Not raining on our parade

Not raining on our paradeThis winter has been extremely wet in Auckland – but the good news is that this hasn’t had much of an impact on the number of people cycling! Despite rain levels in Auckland being 150% (!) above normal, the September numbers on the 27 automatic counters around the city were substantially higher than the same month last year. At 14 regional count sites: 1.764 million cycle trips were recorded for the year of October 2016 to September 2017, an increase of 6.1% on the previous 12 months. 128,665 cycle trips were recorded in September 2017, an increase of 8.0% when compared to September 2016. At 13 city centre count sites: 1.774 million cycle trips were …
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Connect the dots – September bike counts hit the targets

Connect the dots - September bike counts hit the targetsHave you been just a bit more likely to take the car, bus or train in recent weeks? No? Good on you. But if you decided that it was just looking a bit more humid than usual out there, you weren’t mistaken. September 2016 wasn’t much colder than usual, but it was wet. How wet? Let’s start with the rainfall statistics from Metservice… A September almost three times as wet as the historical average, and good bit wetter than last year too. You’d expect bike numbers to drop a bit under those circumstances, eh? And yet citywide bike trips are up, as measured by the 14 bike counters spread across the region! Both …
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This is what efficiency looks like 

This is what efficiency looks like One of the things we sometimes hear is ‘I think bike lanes are a good idea, but I’d feel better about them if I saw more people using them.’ We’ve heard a few variations on this theme during this election season, like: ‘We need to be pragmatic about cycleways. They have a place, but the rights of cyclists must be fairly balanced with the rights of those who do not use cycles.’ (That’s mayoral candidate John Palino). ‘We will use [data] to assess the efficacy of bus and cycle lanes throughout Auckland, ensuring we are not turning our roads into unproductive assets.’ (That’s mayoral candidate Vic Crone). Hey, we get it. You’re …
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Rolling through winter – the August bike count numbers

Rolling through winter - the August bike count numbersJudging just by the number of riders we’re seeing on these chilly but sunny spring mornings, Aucklanders are flocking to biking more and more. But do the bike counts of the past winter back up that impression? AT computer says: Yes! At 14 regional count sites: 1.66 million cycle trips were recorded for the year of September 2015 to August 2016, an increase of 8.8% on the previous 12 months. 123,388 cycle trips were recorded in August 2016, an increase of 13.9% when compared to August 2015. At 13 city centre count sites (which don’t all yet have 12 months of data to compare to the previous year): 1.74 million cycle trips were …
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The 2016 AT Active Modes Survey: the case for joy

The 2016 AT Active Modes Survey: the case for joyThe 2016 AT Active Modes survey is full of good cycling news, as already noted by Matt. Just to recap: firstly, more people are riding bikes. Apparently we can thank the ‘considerers’ for this: folk who were once merely bike-curious are sliding over comfortably into the category of ‘occasional’ riders. Also, over the last two years, the percentage of people biking once a week or more has doubled, from 6% to 13%. And nearly one in three Aucklanders has jumped on a bike at some point in the past year – compared to one in five in 2014. That’s significant. So what’s going on in people’s minds to make biking more attractive? You might remember that …
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AT’s Active Modes Survey 2016: what’s up?

AT's Active Modes Survey 2016: what's up?(A cross-post from our BFFs at Transportblog, written by Matt Lowrie. We’ll cross-post our take on it tomorrow, by way of Part 2). For a number of years now Auckland Transport have been conducting annual research into the use of active modes to allow them to track behaviour changes over time. This is not just relying on the automated counters, but carrying out a survey to gauge the general population. They’ve now released the 2016 report, which features a lot of positive outcomes and covers 1,178 responses. The headline figure is that 31% of people surveyed had cycled, up from 27%. The researchers say this represents an increase of 45,600 people. These numbers are …
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July 2016 bike count: a seasonal dip and a network uptick

July 2016 bike count: a seasonal dip and a network uptickThe July bike data is out, and even allowing for the usual winter dip, there are some dramatic developments. As with the June data, the ‘if you build it’ effect continues – cycleways that have been recently built, upgraded or hooked into the network are seeing more riders than this time last year. Conversely, on routes that are, shall we say, ‘under-loved’ (infrastructurally speaking), existing riders are hanging in there – but newbies aren’t showing up in droves. It’s not rocket science. By all means dig into the numbers and tell us what you see: as always, you can find the raw data on AT’s website. We’ve been graphing them too (full set of plots …
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The Auckland Bicycle Account 2015

