An interchange with no bikeways

Wide roads are wide - but not a cycleway in sight.
Wide roads are wide – but not a cycleway in sight. Because those, apparently, are not part of this $26 million budget.

One of the most frustrating experiences with Auckland Transport is the silo planning. While AT’s walking and cycling team has hugely improved in the last year, it seems that large chunks of the rest of the organisation are still working away under the impression that cycling is either a luxury, or somebody else’s job.

This at least is our feeling when we see proposals like the big Manukau Transport interchange on Putney Way, right next to Manukau Train Station and the MIT Campus (and the big Westfield Mall).

This new bus station is proposed to cost $26 million. But the plans include no cycle facilities to get to it, just some bike parking. This interchange is in one of the most cycling-hostile areas of old-school “roads, more roads” Manukau… and yet the project does not even involve any improvements of the only semi-sensible route from a nearby residential area, the Lambie Drive-Ronwood Avenue-Davies Avenue connection.

That route already has cycle lanes over much of its length, which would certainly benefit from some upgrades to be safer, and the gap along Ronwood Avenue could be closed. But no, nothing planned. Maybe there’s budget after 2018, we are told.

How is this good enough, we ask?

It isn’t.

The area around the new bus station (redcircle) in its most un-cycleable light. But actually, there is a large residential area starting just a kilometre to the right. Perfect cycle distance. But so far away with no real cycleways.
The area around the new bus station (red circle) in its most un-cycleable light. But even if crossing the motorway is a bridge too far for now, there is a small residential area just to the south (upper centre of the image), and a much larger residential suburb starting just a kilometre to the right (outside of the image). Perfect biking distance. So close. But with no safe cycleways, so far.

If a massive PT flagship project – co-located with a train station, a university, and a giant shopping centre, to boot! – throws away the opportunity to get people arriving on bikes, how is PT ever going to get a good intermodal connection with cycling?

Again and again people have said that lack of cycleways is one of the key reasons they don’t bike to public transport. This was even shown in research AT paid for themselves on access to the Northern Busway (a study that we helped them get over 500 respondents to). Yet at Otahuhu, at Manukau, at Pukekohe – everywhere the same story.

So if you haven’t responded yet, give your feedback on the Manukau Bus Station. Tell them cycle access is not a luxury.

Consultation closes Friday. Please tell them now.


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