SkyPath is coming: let’s get Northcote’s Queen St up to scratch

SkyPath is coming: let’s get Northcote’s Queen St up to scratch

Bike Auckland

Last week we alerted you to the watered-down plans for the southern end of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route. (Go here for the long read with a great comment thread; or read a quick version here). We urged you to help speak up for a safer treatment here for people on bikes and on foot.

Already, dozens of you have written to say in your own words how crucial this issue is, how you experience (or would like to experience) this street, and how important it is that the Shore gets its share of properly safe cycleways.

Yesterday’s re-confirmation of SkyPath’s resource consent makes the case even stronger! Simply put: this key gateway to the Shore, used by ferry folk and eventually SkyPath and SeaPath travellers, needs to be safe and fit for purpose from day one.

We invite you to use the form at the bottom of this post to ask AT to re-think its approach to this key connection. We’ll send your feedback through when feedback closes on November 13th.

What’s at stake?

Below are the three options AT is currently consulting on: bump-outs and speed cushions (full details here; feedback here).

Given the tidal morning and evening traffic flows, the likelihood is that drivers will speed up between bump-outs, especially given how widely spaced they are. And if opposing traffic appears, drivers will pull left exactly into the space where people on bikes will be. Option 2 is the least bad – but in our view, all 3 are inadequate for what should be a welcoming bike boulevard for the hundreds of people on bikes likely to travel here every day.northcoteoption1



These designs are a bare minimum approach: an unhappy compromise between a genuinely bike-friendly street and the demand to retain on-street parking and speed of passage. It’s time for a safer and more inclusive gateway to the Shore.

Especially when you recall that the early designs featured buffered and parking-protected bike lanes!

We think – in fact, we know – that AT can do better here.

Pre consultation: some parking-buffered bike lanes.
Paradoxically, the earlier designs were more robust: parking-protected and buffered bike lanes. What happened?

We’d love you to add your voice below in support of a better design. There’s nothing more powerful than fresh and individual perspectives! But if you’re stuck for what to say, how about something like:

In the light of SkyPath’s resource consent, I call on Auckland Transport to lift its game and provide a safer and more appropriate all-ages design for Lower Queen St to welcome the increasing numbers of people on bikes and on foot. The proposed design is not suitable for bicyclists in the ‘interested but concerned’ category, and will be totally unfit for purpose when SkyPath is built. This is a great opportunity to put the ‘safe’ back into this end of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route.

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Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

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