Our city has a number of hot spots where motorists pull into cycle lanes to push ahead of vehicles in adjacent traffic lanes. It tends to be more common where cycle lanes adjoin traffic lanes near motorway interchanges, but the practice is not exclusive to these locations.
We had major problems with this two winters ago with morning peak hour traffic on Triangle Road, a major feeder road to Lincoln Rd and the North Western Motorway. Lincoln Rd is also a major feeder for cyclists travelling across Lincoln Rd to Central Park Drive to the start of the NW Cycleway. Imagine how threatening it was to face this in the dark and cold at the start of a 40 minute cycling commute into the city?
We later learnt that AT’s slow response was partly due to their policy of consulting neighbours about changes to parking and the road layout. AT’s new parking strategy should improve this by prioritising road safety over convenience for adjoining land owners who rely on using public oadside parking. We have made a submission on the strategy, and will blog it later today, so that you can support us. Submissions to the Strategy close tomorrow!
The Triangle Rd example shows the problem can be fixed quickly once AT decides to act. A local cyclist contacted us yesterday about his daily commute on Royal View Rd, where we asked contractor, Fulton Hogan to install a few safe hit posts to protect a temporary cycle lane. Our correspondent says”the safe hit posts on Royal View Rd are only there for the last 20-30m, but they have the effect of leaving the left hand side open for cycling as far back as 200-300m, because motorists learn that they will have to move right near the intersection and pre-position themselves.”
The same correspondent tells us he has been asking AT for the past 2 years for a few ‘safe hit posts’ on the Central Park Drive approach to Lincoln Rd. The red spots in his illustration here shows what he would like installed to train motorists to respect the cycle lane –
You’d have to say, given the resources of AT, this doesn’t seem to be a big ask. (And while they’re on the job – we’d love them to complete the great work NZTA has done by extending the NW Cycleway along Lincoln Rd towards Central Park Drive, and changing the road layout to provide safe access for cyclists across the Central Park/ Triangle Rd/ Lincoln Rd intersection. We’ve been asking AT for this for at least 6 months. This is the premier commuter route for people cycling in Auckland, so why isn’t it connected up? )
Back to our topic – We’re preparing a list of locations so our city’s One Network agencies, the NZTA and AT, can install safe hit posts creating protected cycle lanes to prevent invasions by motorists. We regard this to be a pilot project which should be able to be delivered in a few months across Auckland.
We need to hear from you – please add your comments to this blog to identify the hot spots where your cycling safety is at risk due to motorists invading cycle lanes.
You can see how effective a photo can be to illustrate the issue – send it to me – email@example.com