It’s AT’s Business: March (And it’s about all of us and cycling)

It’s AT’s Business: March (And it’s about all of us and cycling)

Bike Auckland

TL:DR: Cops on Bikes in Manukau. Tamaki Drive / Ngapipi to get signals, not roundabout. Cycle attitude survey coming. Monthly cycle count up 7.9%.

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. 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.

  • A new section in the Business report discusses funding applications to NZTA that are at risk. Of the $11.2 million dollars at risk currently identified, $1.1 million are walking & cycling projects. When your scope of the total pie is already so small, you don’t like to hear that. At least one of our favourite projects at the moment, the Beach Road Cycleway (linking to Grafton Gully Cycleway) is noted as having a very high BCR and being likely to be funded in the end. Not so nice is that one of the AMETI public transport projects (that includes a lot of cycling works) is also included in the “at risk” projects. Here’s hoping.
  • The section of the Omaha-Matakana walkway and cycleway along Takatu Road Matakana has been completed following a successful partnership by community groups, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport. The walkway and cycleway has been developed by the local community and mainly consists of connections along private property, Auckland Council land and quieter local roads. Maintenance work along the heavier trafficked Takatu Road provided a safe cost effective opportunity for a segregated cycleway to be delivered. We hadn’t heard of that one before this. Any locals who can tell us how you like it?
  • A partnership agreement was undertaken with NZ Police Counties Manukau District for 12 bicycles to be provided to six Police stations in South Auckland for the month of February. Officers based at each of the stations used the bikes while on active duty, patrolling the local area and promoting cycle safety and Auckland Transport’s ‘Cycling’s the Go -summer campaign’. Due to the success of the agreement the Counties Manukau District are now purchasing two mountain bikes and safety gear to enable regular access for patrolling on bicycles. Nice to see we are getting some permanent ‘Cops on Bikes’, after the Auckland Central scheme seems to have fallen through / been delayed.
  • Tamaki Drive (Ngapipi Intersection) A preferred option has been selected for presentation on 14 March to the Orakei Local Board for comment. The selected option is a signalised intersection that is future-proofed for additional road widening that is likely to be required as a consequence of the Tamaki, Ngapipi, Kohimarama, Kepa (TaNKK) Study. Great to hear we won’t have to rouse ourselves for a fight against what could have been a horrible scenario – a multi-lane roundabout on our busiest cycle route. Though the comment about “additional road widening” does make us wonder. More traffic lanes??? We are currently chasing up more detail on this.
  • Whangaparaoa Road (Hibiscus Coast Highway to Red Beach Road) – An adjustment to the budget is sought to enable further investigation into improved bus and cycle facilities in support of the draft Regional Public Transport Plan, the updated Regional Cycle Network and the anticipated changes to cycling design standards. Lets hope this rushed legacy project transforms into something we can actually recommend cyclists to use! The most difficult step should already have been achieved, by convincing AT to stop and review.
  • Waterview Connection Cycleway – The contract for the Scheme Assessment Report has been awarded to Beca and work has commenced. Not much new here.
  • Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway – A report was presented to the Transport Committee on 13th February that recommended that the matter be considered by the Council Strategy and Finance Committee. In preparation, a risk workshop was held by Council to identify the risks of the project. Again, not much new here.
  • Further walking & cycling improvements are supposed to come for the Auckland Domain, to start construction around May. We understand this mainly means more speed tables to reduce the numbers / speed of cars using Domain Drive, as well as a cycle lane on one side. Which we didn’t really support, because it seemed to us to make limited sense to only provide for one direction here (unlike on Lower Domain Drive, where an uphill cycle lane makes lot of sense).
  • Cycling Research – This is the first time AT has undertaken a comprehensive review of customer attitudes and behaviour with regard to cycling across Auckland and will be in market in March. The research will help to develop a more detailed profile of people and cycling in Auckland, will guide promotions planning and provide useful information into the walking and cycling team in Community Transport. This item is rather unclear (it may refer only to tendering for this research in March) but we understand that AT has finally agreed to undertake the comprehensive review we have been asking for for years (may we call it a “Bicycle Account” as in Copenhagen? We will see!)
  • Significant work is occurring with Cycle Action Auckland to ensuring that its design and safety needs are addressed at all relevant levels of the Road Corridor Operations, Infrastructure Design, Community Transport, and Road Corridor maintenance units. We are happy to report that key staff at AT are really on board with Cycle Action in terms of genuine collaboration and working to deliver for cycling. Big ‘ups’ to these unnamed stars doing “significant work” with us.
  • Cycle numbers recorded at the 9 automatic cycle counters in February 2013 were 7.9% higher than in February 2012. Morning peak movements were up 18.5%. For the total year, numbers were up 8.7%  Keep riding, keep growing!

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