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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The Bicycle: The amazing space saving device

Riding a bike isn’t just: a fun way to travel healthy giving independence and freedom back to children good for the environment a great way to connect with public transport a cheap way to travel engaging with your local community supporting local businesses It is also about conserving one of the most precious commodities a city has, space. With more space we can create better places for social interaction, more green space, plant more trees, create more playgrounds and connect communities. Bicycles are the perfect city mobility machine.
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Paris in the slow lane

Following on from earlier posts on slow zones in New York and London and free right hand (in NZ left hand) turns in Paris, more inpirational stuff from Paris to create a better city for pedestrians and cyclists (and motorists). Paris is to set a default speed limit of 30km/h over the whole city. The only exceptions will be a few key arterials and some routes down the banks of the Seine. Having lived in Normandy for a year and visited Paris many times, I am glad to see that the French are finally moving away from their obsession with cars. At least in the early 2000s, so much of …
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Power to the People – Bike Te Atatu

Congratulations to our friends at Bike Te Atatu for their futuristic cycling and walking video for their suburb. Bike Te Atatu is a community group on the Te Atatu peninsula who are passionate about bettering their community through cycling and walking. Lots of family and grassroots involvement. The group on FB has swelled to over 140 members since starting last spring and not all members are cyclists. They shot a short video on what the future of Te Atatu could be and it premiered last night. Contracting company, Fulton Hogan, (which is doing good work for the Transport Agency on the Te Atatu Interchange build, and NW Cycleway upgrade),  helped …
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Upping the game – Carlton Gore Road

TL:DR: Carlton-Gore Road getting buffered cycle lanes all the way, instead of a half-sided, half-hearted design. But AT needs your support! Carlton Gore Road is a very Auckland-typical road. Meaning it has HEAPS of space for cars, but not much for all the other modes of traffic. In fact, about the only thing not typical for such a road in Auckland is that it has escaped being four-laned! Now the good news is that in a few months, (once the current road surface / stormwater works are done), Carlton Gore Road will be the newest addition to Auckland’s Cycle Network! But the story could have been different, because in early …
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Changes coming on New North Road

In our pilot project with Auckland Transport to improve a variety of particularly problematic locations for cycling on New North Road, we have made a large step forward. Two design schemes have been developed – and have been found to be feasible and viable within the budget of the pilot project. The two schemes are: New southbound cycle lane at Symonds Street / New North Road / Mt Eden Road This will give you dedicated space riding south through this currently very tricky intersection [sadly, adding a northbound lane as well was too costly within the pilot project budget – we will get there another day]. The extent of the …
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Quick Wins: New North Road update

We thought we would give you a quick update on the Quick Wins: New North Road project – which is turning more into a “Deliberate Wins” project. But then again, one doesn’t want to end up wasting the $150,000 on design fees for something that can’t be built, or almost worse, on construction that doesn’t achieve anything… So in the last 2 months, after a user audit and a safety audit, CAA and Auckland Transport have now agreed which changes on New North Road would fit the bill, and will now be taken to more detailed assessment, the key “go / no go” step.
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‘Campbell Live’ covers cycling pinch points tonight [updated]

A few weeks ago Lachlan Forsyth, reporter for Campbell Live and a regular commuter cyclist, asked me to feature in a film on cycle pinchpoints. He was prompted to do the programme by a number of near misses with cars on Dominion Rd pinchpoint – part of the route of his daily ride to work. I offered Auckland Transport the chance to bring Randhir Karma on with me, as he is working with us on our quick fix pinch point project. Bad weather delayed Lachlan from doing his webcam filming sequences. As luck would have it, this meant that he has finished it just in time to be screened tonight, …
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Quick Wins – An Update & Parnell Road

Hello fellow cyclists. We thought we’d give you a quick update on where our “Quick Wins” project to investigate and fix safety and amenity issues on Auckland on-road cycle routes is going. During the last month, we concentrated on New North Road – and also received input from a number of you on what in particular bugged you there. We have since compiled a report of all the issues we found and think could fall under “Quick Wins” to be fixed. They range from locations for short new cycle lanes, to changing traffic signals so that motorists wanting to turn don’t get pushy behind you while you wait for your …
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Quick Wins for Cycle Safety – A pilot program of AT and CAA

In cycle advocacy, we often face the question whether we should work to improve cycle safety incrementally, step by step (and more or less everywhere), or whether we should focus on transformative projects, real game-changers (but which, given the limited funding available, would translate to only a small number of such projects). Last year CAA focused on our “Radial Routes” program to advocate for a number of high-quality (mainly off-road) regional cycle routes, and we are continuing to work on this long-term project. Acknowledging that there are a lot of roads in need of faster attention, this year we started a new initiative, which we call the “Quick Wins for …
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