Major hazards at St Lukes Rd/ SH16 crossing – is help at hand?

I biked back into town along the NW Cycleway last week after checking out the new Ranui Library.

I was on a high for quite a bit of the bike ride because the library is a gorgeous, spacious, light and airy little gem.

(Call in to see the inspired art works that reflect the history of the area perfectly. Check out the wall of tree shapes made from locals’ handprints, the intriguing carved spades and wonderful corten silhouettes on the exterior walls that add so much to the inside-outside views. Clever!)

I had a couple of friends with me, and was bursting with pride by the time I got to show off the super fun, dream cycling event that is the yellow Oakley Creek Bridge. Reality hit home with a big bump when we reached the St Lukes Rd crossing beside SH16.

Even at noon on a Wednesday, I would rather cross a river of starving crocodiles than risk my safety and that of my friends amongst the speeding cars whizzing to the motorway on-ramp and the tiny traffic island where we teetered to reach the pedestrian crossing. I am very fearful about the daily risks people are taking at peak commuting times with swollen cycling volumes!

The view looking east.
The view looking east. All responsibility is on cyclists (and walkers) to handle motorway onramp traffic rushing in from the right. And, once safely across St Luke’s Rd, same again, from the left.
slip-lane management, while construction takes place. But what's the future plan?
The crossing safety management plan while construction takes place: our eyeballs. But what’s the future plan?

Thanks to Richard Challis for sending me this next pic. And thanks to the NZTA for stepping up as soon as I contacted them last week to ask what can be done to improve it.

The plan.
The plan.

I know the road layout is under pressure and constrained. But this is a high priority link on the country’s busiest cycling commuter route. It absolutely qualifies as a Cycleway of National Significance.

When he invented the term, Steven Joyce told us transport routes of national significance will give the highest level of service to their users. It’s obvious this intersection should have a good quality cycling underpass – a la Grafton Gully. However, I’m fully aware there is no budget for a cycling underpass in the St Lukes Rd / SH16 project.

Despite the constraints, I know the NZTA will be looking to do the best they can. We’re very lucky to be dealing with the Auckland office of the Agency. I constantly give them credit for leading NZ in providing showcase cycling facilities that are changing the face of getting around Auckland on a bike.

We’ll keep you posted!

 

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