TL:DR: Cycle numbers up strongly in recent years – but so are cycle crashes. Tamaki Drive works are delayed. Design work is ongoing on cycle-related projects all over the city.
As every month, we have a look at the business reports of Auckland Transport, to review any items of interest for cycling. In the past, this has several times allowed us to “catch” important projects before problematic decisions because irreversible. This time, we review two reports, for last years December and this year’s January-February. Where possible, we will also provide additional context from our own discussions with Auckland Transport.
Note that where the below is italicised, we have copied the text from Auckland Transport’s report directly, without changing it. Where news is of particular importance, we have bolded the item.
- Between 2010 and 2011 the fatal and serious injury crashes in Auckland involving cyclists increased by 35% i.e. up from 37 to 50 crashes. Not a good result at all (though it is noteworthy we only had one fatality in the year ending 2012 in Auckland). 2010 and 2011 were bumper years for percentage increases in numbers of cyclists too, so the results are not as bleak as they seem on the face of it, but we clearly are not seeing a “safety in numbers” benefit yet. Drivers and cyclists may still be “too new” to each other. Or maybe reporting of incidents involving cyclists became better? – but that’s really just speculation on our part. We will have a look at the 2011-2012 results too, if we can find them.
- Tamaki Drive (Ngapipi Intersection): Options will be finalised by the end of the year. Once a preferred option has been finalised and agreed this will be taken to consultation with key stakeholder organisations including the Orakei Local Board and Cycle Action Auckland. Nope – still nothing yet as of March, despite this being a December item, and the same item having been in the November report as well. The January report clarifies that they are still working on it before going out to discuss…
- Tamaki Drive (new boardwalk project from Kelly tarlton’s to Mission Bay): Apparently, this project’s scope is now under review! No further information is given.
- Beach Road Cycle Route: The draft Scheme Assessment Report (SAR) is nearing completion. A safety audit of the current preferred route has been undertaken, and a peer review of the SAR is underway. On this one, we HAVE seen the design plans, and are quite happy with much of it – however, some items still need to be resolved before AT is okay for this to go out for public comment.
- Mill / Redoubt Road Upgrade: Open days have been completed. Feedback is now being analysed and appropriate design updates to be implemented. CAA, since our partially critical submission, had a meeting with the design team, and are very pleased with the proposed changes. Some really quality stuff for cycling is being prepared there. Sadly, again AT has asked us not to steal their thunder before they are willing to go public…
- Albany Highway South Upgrade (Sunset Road to SH18): NZTA have approved the funding application for the detail design phase for this project. Two Public Open days have been held to communicate the proposed scheme design with the public. We blogged about this item here, and have since got confirmation from the project team that cycle links at the intersection with Upper Harbour Drive will also form part of the design.
- Rankin Avenue Cycleway – New shared cycleway/footpath the full length of Rankin Avenue, New Lynn, including roundabout modifications and speed table installation in Margan Avenue has been tendered. Having been out there recently, we can confirm that this is now being built… (by the time of this blog, it might even be done already).
- Funding approval achieved from NZTA: Upgrading of Flat bush School Rd and Murphys Rd. The Intersection will be changed from uncontrolled to a signalised intersection with cycling and walking provisions. We haven’t seen plans for this one, but seeing that both roads are on the cycle network, and reading the description of the works, we are positive. Well, for a cost of $5 million (!) on one intersection, they should be able to do it right.
- Corridor Management Plans: A variety of corridor management plans are ongoing. Some cycling-related possibilities that the CMPs intend to do further research on are (our summary):
- Khyber Pass Road – wider traffic lanes kerbside that could benefit cyclists
- Great South Road – on-road and off-road cycle facilities
- East Coast Road – possible segregated cycle facilities in some sections (long term)
- Hibiscus Coast Highway – on-road cycle lanes, and shared path on the northern side
- Trailer parking issues on Tamaki Drive: AT reports that the enforcement is having success, with infringement notices down from 69 cases in 2012 to 22 this year’s January.
- The ‘Cycling’s The Go’ summer cycling programme will/did deliver around 50 events across Auckland to promote cycle skills, cycle safety and cycle culture.
- Onepoto Primary became the fourth school in Auckland to have a dedicated cycle track on school grounds. Belmont Intermediate, known for currently having a 25% rate of children cycling to school, is already going a step further, and providing incoming new students a programme of cycle training and practice rides around and to school – i.e. on public roads.
- Waterview Connection Cycleway: The tender process for the investigation phase is complete. Not much new here. As described in earlier editions of this feature, AT have chosen to go the high route of lodging a Notice of Requirement for the cycleway. A pretty heavy-duty, large caliber type of application – good for the rigorousness of the process, but not exactly fast. At least we hear through the grapevine that an issue with one of the private properties in the way of the preferred route has been resolved.
- Glenfield Road Widening Stage 4: As also described here on AT’s website, this project is likely to be completed way ahead of schedule around May of this year, which will also allow cyclists a much safer ride on the new cycle lanes.
- Fort Street: The last stage of this shared space upgrade project will likely be complete in July this year.
- Browns Road / Rowandale Road: The intersection is getting signalised – including with cycle lanes – and works have been put out to tender.
- Don Buck Road cycle lanes: The second stage of these works are to be completed over the coming months. CAA is working hard to have AT prioritise an upgrade to the Triangle Road / Don Buck Road roundabout, which currently is a problematic gap between the two important cycle routes.
- Dominion Road: Project managers spent several hours with CAA biking along the proposed cycle routes adjacent to Dominion Rd and and feedback from the group to this initiative was positive. We can indeed confirm that we are happy with how AT is treating the alternative route project so far. Of course there is still a great deal of frustration that cycling ON Dominion Road was ignored, but the people we are working with on the alternate routes have been forthright and proactive in their engagement, and while many issues are still being sorted through to make these routes workable, we are indeed positive. So lets do more “bicycle boulevard” and less fig-leaf!