Unclogging the NW bottleneck: A Bike Auckland proposal

Unclogging the NW bottleneck: A Bike Auckland proposalRunning alongside SH16, the Northwestern Cycleway is not only the key bike path from the western suburbs into the CBD, it’s also a crucial local connection to and between Kingsland, Eden Terrace, and Arch Hill. And it’s booming – daily bike traffic has tripled in less than five years, with a daily average of close to 1000 trips registered by the automatic bike counter near Bond St (and 1500 on the last Thursday in February!). It’s a huge success story – with a major pinch point: the section between St Lukes Rd and Newton Rd. Built in the early 2000s as a shared path for bikes and pedestrians, the width …
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Old-fashioned get up and go gets Waipu a cycleway!

Old-fashioned get up and go gets Waipu a cycleway!When you chat to people about why they’re involved with cycle advocacy, everyone has their own story about imagining a bikeable future. So it is with a savvy and determined group of advocates in Waipu. Five years ago, two young girls at Waipu Primary School – Emily Stolwerk and Ceili Lea – came up with a brilliantly simple idea: they just wanted to be able to ride their bikes between Waipu Town and Waipu Cove, a distance of about 10km. (The fact that kids have to ask for safe places to ride their bikes is a poignant reminder that streets everywhere, including the ones we live on, have slowly become hostile spaces, …
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Warm up with a westie winter bicycle adventure

Warm up with a westie winter bicycle adventureThe best way to celebrate new shared path connections is to go for a ride! And winter can be the nicest time to do it. On a beautiful crisp sunny Saturday in July, me and a couple of gal pals decided to make the most of it and head for a bit of an explore on some newly joined up off-road paths. We met up at the opening ceremony for the newly refurbished Pt Chevalier Square, which was absolutely delightful. The new park benches rotate and slide to create a delightful activation for the community. They also allow you to make the most of catching the summer sun (or shade) so I recommend you grab a …
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[Updated] Parks are for people – a fresh masterplan for the Domain

[Updated] Parks are for people - a fresh masterplan for the DomainUpdate: due to high interest in the Domain Masterplan and especially in the cycleways aspect, the Domain Committee Chair has now extended the public consultation period to 24 March. Have at it! Auckland Domain may not be quite as large as the main urban parks of global cities like Central Park in New York, or Tiergarten in Berlin – but it offers stunning features that can definitely compete, like the beautiful and often immense old trees, the awe-inspiring vistas over the city and the Waitemata out to Rangitoto, and looking the other way, the neoclassical monumentality of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The Domain is also a great place for events and …
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Flocks ‘n’ Bikes – birdwatching on wheels

Flocks 'n' Bikes - birdwatching on wheels“On my bike, I get to enjoy being a part of my environment, not apart from it,” writes our favourite storyteller Simon Vincent, as he turns his commute into a flight of fancy about what his feathered friends are thinking… Opening the squeaky door of the shed (sorry, neighbours) to get my bike out of a morning, I am often greeted by a 21-sparrow salute. The birds rise as one, complete a few aerial manoeuvres, then resettle themselves on the roof. I am intrigued by birds; their personalities and aerial displays are an integral part of my ride to work. I am not a “twitcher”, more just an interested passerby, gliding quietly through the world …
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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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Riding the Ohakune Old Coach Road – an out of town adventure

Riding the Ohakune Old Coach Road - an out of town adventureWith the long weekend ahead, our thoughts turn to out-of-town bike trails. Our events guru Jessica Rose rode the Old Coach Road in autumn, and loved it.  If anyone is heading out of town for a trip to (or near!) the snow, try taking a look at the Old Coach Road. This is en route to Ohakune, near Horopito on State Highway 4, just a couple of hundred meters past the National Park turn off (and near the original Smash Palace, for fans of NZ film). The Old Coach Track was part of the first rail line that spanned the North Island from Wellington to Auckland, until it fell into misuse and was, for …
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Te Whau Pathway under way – now let’s keep track of progress!

