All cycleways are not created equal: or, when to say yeah-nah

All cycleways are not created equal: or, when to say yeah-nahSimon Wilson at The Spinoff has written a cracker of a piece about the East-West Link, the Onehunga roading project currently facing a Board of Inquiry at the Environment Court to see if it will be allowed to be fast-tracked. Of the extremely large number of public submissions (you can see the analysis here), the vast majority (85%) oppose the plan. Simon’s article is a pretty great round-up of why. Among other things, the projected $1.85bn budget could go a long way towards all sorts of other transport projects that would help Auckland, including the rail and bus network. Or imagine, for example, investing that same sum in a cogent network of connected cycleways, protected bike lanes, wide smooth footpaths, and traffic-calmed safer streets in …
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Last chance to weigh in on the East-West Link

Last chance to weigh in on the East-West LinkIt’s crunch time for Onehunga. The Environment Protection Agency is holding a Board of Inquiry on the proposed East-West Link from SH1 to Onehunga along the inlet foreshore. Public feedback is open until 5pm on Wednesday 22 March 2017, and there’s a handy link for online submissions on this page.  We’ve written before about our doubts about the project (here, here, and here), which have grown as the estimated cost has ballooned – and we’re not alone in being unconvinced, with the wider community and some at Council also expressing concern. Even though some aspects of the proposal will be great for cycling (among other things), and we generally have a good working relationship with NZTA, our concerns are such that we can’t support …
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‘First do no harm’: why it’s time for Vision Zero NZ

'First do no harm': why it's time for Vision Zero NZSobering news: in August, New Zealand’s road fatality toll stands at 214 people killed on our roads so far this year, including 3 people who were just out riding their bikes, 15 pedestrians,10 children; 50 in Auckland alone… any way you slice the data, it’s still too many. And that’s not accounting for life-changing injury. What is an acceptable fatality rate, in a country our size? Think of a number – and then watch this. Vision Zero, an approach that began in Sweden and is being adopted around the world, flips the script. Instead of assuming a certain number of road deaths are inevitable, we could insist on none. We could refuse to accept the ‘road toll’ as some sort of fixed tax – or indeed, ‘toll’ – in exchange …
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A chorus of support for SeaPath – help us spread the word!

A chorus of support for SeaPath - help us spread the word!The responses to the quick SeaPath feedback form we’re running with Generation Zero continue to flood in. A couple of thousand of you have already spoken up via our form, and we know even more have used NZTA’s online form and even the good old postal service. A quick reminder: there’s an info session TONIGHT, Thursday 14 April, from 6 – 8pm at the Northcote War Memorial Hall, 2 Rodney Road, Northcote Point. And there’s two whole weeks left – feedback closes April 29 – to really make clear how much Auckland wants and needs this wonderful connection! So we’re asking you to pass the word on to anyone you know who might want to walk …
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SeaPath is edging closer… and which side are we on?

SeaPath is edging closer... and which side are we on?It was back in September 2014 when we blogged on SeaPath – the proposed 3km shared path around the harbour that would form a critical link from the Harbour Bridge towards Takapuna. Back then, we wrote about Forest & Bird’s NaturePath variation, designed to skirt around the dotterels and other delicate features, and we looked at the various design constraints NZTA would need to consider.  We concluded with the comment: “In due course NZTA will share their design with us.  As soon as it’s in the public domain, rest assured, we’ll let you know”. Well – we have to say that you’ve been very patient!  NZTA have been quietly mulling over three …
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Another present under our Christmas Tree: the Te Atatu underpass!

Another present under our Christmas Tree: the Te Atatu underpass!What a fabulous finish to our year! The southern Te Atatu underpass is officially open, with direct access to McCormick Green open for holiday riding! On Monday I rode out to Te Atatu from the city to help celebrate the opening of the Te Atatu Underpass. Sorry to confess I was distracted by pressure to finish Bike Auckland jobs and the challenge of moving my chickens and gear to Waiheke where we’ve hosting twenty people on Christmas day. My mindset improved as soon as I got onto the new Nelson St route and saw loads of people riding it with me. My heart was singing by the time I reached the Upper …
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In the shadow of the (noise) wall: building people-friendly paths

In the shadow of the (noise) wall: building people-friendly paths“Who wants to cycle next to a motorway anyway?” one of NZTA’s planners once asked me, years ago, when we were discussing future cycleway projects the agency was scoping. “Well,” I thought to myself (but didn’t say out loud), “maybe not that many people, but it’s the only game in town where there’s any money for cycleways at the moment.” This was in the still-pretty-dark old days, when NZTA had just started putting some money (not much) into cycleway projects, while Council was still treating them as if cycling was a luxury they couldn’t afford –”maybe next year” was still the refrain. So, sure: cycling next to the motorway wasn’t necessarily anyone’s idea …
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On habits, habitats, and happy communities – a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress

On habits, habitats, and happy communities - a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle CongressBikes and bike people poured into Brisbane recently for the 2015 Asia Pacific Cycle Congress, which attracted around 230 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, and a keynote speaker from San Francisco. This year’s focus: the economic benefits of cycling, links to the health sector, and new opportunities for the biking industry. Claire Pascoe, NZTA’s Senior Cycling Adviser, was lucky enough to attend, and soaked up tons of bike news to share with us. Here’s her report: It was a refreshing (and unfamiliar) feeling to take along a presentation on behalf of NZTA that was a truly good news story of such a significant scale – “Yes, you heard right, we’re investing around $400 million …
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Northern Corridor Improvements – what’s in it for bikes?

