Who will champion cycling and walking within Auckland Transport?

Who will champion cycling and walking within Auckland Transport?Auckland Transport’s upcoming restructure is in the news (Cycling unit pays price for Auckland Transport dysfunction; Auckland Council’s transport agency rolls out major restructure). Updated 6 November: read our op-ed at The Spinoff, where we lay out the questions this raises. We’re not alone in registering strong concern, and we’ll be watching developments closely. Here’s our statement. MEDIA RELEASE: 2 November 2018 Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling Programme Under Threat Proposed restructure risks major loss of expertise and experience at a critical moment in Auckland’s transport planning evolution, says city’s cycling advocacy organisation. Bike Auckland, the nonprofit advocacy organisation for people on bikes, is deeply concerned by reports that Auckland Transport …
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A majority of Aucklanders like bikes: AT’s 2018 Active Modes survey

A majority of Aucklanders like bikes: AT's 2018 Active Modes surveyEvery year, to round out the bare-bones data the automatic cycle counters supply, Auckland Transport commissions independent research, interviewing a representative sample of Aucklanders by location, age, and gender to find out what people think about walking and cycling. (We’ve covered previous surveys here and here.) Note: the screenshots below are from the full research report by TRA, which is located here. Long story short: the 2018 report confirms what our eyes are telling us as we travel around the city – there are more of us on bikes than ever. And people are feeling happier about bikes in general, and bikes in their community in particular. This is the result that’s leading the …
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Speaking the same language on safety

Speaking the same language on safetyWe welcome Auckland Transport’s recent media release last week, acknowledging the horrific increase since 2014 in deaths and serious injuries for people using AT’s road network (as laid out in the independent safety report commissioned by the AT board). It’s painful but necessary to have this out in the open, and Greater Auckland covered the topic well in a recent blog post.  We especially welcome the proposed response, which is that AT will massively ramp up its spending to create safer roads, joining Minister Genter’s commitment to Vision Zero. I’m keen to hear from you how the extra cycling safety dollars could be used most effectively. While you think about it, I’d like …
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Auckland Transport’s draft budget ‘a major back-pedal’

Auckland Transport’s draft budget 'a major back-pedal'MEDIA STATEMENT 25 January 2018 – for immediate release Bike Auckland is deeply concerned that Auckland Transport is considering a draft budget for 2018-2028 that would dramatically cut investment in making our city’s streets safer for cycling and walking. Slashing the walking and cycling budget by 90% would slam the brakes on Auckland’s bike renaissance, a citywide phenomenon that has been growing for half a decade thanks to new, safe and connected bike paths. Cycling has taken off in Auckland, to the benefit of all: for example, trips on the Northwestern Cycleway are rising 20% year on year, with most of these peak hour trips that would otherwise jam the motorway. Bikes also now …
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Dynamic lanes for Whangaparaoa drivers – but what about bikes?

Dynamic lanes for Whangaparaoa drivers – but what about bikes?A guest post from David Squirrell, looking at the proposed Whangaparaoa Rd dynamic lane control trial from a local perspective. (For Bike Auckland’s concerns about the project, see here).  At a highly charged public meeting recently, the team at Auckland Transport unveiled its plans to trial ‘dynamic lanes’ on the Whangaparaoa Road. The scheme is being billed by AT as a potential solution to Auckland’s increasing traffic congestion problems. To those unfamiliar with this area of town, the two-lane road runs along the ridge of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula serving a series of bays and residential suburbs and ending at Gulf Harbour. Like many major arterial roads in Auckland, Whangaparaoa Rd has …
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Bike to the future: a 10 year plan for cycling in Auckland

Bike to the future: a 10 year plan for cycling in AucklandRemember when Auckland had a paltry $5 million across 3 years to spend on all improvements for walking AND cycling across the entire city? Us neither! Those bad old days seem eons ago – yet it was only in 2015 that the Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP) unlocked extra funding and kickstarted the bike boom, the effects of which we’re just starting to see. Now, Auckland Transport along with the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council, is looking a decade into the future with an investment business case for cycling investment 2018-2028. Yesterday, the AT Board formally approved it. The guts: a proposed combined investment of $600million over the next 10 years …
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Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centre

Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centreJust us, or… is there a bit of a tone-shift lately in the way bikes are being covered in the news? Matt Heath’s Herald column in praise of Lightpath made us smile on a Monday morning. Admittedly, it’s hard not to break out in a grin when you read a description like this: I know it had to close down for a re-pinking, but boy is it futuristic. I ride that Utopian overpass to work every morning. The lights are so bright and blue. The pinks so pink. The convenience so convenient. You feel like you’re on a Tron Light Cycle. Like you’re in a Battlestar Galactica launch tunnel. Matt’s point is, why quibble about …
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“Adverse network effects”: help reverse a major back-pedal in Mt Albert!

