Auckland Transport is undertaking another consultation phase for the works on Redoubt Road, Mill Road & Murphy’s Road in the former Manukau / Papakura areas (click through twice at right for where they are). These areas are to get many more people living there in the coming decades, and cycling needs to be in the mix.
Sorry for the late notice – feedback closes this Friday! – but CAA was simply swamped. The following will be our feedback in a nutshell, if you want to make a quick submission yourself (please do – give online feedback here, use last field):
- It is appreciated that cycle facilities are shown throughout the corridor designs.
- However, please design cycle facilities for people who feel unsafe on “paint only” cycle lanes. Think of designs that encourage new cyclists, and are safe for children.
- Therefore, please provide protected facilities for these users – off-road paths, or ideally, Copenhagen cycle lanes (i.e. at footpath height, but not shared with pedestrians), which would appear to be highly suitable for this corridor lacking on-street parking.
- Please do not consider bus lanes as being cycle facilities – they are highly intimidating to the wide majority of potential cyclists.
- Designing high-speed, multi-lane roundabouts without refuge crossing locations is totally inacceptable, and totally bars these routes to all but the most confident riders.
The long form feedback would be as follows:
- Cycle Action is happy to see cycle facilities becoming increasingly standard on new road upgrades like this project. We want to make the following comments in acknowledgment that these plans are substantially above what historically has been presented.
- However, we are concerned to see the design focus on “paint only” cycle lanes. These unprotected facilites offer little to the large majority of Aucklanders who would like to cycle more – but will not feel safe riding on-road, without any protection from traffic. Such facilities will keep cycling limited to a small sub-group willing to contend under such actual and perceived safety risks. What about children wanting to ride to school, or to neighbours, for example?
- The above concerns are particularly true in environments that are either multi-lane (urban), or high speed (rural speed limits). Therefore, we ask Auckland Transport to:
- In rural sections, instead of providing cycle lanes, provide wide general kerbside lanes (for the safety of on-road cyclists / sports cyclists) and provide a shared path on at least one side, to provide an attractive and safe rural cycling/walking facility even in higher-speed environments. Providing a single-side shared path will be to a large degree be cost/width balanced by being able to reduce the overall carriageway width (which has to be provided to strengths able to take all traffic, not just cyclists, despite up to 4m width being cycle lanes). It will also allow provision of walking even in the rural sections.
- In urban sections, where shared paths may not be feasible due to driveway concerns, and width issues may not make wide kerbside lanes feasible for riders who prefer not to use shared paths, we suggest the provision of “Copenhagen cycle lanes” (protected by kerbing or ideally, raised onto the footpath level, but separate from any footpaths). These provide a much better facility for less confident cyclists, while remaining attractive to the large majority of current road cyclists.
- As we understand there is to be no parking on-street proposed on these corridors, the route would seem to be ideal routes for such “protected” designs, which would, at very modest cost, provide a significant enhancement in perceived and actual cyclist safety.
- Please avoid considering bus lanes as cycle facilities. These discourage most potential cyclists due to the intimidating nature of bus traffic. Instead, provide a shared path, or at the very least, a cycle lane marked within the bus lane (3m wide bus lane + 1.5m cycle lane marked within), so there is clear segregation. Under all circumstances, avoid narrow bus lanes, though we consider even the proposed wide (4.5m) bus lane as a very problematic “cycle” facility. Which parent would allow their kids to ride here?
- We ask that the use of speed limits higher than 50 km/h be avoided in urban sections, including Totara Park, as speed is the Nr. 1 “kill factor” once a crash occurs, and higher speeds have many other downsides, especially in urban areas.
- We support the combined shared path & cycle lane design shown for Murphy’s Road. Please note however that cycle lanes next to parallel parking should be 1.8m wide, due to the door zone effect. For obvious reasons, we ask that this extra width be taken from the median or berm, rather than from the shared paths, which at 3m direcly next to parking (door zone effect again) are already effectively reduced to 2.5m width. It would appear feasible to simply mark the parking 2.2m wide instead, resolving the issue.
- At the Redoubt Road / Murphy’s Road intersection, we suggest to deviate the westbound cycle lane onto the footpath for a short section (with sufficient design to allow cyclists to use it safely at reasonable speeds) as allowed per AUSTROADS designs for a cyclist signal detour. This will prevent cyclist from being unnecessarily held up by signals that provide no protective use to them, as no car traffic crosses the westbound cycle facility.
- We are highly concerned at seeing cycle lanes onto the roundabout proposed for the Mill Road / Ranfurly Road & Mill Road Alfriston Road roundabouts. Not only does NZTA safety practice strongly discourage such cycle lanes, as they place cyclists into unsafe positions at the edge of driver’s views, the designs also do not provide any refuge crossing provisions for cyclists who are unwilling to chance their lives on large multi-lane roundabouts – well known for being some of the most dangerous facilities for cyclists. The fact that highly confident cyclists are happy to ride on-road through such roundabouts is not a reason to not provide safe(er) facilities for other cyclists. We trust that these designs are solely early concepts that will see a lot more work, as they are in our view absolutely inappropriate for the multi-lane / high speed environment.