Good news for downtown cycle connections – Stage 2 of the Beach Rd bike path starts next Monday. What that means: by early July (weather permitting!), you’ll be able to swoop right down the Grafton Gully cycleway and then pedal safely and easily into downtown, connecting smoothly to the laneways off Queen St – shops, bars, cafés! – and to Quay St and the waterfront.

Here are some more details and pretty pictures from Auckland Transport:

The project will extend the cycleway from Mahuhu Crescent through to Britomart Place and connect with the laneway network starting in Fort Street. The route will be a mix of separated cycleway and sections of shared path around intersections, with paving designs and painted cycle symbols helping to separate pedestrians from cyclists.
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Entering the shared space area by the Anzac Ave/Beach Rd intersection (Pic: Auckland Transport)
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Separated pedestrian and bike paths outside the Waldorf Hotel entrance on Beach Rd (Pic: Auckland Transport)
A before image of the Waldorf Hotel entrance on Beach Rd. Watch this space!
A before image of the Waldorf Hotel entrance on Beach Rd.
A before image of the Waldorf Hotel entrance on Beach Rd. Watch this space!
Another before image of the Waldorf Hotel entrance on Beach Rd. Watch this space!
And here’s the map. You can see how this stretch of work really starts tying downtown together for bikes:
An updated map of the project
A map of the project (posted 29 March 2015; NB now includes Scene Lane and path on east side of Britomart Pl)
The project has the sponsorship of the Waitemata Local Board, and is a joint Auckland Transport/ Auckland Council undertaking. Attention has been paid to placemaking and planting:
Beach Road’s upgrade will include features such as small pocket parks, along with information plaques and coastal plants to reflect the location’s history as Auckland’s original foreshore. The large attractive London plane trees and protected pin oak will form part of the feature lighting at night. Stormwater rain gardens will be constructed at the intersection with Tangihua Street.

Cycle Action was asked for comment about the design plans, and overall, we were pretty happy. Some things to note:

  • At the Waldorf Hotel, we asked AT to add a separated footpath betwen the road and the cycleway, so that people arriving and departing from the hotel on foot are less tempted to stride off into the path of bicycles.
  • We will need to see in practice how well people will keep to the cycleway and footpath sections, and how clear it will be to everyday users that these are two separate things. On the eastern section of Beach Road, they’re easier to tell apart, because the cycleway is on the road carriageway level.
  • West of Britomart Place, we have been seeking better links through the Britomart area to bring people on bikes safely through to the station and beyond (via the many other attractions here, like great restaurants and shops). It’s currently very difficult to move through this zone on a bike because of inconveniently placed one-way roads. AT did not seem to feel that a bike route through Britomart was possible at the moment; perhaps because of the impending major CRL works, during which a lot of bus stops in the area will be relocated.
  • In the meantime, however, as you can see from the map above, AT has added a new shared path north-south through Britomart Place. This creates a link to Quay Street where there will be a new crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. So, we’re getting there!
  • Talking of getting there – while they are at it, AT is also adding a new signalised crossing over the eastern side of the intersection of Beach / Customs & Fort Street – so the new cycleway will get you right to the CBD shared spaces.
Key Projects Waterfront / Quay
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8 responses to “Beach Rd Stage 2 – take us to the water!

  1. Great stuff. I am sure this will encourage even more people to use this great facility. An extension through to Britomart is well overdue.

  2. A really good next move – however Quay St is still a nightmare to cycle. There is no real place for me as a cyclist on the road OR the footpath between the ferry building and the viaduct. I struggle through here most days. Delivering cyclists to this hostile stretch of road without offering any place for them is still less than ideal! It’s a choice between a dangerous cross-lane dash between cars or a footpath full of pedestrians. Can I ask, where are we actually expected to cycle along here? Footpath is technically illegal, no?

    1. The northern side of Quay Street is technically a shared path as far west as where the bus stop really pinches it down (just east of the ferry terminal). You can see it from the brass plaques of bicycles inlaid in the path.

      Agree that the rest of Quay west of that is rather hostile and/or crowded. Fixing Quay Street is on the Auckland Council / Auckland Transport priority list for cycleways, and is a contender for Urban Cycleway Fund money – but there may be some resistance to fix it in the next 2-3 years because that will also be the time when a lot of works (the new skyscraper, and the CRL) will happen in the area. The mid-term outlook is good, but the short term maybe not so much yet.

  3. That last point is huge – when It’s done I’ll be able to cycle from my apartment to the supermarket and back entirely on shared spaces and dedicated cycle lanes. The only person in New Zealand? 🙂

  4. The designs look really nice, this cycleway will probably be a very good thing. I see this with the eyes of a cycling commuter though, and for commuters this route won’t be very useful: it’s circuitous and doesn’t link well with a major transport axis on the west side. A cycleway that follows Beach Rd to the other side of downtown, linking up with the upcoming one on Nelson St, however, that would have been great. My point is: the route is the most important part of a cycleway design. And I don’t think this is the most optimal route for most people. Forcing cyclists to take detours makes cycling a less attractive proposition than if the route followed the existing arterials.

  5. I haven’t seen the details for what is planned on Britomart Place anywhere, is it know what AT plan to do here? Looks like it will run along the eastern side of the street, I’m assuming they’ll make use of the fact that there are ~4-5 lanes through its entire length so plenty of tarmac to repurpose to active modes?

    1. “AT has added a new shared path north-south through Britomart Place”

      So basically a wide footpath for cyclists and pedestrians not ideal 🙁

      Hopefully AT look at constructing a segregated cycle path, post Britomart/CRL construction.

      1. LOL so they’re simply saying we can ride on the footpath and thereby enabling themselves to draw another line of their map of completed cycleways? I’m happy that this is being extended but if the Britomart Place doesn’t involve some work like on upper Queen Street ie car lane turned into a widened footpath it’s just making further mockery of their lack of commitment.

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