Our [in]Completed Cycle Network – Rotary Pathway

PakurangaWould Consumer Magazine be up to reviewing Auckland’s Cycle Network? And if they did, what marks would they give? Well, we don’t want to get cynical about it, but we think they probably would recommend some remedial work…

And fittingly enough, as part of a project, we are currently working with Auckland Transport on reviewing and prioritising remedial works on some 200-odd* kilometres of “completed cycle network” that they have inherited from the previous Councils, which had a hodgepodge of different standards and design attitudes…

* We say “200-odd”, because there’s still a number of errors in the distance of “completed distance” that gets used in official documents – routes and sections that don’t have deficient facilities, but simply have nothing. “Paper road” cycleways, you might say – which have stuck around for years despite us and Local Boards pointing them out multiple times. But then, today’s post isn’t about those phantoms…

As part of our work, we asked some of CAA’s Associates to help out and point out key issues on existing cycle facilities. Kim Sinclair, of Tamaki Trail fame, soon went above and beyond the call of duty to collate a list of issues (and pretty photos) of the Pakuranga Rotary Pathways. Here you can access them, with maps and photos to show and tell:

The Rotary Pathways are a classical case in which a path built just for pedestrians was eventually opened up to cycling. Commendable – who likes to be excluded, especially when the roads are so bad for cycling as in much of Pakuranga’s main arterials?

But the change to allow cyclists on a pedestrian path also leads to a host of issues when the path isn’t really up to spec – too narrow and with too many blind corners to share easily. Well, no wonder in some ways, because some 10-20 years ago in NZ they often didn’t even have formal specs for cycling design. But now we certainly have (as well as much more knowledge about the do’s and don’ts) so this path is reasonably high on the list of routes that need work*.

* High on the list of existing routes, that is. There’s also a separate discussion going on to prioritise work for those key routes around Auckland where no facilities exist at all. But then today’s post IS about the existing routes…

Kim and CAA think that the Pathway is a wonderful route (and if ugpraded to remove some of the worst issues, would be a great asset of the Auckland Cycle Network). Complete it ain’t.

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