Te Whau Pathway under way - now let's keep track of progress!Stage 1 of Te Whau Pathway was officially opened over the weekend, with Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse in attendance. And the Pathway has a gorgeous new website, giving the history and future of this magnificent project, which is projected for completion over the next 5-8 years. We hear Stage 1a is already out for consultation. The website is a great resource – maps, photos, and you can sign up for a regular newsletter to keep you up to date. It’s exciting to think about this beautiful greenway, accessible and community-focussed, eventually linking Green Bay to Te Atatu Peninsula (through New Lynn), along the banks of the Whau River and via local parks and green spaces. Auckland’s really …
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Boardwalks through time…

Boardwalks through time...…or: Why do dawn blessings have to happen so very early??? Last week, we got a short-notice-invite to the dawn blessing for the construction works on the Eric Armishaw Reserve boardwalk, in Point Chevalier. Living locally these days, I felt that despite being very much NOT a morning person, I had to go to this one (after already missing the dawn blessing for the much bigger Waterview Path some weeks ago, for which there had been even less advance warning). So here I was, getting up at 5am to walk over to Point Chevalier from neighbouring Mt Albert. Because, well-organised as I was, I had left my bike at work …
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Have gold card, will cycle – the new bike ambassadors

One of the things I love about getting around by bike and public transport is the people I bump into along the way: I feel like it gives me a snapshot of the new Auckland. A week ago, while en route to the airport bus, I met this smiley, friendly couple on the Devonport ferry with their bikes… As we shuffled round the deck dodging hail, Jim and Julie told me all about how they had moved from their family home in Pakuranga to an apartment in Newmarket. Now centrally placed with the train at their doorstep, they spend their weekends exploring Auckland cycle trails accessible by train and ferry. Julie seemed a bit apologetic …
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Zane rides the Timber Trail – Part 2 of 2

Zane rides the Timber Trail - Part 2 of 2We left Zane in the middle of a suspension bridge, just about halfway through the magnificent Timber Trail. Rejoin the story as he heads downhill all the way home…  After an exciting downhill ride along the road, exposed to the sun for some time, there’s a river you must stop by to cool off, the water so clear and fresh you could spend ages here just lazing about. If only it was deep enough to swim in. But it’s 11am and there’s 50 km to go. And besides, I’m starting to get tired. My goal when I started turning the pedals back in Pureora was to ride the whole 84km of …
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Zane rides the Timber Trail – Part 1 of 2

Zane rides the Timber Trail - Part 1 of 2We’ve written about the fabulous Timber Trail before, one of the most spectacular stretches of the NZ Cycle Trail (and home to the longest bike trail suspension bridge in the country). So we couldn’t resist revisiting it via this atmospheric account from our pal Zane Bray. In part one of a two-part story, Zane arrives in the friendly ghost-town of Ongarue, and sets off along the trail alone… Arriving in Ongarue at dusk, there’s an element of sadness here, isolation, abandonment, desolation. I’ve seen more rabbits than people – and a mere handful of shy rabbits, at that. I can imagine the people here scurrying for cover just like the rabbits when they see someone strange wandering into their tumbleweed …
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UCF projects: Waterview Shared Path PLUS

In this short series, we discuss [not necessarily in order of importance] the various Auckland cycle projects that have achieved funding from the Urban Cycleway Fund, and thus are likely to be built in the next 3 years. The Waterview Shared Path was pretty controversial in its time. As you can see from past blogs (1, 2) on our website, it wasn’t easy convincing decisionmakers to include it, and in the end, it fell to the Board of Inquiry making a judgement on NZTA’s efforts to mitigate their big motorway project. Happily, a number of major walking and cycling improvements were finally ordered by the court as part of the mitigation package, including …
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Waterways for cycling – a Brisbane treat to add to Auckland’s shopping basket

Waterways for cycling - a Brisbane treat to add to Auckland's shopping basketLike many Kiwi families, we’ve had one of our kids lured by the flash salaries and job opportunities of Australia. We’re lucky our son is on the east coast, so I’m in Brisbane for a family catch-up. Soaking up the warm winter temperatures (28 degrees on Saturday), the stimulation of a bigger city, and city-spying from the seat of a CityCycle. The Brisbane metropolitan area has 2.5m residents, compared with Auckland’s 1.4m. The look and feel of the central city gives the impression of a more compact core, with large-scale apartment development, and impressive sandstone heritage public buildings. Brisbane has a more comprehensive cycling network than Auckland, with 1100 kilometres of …
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Cycleway detours at Te Atatu

Cycleway detours at Te AtatuSarah Price, NZTA’s stakeholder manager would like to alert NW Cycleway users and people on the Te Atatu Interchange that there’s a few shifts of paths coming up. Thanks to the condition of consent and the contractor’s and designer’s work, closures of the cycleway will again be avoided (except maybe for the odd time when a truck has to cross the cycleway here or there). These closures are in part so Fulton Hogan can construct the new underpass and new cycleway sections. We will show you some more info about those in a few days. But here are the detour images – and some information on when you can get …
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