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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Sometimes it’s personal (it’s always personal)

Sometimes it's personal (it's always personal)A good friend of Bike Auckland got skittled on Onewa Road on Wednesday night. He’s okay – well, he’s alive and recovering. The shock of the incident led to a conversation within our team that we wanted to share with you, below. And then came the tragic news of a car vs bike fatality on Te Atatu Rd on Thursday evening, which made it all the more horribly relevant. We are absolutely heartbroken for everyone involved, and for our Bike Te Atatu whanau who have worked so hard over so many years to try and make changes to prevent exactly this from happening. Every time an Aucklander – a family member, …
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Great teamwork! Improved safety soon at Ngapipi Rd/ Tamaki Drive!

Great teamwork! Improved safety soon at Ngapipi Rd/ Tamaki Drive!It’s just over a month since we published our video and blog post highlighting the alarming situation on Tamaki Drive at Ngapipi Rd. As seen in the video, citybound bike folk on Tamaki Drive have to make fearsome hair-raising manoeuvres to get past the Ngapipi Rd intersection, across motorists exiting from Ngapipi Rd via the slip lane. That video – and your vociferous feedback about it – was absolutely crucial in persuading Auckland Transport that an interim fix is urgently needed, in addition to the planned full signalising of this intersection. The large-scale signalizing works need resource consent, which will be publicly notified soon. AT recognises that the work will focus attention on the current pinchpoint …
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Northern Mt Albert – put the ‘local’ back into the ‘local streets’

Northern Mt Albert – put the 'local' back into the 'local streets'Do you live in, or travel through, the northern Mt Albert area, between Unitec / Carrington Road to the west and St Lukes Road in the east? Take a step (out of the car) and walk or cycle these streets, and you’ll quickly notice two things: it’s a gorgeous wee residential enclave, and the 1950s road design has left the suburb with lots of excessively wide streets, ripe for transforming into four-lane highways (just in case), with intersections large enough to handle truck-and-trailer combos and big enough to whip a car around at speed. While the footpaths generally tend to be okayish and are shaded by beautiful trees, all that asphalt from gutter …
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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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Beyond separation anxiety: traffic calming & self-enforcing streets

Beyond separation anxiety: traffic calming & self-enforcing streetsA guest blog by Mat Collins, engineer and cycling dad, on quick cheap and local alternatives to fully separated bike lanes.   Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’ll be no surprise that the most commonly identified barrier between people and their use of the humble bicycle as a regular mode of transport is the perceived lack of safety. With 60% of Aucklanders saying they would ride more if they felt safer, if we can address those worries we could unleash the huge untapped two-wheeled potential of our city. Address safety concerns, and they will come. When you think about improving safety, it’s easy to leap to the conclusion that separating cars from …
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The Bikeable Back Yard – How the Inner West Will Be Won!

The Bikeable Back Yard - How the Inner West Will Be Won!UPDATE: Consultation closes soon on the Pt Chev to City safe cycle routes! Here’s the link for online feedback – or you can use the leaflet sent out by mail/ picked up from your local library. Please send your feedback in by the extended deadline-  end of Tuesday 5 April. What routes you and your family and friends want to ride What danger ‘hot spots’ need fixing Any other thoughts about safer streets across this area Your feedback is hugely important in prioritizing what Auckland Transport does in these neighborhoods over the next ten decades. Grab the chance to have your say!  Creating a bikeable city is a massive project… and a whole lot of small ones. The large-scale …
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Ngapipi Road, Tamaki Drive – Russian Roulette with delays!

