A call for Newmarket/ Parnell/ Remuera/ Meadowbank/ Orakei feedback!

May 23, 2016
A call for Newmarket/ Parnell/ Remuera/ Meadowbank/ Orakei feedback!

Bike Auckland

[Update: Consultation now closed] Calling bike-friendly folk of Parnell, Grafton, Newmarket, upper Epsom, Remuera, Meadowbank and Orakei, and anyone who passes through these parts of town!

Fresh from consulting on the Inner West suburbs, Auckland Transport is now looking for feedback to help plan the next ten years of bike-friendly streets in the Inner East. Here’s the project page. Add your thoughts by 20 June 2016, via the handy online form and map, or via the freepost consultation pamphlet (arriving in mailboxes and public libraries this week).

So. Inner Easties: where do you ride? Where would you ride? Where do protected cycleways need building, and which quiet routes need calming? Where are the clever shortcuts via parks? Where do you need bike parking, safer crossings, better signage? Can we beautify a few big boulevards, a la Franklin Rd?

In other words, how best to knit these burbs together, make them more bikeable for local trips, and connect them to the growing network beyond?

Here’s a map of the area under consultation. We’ve added train stations (stars), shopping streets (blue) and schools (red circles), so you can get a sense of the range of bike-friendly destinations:

A destination-rich environment! Stars = train stations, circles = schools/universities, blue areas = major shopping centres. Have we missed anything? What else would you put on the map?

This is a very timely consultation, given the major Urban Cycleways-funded projects already under way. In particular, the Glen Innes to Tamaki shared path is poised to open up the eastern suburbs the way the NW cycleway opened up the west, and it will link directly with…

  • Tamaki Drive, one of the nation’s premiere and most enthusiastically used biking routes for exercise, commuting, and slow leisure rides – with an average of 1281 daily trips in April 2016. (NB it’s also the location of a notorious cycling black spot at Ngapipi Rd, which we’re pushing for urgent improvement)
  • and the Quay St protected cycle lanes, now under construction and due for completion in the next few months.

But there’s so much more potential for improvement here. Some general thoughts from our perspective:

1. This map doesn’t show the hills – or the flattish alternatives. The shortcut via Shore Rd and Ayr St is punishingly steep, even on an e-bike. You can skirt around the waterfront instead, but if you’re heading to Newmarket from Meadowbank (just for instance), you add 2x the distance and 2x the climbing. Still, for many, this is still preferable to daily near-misses with traffic on the other flattish alternative: Remuera Rd.

We’d therefore urge AT to prioritise improving the Remuera Rd ridge route, as well as upgrading Tamaki Drive.

2. Plus if you’re riding the Remuera Road ridge, heading towards the upper or mid city, you have to go through Newmarket which, outside of Carlton Gore Road, is a bike-hostile environment: toptally inadeqaute bike parking, no infra, even on Broadway or the back lanes. And of course it’s getting thousands more university students in the next few years. Note too that the consultation area includes Symonds St and Khyber Pass Road, which form major links between town and Newmarket, and between the old and new campuses of the University of Auckland. Symonds St is popular even with Grafton Gully as an off-road alternative: it had an average of 447 daily trips during April 2016.

These well-travelled routes are decades overdue for some kind of upgrade – let’s put them on the map (see Phil’s story of students campaigning for a safer Symonds St since the 1970s for a sense of how long the wait has been).

The Holy Sepulchre Bicycle Club, heading along Khyber Pass 1896 (Auckland War Memorial Museum copy neg. C22841.)
Bike culture got a head start in central Auckland. Here’s the Holy Sepulchre Bicycle Club heading down Khyber Pass in 1896 (Auckland War Memorial Museum, copy neg. C22841)
Same scene, nowadays. Image via Google Streetview.
Same scene, nowadays. (Image via Google Streetview). What’s missing?

3. Speaking of roads that skirt the Domain – we’re keen to see the results of the Council’s recent consultation on the new masterplan for the park, but in the meantime, feel free to make those suggestions all over again, and suggest links that will make the city’s green jewel even more accessible.

3b. Is it time to roll out the Parnell Tunnel Greenway brainwave again?

Cycle chic! Frocks on Bikes brightening up the Bastille Day celebrations in Remuera village, 2014.

4. Looking more widely at the consultation area: like the inner west, it’s a pretty well-off part of town. Looking back at the Council’s Bootblack and Bicycle Register (1910-1923), there were over 1300 bikes in the area. We wonder how many thousands of bikes sit idle in garages these days, waiting to be strapped to the back of the car for the occasional rail trail mini-break.

Wouldn’t it be great to dust off the wheels for quick trips to the shops, schools, public libraries, weekend cafe jaunts? Where would you ride, and what’s getting in the way?

We look forward to hearing your further thoughts – please share in the comments below, as well as submitting them directly to AT. Often the best ideas emerge in conversation. Let’s get talking!

Note: AT will be bringing the consultation to the public at two weekend markets (plus valet bike parking and a bike mechanic for free safety checks).

  • La Cigale French Market (69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell) Saturday 4 June, 8am – 1.30pm
  • Parnell Farmers’ Market (545 Parnell Road, Parnell) Saturday 18 June, 8am – 12 noon

Staff will also be able to answer questions at their table at the Great Auckland Bike Market (The Cloud – Queens Wharf, 99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD) Sunday 12 June, 10am – 3pm.


Join us

Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

Suggest a new ride