the garden?), Bannerman Rd.

Hi folks. If you ride the NW cycleway, you will have already encountered the detour to the east of the St Lukes intersection. This will be in place until the end of the year, while the offramp work is completed and a fresh shared path is built.

It’s a pretty zigzaggy diversion from what is essentially our Cycleway of National Significance, although it does take you past some scenic surprises (see right), if you can spare the moment from climbing the hill (or zipping down it.

To be frank, we’ve had some speed wobbles with the way this detour was implemented, and the lack of notice and signage (honestly, would they ever do this to cars – close the path first, and then add signage a bit later?) and insufficient clarity around when or whether bikes are expected to share the footpath with pedestrians.

October 2015 Bike Diversion

Leighton, who are in charge of managing the detour, assure us: “the current layout and signage is in accordance with our approved TMP [Traffic Management Plan], however there is always room for improvement.”

So we’re keen to hear from you how the detour is working, and whether it can be further improved.

  • We’ve asked for advance signage for those approaching from the west (i.e. past Chamberlain Park), so you can make rational decisions before crossing at the intersection. In fact we asked for that to be put up a few weeks ago, to alert people to the upcoming closure & diversion…
  • We hear some of you are saying you prefer to take the Great North Road instead, even with the continuing roadworks across the bridge and outside MOTAT, and the perils of the Bullock Track intersection. Are there other workarounds? What are your feelings on the ratio of time saved to stress added?
  • We also know this section of cycleway is heavily used by school students (on foot and on bikes) in the mornings and afternoons, so the coming week will be the real test of how it’s working.

Thanks for your patience – but don’t be shy to speak up about how this is or isn’t working for you, as safety is the name of the game here!

Here’s the latest official comment from Leightons:

We are currently awaiting four diversion map signs to be produced which will be placed around four specific parts of the diversion to help understand the diversion route that is in place. We have been walking the diversion route daily making minor comments and amendments to make this more user friendly for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Our traffic management team are going to implement more sustainable signs so they do not get knocked down or moved as per the approved traffic management plan for the diversion.

We will be also implementing signs that give the distance back to the northwestern cycleway to help with any confusion that is caused from the diversion.

Our team are working hard to make this diversion easy for both the cyclists and pedestrians that use the northwestern cycleway and any feedback regarding the diversion is much appreciated.

We appreciate your patience while we continue to work through these minor changes and our team will continue to update you on the works and progress in the area.

UPDATED 14 OCTOBER – in response to your feedback, Leightons has expanded the signage and information, as below. Let us know how it’s working, and if anything else could make the detour smoother.


Cycling safety Infrastructure Northwestern Cycleway
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27 responses to “A tiki-tour detour at St Lukes, now through the end of 2015

  1. I Love the fact AT can do the visual stuff like mark cycle lanes but when it comes to nuts and bolt its a fail. And like original post points out would they be so relaxed when diverting the motor vechial. The car comes a first and this is the mind set we have to change. We need to stop building all this infrostructor for cars which we will not work in the long run. We need to stop and re think change the mind set.

  2. I think they should have ridden the route them selves first to test. There is a driveway being dug out, and some very low hanging trees.

  3. Is this the same Leighton who sent us all on the dangerous unnotified
    tiki tour one Friday night few months ago at the same intersection? At the time I think they
    issued a similar statement about trying harder next time. Wears a bit
    thin doesn’t it?

    Fulton Hogan working further down the CW on the other hand, are superb in my experience.

    encountering this dog-leg last week, I’ve been taking GNR through Grey
    Lynn instead, much easier and only one big hill, rather than lots of
    little ones.

  4. I thought there was a requirement to keep the cycle way open? Certainly the case further west.
    The diversion is absolute rubbish, wiggly and hilly, and I’m disappointed to hear it’ll be like this for 3 months. And no St Luke’s underpass.
    The summer cycling season will see this affecting many people.
    I have also been taking Gt Nth Rd. The narrowed lanes around St Luke’s make it worse than previously. Taking this route into town certainly increases the risk to my life, but the cycle route detour is not practical.
    Why not take space from the off ramp for temporary cycle way?

  5. Big lack of advanced signage approaching from east too. I ran into the barriers (nearly literally) last night after having dropped down from the new north road ridge . Very frustrating initially, especially heading backwards! But once I got back to st lukes rd I realised it wasn’t really too bad. As long as it really is necessary…
    I then continued along the potchy chamberlain park section jealously eyeing up some lovely fresh tarmac at motorway level, very tempted to give that a go to connect to great north road sometime, I know I can beat the motor traffic along there that usually doesn’t get above 60 😉

    1. Forgot to mention the right turn to join st lukes would be scary for less confident riders. I was OK since the traffic was backed up at the lights, but I know from driving the same turn that it can be very hard to get a go when the traffic is flowing both ways. May have to ride illegally on the footpath to the normal crossing location in that case…
      Also once I did turn, the build up from. the motorway on ramp made it very difficult to get past the cars in the bikeline and hard against the left. It wasn’t at all clear on how to join back to the cycleway with the trench and works making it impossible to hop the kurb. Not sure if I missed something because of the jammed up cars but does regular cycle traffic from the south normally have to join the NW cycle way at the on ramp pedestrian crossing??