Ngapipi Road, Tamaki Drive - Russian Roulette with delays!Another person on a bike has been injured at Auckland’s worst cycling blackspot, Tamaki Drive / Ngapipi Road. Details are sketchy so far, but it seems that despite the crash involving a truck – many a cyclist’s greatest crash nightmare – the cyclist came away with “only” minor injuries. We sincerely hope that the reporting is correct. What frustrates us horribly is that this intersection has been in the spotlight for many years. As far back as 2011, it has featured in media reports, official safety audits raising concerns – and numerous cycle crashes, many of them more severe than today’s crash. In fact, NZTA ranks it as Number 10 on the …
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Franklin, my dears: we do give a damn

Franklin, my dears: we do give a damnWe all share a love of bikes and the joy and freedom of riding around Auckland.  Cycle Action is about celebrating and evangalising this lifestyle, of course. But we’re also about the gritty grind of advocating for better street design, so that the 60% of Aucklanders who say they would ride if there was safe infrastructure can enjoy the city on bikes as well. And that sometimes has to happen one neighbourhood and one street at a time. Here’s an update on a small but very significant project for Auckland’s bikeable future: Auckland Transport’s proposed $10m upgrade of Franklin Road in Ponsonby. Best known as the city’s premier street for Christmas …
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Northcote Safe Cycle Route Update – a pragmatic win

Northcote Safe Cycle Route Update - a pragmatic winIt’s a sad fact of life for engineers designing cycling infrastructure that the sacred cow of on-street parking frequently frustrates good design.  We see vociferous opposition from residents and businesses to the loss of car parking everywhere we turn – from Carlton Gore Rd to Franklin Rd to Westhaven Drive/Beaumont St to of course Queen St in Northcote.  For some, the storage of private vehicles, often at no cost, is more important than moving people safely and efficiently along a roadway.  We don’t yet live in enlightened times like our European cousins in the Netherlands and Denmark. I’ve blogged before on the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, both the initial concept …
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Getting better, the further you go… Carlton Gore Road

Getting better, the further you go... Carlton Gore RoadOne of the more hopeful trends in Auckland’s “three step forwards, two steps back” cycling world is that things do get better. You can often tell the quality of a cycling design from the date on the plans – or the other way around. Plans created 3 years ago but only now being built often already look rather dated. Whereas newer designs often (although sadly, by no means always) improve markedly over what was offered even just a year ago. Carlton Gore Road – now announced to start construction on 2 April – is a classic example of this: In early 2014, CAA raised a ruckus (internally with AT only, so …
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UPDATED – Obesity and cycling: The NZ disconnect

UPDATED UPDATE: And Chris Boardman in the UK has also named cycling as a great way to combat obesity. UPDATE: I thought this post deserved a bump when I saw this article by obesity.org which states that: New research ties bike-friendly infrastructure changes in United States cities to increases in “active commuting” by bike-riding residents, which can improve and sustain weight and reduce cardiac risk. The NZ Herald has run yet another scary article on the growing obesity epidemic in New Zealand. According to the article, we are now the fourth most obese country in the world. As much as I agree with the emphasis on the culture of unhealthy …
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Halving our progress

At the end of the previous financial year (2012/2013), we ran a blog showing how slow bikeway construction in Auckland was going – only ~10 km built in one year, when the target in the Auckland Plan to finish the cycle network in 2030 requires 50 km every year. AT promised to do better. Several high-profile projects were either announced, or promised to be finished soon – there would be better, faster, more delivery. Now the 2013/2014 financial year has been over for a few months. A few high-profile projects were opened. And how many kms of cycleway were built last year (using AT’s own count, by the way)? Well, …
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Franklin Road proposal: AT must do better

Auckland Transport has now released its plan for Franklin Road (or download the PDF brochure here) which runs from Victoria Park up to Ponsonby Road. It is a steep road but also one that offers a quick link from the city to Ponsonby and beyond. As such, there has always been a hope that it would be made more cycle friendly. To put it kindly, we are giving AT a C- on this one. They have to do better than this if cycling is to grow in Auckland. AT’s Option 1 is the best of a bad bunch. This provides for a painted cycle lane on the downhill route and a …
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Cyclists are dying under trucks! What to do?

A guest post from our own Richard Barter. The recent tragedies involving crashes between cyclists and trucks have created much controversy. There are few who would not struggle with the opening sentence in a Stuff article “A truck driver who this week ran over a cyclist has a previous conviction for careless driving in relation to a crash in which a cyclist was killed.” At the same time the release of recommendations from the Cycle Safety Panel which included mandating passing distances unleashed a torrent “ONE News Facebook followers have weighed in on a new proposal to fine motorists for not giving cyclists enough space on the road.” The more …
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