Goodbye ski-jump: a NW Cycleway shift along Chamberlain Park

Apr 23, 2016
Goodbye ski-jump: a NW Cycleway shift along Chamberlain Park

Bike Auckland

The Chamberlain Park stretch of the NW cycleway is currently a bitsy ride, with narrow bits and visibility issues as works proceed towards completion. We strongly advise slowing down along here, especially at dusk when pedestrians become invisible and some bikes aren’t as well lit as they might be.

Bright spark, good lights.

But as of the coming week, we’ll be off this beaten path for three months and traveling at motorway level while workers create the new path alongside the golf course and add lighting duct work.

The change-over will happen on Tuesday 26 April, after the morning peak hour around 9 or 10am, and will last until the end of July.

Here’s what the contractors, CPB (formerly Leightons), told us:

A small switch will allow us to undertake the scheduled works for the lighting duct and to pour the new northwestern cycleway in the area adjacent to the Chamberlain Golf Course. This works is programmed to be completed by end of July. Please know that construction changes may occur if we strike rock or tree roots but we will keep you informed.

During this period cyclists and pedestrians using this section of cycleway will be placed onto a temporary path on the asphalt road surface alongside the shared user path. The path will be 2.2m wide, but one section of the path will be 1.25m wide.

NW Cycleway Switch 20160414

We were concerned about that proposed 1.25m wide segment, so we visited for a walk-through. (Thanks to Elise and Chris for taking the time to make this happen on a Friday afternoon).

We were happy to see that in general, the temporary path is comfortably wide – in fact, it feels like it has way more elbow room than the current one. 

The fencing is necessary, as you’re up against motorway traffic on one side and a work zone on the other. We’ve asked that the orange footers be angled so they’re less obstructive, while still allowing the fence to stand up. There are also a couple of drains along the park edge that will be marked with traffic cones.

This gives a sense of how wide it is.
This gives a good sense of how wide it is along most of the way. Note the drain on the left. These will be marked.

So where’s the rub? There’s a pinch-point at the St Luke’s end, where the path narrows for approximately 15-20m. It’s unavoidable, given the hard constraints on both sides.

This is the narrow bit. Looking towards the St Luke’s Rd crossing. We’ve asked for those footers on the left to be swiveled to make more space and to reduce hazards.

The good news: visibility is fine – you’ll be able to see oncoming walkers and cyclists. But you will absolutely need to slow down and either give way to oncoming traffic, or manoeuvre past each other at walking speed.

Looking back towards Pt Chev. Watch the small curb on the left; we’ve asked that the footers be moved to align with it, to reduce the chance of catching pedals. This is the narrowest bit; the light section in the distance is where the path widens out again.

There will be advance signage in both directions, and extra lighting around the pinch point. As always, the watchwords are ‘share with care’.

And ‘eyes on the prize’: the brand new pathway should be ready by the end of July.

Technically passable… but definitely not at speed. Take care here.

As noted in the headline, it’s also time to say a fond goodbye to the infamous ‘ski-jump’, where tree roots have pushed the path up. Hurry, scurry, get your bunny-hops out this weekend!

PS We’ve also been given advance notice of a short upcoming detour along the Western Springs section (hopefully short in both senses of the word). This is to complete the lighting work at the dark corner of Myrtle St – we will share details as soon as we know more.

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