Lake Rd map
Lake Rd (Devonport/Takapuna)

Those who have been following Cycle Action’s campaigns will be aware of the saga of the Lake Rd cycle lanes between Devonport and Takapuna.  First was the battle to get them in, and that of course should have been the end of it.  But never underestimate the motoring lobby if they feel their precious roadway space has been subverted for other means.  A group of disaffected Devonport motorists claimed the cycle lanes caused traffic congestion(!), and mounted a petition with a concerted lobbying campaign to have them removed. With Cycle Action’s support and endorsement, Devonport cyclists raised a counter petition, and the battle was finally won to retain them. A victory for common sense, but it really was touch and go.

From March 2010, with the existing cycle lanes secure, our focus shifted to improvements. While the route between Devonport and Takapuna was generally good, the dangerous half kilometre section between Hauraki Corner and Esmonde Rd still needed serious attention. We had actually been engaging with North Shore City Council since 2008 on plans for this stretch, as we were anxious to avoid a repeat of the rancour emanating from the south.

While we had good buy-in from the engineering team for the continuation of on-road cycle lanes, there was still considerable political opposition from various members of the Takapuna Local Board and the powerful Council Infrastructure & Environment committee. It was mooted at one stage that all cyclists might get was a single bi-directional off-road path – crazy, as this is one of the highest density cycle routes in Auckland, being a key route between the Eastern Bays, Takapuna, and the Devonport ferry terminal.

Hauraki Corner improvements

Fortunately engineering judgement prevailed with the support of some key councillors and staff, and as the on-road cycle lanes didn’t limit traffic lanes, we didn’t have significant issues with the motoring lobby. However as we engaged with the design team in 2009 we became aware of a significant problem – the new works stopped at the Hauraki Corner intersection, and did nothing to connect to the cycle lanes further south. As the scope and costs were cast in stone at that point, there was little we could do but put this item on a future agenda, and finally applaud the Lake Rd construction completion between Esmond & Hauraki in mid-2011.

As responsibility lay with Auckland Transport at this point we re-raised the Hauraki Corner issue. The primary problems were that the on-road cycle lanes started 300m south of the intersection, so southbound cyclists were dangerously squeezed by merging motorists, while northbound cyclists had nowhere to go at rush hour except illegally up onto the footpath.

The Investigation & Design team at AT took our concerns seriously, and we were delighted to engage constructively with transportation professionals without the intrusion of parochial politics. We found a way to provide a southbound cycle lane by narrowing the traffic lanes, and the northbound share with care path extended closer to the intersection. Not perfect, but within pragmatic design and financial constraints a very acceptable solution that’s enhanced cycling safety and amenity through this busy intersection.

But, we hear you say, what about the other big issue on Lake Rd – the Bayswater Ave intersection? Particularly diabolical northbound, and not much better southbound in heavy traffic.

The Bayswater Ave merge zone.  Where are the cycle lanes?

We understand the next stretch of Lake Rd to be renovated is from Hauraki Corner (where further improvements will be made) to Eversleigh Rd (opposite Takapuna Grammar), so Bayswater Ave remediation will be even further away. We’re proposing to raise the Bayswater intersection with Auckland Transport as a special case for more urgent attention, and will keep you posted as to how we get on.

If you’re a regular Lake Rd cyclist we’d like to hear what you think. What are the pleasure and pain points on Lake Rd for you? Where do you think remediation efforts should best be directed? Let us know by posting a comment on this page, and we’ll take it on-board as we talk with Auckland Transport.

Categories
Auckland Transport Cycle lanes General News Infrastructure Key Projects Lake Rd
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9 responses to “Lake Rd update

  1. I know this road very well.
    If the parking showed in the photo by the shops was removed it would help traffic flow but certain parties would have a seizure if this was suggested!!

