‘Fabulous’, ‘stunning’, ‘brilliant’! That’s what I say when someone far exceeds my expectations. So, what to say when139 people wrote superb, articulate responses to our call last weekend for feedback on Franklin Rd?
Jolisa and I thought one or two of you would reply during the 3 days we had to get your feedback … I even had a sneaky dream that Jolisa’s creative and clever blog post with the darling ‘Socks’ kitten would get a dozen of you going.
But we never expected such a deluge of carefully considered, well expressed comments, and lots of thoughtful new ideas on how the right solution for Franklin Rd could be a template for other projects across Auckland.
If I could hug you all, I would, because I’m blown away.
Here’s a brief summary of the overall results on the three possible road redesigns by AT.
- 134 respondents out of 140 strongly preferred Option 3. “A game-changer”, you called it. The safest option: “Main reason: do not use cyclists to protect the parked cars, but instead use the parked cars to protect the cyclists.” A way to attract and protect less confident riders, children, old folk: “For my girlfriend.” “For my mum.” “I’d happily cycle on options 1 or 2, especially with some sort of separator, but then I’d be quite comfortable cycling on Franklin Road at the moment. The difference for me is that I’d take my daughters (4 & 7 years) on the bike path in option 3.” A pilot for a design that could work across the city. A more beautiful option than the others. A local example of international best practice. “Works in the Netherlands!” “Works in Vancouver.” “Works in Europe.”
- If we could sum up the pro-Option 3 feedback in one comment, it might be this one: “Option 3 by a very large margin. For kids. For new bikers. For safety. For trees. For innovation (innovation in NZ being to copy what the Europeans have known for decades).”
- Or perhaps this one: “[Option 3] would allow this grand old Street, which has been the heart of a community and the link between other places for so long, to really shine as a beautiful example of how we’d like our city to be.”
- Or maybe this one: “Can we have Option 3 for all the streets in Auckland please?”
- 3 people (2 male, 1 female) noted the gradient of Franklin Rd, and suggested a combination of Option 3 for uphill bike traffic and Option 2 (on-road lanes) for travelling downhill.
- 1 person (male) said he liked Option 3, but said he personally would also use either 1 or 2.
- 1 person (female) preferred Option 1, and we appreciate the honesty and useful perspective: “having four young children and being mostly a car driver these days, I would feel it is safest to get them out of the car and onto the footpath. I like option 3 visually and it is definitely the best for cyclists but for me option 1 is most convenient.”
- 1 person (male) had no preference, but thought “It’s probably not possible to cater to all wants. Perhaps the bicycles should share the footpath, as this will keep them mostly shielded from cars.”
- A couple of last-minute contributions also suggested a bi-directional lane on one side of the road. Everyone who suggested an asymmetrical solution was careful to note the pleasing symmetry of the street.
- We were pleased to hear from several residents of Franklin Rd and nearby streets, who were almost unanimously positive about Option 3, and enthusiastic in general about the better designs on offer.
- We were also impressed by the great attention to detail, including your thoughts and questions about what happens next when it comes to side streets and intersections. We’ll keep you posted as those parts of the design emerge.
You’ve made it clear what we need to tell AT about the three options. We’ve passed your comments on and will be discussing them at the next Community Liason Group meeting.
You’ve shown us how deeply you care. Not just about safer cycling for mums, dads, kids and grans, but also about how our city’s streets look and feel.
You’ve given us the courage and confidence to invite more feedback, more often, with more ‘easy reply’ boxes.
We know Auckland Transport is delighted as well. They’re partnering with Bike Auckland/Cycle Action on projects across Auckland to make us prouder, day by day, about how we’re changing our city.
We’re motivated and fuelled by your encouragement to speak out to reform Auckland to suit all of its people of all sizes, shapes and ages.
One street a time.