With the Waitemata Local Board having reproduced the plan in their Local Board Agenda, we can now publicly talk about one of the first wins from a project CAA and AT are currently running to improve “completed” cycle facilities in Auckland that are sub-standard. An eastbound cycle lane on Great North Road approaching Ponsonby Road intersection.
As part of the project, some months ago we walked the section of Great North Road between Bond Street and Ponsonby Road (and a few other roads and paths). This section counts as “completed” in the old reading of our cycle network standards because the road has bus lanes.
Now, we won’t (at least not in this blog post) discuss the issues with that basic premise about bus lanes once more. But even if one were minded to accept it, there are actually sections through this corridor where there’s nothing. One of these being the approach to Ponsonby Road from the west on GNR – a route many cyclists are riding, because GNR’s “ridge route” character allows a gentle climb to the City Centre.
Well, CAA and the Waitemata Local Board have long sought at least the simple concession to cyclist needs that would be provided by a simple feeder cycle lane here. This was rebutted several times – but to their credit, there is a new wind blowing in parts of Auckland Transport.
CAA pointed out to them that if it was really impossible to to add a feeder cycle lane here, on a 25m wide (!) road reserve, on a key cycle route – then where would we ever find space for cycle routes? That meeting obviously created a result. So thanks to AT for progressing this. It’s a first step for Great North Road, and we are increasingly seeing these things happening.
[And for those who are concerned that such small changes lose sight of the large-scale stuff – we are also currently providing feedback to AT about the long-term cycle facilities on Great North Road. And again, there’s a strong hint of change in the air in what AT is proposing. Sadly, these longer-term plans won’t yet align with the re-seal works for GNR starting end of this month, which include this feeder cycle lane]