College Hill is a key route for people on bikes, but a dangerous one, with no plan for protection any time soon. Luckily, we can make a difference via two current consultations. Read on for more – and then check out the other consultation here).
Feedback closes Monday 18 June.
Use the hot pink button to add your voice!
Here’s what we say
- We don’t like the proposal.
- We think the priority on College Hill should be walking, biking, and buses, not car parks.
- We’re calling on AT to boldly prioritise safety here, rather than fiddling around the edges.
- Please add tactical bike lanes!
- (Where the form asks for ‘other information’, feel free to tell your own story about the need for safer biking here)
And here’s why
College Hill is one of the key bike routes into and out of the City Centre from the western suburbs. And yet it conspicuously lacks any bike infrastructure, making this busy arterial suitable only for the very confident. In a 21st C city, especially one that aspires to a better record of safety on the roads, that’s not good enough.
At the moment, there’s no plan for protection for people on bikes on College Hill for several years at the absolute minimum. Not even with the almost completed Franklin Rd project, and the coming Victoria St cycleway that will lead into the city from the bottom of College Hill.
In the wake of AT’s harrowing safety audit, and knowing that despite a generally positive budget for active modes, the Cycling Programme Business Case isn’t fully funded – we trust AT intends to be smart and strategic by taking every possible chance to make streets safer for the most vulnerable road users. That might mean being more tactical about road renewals and maintenance – or seizing the opportunity to rise to best practice as quickly as possible, rather than tiptoeing towards the kind of change we all know is urgently necessary.
That’s why AT needs to take advantage of every possible chance to improve bike safety in any and all street projects.
Which brings us to the current proposal: a paid parking zone for College Hill and some adjacent streets (see area map here). What do parking zones have to do with bike lanes, you ask? Well, check out AT’s rationale for the project:
Our investigations show that at peak times, on-street parking at this location frequently approaches or meets full occupancy. Furthermore, inspections show that vehicles often remain parked for periods longer than the parking restrictions allow.
As a result, and in accordance with the Auckland Parking Strategy, we are proposing to introduce paid parking in an effort to encourage the steady circulation of parked vehicles. We will also be introducing two shared vehicle spaces that will support Auckland Transport’s goals of reducing car dependency, improving community health, and delivering an effective and efficient transport system that enables Aucklanders to make informed transport choices.
Hey, you know what REALLY ‘reduces car dependency’? Hint: it’s not ‘encouraging the steady circulation of parked vehicles’.
And you know what REALLY ‘improves community health’ and ‘delivers an effective and efficient transport system that enables Aucklanders to make informed transport choices’? Hint: it’s not tinkering with the parking.
Our suggestion: instead of improving the circulation of (mostly single occupancy) cars, how about Auckland Transport improve College Hill for people on foot, on bikes and in buses?
Moreover, AT’s own Parking Strategy has this to say about arterial routes:
AT will manage parking on arterial roads by extending clearways or removing parking where it:
- Inhibits the capacity of the road to carry more people (& goods) particularly in the peak periods, and/or
- Causes significant delays to the speed and reliability of public transport on the FTN, and/or
- Causes safety risks for cyclists or impedes quality improvements on the Auckland Cycle Network.
Here’s our thinking
- This project does not reduce car dependency
- As per AT’s own parking strategy, movement and safety of active modes should come before parking, whether short or long-term
- Therefore, bike lanes, better pedestrian crossings, and bus lanes should be prioritised here, by removing parking where possible (as on much of the rest of the street)
- So AT should investigate opportunities for adding – at an absolute minimum – stretches of protected bike lane here. (For example, uphill between Scotland Street and England Street. Hey, we could dub it the Great British bike lane!)
- The opportunity exists to be bold. Rather than death-by-a-thousand-cuts and tinkering with parking over the next decade or so, AT should boldly ‘ungap the map’ by creating tactical safe space for cycling where none currently exists.
Action is what improves a city, not fiddling around the edges. So ask for action now. Remember, when enough of us demand better, we eventually do get better. Things seem impossible… until they become inevitable. It only takes a minute to ask.
Use the pink button below to call for tactical protected bike lanes on College Hill!
Quick guidelines for feedback:
- This isn’t a great proposal.
- AT’s priority on College Hill should be walking, biking, and buses, not car parks.
- AT has an opportunity to boldly prioritise safety here, rather than fiddle around the edges.
- Please add tactical bike lanes to College Hill!
- (And where the form asks for ‘other information’, feel free to tell your personal story about the need for safer biking here)