Last month one of North Shore’s road cyclists, Mason Spiers, fell from his bike while turning into a side street on North Shore’s busy Lake Road cycling route. The slippery green paint on the cycle lane was a key factor in the incident, so Mason, who helps us from time to time, did us all a favour by telling us about his fall.

Mason was not the only one to have fallen foul of the road surface, so we asked AT’s Road Corridor Operations team to check it out. They quickly investigated the incident, and promptly stripped the surface back on this and other side roads on Lake Rd where the ‘greening’ was not up to spec, replacing it with a series of applications producing a sparkling, highly textured, bright green surface.  Lake Rd Greening 1 Mar 2014

The episode has delivered a number of benefits beyond the simple but important one of improving safety on Lake Rd. The new surface is noticeably thicker than other ‘greening’ seen elsewhere in Auckland. This may just be because it is very new, but we’re interested to know if it is better than the standard, and will be more durable in withstanding attrition from vehicular traffic.  The high visibility means the cycle lane has more impact in vistas up and down Lake Rd. This seems to be raising awareness of the cycle lanes, so cars entering Lake Rd from side roads tend to wait clear of the green cyclelane. This means we don’t have to ride around the protruding fronts of cars at side roads while we’re cycling Lake Rd.

The incident also led Mason to bring a group of experienced road cycling mates to trial of a new green surface for Road Corridor Ops in Central Takapuna.  Great to see this practical collaboration and innovative approach!

Greening of cycle lanes is a relatively cheap way of raising awareness of the presence of cyclists on roads across Auckland, as well as alerting motorists to the need to respect our dedicated road space. However, damage to the green surface from motor vehicle tyres is a widespread issue. The green surface also tends to fade quite quickly, making the greening ineffective. You’d think the green surfaces would get more frequent maintenance than centre lines and lane markings  because they receive more wear and tear, but this extra maintenance is not happening.

I reflected on this today as I rode on the faded green and pitted cycle lane at the southern corner of the Lake Rd/Esmonde Rd intersection. Cars and and buses turning the corner have marked tracking curves that have damaged the cycle lane surface. Cycles cause minimal road wear – you have to wonder why cycling facilities are not quickly repaired and better maintained when they are damaged by motor vehicles like this?

I’d like to learn how other cyclists see these issues. The recent trial shows that AT is interested in better performance from the surfaces used on cycle lanes, including improving cycle safety. Let’s hear it from you, so we know where your concerns lie. We’re keen to work with AT to get the best out of the maintenance and road safety budgets to ensure on- road cycle lane  surfaces are fit for purpose.

Auckland Transport Cycle lanes General News Lake Rd
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18 responses to “Greening on Cycle Lanes – the sad, bad and brilliant

  1. I’d like to suggest that the vegetation is cut back from the road on the approach to the roundabout at the very end of Lake Road as you turn into Albert Road. Last time I rode this way I found the foliage on the left to be very overgrown and as this is the one section of this road without a cycle path, could obstruct the vision of motorists squeezing into that narrow section of road just before the corner. Thank you.

      1. Thanks, David, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Have a few more I might mention! Cheers.

        1. Go for it – log all issues you know about. Sometimes it needs chasing up or a long wait, but it’s worth the hassle.

  2. Could AT fit lane delineators or/and flexable bolards to stop cars wearing out the cycle lanes ,like the ones they have fitted in Clarke st New Lynn and Triangle rd to keep cars out of the cycle lanes . It would stop us from being left hooked and reduce maintenance and resurfaceing costs so more could be spent on other cycle Infrastructure win win.

    1. Asking for delineators and similar protection is CAA’s standard request on numerous projects these days. Getting them retrofitted remains a hard ask though, for some reason.

  3. Another reason why buses lanes and bicycles don’t belong together. How much would the cost be to delineate the outside edge of a cycle lane with an incremental cats eye type bump?

      1. Wow they look like fun Max. Although they wouldn’t allow the space to be used for anything else wich I suppose is the point.

        1. Ah, I see what you mean, I think. Are you talking about a cycle lane “inside a bus lane”?

  4. I have a question, I cycle along East Coast Road every morning and I’ve noticed at the traffic lights cars turning left queue across the green cycle lane blocking it.

    Do I have a right to complain when I have to weave or wait because a car has blocked my lane? Other drivers have no idea I’m there and just slide left across the lane runingn me into the curb in slow traffic.

    1. You have more than a right – you should do everyone a favor and complain strongly to Auckland Transport and to your Councillor, because it is very rude behaviour, and needs fixing.

      Sadly, thanks to a muddled legal situation drivers ARE technically allowed to use cycle lanes for 50m before an intersection (there’s been moves to fix that law which was only ever intended to apply to bus lanes anyway – but that will probably take a long while yet before it is changed) but even that still gives them no right to endanger you. Plus you have a right to demand cycle infrastructure that actually protects you and works as promised (for example with kerb dividers, or protected cycle lanes – or fewer slip lanes!).

      1. Do motorcycles and motor scooters have the right to use cycle lanes? Nearly every morning on my weekly commute along Tamaki Drive I have them driving up to and around me in the cycle lane.

      2. I understood the 50 metre rule allowed you to cross a special lane up to that distance but not stop in (over) the lane, i.e. if the way is blocked you have to stop in the general traffic lane until the way is clear to proceed. In the case of a cycle lane the general traffic has to give way to cyclists in that zone and not get in their way.

  5. Max, do you know what’s happening with the new cycle lanes at the Panmure train station/highway? There is no green paint on them or stencilling to suggest that they are actually cycle lanes.

    1. Hi Braw – they are definitely cycle lanes, and will tie into much more substantial facilities once the roundabout disappears. Not sure whether they were intentionally left unmarked or this was an oversight. We will discuss with AT.

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