Some news on the progress of consultation on this potentially fantastic piece of cycle infrastructure on Beach Road – full bidirectional Copenhagen lanes:

Beach Road Images 01

Apparently, the consultation report is in the process of being put together and the feedback has mainly been positive, which is great news.

The main concern was (predictably) the loss of parking, which seems incredible when it is obvious to all but the most dedicated petrol head that this area’s problem is not a lack of parking, it is a lack of people. There are many empty shops there and the ones that do survive have to be heavily auto-dependent, like the plethora of car hire businesses. I am sure that more cyclists will give the opportunity for a wider variety of businesses to set up and operate at that end of the road.

From here the next steps are:

1. Some further research on whether there is any risk to the stomwater system. Hopefully this shouldn’t cause any issues.

2. A review funded by the council to look at how better public amenities can be integrated into the cycle path. This is great news and shows one of the strengths of cycling for an urban environment – the way cyclists interact with their environment. There is no point in creating nice amenities for better car access as motorists are just whizzing through, unlike cyclists who can easily stop and enjoy a public space.

These tasks should be complete by the end of December 2013. There will then be a Design Contract which is expected to start in February 2014 with completion planned for the end of June 2014.

Construction is planned for completion late January 2015, which is not a bad timetable considering how slow some other things can happen in Auckland.

This project is fantastic and massive kudos to the council for the concept and having the foresight.

However, after the visit of Paul Steely White and learning about the methods used in New York to trial new street configurations, it would be nice to see some fast moving experimentation in Auckland. It does feel a bit like everything has to be consulted to the nth degree and there is no scope for that kind of experimentation. Perhaps their hands are tied on that by rules and regulations but, if so, it would be great to see that change.

Car free Sundays on Queen Street?

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8 responses to “Progress report on Beach Road cycle paths

  1. The original “paint only” cycle lanes proposed some 5 years back also included some urban design / amenity changes. However, I agree that there’s a risk that we are holding back one good project for another – my “gut preference” would be to go ahead with this, and the other changes to saddle on later.

  2. I love this project and your enthusiasm, Ben. But a 2015 completion date is less than impressive. Let’s remember we blogged in June 2012 that AT were starting to plan the project, and that the NZTA website refers to their section of the route being completed in April 2014. The next 3 years in Auckland are critical to delivering improvements in the city’s cycling infrastructure. This project is just one of many that AT need to be pulling out all stops on. We brought Paul Steely White to Auckland to inspire the sort of accelerated progress that New York shows is possible. Let’s start with faster delivery of this project.

    1. I agree Barb. Rip the parking out, get some armadillos in there and paint it and then come back and rebuild it once it gets the patronage we know will come. Meanwhile, because the overall spend is lower, lets extend it to Quay St using the same methods. Not to mention Symonds St.

      1. Also, instead of moving the cycle lane across to the Northern side of Beach Rd, why not instead move the traffic lanes over, move the parking across a bit and run the cycle lanes up the inside of the parked cars? Then you can fit these to test the whole project in a cheap, removable manner. Just like NYC.

    2. Yes, we really need to embrace the NY approach and just throw something in there and see how it goes. But I assume there are legal problems that require gold plated engineering because if anything goes wrong the hammer will fall.

      In that context and relative to Auckland’s progress, January 2015 seems normal. Not good, but situation normal.

      1. Normal for Auckland but no where near NYC pace. What they achieved was done in 6 years. Glacial.

  3. Totally agree, do it quick and cheap NY-style. How do we go about getting this approach adopted? Fort St is an example that could have been done with bollards and paint. I have no patience for this pace of development not to mention the cost.

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