Yesterday, we posted an update on the Northcote Safe Cycle Route and the ongoing watering-down of the southern section. We’re impressed by your response so far! 46 submissions in less than 24 hours, most of them in your own extremely eloquent words.

It’s especially great to hear both from locals and from further afield. A great reminder that people on bikes love to cooperate on the big picture, because we can see how local routes are crucial to the vital network.

To quickly add your voice, scroll down to the form at the bottom of this blog post. Let Auckland Transport know the three proposed options just aren’t safe enough, nor fit for future purpose. We need protected bike lanes on this key connection. 

So what’s at stake?

Yesterday’s post was a long read, so here’s the quick version. These are the three ‘options’ that AT is currently consulting on for Lower Queen St in Northcote.

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northcoteoption2

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Remember our socks-themed take on Franklin Road’s first tranche of options? To run with a Halloween theme, the three ‘options’ for Northcote aren’t even chocolate-dipped Brussels sprouts, which would at least be superficially attractive and a little bit good for you.

chocolatebrusselssprouts
Um. Yum.

Why is this so important?

Lower Queen St is a key part of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, a 5.2km cycleway that will serve multiple schools, major sports facilities, shops, and public transport.

This section is also a crucial link to the wider network:

  • it’s the gateway from the Shore to the Northcote ferry terminal
  • it will be an important connection with SeaPath to Takapuna
  • it will be the major approach to SkyPath across the Harbour Bridge (the final hearing for which is scheduled to commence, at last, on Monday October 31st – a timely Halloween treat!)

In other words, if you hope to bike over the bridge one day soon, you’ll likely find yourself riding along this road. The proposed watered-down options are:

  • not especially safe for existing cyclists and pedestrians
  • woefully inadequate for encouraging ‘interested but concerned’ riders onto a self-described ‘safe route’
  • and completely unfit for likely future purpose

The kicker: early designs included protected and buffered bike lanes – but those were quietly shelved in response to local concerns and behind-the-scenes agitation that turns out, on closer inspection, to have been based on erroneous assumptions (see previous blog post for examples).

Why your voice matters here

tigermedianstrip
Streets are shared space.

The landscape is changing – literally, and figuratively. The North Shore stands ready to get a fair share of the coming bike boom. And with SeaPath under development, SkyPath just on the horizon, and locals already in need of safer travel on bikes, this particular section needs to be match-fit from day one.

It’s also about raising the bottom line with every project undertaken. Auckland’s getting bigger, busier, more bustling. All over the city, we’re looking for ways to make our streets more beautiful, welcoming, and safer for all ages and all forms of travel. Better bike lanes, wider footpaths, greener greenways – all of these approaches help bring the shared joy of Open Streets to the streets we live on every day.

And Auckland Transport has better data, better examples, and has learned how to help communities through the process of transformation for better streets for all. It’s time for some exemplary leadership!

Add your voice below – help us call on AT to reinstate a fit-for-purpose, best-practice design that protects current people on bikes, and welcomes future ones too.

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North Shore Skypath
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