As we wrote in a previous blog, the sheer volume of projects coming out of Auckland Transport at any given time means that there are bound to be quite a few that aren’t that great, and a few that can make you pretty grumpy.
And sometimes… the opposite happens.
So it’s only fair enough that we highlight some of those happier instances, too. Credit where credit is due. Starting with the smallest example, and working our way up, here are three recent cases where AT made us happy.
No 1 – Some space for paint
This was item number 3 in our ‘angry‘ blog. Remember how AT originally argued that an extremely wide traffic lane on Great South Road near Hunters Corner couldn’t get a lick of green paint for a short cycle lane, because of trucks or something…?
AT recently informed us that on reflection, it would be possible after all to paint some lanes here for people on bikes. Great! After all, setting aside space is the first step… towards installing protected cycle lanes.
No 2 – From Bader to worse to better again
Regular readers will remember the frustrated blog post we wrote a month or two ago about the consultation for the new bus station on Bader Drive, Mangere.
A new public transport station with cycle lanes alongside, literally around the corner from Te Ara Mua/ Future Streets, AT’s own walking and cycling model project – but no protection for those cycle lanes?
Shortly after the blog post went live, AT confirmed to us that protected cycle lanes – with physical dividers – ARE in fact included in the project. Sadly, due to some internal miscommunication, this was not picked up at the consultation stage.
The plans also include:
- closing a gap in the median which allowed the possibility of right turns across the westbound cycle lane, and
- extending the cycle lanes closer to the roundabouts to the west and east of this block.
The project doesn’t yet touch on those big roundabouts, which are certainly elephants in the room for people on bikes, but it’s great to see the protected lanes included. Next, we need to see them joined them up with further safe space for cycling.
No 3 – St Lukes: Wide road is wide (enough)
Great news to hand: Auckland Transport has confirmed that they are planning to add protected cycle lane dividers along the St Lukes Rd bike lanes, using some money from a new internal cycling minor safety improvement fund (a total pool of $1 million p.a.).
For anyone who knows St Lukes Rd – and if you don’t, check out the alarming video below – this improvement can’t come soon enough. Protection here will allow safer riding on the road, and will prevent drivers using the cycle lanes as extra queueing lanes.
— Brendan Barnes (@Nf980Brendan) August 17, 2016
Indeed, it couldn’t be easier to retrofit cycle lane dividers here, as on Triangle Rd or Carlton Gore Rd. The bike lanes are nice and wide (although as the video shows, apparently too wide for some drivers’ liking). And there’s no issue with reallocating parking spaces, because there is no on-street parking.
This is a great leap forward which Bike Auckland, the Local Board, and AT’s new Walking & Cycling team, have long worked for. AT is planning to add the dividers soon along their section, south of the (NZTA) interchange, soon – maybe even within the next few months, and definitely before the Waterview Tunnel opens around April 2017. We will be discussing with NZTA how they can best tie this in with the interchange and the Northwestern Cycleway.
The Lesson – Where there’s a will, there’s a way to find space (and even protection)
We didn’t specifically pick these three examples to constitute a trend, but there’s a clear message running through all three: Our roads have space for cycling – and for protected cycleways, if we want.
This is an encouraging development, and indeed, one to be encouraged everywhere – we applaud Auckland Transport for it.
But wait, there’s more!
- Want more protected bike lanes? There are several up for consultation in the inner west suburbs right now! Quick – tell AT you like them, and what you like about them!
- If we want even more space for cycling, and even more protected bike lanes, we need to let our incoming elected representatives know it really really matters to us. Join the Bikeable Auckland campaign – spread the word, and make ourselves heard!
- Getting your voting papers together? Check out our growing list of bike-friendly candidates in your area.
Header image: Happy cat, via Flickr.