Great success for all cyclists in Te Atatu Road design

It arrived a bit under the radar, but Auckland Transport have completed the design of the future Te Atatu Road corridor, and cycling has won big!

You may already be aware that CAA was very closely involved with this project – we advised AT on cycling perspectives in the design phase, and we also spearheaded a cycling and local community publicity drive in which we contacted local schools, community groups and even gathered signatures on the Northwestern Cycleway.

This helped the project achieve resounding public approval from locals, with over 90% supporting cycle facilities on Te Atatu Road (note: the two linked blog posts above are on the “CIA” website, where this blogger used to write before taking over here).

Our key request to AT was that the new design of Te Atatu Road should cater for ALL cyclists – including those who currently don’t cycle there, and likely won’t even if they had cycle lanes.

Such a simple request, but of course it is not easy to provide for almost everyone. Your fast, confident commuter cyclist is not going to use a shared path if it means he/she has to regularly slow down around pedestrians. And your typical Auckland parent is not going to let the children cycle to one of the many schools in the area if it means they have to ride on a road known to be crazily busy in the peak hour.

After long discussions with the designers, we finally achieved a working compromise, and Auckland Transport has chosen to take it forward! On Te Atatu Road, they will provide a:

  • Southbound cycle lane – mainly for faster commuters coming back from the Northwestern Cycleway, this will be a standard 1.5m wide greened lane
  • Two-way shared path on the western side of the road – at 2.5m to 3m width, this will provide a legal and reasonable alternative for less confident cyclists
  • Northbound wide general traffic lane – there was not enough space left for a northbound cycle lane as well, but this lane – with 4.2m width, 0.7m wider than typical – will provide enough space that cyclists riding on-road can safely be overtaken by motorists

There will also be a variety of other minor cycle facilities, such as advanced stop boxes, plus further standard cycle lanes on Edmonton Road that link into the facilities on Te Atatu Road. You can view all this (together with cross-sections and plans, if you are interested in the finer detail) on the Auckland Transport website’s Te Atatu Road project page.

All in all, we think it is a pretty awesome outcome. Now only to wait until 2014-15 when the corridor is to be upgraded.

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