With the Urban Cycleways Programme focussing on the City Centre, a lot of connections into the area are getting wholesale improvements, particularly from the west and east. SkyPath will deal with the north. One direction still left out however, is the south – especially the southeast, including routes like Mt Eden Rd.
So while the Urban Cycleways programme has no routes planned from that direction (at least not in its first three years), it’s nice to see that at least some of the smaller improvements Bike Auckland has been pushing for years have progressed to the next step.
Several years ago, we started a joint project with AT identifying possible local improvements on a number of routes. One of the locations we want to see improved is Mt Eden Road / Normanby Road, where fast traffic turning in and out of the side road often ignores the fact that people on bikes are travelling straight through.
The initial plans from AT were a bit underwhelming (a cycle lane only in one direction?) – and we therefore politely but rather clearly told them to please go back to the drawing board. Which AT did, producing a plan in early 2014 that incorporates cycle lanes in both directions, as well as some great benefits for pedestrians as well via improved crossing locations.
However, the project then disappeared – or maybe it only started its long way through the channels, because it has now resurfaced, with the proposed layout as shown. Features proposed are:
- Adding cycle lanes in both directions through the intersection on Mt Eden Road
- Removing the two slip lanes into Normanby Road and Puka Street
- Improving pedestrian crossing facilities over Normanby Road and Puka Street
- Changing Normanby Road to a “stop” control to slow traffic down more
- Removing a number of car parks to fit things in (which we hear may already be causing some grumblings)
Overall, we think it’s a great change. It’s not Copenhagen by any means, but since this apparently is proposed to come out of the more constrained Albert-Eden Local Board minor transport works budget (many thanks, Albert-Eden – great to see local boards stepping up to help link the cycling network together!), it’s not surprising that it isn’t funding a wholesale revamp of the street.
We made some comments as to what tweaks we would like to see, which included adding rumble strips to reduce cars encroaching into the cycle lanes, “squaring up” the Normanby Rd aproach (to more like 90-degrees instead of ~ 60-degrees which makes drivers faster when turning left onto Mt Eden at the moment) and adding a pedestrian crossing over Mt Eden Road itself.
The proposal is hoped to proceed this financial year, all things going well.