Having no success convincing family and friends to “Give it a go!” with cycling?

Then you are probably talking to the “interested but concerned” part of the population – those 50-60% who kinda like the idea of cycling, but aren’t happy riding on busy roads – and won’t change their minds just because of some green paint on the road. Or because you tell them how the risks of cycling are overstated in public perception. They need something more convincing.

Enter projects like AMETI. Cycle Action recently met with the design team for the second phase of that project, the future busway corridor from Pakuranga to Botany. The discussions about cycling facilities in this new corridor were very heartening, as the project team from Auckland Transport and their design consultants clearly “get cycling” – not only the current situation we have now in Auckland, but also the way Auckland could be for cyclists.

Following their recent work, Auckland Transport has now released concept drawings for the busway, which includes examples showing how the cycle facilities would be integrated. The team is targeting those people as future users who currently don’t cycle (except maybe for some limited recreational riding) and who want high-quality facilities before choosing to cycle for transport – in short, they are aiming at the wide majority of Aucklanders.

Below, we show some of the designs the project team is considering for the project:

Panmure Bridge to Pakuranga Town Centre (construction start ~2015):

  • Two-way off-road cycleway on the northern side of the busway – links to the cycling and walking section of the future Panmure Bridge addition (image at start of article)
  • All side roads are likely to be signalised, thus allowing both the busway and the two-way cycleway to travel safely
  • Separated from both motor vehicles (buses and cars) as well as from pedestrians – not a shared path, i.e. attractive for everyone from cycle novices to faster commuters
  • Potentially some form of cycle facility on the southern side of the road as well, if space allows, to improve access for local residents

Pakuranga Town Centre to Botany (construction start 2021+):

  • One-way cycle lanes on road, but with some form of buffer (which could be cycle lane kerbing or bollards or similar) – these won’t just be paint on the road
  • Not all side roads are likely to be signalised, so unlike in the first section, providing on-road facilities allows cyclists to continue past side roads without having to give way like on an off-road path – some sort of traffic calming may be employed at the side roads as well, subject to further design
  • The intention is to keep the facilities high-class and as consistent as possible along the whole corridor, so people can ride for all sorts of purposes, and all the way between suburbs, without being separated by the currently very unpleasant riding conditions on Ti Rakau Drive, especially in the industrial / commercial sections southeast of Pakuranga

These designs are obviously not final yet, but are intended to be taken forward and refined during the coming year. This will eventually lead to a “notice of requirement”, the next formal legal step to acquire the land needed and get planning certainty for the new corridor project.

Especially the second half of this project east of Pakuranga Town Centre will take a while yet to happen – funding for such large public transport projects is much harder to get than for new state highways. That is, unless the success of the first section – or a more positive attitude to public transport – can speed up funding for it. Either way, it’s great to see that new road corridor projects these days often come with “cycling by default”, rather than “cycling as an add-on”!

If you like these designs, read more here, and DO take the time to feedback to AT that you like their proposed cycle facilities!

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