Several new cycleways are being prepared for construction down south by Auckland Transport – first one up is cycle lanes on Station Road / St George Street, closing an important gap between the existing Buckland Road cycle lanes and the Papatoetoe Town Centre. A very important spine for a part of town that badly needs to be treated better by our transport planners.
So what do the plans tell us? Well, it’s good stuff to start with, but then…:
- At the northern end, where the new cycle lanes should connect (for northbound cyclists) with those on Buckland Road / Portage Road, instead one of the lanes just stops. It doesn’t continue around the corner, because a right turn bay into Gray Ave takes the needed space. Not good enough – seriously, what happened to the promises there would be no more cycle lanes disappearing just when we get to the intersections? Don’t create another gap in a “complete” route which cyclists will have to fight for a decade to get fixed!..
- This cycle lane needs to be continued through the intersection, from Station Road all the way along Portage Road until the Buckland Road cycle lane starts, 200m further. This is easily achievable by narrowing the solid median island..
- The cycle lanes are proposed to be 2.1m wide. Good, but in an Auckland driver’s eyes, that is the exact width of a parking lane – and anyway, it is also the perfect width to easily build this to a better standard from day one..
- Just stick up flexi-posts to create a protected cycle lane (or if there’s concerns about the looks of flexi posts in a suburban street, stay with low kerbed dividers like those shown in this post). We need to step up and build better bike lanes. Paint only attracts only a few people way ahead of the trend. Step up the game, please, Auckland Transport! Build a cycleway that our children would be allowed to ride on.
- Lastly, the section through the Papatoetoe Town Centre. Cycle lanes on the bridge into the town centre, but then – nothing. While I can see that at the moment, asking those retailers and other local worthies to lose shopper’s car parks to proper cycleways is probably a losing bet (we have trouble convincing them of that in central Auckland, where cycle numbers are much higher) – we still need to acknowledge that there is no cycle provision here!
- So what is the alternative? Easy. Make the town centre 30 km/h. Much safer for everyone, cyclists and pedestrians (motorists too, actually!).
Okay, hopefully a lot of you agree with the above comments – please circulate this consultation through your networks, and please submit comments yourself if you have any connection to the area. Consultation is open till Friday this week, so why not give feedback now?