Northern Corridor Improvements - what's in it for bikes?The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has come a long way. When Transit NZ (motorway builders) merged with the LTSA (Land Transport Safety Authority) to form the NZTA back in 2008, it was pretty clear the motorway builders were still in control, and consideration for public transport, walking and cycling was far from their minds. Times have changed over the last seven years, although you still see vestiges of the old guard down in Wellington trying to construct a monstrous flyover around the Basin Reserve. We have a much more enlightened NZTA team in Auckland.  The motorway builders are still at it of course, in this case connecting up the Western Ring Route …
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NW cycleway, nearly there! – An update from the Causeway Alliance

NW cycleway, nearly there! - An update from the Causeway AllianceTwo very welcome Northwestern Cycleway updates, via our prompt and lovely communications pal Sarah Price at NZTA. A new wide bridge replaces the skinny old “one-way bridge” just before Te Atatu. And look what’s planned for Patiki Rd – the detour will be worth it in the end! HOME STRAIGHT FOR THE CAUSEWAY CYCLEWAY The next few months sees some exciting changes for our cycleway users, as we start transitioning cyclists on to permanent pathway in a number of places. The first move is to the new path over the Whau River Bridge. The bright yellow railings match those at the Oakley Creek and add a pop of colour to the path. Cyclists will enjoy more width …
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How the UCF lolly scramble worked – and how it will transform Auckland

How the UCF lolly scramble worked - and how it will transform AucklandWe sent Bruce Copeland on a road trip to Rotorua last Thursday to represent Cycle Action at the announcement of the second tranche of funding for the Urban Cycleways Fund (UCF). Here’s his report on what it all means for biking in Auckland: Last Thursday had the feel of watching history in the making: at long last some serious cash is being invested in proper cycling infrastructure. (A fiscally prudent motorist may say this is a crazy lolly scramble, but it’s small lollies compared to the big bickies spent on tarmac). Whatever your viewpoint, how has Auckland fared? Have we got our fair share, and is it being spent in the right places? The UCF is a $100m fund designed to …
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Blessings on Nelson St

Blessings on Nelson StIt’s a new dawn, all right. The Nelson St project was formally launched with a low-key ceremony yesterday, with the blessings of kaumatua from local mana whenua. Rather apt for this time of year, a dawn service that looks forward in hope as well as drawing strength from the past. We thank everyone for their work to bring the project thus far – with special thanks to Max Robitsch who quietly generated so much of the original vision – and we eagerly anticipate its safe completion. Haumi e, hui e, taiki e! Here’s the press release from our friends at NZTA: Nelson Street Cycle Route Gets Underway A dawn blessing has marked the start of work …
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Visions on wheels – AT’s big cycling plan for the next 3 years

Visions on wheels - AT's big cycling plan for the next 3 yearsHave you seen Auckland Transport’s proposal for cycling for the next three years, to be presented to the Board this coming Tuesday? These are the projects we heard about at Kathryn King’s presentation a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to share with you. Now they’re available for all to see. The full PDF is here, and TransportBlog has the nitty-gritty (and a vigorous discussion). The programme boils down to this: $207 million invested in cycling over the next 3 years, if fully delivered $179m of that spent on dedicated cycle projects $20m +/- on cycle facilities delivered through other projects $8m+on programmes to encourage people onto bikes 53km of new cycle routes and an increase in annual cycle …
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Changes on Northwestern cycleway and Patiki Road

A message from Sarah Price at the Causeway Alliance From Thursday 12 February the access between Patiki Road and the Northwestern cycleway will be moved. Cyclists coming from Patiki Road will access the cycleway on the opposite side of the road, near Sika.  Please cross at the new pedestrian / cycleway refuge island installed along Patiki Road, near Hynds. Cyclists wanting to exit the cycleway at Patiki Road will take the new access point, near Sika.
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The real people making Auckland great for cycling

Cycle Action enjoys working closely with the people in suits around Auckland and Wellington who play a big role in how and when we get $$ for cycling. I also have special respect and high regard for the contracting teams who are building the new cycleway projects, and their Communications teams. It’s time Auckland said a massive thanks to them all, as they are change agents supremo! This is the team on Causeway Alliance building part of the new NW Cycleway at the Oakley Creek bridge opening. People who cycle the NW cycleway frequently tell us stories about the staunch crews building the Transport Agency’s new cycleways beside SH 16. …
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