For those cycling in the north-western North Shore, there are some good news, salted with a little bit of…. well not directly bad news.
As you have heard here before, this part of Auckland has two major roading upgrade projects going on, with Glenfield Road currently being constructed – with “classic” cycle lanes – and Albany Highway (North) about to start construction – with Copenhagen cycle lanes!
Of course, this still leaves the middle section of the north-south route here – Albany Highway between SH18 (the south end of one project) and Sunset Road (the north end of the other). There are no cycle facilities on this link at the moment, and it can be somewhat dodgy, especially at the major intersections.
The good news is that Auckland Transport is now proposing an upgrade for this link as well, which will fill the gap with good cycle facilities:
So what is the “salt” in that good news? Well, apart from the fact that it will take several years before it becomes reality, the proposed design is “more Glenfield Road than Albany Highway” – i.e. it is proposed to construct “classic” cycle lanes and a shared path, rather than going for Copenhagen cycle lanes like they are proposed further north. The irony is that if the gap was proposed to be closed a few years later down the line, maybe the Copenhagen cycle lanes on Albany Highway North would have been successful enough in practice to give the designers of this stretch the courage to aim even higher. After all, if the motorway lobby can constantly ask for more, we can certainly increase our quality expectations as well!
But really, we shouldn’t imply that the design now proposed for Albany Highway South is a bad one – far from it, and a good link soon is much better than a perfect link very far in the future. After all, some years before, the list of cycle features proposed would have been more than we would have dared to hope for:
A new 3.0m wide shared path on the eastern side of the Albany Highway to accommodate walking and cycling in both directions
A new 1.8m wide on-road cycling facility on both sides of the Albany Highway corridor
- Albany Highway / Upper Harbour Drive (plan link) – on road cycle facilities including cycle lanes on the Albany Highway approaches and cycle stop boxes at the intersection stop line, plus an eastern-side shared path
- Albany Highway / Unsworth Drive (plan link) – on road cycle facilities including cycle lanes on the Albany Highway approaches and cycle stop boxes at the intersection stop line
Cycle Action has already met with Auckland Transport project staff regarding this upgrade, and we will keep you all in the loop as things progress.