The Auckland Bicycle Account 2015The concept of a ‘bicycle account’ – a regular, holistic review of where a city is, in terms of getting people riding – was created in cities like Copenhagen. The idea is that assessing the health of cycling and cycling conditions goes beyond simple rider numbers, as important as these are (and it’s great to see we are also getting much better at counting those). Beyond bike trip numbers, a bicycle account also branches out into other matters that are quantifiable, provides case studies and examples of improvements, and presents the whole story in a report format easily accessible for all of us (including time-poor decision-makers who need a quick snapshot of …
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Build it and they will be counted

Build it and they will be countedThings really are on the way up, when it comes to cycling. Not only are there more people on bikes around town – there are more counters to keep track of them. For a long while, Auckland Transport only reported trip data from 9 initial (and somewhat randomly scattered) automatic cycle counters. But over the last 2 years, AT has installed a large number of new sensors. Basically, whenever a new cycle project is opened, it now comes with a new automatic counter to measure how many people ride the new route – the flashiest of which in the future will also include public displays like the excellent ‘totem’ installed on Quay Street, with the shiny new LED display that …
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The network effect – boom!

The network effect - boom!Auckland Transport’s official March 2016 bike count data is up, and it makes a pretty compelling case for the old saying ‘if you build it, they will come.’ And also, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ Check out these graphs our brothers-in-arms at Transport Blog compiled. The first confirms that if you think the Northwestern Cycleway has been feeling busier than ever lately… you’re absolutely right. Some quick thoughts on this one: we’re seeing  >10% growth year on year whereas previous years show a significant drop-off from November to December, in 2015 there’s barely a dip. Is this the magnetic effect of the Pink Path and the new protected lanes on Nelson St drawing people into …
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By the numbers – long-sought-after cycle counter data now online…

By the numbers - long-sought-after cycle counter data now online...We’ve been waiting literally ages for this: Auckland Transport have finally released the monthly data from ALL their cycle counters, in detail. This is something we, and our friends over at TransportBlog, have been asking about for a long time! Previously, the only data provided publicly was the aggregate count from 9 original counters, with no real breakdown possible. As you can see from the data (available up to December 2015 in CSV or XLS data formats), there are now a whopping 28 (!) automatic cycle counters active across Auckland. The large recent expansion of the cycle counter network was mainly driven by the Urban Cycleways Programme, which means that essentially …
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Of MAMILs and PEOPLE – what the latest AT survey tells us

Of MAMILs and PEOPLE - what the latest AT survey tells usAuckland Transport’s 2015 annual walking and cycling survey has just been released, and it paints an interesting picture of the present and the potential landscape for cycling. (Notes about the survey: TRA performed an online survey of 1615 people who were demographically representative of adult Aucklanders by age, gender and location; census data was then used to enlarge the picture). Transportblog gave an overview of the survey this morning. It was also featured in the Sunday Star Times over the weekend, in an article titled: Rise of the MAMIL – Divisive or Deterrence? Oh dear, that headline! It’s basically: ‘Sketchy Bogeyman – Quite Bad, or Really Bad?’, and is followed by this dramatic opening paragraph: …
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Go all in on cycling – NZ research

I just read an article on some great research on the effect of spending on cycling from a little country you may have heard of. Our very own New Zealand! This included work by Alistair Woodward, a regular contributor to the blog – take a bow Alistair (and please correct any errors on my part in this post). The basic message is that in car dominated cities like Auckland, tentative, low level attempts at cycle infrastructure (i.e. sharrows, advance stop boxes, painted cycle lanes) may actually be more harmful than doing nothing. This is because the traffic environment is so toxic for cycling that anything less than top quality separated infrastructure on busy …
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Easy fixes: Blocking off streets

One of the easy fixes that are around to improve the traffic environment for cycling is “filtered permeability”. This is where a road is made a thoroughfare for active modes but access only for motor vehicles. This is used very effectively in the Netherlands and also has had great success in Hackney in London. This article discusses a situation of filtered permeability that has occurred in Chicago where the 18 month old process of building a bridge has cut a road in half for motor vehicles but been left open for active modes. This has resulted in a big drop in the number of cars and a corresponding increase in …
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Cycling Safety Summit – Hastings and New Plymouth lead the way

I returned from Tuesday’s NZTA’s Cycle Safety Summit in Wellington buoyed up by spending the day with extremely motivated and informed people from across the transport sector  – AA, Road Transport Forum, IPENZ, etc plus all the expected groups who, like Cycle Action, work on a daily basis to improve cycling in NZ. It was a very productive day. I can honestly report that the hard work from all of you who posted comments on our blog and sent me more detailed emails was not wasted. Your ideas were put up for discussion, and will be considered by the Expert Panel, whose work is now underway. Thank you all again …
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