A lot has been written here and on other cycling blogs about whether “just paint” cycle lanes are sufficient for Auckland.

Normally, these discussions centre around novices and less confident cyclists who feel that painted cycle lanes alone do not offer them enough security. However, sometimes we also have to talk about places where a cycle lane is a problem even for more confident cyclists – because motorists blatantly ignore it.

Clark Street West in New Lynn has (had?) such an issue. The westbound cycle lane near the train station, at the intersection with Rankin Ave, was quickly discovered by car drivers as another queueing lane. Because it was wider than a usual cycle lane (the designers trying to be nice to cyclists!), it was also sufficient for a CAR to fit in. And since the traffic lights often give a green for left turns, but a red for straight through, drivers had an instant incentive to illegally enter the cycle lane and bypass the queue.

Once one car driver entered the lane, all restraint was gone for the others as well, and shortly afterwards, we had a cycle lane blocked chocker-full with cars. Cycle Action didn’t need any further evidence than a 5 minute period stopped near the intersection during a ride (photos at the right) to realise that there was a real problem here. We raised this with Auckland Transport, using those photos, and pointed out the implications for cycling and road safety. What should be done? was the question.

After that, it got a bit quiet for a while, while Auckland Transport investigated what to do, and CAA had many other projects to work on.

But now, we are please to report that Auckland Transport has installed lane delineators and flexible bollards on the cycle lane edge! You can see these on the separate photo below (click twice for a large version) – the delineators are basically raised humps aligned along the cycle lane edge line, reinforced further by the flexipost bollards at the limit line. We think it looks great – and we and Auckland Transport now would like to know from you how it works for you:

  • What is your experience – do motorists stay out of the cycle lane consistently now?
  • Do you feel safer and more protected riding there, or is it the same, all said?
  • Does it work well for cyclists who continue straight through or want to turn right?
  • Does the lane still work well if more than one cyclist rides in it at the same time?

Please comment on what you like and possibly don’t like about the treatment in the comments section, so we can feed it back to the designers.

If people like them, and they show a good track record in terms of maintance and preventing motorist misbehaviour, we may well see them in other problem spots around Auckland.

Auckland Transport Cycle lanes Cycling safety General News Infrastructure West Auckland
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9 responses to “Innovative treatment to protect cycle lane installed in New Lynn

  1. I don’t cycle around there but looks like awesome protection to me, good work CAA.

    1. Thanks Lucy, but really, we only logged the issue. AT did this one without needing to be prodded more than that. We all learn about what works and what doesn’t, so hopefully, the next time we will catch this kind of thing before it is built.

  2. Whilst I get very annoyed at motorists stopping in cycle lanes I sympathise to a degree that at times they are hard to differentiate from a shoulder. A no stopping dashed line helps and a green coating on the surface can help. I think coating for say a 100 metres before the intersection here would help as well but what has been done is great.

    Special lanes are not policed enough unless they are favourites like the bus lane in Symonds Street or Grafton Bridge or Onewa Road. There is a bus lane I have complained about by Westlake Girls School that has cheats who use it. No action has resulted and I don’t think the lane has been policed sinced marked 2-3 years ago.

    My understanding is you can enter a special lane e.g Bus or Cycle lane to get access to a side road or drive up to 50 metres from the side road but you can not stop i.e. you can cross it but not stop in it.

    It looks as if the lane stops abruptly at these lights if proceeding straight ahead with no lane beyond but there is a huge median. Surely the median could be trimmed to provide a continuation of the cycle lane. Typical of the start stop cycle lanes we have in Auckland.

    1. Hi Richard

      Well, the “50m are allowed” rule does NOT apply here, because the traffic lane that the drivers went to the left of is already a left turn lane. So they simply made themselves a new extra turn lane, disrespecting cyclist’ rights and safety.

      Also, I believe the wide majority of these drivers where fully aware they were entering a cycle lane, just like at Triangle Road, where putting up massive-size cycle lane signs didn’t change behaviour at all. I agree that greening helps – but only when the problem is less invasive. Where the benefit to ignoring the rules is sufficient enough, people will do it. Even occasional enforcement (as was tried, fitfully, at Triangle Road) does little then, and you are left needing an infrastructural fix like here, which hopefully will work long-term too.

      Agree on the issue with the non-continuation of the cycle lane further west. We did raise that too with AT separately, but let’s keep that for another discussion.

  3. Is there any chance of these measures being implemented at Triangle Road? I hate that section of my commute…

    1. Hi Tim – they are preparing to do the same thing on Triangle Road between the bridge and Lincoln Road, yes. Delivery has slipped again it seems (was supposed to be done end of April) but I have seen the plans for Triangle Road yesterday, and they actually have an even more substantial barrier planned.

  4. Looks great to me – I don’t actually see how a car would be able to abuse the lane anymore as they only managed to fit previously by using part of the lane next door. Great to see AT being responsive to these issues.


      1. These barriers & bollards do not increase the risk you describe. If motorists would obey the law, the situation would be exactly the same here as it is (again) now with the bollards.

        It is also interesting that you seem to (presumably) feel that it is okay for motorists to break the law (which is why these bollards had to be placed – if motorists didn’t break the law, we would not need them), yet you feel the need to give cyclists an ALL CAPS lecture on how they apparently are all law-breakers anyway.

        Lastly, you seem to have some strange ideas that these bollards allow cyclists to run the red light. All they do is give cyclists back their legal space.

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