September 2009 update – Councillors review removal

Can you believe it?  Cycling numbers are up by 50%.  Takapuna Grammar and Belmont Intermediate schools enthusiastically endorse the cycle lanes.  Cyclist safety has been enhanced.  Bus transponder data shows negligible changes in delay for motorists due to the cycle lanes, BUT…

… a few disaffected motorists in Devonport have made sufficient noise to get the cycle lane removal back on the agenda of the I&E committee, where sadly they seem to have support from some Councillors whose flawed thinking harks back to last century.  Read what the Herald and North Shore Times have to say.

Do your bit – sign the petition in favour of retaining the cycle lanes, and persuade as many people as you can to do the same (especially if they live on the Shore).  Check out our What can I do section as well, and let your Shore Councillors know exactly what you think.

So what actually happened at the I&E Committee Meeting on 8 September?  Barb Cuthbert of Cycle Action spoke passionately in support of the cycle lanes.  These were her bullet points:

  • Cycle Action represents over 1200 Auckland cyclists. I am Co-Chair, and a daily cyclist on Lake Rd.
  • The Lake Rd cyclelanes were installed because of the high cycling accident record and strategic role of the road connecting Devonport – Takapuna, and bus and ferry terminals.
  • Lake Rd is part of Council Strategic Cycle Network, and Auckland Regional Cycle Network. Roads in the network are high priority for cycle lanes.
  • The most recent cycle count for Lake Rd taken in mid winter (last month) recorded 332 cyclists over 7.5 hours. This confirms that it has more cyclists than on any other road on the North Shore.
  • The project cost estimate was $800,000. 53% of this was funded by a subsidy from Transit, now NZTA. Any decision to remove part of the lanes will raise issues of returning some of the subsidy, and threaten future funding applications to the Transport Agency.
  • The Council’s survey of cycling needs and barriers (1251 respondents selected at random, Jan/Feb ’08) reported that “ The survey showed that …cyclelanes stop and start – so safe cycling along entire route is not possible’.  The removal of any part of the Lake Rd lane will compound this problem and act as a cycling deterrent.
  • The Council’s Cycle Strategy approved this year aims to improve safety and cycling numbers. Extending lanes and retaining lanes is therefore vital.
  • Cycle Action’s survey of 241 respondents recorded that 60% use Lake Rd frequently, and a further 30% infrequently. An over whelming majority supported extending the lanes to Esmonde Rd. 38% of respondents were aged 40-49 yrs old, 29% were aged over 50-69 yrs old. These are sensible, experienced and responsible citizens.
  • I ask the Council to listen to cyclists’ views. The Lake Road cyclelane is  highly valuable; an incentive and asset for safe cycling. The removal of any part of the lane will have a major adverse effect on cyclists’ safety and Shore sustainable transport goals.

The Devonport Community Board also spoke in favour of retention, but what did the Committee resolve?

  • That officers investigate and report back on the options, process, costs and funding for the cycle lanes south of Bardia Street/Winscombe Street on Lake Road to Bayswater Avenue to be enhanced for traffic management and safety including possible removal.

So who are the Councillors in the hall of shame who support removal?

  • Ken MacKay, Grant Gillon, Julia Parfitt, Joy Brett, Tony Holman, and Jan O’Connor.

And arguing in favour of retention, our thanks and support to:

  • Chris Darby, Margaret Miles, Lisa Whyte, Heather Brown, Dianne Hale, and Ann Hartley.

Remember these names if they put themselves forward for Supercity Councillors.

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