A few days ago, two of CAA’s committee met with Auckland Transport’s project team for the Dominion Road parallel cycle routes.
We went into the meeting with a lot of trepidation, as we had heard that there had been design cutbacks. Seeing how controversial the parallel routes are (sans cycle provision on Dominion Road itself), that thought really worried us, and made us wonder whether we would have to reconsider our support for the project.
Thankfully, the rumour ended up being based mostly on a misunderstanding, and we had a very productive meeting with the project team, many of which do cycle – sadly still a rarity among the people designing our cycle routes.
Importantly, it was clarified that rather than being cut back, several key improvements have been made to the design:
- The Monkey Hill stairs, which inexplicably used to be part of the previous cycle scheme, are now not part of the route anymore. Instead, cycle facilities will be built on the northern part of Dominion Road (connecting to the Ian McKinnon cycle facilities). They will go as far south as Onslow Road, and the western parallel route will only begin from there
- The eastern route will not travel along View Road anymore – and on the Valley Road section, it will have a shared path instead of being on-road. In the earlier proposal, these sections were among our main concerns, seeing the speedy traffic environment on these roads. The eastern parallel route is now expected to start with Bellevue Road, again with cycle facilities on the northern part of Dominion Road as far south as here
- A significant number of additional speed tables are being added to the design. Previously, some longer sections had only 1-2 of them, insufficient to bring speeds down
AT intend to start consultation on the detailed design in a month or so, and expect to start construction within the year, ahead of the main Dom Road works. We will keep you all in the loop, so you can provide input during the main consultation. In the first consultation round, there was apparently a lot of aggro regarding lost car parking in the residential streets. This despite there being very little use of the existing parking (in percentage terms), and despite the cycle routes removing very little parking overall.
Thankfully, AT has since surveyed the lack of existing parking demand, to document that these complaints are in most part without any merit. Hopefully, they will receive more support in the next stage. Auckland needs to wake up to the fact that residential streets, even more so than other streets, are not for cars, but for people!