Birkenhead Ferry Terminal Bike Parking – Petitions for / against

Cycle Parking BirkenheadBirkenhead Ferry Terminal Bike Parking – Petitions for / against 

The new bike parking cage built on Birkenhead wharf is being questioned by locals and the Birkenhead Residents’ Association. The structure has a straightforward and well intentioned background – it was unanimously approved as to both design and location (twice) and funded by the Kaipatiki Local Board from their transport discretionary funds to provide secure, covered and convenient bike parking for ferry passengers commuting by bike. AT built the facility on the wharf, close to the terminal and power service, without disrupting car parking and within its designated area for transport operations. The design aimed to achieve transparency to reduce effect on the local area.

The Residents’ Association, and other locals, are unhappy about lack of public consultation on the structure, its effect on public harbour views, fishing opportunities and other public values. It will present a petition to the Local Board next Wednesday asking for the bike cage to be (re)moved.

A petition supporting the bike parking structure is also in circulation. If you agree, please download / print this file, sign (and gather some more signatures) and supply to board member and cyclist Nick Kearney before Wednesday. Alternatively, contact Nick Kearney directly at the Birkenhead Local Board.

CAA’s view

We regard the decision about the location to be a local one. Our focus is on ensuring that bike parking is provided, and takes account of cyclists’ needs.  These are quite well known from recent research.

Early this year AT dealt with bike parking in its large Auckland-wide professional survey of 1,048 Aucklanders.  The survey found that only 14% of those surveyed agreed there are enough bike parking facilities at public transport stations.

In June Cycle Action was commissioned by AT to conduct an on-line survey of passengers using morning peak Northern Busway station services to learn why so few people cycle to the stations. 457 people replied, and, as with the above survey, they overwhelmingly identified hostile road conditions that discouraged them from cycling. We also learnt that that 62% of those who cycled that day and 34% of non-cycling passengers noted that bike parking was out in the weather and lacked security.

An on-line survey we did last year to plan for Auckland’s proposed electric trains showed that 26% of cyclists surveyed would prefer to leave their bikes at stations if undercover and secure parking was available, rather than take them on the train.

It’s worth noting that most ferry terminals have  bike parking – usually for 10-20 bikes and without cover or security. These are generally well used. Devonport has 120 bike parks around the terminal, most undercover and many have CCTV surveillance. The facilities are well used throughout the year. The first spaces taken every day are those close to the ferry berth, undercover and with CCTV security.

To summarise, our knowledge and experience shows bike parking is needed to service public transport. Cyclists prefer these features:

  • Undercover, (sheltering the bike from the elements, and protecting people while packing/unpacking panniers)
  • Secure and protected, (so the bike is intact for the return trip).  This means the facility should be well lit, public and have security surveillance
  • Convenient and easy to access, (ie close to the PT service being used).

Within these parameters there can be any number of design solutions, and we’re the first to admit that a bike cage is not necessarily the only or best solution. The current Birkenhead facility meets our policy aims and cyclist requirements, so from that perspective we’d like it to be retained.

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