"Adverse network effects": help reverse a major back-pedal in Mt Albert!What is this, Groundhog Day?? Auckland Transport is suddenly backpedalling on a plan for new bike lanes that were meant to form part of a long-awaited town centre upgrade and a key link in the planned cycle network. Worse: this U-turn uses a new ‘preferred option’ from AT that runs contrary to the original public response, the preferences of the Local Board and the local MP, and AT’s own plans for the cycling network. Not to mention the goal of a 30% increase in urban cycling numbers after 2018. Plus, it’s being rushed through quickly, in the weeks just before Christmas! The quick version: AT is proposing to remove the new cycle lanes from Mt Albert town centre in …
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AT is on the money with 99c weekend travel – so let’s build streets to suit

AT is on the money with 99c weekend travel - so let's build streets to suitMy brother in Wellington wrote to me recently about a weekend train trip to the country with family members, some of whom brought bikes so they could take the scenic route home. The outing wasn’t just fun, but affordable. My brother has a SuperGold Card, and everyone else enjoyed cheap fares designed to encourage more people to use public transport instead of cars for weekend fun. I’m seeing more and more of this multi-modal multi-generational weekend travel around Auckland. Family groups bringing bikes on the ferry to explore Devonport; or taking the train to Onehunga to ride to Ambury Park; or arriving at Britomart ready to ride the waterfront and the Pink Path (or both!). Everyone looks to …
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On being happy with Auckland Transport three times

On being happy with Auckland Transport three timesAs we wrote in a previous blog, the sheer volume of projects coming out of Auckland Transport at any given time means that there are bound to be quite a few that aren’t that great, and a few that can make you pretty grumpy. And sometimes… the opposite happens. So it’s only fair enough that we highlight some of those happier instances, too. Credit where credit is due. Starting with the smallest example, and working our way up, here are three recent cases where AT made us happy. No 1 – Some space for paint This was item number 3 in our ‘angry‘ blog. Remember how AT originally argued that an extremely wide traffic lane on Great South Road …
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On being angry with Auckland Transport three times

On being angry with Auckland Transport three timesWe enjoy working with Auckland Transport, particularly in recent years with the steady rise in cycle projects and bike-friendly people inside AT. We like getting to know people and how they work (and what they, like us, have to work against), and it’s great to get to collaborate on improving this city. At the recent opening of the Quay St protected cycleway, it gladdened our hearts to hear the top level of AT publicly singing the praises of how bike culture makes this city better in every way – and enjoying the instant, enthusiastic uptake of this latest flagship project. The ‘network effect‘ isn’t just happening at street level – it’s a human thing across the city’s management. The recent …
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It’s all go! A new look cycling campaign from AT

It's all go! A new look cycling campaign from ATAuckland Transport launches a colourful new campaign today, to keep people up to date with – and enthused about! – the steadily expanding bike network. The campaign brings a cheery, positive, and ambitious perspective to the current 3-year programme of unprecedented investment, and makes the case for bike-friendliness as a basic, essential part of the Auckland way of life. As AT’s Walking and Cycling manager Kathryn King says in the accompanying booklet, the Auckland Cycling Account, the idea is to ‘bring the network to life and demonstrate the role cycling has to play in making our city a better place to live.’ The website and the booklet both feature nice infographics, encapsulating some …
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Super-sizing Lincoln Road, or: Trying to do everything?

Super-sizing Lincoln Road, or: Trying to do everything?Thanks to a tip from our friends at Transport Blog, we were alerted to the fact that Auckland Transport has quietly uploaded a plan of their future design for Lincoln Road (general project website here) and they intend to proceed with the Notice of Requirement (basically the big-picture planning approval) as early as this week. Lincoln Road is already something of a legend – a textbook “stroad“, says TransportBlog. “A magical kingdom of food and services,” counter-argues westie journalist Steve Braunias, who’s on a tongue-in-cheek mission to eat at every single one of its 55 food joints and en route, chronicle the way “Lincoln Rd gives life to Auckland. It nourishes, it provides.” And man, this …
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Windows of opportunity – building a bikeable Auckland

Windows of opportunity - building a bikeable AucklandImagine yourself as a builder. If you were a good builder, you would know tons of different things – from how to build a framework that doesn’t fall down in a storm, to where pipes have to run, to how to insulate walls, or add a door. Sure, you will often call upon specialists like sparkies or plumbers – but even then, you have a pretty good idea of what they do, and can make sure that your work ties in well with theirs. But – what if all your life, since beginning as an apprentice, you’d never been taught how to build windows? And what if, in fact, the vast majority of …
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Last call for the Inner West safer streets consultation!

Last call for the Inner West safer streets consultation!The clock is ticking on Auckland Transport’s consultation on how to make the suburbs from Pt Chev to the city more bike-friendly.  Feedback is due by the end of Tuesday 5 April [deadline extended], so consider this your urgent reminder to take the opportunity to speak up for a truly bikeable back yard. And if our words don’t convince you, maybe the gorgeous images from our mates at Generation Zero will! AT is looking to you to help work out the priorities for this area for the next ten years. They want to know: where you currently ride, where you’d like to ride, if you could, and what needs fixing to make your bike travels possible. …
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