At least that is our attitude to the AMETI Plans for the Pakuranga area, which are intended to change this car-overwhelmed part of Auckland for the better. What started out as a bus priority project has grown. To a degree – if we are allowed to pat ourselves on the back – due to CAA participation in various Council workshops, the project now includes an off-road cycleway from Panmure to Pakuranga (and later on, onwards to Botany), dedicated to cyclists only. You will have a kerbed buffer between you and the busway / roads, and there will also be dedicated footpaths – so no sharing with slow pedestrians walking three abreast with Ipods in their ears…
Because of that, we are confident that the cycleway will attract cyclists ranging from the family out on their first bike trip for years to the morning commuter wanting to move fast.
The plan storyboards (9 pages) that were shown at recent events give you an idea of the other things that are to happen in the area, so you can give feedback to Auckland Council (email: PlanPakuranga@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz) before the formal submissions happen later this year. Feedback needs to be in by THURSDAY THIS WEEK.
Some of the things CAA will submit on (and which you may also want to raise) will be:
- Emphasise that the northernmost part of Ti Rakau Drive, through the town centre, also needs an off-road cycleway – to link into the cycleway planned along Ti Rakau Drive to Botany itself (this may well happen, but is not confirmed yet – some concepts discussed funneling cyclists through a plaza area for a short stretch, which would obviously be less ideal for the commuter type cyclist).
- Emphasise that Pakuranga Road east of the town centre also needs cycle facilities (it isn’t clear from the plans at this stage whether that will happen – there will be a lot of pressure from car traffic to keep lots of traffic lanes onto that dubious new fly-over ramp)
- Apparently, the plans may include a car parking building somewhere near the town centre, for many millions of dollars. We are just building two busways and cycleways to get to this town centre. Do we really want another massive expense for car parking? No.
- We support improved “green and inviting connections” (why not call them Greenways?) for cyclists / pedestrians to the Rotary Path and other areas around the town centre.
- We support some roads being closed and turned into cul-de-sacs as part of the project – as long as walking and cycling is still retained wherever possible.
Remember that the above bullets are issues that we don’t like / are a bit worried about, and thus will highlight for them to hopefully re-think. Overall, we are quite happy with most of the project, especially to see that dedicated, really high-quality cycleways are included in these designs – cycleways that serve all types of cyclists, and go where people want to go, rather than end up shifted somewhere else. That is well worth supporting, and we hope your feedback agrees that this is a great project for cycling.
If the paper form is too cumbersome (we think so – who prints and mails stuff by post anymore?), you can also directly email your comments to their email address.