As every month, we had a look at the business report of Auckland Transport to review any items of interest for cycling. Where possible, we will also provide additional context from our own discussions with Auckland Transport.
Note that where the below is italicised, we have copied the text from Auckland Transport’s report directly, without changing it.
- The first item is a slightly negative one – compared with the Auckland-wide counts in 2011, the 2012 March counts resulted in a 6% reduction in cyclists across all of Auckland compared to the earlier year. AT does however note that 2012 counts were in a rainy period, so not well comparable with the better weather in 2011. The month-on-month statistics from the automatic counters on various cycleways paint a better picture, with quite significant increases – and for the most recent data, June 2012 was 7.7% up on June 2011. Now that sounds better!
- For the second item, it’s trains again! Auckland Transport received a mock-up of our new electric trains from Spain – a full-size composite model that one can walk through and test: MU3, (a full size model of the drivers cab and 10 meters of saloon length), arrived in Auckland on 10 June and was unveiled by the Major and the Auckland Transport Chair on 18 June. Since then, it has been used by the Project for consultation with the train crew representatives, disability groups and cycling representatives. CAA in particular was interested to test the cycle storage area. While some fancier options for bike racks within the train will not happen – for various reasons – those of our committee who were there found the bike area easy to use, and able (at a pinch) to carry some extra bikes more than intended. And in two months, the first REAL train will start production!
- The 2011/12 Schools Cycle Training Programme has been completed with the results showing 8332 students from 96 schools received cycle training. Lets hope lots of them keep riding. It would make a great difference to morning traffic levels.
- Employees from various workplaces including Waitemata District Health Board, Counties Manukau District Health Board, Botany Town Centre and NZ Bus participated in a Workplace Cycle Package trial in 2011/12. The completed evaluation of the trial identified that the cycle package had a positive impact on modal shift by participants reducing weekly vehicle kilometres travelled by 1,300kms. The workplace cycle package will be further developed for 1012/13 and offered as part of workplace travel plans. We had a video on that recently. Great to see that such a feature is now to become more common for travel plans.
- Quay Street Upgrade: The initial concept options are to be assessed for transport feasibility. Wharf structure, seawall structure, planning, legal, traffic modelling and utility assessment commissions will all be in place by early July (modeling already awarded). This may not mean much to a casual glance, but if Quay Street really becomes a boulevard, with more space for pedestrians and cyclists, it would be a great outcome from the Auckland Plan / City Centre Master Plan.
- Tamaki Drive Capex Safety Projects: feasibility report for seawall extension for boardwalk and road widening is expected in early July. This relates to a new intersection layout at Ngapipi / Tamaki Drive intersection (still a notorious cycle crash blackspot) and a widened Tamaki Drive between Kelly Tarlton’s and Mission Bay (one of the busiest and currently narrowest sections of the road). This would be the “large scale” works which could resolve a lot of the issues if done right – but also be quite costly. They are currently thinking about doing them around 2013/14. Let’s all make sure we don’t get a roundabout at Ngapipi!
- Tamaki Drive safety improvements including the Kelly Tarlton area and Mission Bay are continuing. These are the works we have been blogging about in the recent months (and which we understand have been delayed quite a bit by the wet weather).
- Works commenced: Hibiscus Coast Highway Walkway/Cycleway – 600 metre long walkway/cycleway from Silverdale Rugby Club to Weiti River Bridge to improve safety.
- Works commended: Don Buck Road Cycleway – Construction of shared cycle and pedestrian paths, parking bays, a raised speed table and adjustment to vehicle crossings on Don Buck Road between Triangle Road and Fred Taylor Drive. Great to hear this is now being built. CAA was involved at various stages, and we understand some of our suggestions were included. West Auckland continues to get better for cyclists!
- Works commenced: Fort Street Stage 3 (East End) – this section will complete the Fort Street project. Recent stakeholder consultation has been extremely positive and has supported the upgrade proceeding as shared space. Great to hear – the shared spaces are starting to form a bit of a network of their own, downtown.