The one-sentence version: we campaigned for – and won! – an extra access point for the new Southern Cycleway, and your feedback is now welcome until Friday 9 February.
While we’ve been discussing high-profile bike projects through highly visible parts of town, other bikeways are being quietly gotten on with as part of large roading projects, and are moving on without much noise or fuss.
One example is a shared path along State Highway 1 between Takanini and Papakura, the first stage of what will eventually be the South’s equivalent to the Northwestern Cycleway.
This bikeway is being built by NZTA as part of their Southern Corridor Improvements project. It is a reasonably substantial piece of infra – 4.5km of path on the western side of the motorway, with a number of connections, including a new footbridge to connect the Papakura suburbs of Karaka and Pahurehure (see header image).
However: when we were introduced to the project some years ago we noticed pretty quickly that connectivity through the Takanini area was sorely lacking on the eastern side.
Whereas the west side had several access points, the only way to get to the path from the east was via the Walter Strevens Drive road bridge – and, even then, getting to the path you’d just biked over would require doubling back through the back streets of Conifer Grove. A bit like not being able to access the Northwestern Cycleway from, say, the Bond Street bridge.
So we requested an added side access… but were told by NZTA that we were too late, as the applications had already been lodged. (Hello, ummmh, you just told us about this project, how about some earlier warning!) Thankfully, after this inauspicious start, things improved, and NZTA worked together with AT to sort out the requested extra access.
This new link is now being consulted on by Auckland Transport, who have taken over the project from NZTA (though we understand it will still be built by NZTA’s contractors as part of the main works, likely later this year).
The side access is a simple thing really. Just a 3m wide access ramp from the local street near the bridge onto the path, so getting between Takanini and the path is more convenient.
Nothing fancy, just one of those little things that go into building a better-working cycle network.
The more access, the more bike!
We don’t expect this project to be at all controversial (knock on… wood?) but, especially if you ride in the area or are familiar with it, we and Auckland Transport would welcome you putting in a few quick words of support here.
Header image: the walk-bike bridge between Karaka and Pahurehure (artist’s impression, via NZTA).