Hot stuff: Auckland’s secret to cycling success

Oct 21, 2016
Hot stuff: Auckland’s secret to cycling success


Have you noticed the magnificent blast of publicity for our glorious pink path, Te Ara i Whiti/ Lightpath, over the past week? Just as we were becoming a bit blase about seeing our sexy, sleek lick of colour in magazines and papers, the latest deluge of images reminds us that Lightpath is now a defining element of an emerging new edgy Auckland.

The Herald kicked off the recent run of publicity, triggered by the Path’s success as a supreme winner in this year’s Best Design Awards. It scooped the Spatial Purple Pin (only few months after winning an international architectural honour for the Canada St bridge).

Lightpath, as featured in the Herald’s article on its prize win.

As I was still basking in the glow of this, the Sunday Star Times came to the party, firstly with another report on the Best Design Awards win, featuring the work of Monk MacKenzie and LandLAB on the design side:

PinkPathSSTmagazineAnd topped it off with this photo shoot, featuring cast members from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!

Meanwhile, in the arts section of the same paper… pink path provides perfect platform for Priscilla promotion pictures!

Not to be outdone, the Herald entered the game again, with what I regard to be the ultimate compliment; a front page spread for yesterday’s Infrastructure supplement.

NZ Herald, 20 October 2016

If I had time, I could delve for hours into how this shows the role of cycling in our city. As a quick take, I believe this spread of publicity shows urban biking is :

  • sharp and edgy
  • good for business
  • eye-catching, popular, and becoming more so by the day
  • sleek, smart, fun
  • open to all and everyone
  • making Auckland more loveable and human
  • helping our city to work

Another message from Lightpath is the power of collaboration – and I see that as the secret to Auckland’s current cycling success.

Lightpath would never have happened if our guru Max had not seen the potential of the old off-ramp for cycling and if the NZTA had not picked up the ball and run with it so willingly. But let’s not forget Auckland Transport, who joined hands by extending the path to Nelson St; Auckland Council who added pink panache to the project and iwi who blessed the project with its beautiful name; and all the designers and contractors who saw the opportunity to leave their mark and contribute their energy and creativity to the city – plus, all the beautiful people who showed up on day one to share the joy, and who continue to ride it.

To me, Lightpath captures the best of Auckland. It’s delivered people and inspiration to a corner of the city that we’d long abandoned to motorway mayhem. It is the most dramatic of the city’s cycling projects to date – and it holds hands with the fun of Quay St and its skyrocketing bike counter, and the heritage and solidity of the Grafton Gully route.

And the best is yet to come. Just wait ’til we have SkyPath!

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