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