Permeability is a two-way street… for bikes!

Permeability is a two-way street… for bikes!

Bike Auckland

London? But of course. Two-way for cycling in Fitzrovia. (Pic via here)
Increasingly commonplace in London. This example is in Fitzrovia. (Pic via here)

In an exciting development, Auckland Transport has announced a proposal to allow two-way cycling on half a dozen quiet one-way streets in the city centre.

We’ve pushed for this for quite a while, as an essential part of a permeable network for travel by bike, so we are more than thrilled to see it happening.

The idea is, these streets already have a calmed traffic flow and are pedestrian-and-bike-friendly; allowing people on bikes to legally travel in both directions on these quiet streets will enhance the cycle-friendly grid.

The six initial trial streets are all in the central city – but obviously the wider potential of this design for enhancing bike travel across Auckland is pretty huge. AT says: “If well received, the next step may be to use this technique to sign an on-road contraflow cycle lane on a quiet one-way street.”

In other words, it’ll be one more tool in the toolkit for unlocking a decent grid for bike journeys. [Edited to add: in fact, is that a northbound contraflow bike lane we see on AT’s designs for Captain Scott Rd in Glen Eden? Why yes, yes it is!]

Here are the first six streets:

 

filteredpermeabilitystreets

In practice, here’s what you’ll see:

An “Except Cycles” sign at the no-entry point and an information sign at the vehicle entrance to advise motorists that people may be cycling towards them. (These signs are already legal but have not been used in Auckland before.)

exceptcyclessigns
Image via AT

Auckland Transport will monitor the locations via:

  • Cycle counts, road usability and road user interactions analysis.
  • Business owner perceptions of safety and usability survey/interviews.
  • Cyclist perceptions of safety, usability and comfort surveys/interviews.
  • Expert route assessment for safety and usability.
  • Audit of infrastructure conditions.

Sounds good to us – we can go with the flow, and flow where we want to go. Speaking of which – we asked last year which streets could this work on in your neighbourhood. Feel free to start another wishlist below!

A contraflow example from Cambridge, in the UK
A contraflow example from Cambridge, in the UK (via Cyclestreets.net)
An example from Paris: no entry except bikes. (Via I Love Biking SF)
An example from Paris: no entry except bikes. (Via I Love Biking SF)
How about the Czech republic? Yep, them too. (Image via here)
How about the Czech republic? Yep, them too. (Image via Bicycles Stack Exchange)

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