    North bound going up Belmont hill to the lights the hill is steep but cyclists are now diverted up the footpath on an even steeper gradient. I have only ever seen one cyclist do this. The two traffic lanes cross the intersection and drivers are forced into one lane immediately causing tail-backing. On this hill i suggest as follows:

    1) Southbound the traffic lane is wide plus a cycle lane, the gradient being steep cyclists go at or near traffic speed and really need to use the traffic lane not a narrow cycle lane so remove the cycle lane southbound from Williamson Ave to Roberts Ave intersection and use this width for a cycle lane on the up grade northbound.

    2) To stop the nonsense north of the intersection remove right turns from the right lane and make the left lane left turn into Bayswater Ave only. One through lane would flow through Belmont shops much more smoothly

    3) Because of the adjustment south of the intersection the right lane on Lake Road southbound should be for turns into Bayswater Av. only. Cyclists southbound could still have the option to use the slip road by the Elizabethan Milk Bar.

    4) With only one through lane for traffic the cycle lane could be continuous and marked alongside the parked cars in the photograph (northbound)

    1. I would be worried about any removal of cycle lanes, even for an upgrade located just opposite. If this was an area where nothing is in place at all, the uphill lane might well be the one to go in instead of the downhill lane, but in this case it would involve degrading an existing southbound cycle facility to do this – and not everyone is a fast cyclist (or would want to mix with fast cars, even or especially when they are going fast downhill themselves).

      Also while the uphill shared path is indeed not great, at least it is there, so there is arguably a facility in each direction, now, if I remember the location right.

  2. Hi Richard – some good suggestions which we’ll take on board. Certainly the off-road path up the hill is a nonsense, and the combination of cars entering and leaving parking spaces coupled with a left turn from Bayswater and a two into one merge make that merge zone particularly hazardous for cyclists.

    There is no easy/cheap solution here with limited road space. Either parking or through traffic stacking will need to be compromised. But right now we see it as a major problem area for cyclists which will deter many new/unconfident cyclists from using an otherwise excellent link between Takapuna and Devonport.

  3. Every Wednesday night a group of us come back this way. I agree with other comments, don’t remove the parking.
    I think remove a lane, it serves NO purpose to have 2 lanes converge into what amounts to be 20metres of double lane before having to revert back to one..Why??
    Then a proper cycle lane could be introduced.
    Council need to stop thinking MOTORIST”S and start thinking TRAFFIC

    1. Hi Gervase – that’s certainly a good option, but it may not sit comfortably with motorists who’ll lose the double-stacking capability up the hill, causing the queue to extend further south. We’ll put it on the table for AT

  4. Hauraki Corner north bound is a problem .There is a very wide footpath at this point,which could be narrowed to make room for a on road bike lane which would line up with the bike lane on the north side of the intersection. Also some flexible bollards to protect cyclist from left turning traffic (as has been done on Clark Street, New Lynn)

    1. Hi Crash – yes when we worked with AT on the Hauraki Corner improvements we requested an on-road cycle lane feeding in to an Advanced Stop Box, and additional design measures for safety. Unfortunately that couldn’t be accommodated at the time.

      We’re hopeful that as AT revisit the Hauraki/Eversleigh stretch that northbound cyclists get exactly that – an on-road cycle lane with protection against vehicles making a left turn into Jutland Rd

  5. I cycle this road about 6 times a week.
    I agree that the Bayswater Av junction is a total joke where cycle safety is concerned. If you come from Devonport you have the hill with no lane to contend with and if you come from Bayswater you have the corner where cars merge and open there doors on you!!
    Yes, agree with Crash, Hauraki is also dangerous – unless you ride on the pavement which I really don’t like doing. If you do then the cars aren’t looking for you to merge back onto the road at the lights!!
    My only other annoying points where I have nearly come a cropper are South bound at St Leonards Road – where cars just turn left without thinking there may be a cycle coming down doing 40-50 kmph. Also the traffic light junction at Winscombe Street – three times I have had buses turn right in front of me when I am coming through the lights at Green!!
    btw – the improvements to Hauraki to Esmonde are excellent!!!

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