Between Dominion Road and Queen Street, there lies Ian McKinnon Drive – a remnant of the old Dominion Road Motorway plans, and pretty horrible for cyclists travelling into the city from the south.
For several years, a project to improve walking and cycling facilities on the flyover and its high-speed roads has lain dormant. Now, in 2011, Auckland Council – with the help of a funding grant from the outgoing ARTA body, is to finally make these plans real.
Cycle Action has been directly involved in the planning phase, and some of our suggestions have been taken up by the designers. The whole scheme is to include (in broad terms):
- On-road cycle lanes for most of the length between Newton Road and Dominion Road (extra cycle lane width will take into account the higher car speeds here)
- Some sections of shared off-road path (designed to hopefully also appeal to faster cyclists who normally avoid off-road paths)
- Cycle lanes on all fly-over ramps going to and from New North Road
- A new signalised ped/cyclist crossing over Ian McKinnon Drive at Newton Road, so cyclists can use the off-road path already existing on the eastern section of the steep grade approaching Queen Street
- Futureproofing to enable later, more direct links to an extended Northwestern Cycleway at Newton Road
- Various improvements for walking, mainly new footpaths / shared paths
It is not yet certain whether the project will also be able to reduce the speed limits of the road from currently 70 km/h. Construction is hoped to commence in mid 2011.
Cycle Action is very positive about this project – this is the kind of “retrofit” we are fighting for, closing unpleasant gaps in our Regional Cycle Network without waiting decades for the next “total” road reconstruction. It will also enhance the case for cycle facilities on Dominion Road. Ian McKinnon Drive and the Northwestern Cycleway already see lots of cycle traffic – with these improvements, we are confident to see further significant boosts.
Cycle Action will keep you up to date with the project progress.