Federal Street: tactical urbanism works!

Federal Street: tactical urbanism works!In March 2018, a trial project popped up on Federal St in the central city. With the CRL works happening on Albert Street, little old Federal St offered a parallel through-route for walking and for biking – except that it was a one-way street So the Auckland Design Office and AT added a contra-flow bike lane using planters and rubber ‘armadillos’, as well as colourful paint at intersections, and a new pedestrian crossing on Wyndham St. After six months, AT invited public feedback, and a review was undertaken (by Mackie Research) which gathered data to compare with a baseline study from June/ July 2016. Both the feedback report and the …
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Pop-up protected bike lanes: let’s make a list!

Pop-up protected bike lanes: let's make a list!Auckland Transport has recently opened the door to discussing ‘tactical’ upgrades – quick and affordable fixes to instantly improve road safety. Which is good, because we have some ideas! For example, you’ll have noticed that as double-decker buses move around the city, shop verandahs and trees have been protected using simple hit-sticks and bumpers. Call us crazy, but we happen to think people on bikes are just as deserving of quick-fix safety measures as trees and verandahs. Of course, raised and/or fully separated bikeways remain the Holy Grail: protected and connected bike lanes save lives – not just for people on bikes – and are a key part of any respectable …
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Keep calm and carry on up Federal Street?

Keep calm and carry on up Federal Street?Earlier this year, Auckland Transport did something we’ve been asking for a long time: they built a bikeway with very little fuss, at little cost, and (relatively) fast, in partnership with the Auckland Design Office. This is the Federal Street contraflow bikeway, connecting Fanshawe Street to Victoria Street, providing more choices where people can safely ride – even up a one-way street like Federal. Impressively, this project took less than 2 years from inception to construction – when the average in Auckland is around 5 years for permanent bikeways! How was it delivered at such speed? Partly because it was constructed almost entirely with paint, planter boxes, ‘armadillo’ separators, and other …
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Tamaki Drive and Watene Crescent – quick wins for safety

Tamaki Drive and Watene Crescent - quick wins for safetyOne of the many upgrades happening along Tamaki Drive at the moment is a quick project to improve safety at the intersection with Watene Crescent, in Okahu Bay next to the Orakei Domain. Auckland Transport plans to install bicycle activated ‘smart studs’ here (small bright lights set into the road, as seen elsewhere in the city) with accompanying warning signs, to alert drivers to the presence of people on bikes. Of course, this is just one small but crucial interim safety fix along what is Auckland’s (and maybe New Zealand’s) busiest bike route. We really hope to see delivery of better safety on this stretch of Tamaki Drive – flashing warning signs …
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Permeability is a two-way street… for bikes!

Permeability is a two-way street... for bikes!In an exciting development, Auckland Transport has announced a proposal to allow two-way cycling on half a dozen quiet one-way streets in the city centre. We’ve pushed for this for quite a while, as an essential part of a permeable network for travel by bike, so we are more than thrilled to see it happening. The idea is, these streets already have a calmed traffic flow and are pedestrian-and-bike-friendly; allowing people on bikes to legally travel in both directions on these quiet streets will enhance the cycle-friendly grid. The six initial trial streets are all in the central city – but obviously the wider potential of this design for enhancing bike travel across Auckland is pretty huge. AT says: “If well received, …
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How to go Friding – and a Friding challenge!

How to go Friding - and a Friding challenge!Friding is one of those ideas that strikes you with the force of a revelation: Riding. On a Friday. “The best day, the best way.” Couldn’t be simpler. It’s not formal, it’s not planned, it’s just giving people permission. Once a week, take your bike. And yet, as its inventors Nick McFarlane and Greg Wood say in a great article in today’s Herald, it’s extremely powerful too: “Our plan is to change the world one Friday at a time.” Greg gave us the downlow at the recent Pecha Kucha bike night, including this perfect image that captures the moment when the Sisyphus effect gives way to the snowball effect. And since today is the day before Friday, and …
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Tactical urbanism – how a lick of paint can transform a car-centric street

Tactical urbanism - how a lick of paint can transform a car-centric streetNorth Shore resident and biking dad Mat Collins writes about how he was inspired to rethink his street, after a visit from the guru of Tactical Urbanism: In June, the visiting urbanist Mike Lydon had the whole audience enthralled at Auckland Conversations, where he enthusiastically showcased ‘tactical urbanism’ as a tool to enact change within our communities. One of the key messages I took from the evening was the benefits of quick and cheap solutions. When it comes to fixing our streets, the step change towards implementing the ultimate solution can seem prohibitively expensive, whereas a cheap, incremental approach can get the ball rolling sooner. Quick implementation means momentum can be maintained, encouraging others to …
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