      1. Are they seriously not tacking on an under pass to all that excavation work!!!
        heaps new motor lanes but not even a 2m footpath!
        get f’d NZTA that’s shocking

      2. “Not sure if I missed something because of the jammed up cars but does regular cycle traffic from the south normally have to join the NW cycle way at the on ramp pedestrian crossing???”
        Yup. If you’re riding north on St Lukes Road towards the intersection, in the current state of play you have to take your chances on the painted cycle lane that crosses that stupidly long slip lane headed West (I haven’t dared do this for some time).
        From there, if you’re going West yourself, your options are either to go right up to the intersection at the bridge, jump onto the traffic-light-in-petrol-drum “island” and go across the ped crossing back onto the cycleway, or follow the onramp yourself and turn off onto the cycleway at the ped crossing at the last minute (not recommended, very dangerous). If it was me I would probably choose to get onto the footpath way back at Linwood Street, and ride illegally from there up to the cycleway to go West, avoiding all of the grief and danger.
        If you’re going East best option is to just stop at the bridge intersection and wait for the crossing over St Lukes Road. Beware, there’s not much room between you and traffic going straight through – go hide on the “island” if you can manage it and if there’s room.
        The whole intersection is basically a horrendous mess. We hear a bit about the Well Connected Alliance and Causeway team and their goodwill towards all on wheels (further up the causeway where there is plenty of room and money) – but the lesson of St Lukes is that if there are even vaguely complicated decisions to be made about construction & motorist convenience, versus cyclist/pedestrian safety and amenity, it will only ever go one way.

        1. the “stupidly long slip lane” doesn’t legally exist. You are getting confused by the endless stream of cars using the cycle lane as if it were a slip lane.

          1. Pretty sure it does become an actual slip lane nearer to the lights, but even the legal part is rather long to be exposed on a bike if you’re going straight. Totally agree about the queuing in the bike lane before that, though.

  6. I live east of the St Lukes intersection so this doesn’t affect me in the mornings. However I have a family member commuting from a bit further west and he’s currently riding along GNR / Western Springs footpath and tram track, then going under the motorway at Western Springs to rejoin the cycleway near Kingsland.
    On the way home it’s somewhat inconvenient, though it doesn’t affect me too badly as I can zigzag up through Bannerman and take a short cut through Fowlds Park home. But I’m seeing a lot of other frustrated riders in the afternoons and evenings. Many people expect that Cardigan Street should be accessible to the cycleway, so they go down that road and then have to double back. Part of the problem is that the detour signs are mounted low and – sigh – are often obscured by parked cars.

  7. Even if they had left us just a thin dirt track up the side of the construction area, it would have been quicker to get off and walk our bikes along it than to take this bloody awful detour

    1. We asked for this, but they said that if they did that, the lack of workspace would mean the works for this section might require some extra months due to the constrained conditions…

        1. I think the principle was that we’d rather have had the works done in 3 months (crappy detour or not) rather than 5-6 months of a slightly better but still crappy interim solution, especially in the summer which is when you want to get people onto these paths and having a good experience to get them into the fold for the rest of the year.
          As it happens it looks like it’s going to take 5-6 months regardless, which is pretty hilarious when you stop and think about it.

          1. That’s what I’m getting at…
            They used a weak excuse to not try a little bit harder and create a small lane, justifying it as helping speed up the disruption time. Now they’ve got the full closure they’ve renegged on the time.
            Imagine trying that on SH1, outside of night time closures.

            A lot of extended pedestrian and cycling disruption here with no benefits, it’s all in aid of the holy car.

  8. On the subject of scenic surprises, this morning I went along Springfield instead of Bannerman for a change, and saw this …

  9. Getting close to Christmas now and not much looks different here… is there any way to ascertain if the works are on track?

    1. Indeed, quite keen to get a ‘finish date’ – even if approx.
      One of my colleagues is asking about cycling to work, but am going to recommend she waits till this is done (want first impressions to be good), anyone know end date? 🙂

      1. After seeing this conversation I decided to email the contact listed on the website, and just got back the following reply. The first para is about the path next to the st lukes offramp, the second part about the path next to the golf course:

        “Additional works for this shared path have now been added to the current programme thus avoid future diversions and to save time for other contractors who will be working locally later next year. The diversion will now be in place until late February because of these newly scoped works. Signage will be implemented this week regarding the new date.

        In regards to your next enquiry around the Meola Creek works, this is the new permanent path and this will be opened up this week ready for both cyclists and pedestrians to use on Wednesday. Again an update regarding this has just gone to Bike Auckland to inform the local community about this area.”

        1. Regarding the path next to the Chamberlain golf-course… the original concrete path is now fenced off, and an asphalt path of equal (or slightly more?) width, closer to the golf-course, is now open… despite being open less than a week, while the surface is “smooth” it seems to be already be more undulating than when it opened a few days previous… ground subsidence? parts of it are uncomfortable at speed.

          I assume it is temporary? Can see new concrete pathways including a bridge still under construction where diversion back across closed concrete path over to motor-way occurs (good to see this transition has also been widened and eased slightly just recently…

          1. Yeah that is a shoddy piece of work so I hope it isn’t permanent. It was just dirt that got roughly graded, then laid over with a thin layer of asphalt that had grass growing through it in a few days, and then the final layer of asphalt which is a bit thicker and is what is there now. It hasn’t got a proper foundation as far as I can tell so hopefully it is just temporary……especially given it’ll get plenty of use from people on bikes and runners/walkers alike over summer.

        2. Thanks for taking the time to do that, Ed. Really disappointing that we have another two months at least of the current lousy situation at St Lukes.

  10. They have opened some parts of this but the new concrete finish is bumpy for bikes. Pretty crap.

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