As you may have noticed, the blog has been a bit thin over the last two weeks. Now, when CAA is silent, that often means we’re actually rather busy – too busy to talk about it
And right now, that’s doubly true, because our dedicated blogger and all-around talent Jolisa, like many Aucklanders, has been juggling the demands of parenthood and job over the holidays. As if being an award-winning journalist/writer wasn’t enough, she’s also got us on her case (when we forget she’s also a mother and has other lives than us).
So we’ve been trying to step up a bit, aside from continuing our normal CAA work, and prepare a couple blogs – and we thought we could discuss what has been going on in our recent meetings and discussions with authorities. After all, on top of the literally dozens (!) of issue- or project-specific meetings a month, we also have regular “general” catch-up meetings.
Except of course, many of the things we talk about with AT and NZTA, we get asked to not talk about (just yet). Things aren’t agreed yet. Solutions haven’t been found yet. Dates haven’t been finalised etc…
So apologies if this blog is all [redacted] from here on.
I am sure, Jolisa would have solved that by simply [redacted] and then [embargoed until 3 November] before simply [requires confirmation from you-know-who’s office before release].
But we think that being a public advocacy group, we need to occasionally report back to our “constituents”, and we probably do that too rarely as it is. So here is a couple of things that what we think we CAN say about last Friday’s meeting:
- Nelson Street – works are proceeding well, and AT and NZTA are finalising the dates for not one, but TWO opening ceremonies. More to come soon, but there’s at least one nice surprise confirmed, and we’re not talking about cake. Mmmmh, cake.
- Canada Street (to Nelson St) – those who have followed us closely on Twitter will know that some of our social media friends spotted an issue with the new shared path being too narrow near Upper Queen Street. We chased this up, and it turns out that parking is intended to be removed, and that the markings on path and road will be corrected accordingly. We’ll keep onto that, but it seems okay.
- Southern (Motorway) Corridor – We’re still waiting for a promised meeting with NZTA’s designers to talk about the proposed cycle facilities between Takanini and Papakura, and reiterated that this needs to happen sooner rather than later…
- Glen Innes-Tamaki Drive – Good news, but of the [will be confirmed by AT soon] type. Plus, there’s an upcoming other project for Glen Innes about which they will invite people to comment soon.
- Waterview and New Lynn-Avondale – We have had it confirmed that the appeals period for Waterview shared path approvals is over, and that they are now moving towards enabling works to start in the coming months. Also, that the first part of what used to be in the New Lynn-Avondale project, the section between Soljak Street and Trent Street / Blockhouse Bay Road, will be opened as part of Waterview. So likely 1-2 years earlier than the second path.
- Cycle lane markings – We discussed the recent decision to re-introduce broken yellow lines into cycle lanes, and where AT would mark them as a priority (other sites will be re-marked as part of normal maintenance regimes). If you have any really urgent routes where parking in cycle lanes (that have no broken yellow lines) occurs, please mention it in the comments below.
- Beach Road markings trial – We also talked about the Beach Road markings trial, where shared path markings were used to replace over 60 (!) sign posts. We support the idea of less signs clutter – but we expressed our concern that with the Beach Road Stage II design already blurring the line between footpath and shared path and cycle path, these markings alone were not enough to overcome that. AT explained that the current conditions of the trial (which needs NZTA approval) had very narrowly limited the type and look of markings (basically: “Make it look exactly the same as the signs on the poles”) but that they are looking at what can be learned and changed in the future.
- Quay Street and Britomart: Public consultation on the Quay St Cycleway is still hoped to kick off in October. There may be a few changes around Britomart also coming up – some of the current niggles around cycle and pedestrian facilities in the area relate to the CRL enabling works being prepared, and may still change, but we’re being assured that cyclists are very much in the mix, and may even see some surprise improvements like [you better not put that in until its confirmed]
- Grafton Bridge Taxi Trial: Wish we could say good things about this discussion item. These days, it seems like every time we go across the bridge, there’s 1-2 cars on it. And they aren’t even taxis. We expressed our ongoing concern, including at the fact that many motorists (including bus drivers) ignore the 30 km/h speed limit.
- Beaumont Street Cycleway: Discussed, but not yet ready for prime time again.
- Dominion Road Cycle Route: We expressed our concern that with the Dominion Road upgrade stopped due to the light rail plans, this also ensured that the planned cycle lanes on Dominion Road near View Road didn’t happen, despite being pretty much ready to go. This leaves a major gap in the northernmost routes of the area into town. AT is intending to look into taking that up as part of the Ian McKinnon Drive urban cycleway project – but said they can’t make promises on this.
- Ngapipi Road / Tamaki Drive: We had a spirited discussion regarding possible interim cycling safety improvements at this still-dangerous intersection, seeing that the permanent rebuild timing remains uncertain. We strongly expressed our concern at the constant delays.
- Bullock Track Road / Great North Road: See above, for an almost identical discussion. A CAA blog on this intersection by one of our readers is coming soon.
- Abbots Way / Grand Drive: As per our recent blog, we expressed our concern. AT agreed that their design and consultation hadn’t been done as it should have been done, and that they were looking at options to make the design more cycle-friendly. Thanks to all who provided feedback to AT on this!
So that’s some of what we discussed, and what we are able to share from our 90-minute meeting. Hope it gave you at least a small peek “under the hood”.