How the wheel turns – 6 years on, on Beach Road

Old Beach Road Design
The less-than-fancy 2008 cycle lanes.

Auckland Transport (slightly over a week ago) restated that the Beach Road separated cycleway is still on track to be completed September this year between Churchill Street and Quay Street via Mahuhu Crescent (in line with NZTA’s proposed finish to the Grafton Gully Cycleway).

The spur section of cycleway running west to Britomart will receive added streetscape upgrades (presumably outside Scene Apartments etc…) and thus will take till 2015.

On this occasion, I remembered that as a young cycle advocate (well, youngER cycle advocate), my first work for CAA was providing a submission to Auckland City Council on the proposed Beach Road cycle lanes.

In 2008.

Which project promptly got canned by the John Banks-led Council a short while later – leading to my first experience with the “never give up” tenacity you need as a cycle advocate.

Here you can see the project in all it’s glory, thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive, which snapped up a quick screenshot of the otherwise lost-in-time consultation website (it even has the design plans at the bottom – hadn’t even been sure they used PDFs already at the time).

Mmmmh, no mention of protected cycle facilities anywhere in the proposal – and neither did I mention it in my submission in support (I did ask for wider cycle lanes though, citing the heavy truck volumes). Though removal of slip lanes was proposed even then. Good to know it’s still part of the design.

So what would have been better? 6 years more of paint-only cycle lanes on Beach Road, or waiting for protected cycle lanes to come now? I still think building “plain” cycle lanes then would have been the right thing. Sorry, Tania from Auckland City Council, if my response on being told the project had been cancelled was somewhat stroppy – it wasn’t your fault, after all… here’s to a better Beach Road in 2014!

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