Sailing down Nelson St on the protected cycleway is fun… until you reach the current ‘end of the road’ at Victoria St. Good news: work begins this week on Phase 2 of the Nelson St Cycleway, and should be completed by September 2017!
This is not only a major step towards completing a full safe cycleway loop around the central city, linking Nelson St to Quay St – it also links Nelson St to the future Karangahape Rd protected bike lanes.
So, here’s what’s happening. (Forgive the low-res images; they’re the best available versions we’ve been given.)
- On Nelson St: separated and protected one-way cycleways on both sides, from Victoria Street down to Fanshawe Street. Downhill on the west side, uphill on the east side. As we discussed recently, protected one-ways are a good thing in pretty much any situation – although it can get complex when they meet two-way cycleways. In this case, heading uphill, you rejoin the two-way cycleway by crossing diagonally at Victoria St.
- The cycleway will continue along both sides of Market Place to just past Pakenham Street East. NOTE: We understand the design may have slightly changed since the image below was produced – specifically, a more direct cycleway crossing from Market Place to Nelson St (rather than via two pedestrian crossings and a traffic island).
- At the intersection of Nelson Street /Fanshawe Street/ Market Place/ Sturdee Street, the major change is the removal of the double-left turn slip lane from Nelson onto Fanshawe, to allow the cycleway to continue across the intersection safely. This also allows for significant widening of the footpath, so pedestrians will no longer have to be stranding lots of pedestrians on a narrow curb or perilously insufficient traffic island.
- It remains to be seen how AT plans to curb the stream of cars that regularly make illegal U-turns from westbound Fanshawe into Sturdee Street, across pedestrians legally crossing on Sturdee. Will the new traffic light phasing for the changed intersection make this less risky? (As noted above, bikes likely won’t take this route in the newest design anymore, but regardless, now is surely a great opportunity to fix this dangerous movement.)
Illegal u-turns are rampant onto Sturdee St. This is where Nelson St Cycleway p2 will go. Needs to be addressed. pic.twitter.com/0M5pPgF2yp
— Richard (@akl_richard) April 11, 2017
- Pitt St is also part of the ‘Nelson Street works’ – a shared walking and cycling path from Beresford Square to the motorway on-ramp at Hobson Street, along the western side of Pitt St. The slip lane from Pitt onto Hopetoun will be removed to make things safer for pedestrians and people on bikes.
- NOTE: this section is a shared path for now, because of CRL works creating the new Karangahape Station. After the CRL works in the area are complete, the design will be upgraded to a Quay Street-style two-way path and will be better integrated with the Karangahape Road cycle lanes. We’re not exactly thrilled with the interim solution – shared paths in busy parts of town aren’t brilliant. But because bike funds remain tight, the ‘do it twice’ option – a more substantial cycleway that would need to be dug up in a year or two – was voted down.
As for Phase 3, which will complete the safe and continuous connection to the waterfront – that’s still in the design phase, but should go out for public consultation soon. That will bring more bike infrastructure to Market Place, and a connection to the Quay Street cycleway via Customs Street West and Lower Hobson Street. Construction on Phase 3 should start in late 2017.