Cycling advocacy is a roller-coaster business of ups and downs. And one for which you need persistence, persistence, persistence. Below, just lightly edited, is what we recently wrote to Auckland Transport on a particular safety issue:

We are writing to follow up on a safety concern raised by Cycle Action Auckland as early as 2006 [by our former chair Bevan Woodward], and most recently reviewed in 2012 in a report by [a consultant] for Auckland Transport.

This relates to the presence of several pedestrian refuges that create pinch points on one of the routes of the Auckland Regional Cycle Network, being Meola Road (see attached files).

As early as in our letter of 2006, Cycle Action Auckland identified three locations on this route as severe safety hazards, as motorists often do not respect cyclist safety when passing through the narrowings created by these pedestrian crossing refuges. The existence of this safety hazard was agreed to in the 2012 consultant report for Auckland Transport.

However, it now being early 2013 with no change on the ground after more than 6 years, we need to raise the following two key issues:

– The [consultant] report notes that more substantial changes were not likely to be merited, because the route is not on the cycle network. This is a key flaw in the whole assessment, as this route has been part of the Regional Cycle Network for a long time, and is also included in the coming Auckland Cycle Network (as a “cycle connector” level route). Therefore, the “do nothing / do a little bit” recommendations included the [consultant] report are in our opinion strongly flawed, and we ask Auckland Transport to revisit them, correctly taking into account the importance and designation of the route, which is a key connector between the suburbs of Grey Lynn and Point Chevalier.

– Following on from this, we would like to know what changes are being proposed to improve these identified safety hazards for cyclists on this route. We note that we consider the [consultant] report recommendations as insufficient, as they are not expected to resolve either the narrowness of the pinch points, or the motor vehicle speeding issues creating the safety hazards.

We will raise this matter in our regular meetings with AT staff, but as agreed for such concerns, we have hereby lodged this matter with you so the improvement project is finally proceeded with after such long delay.

Thank you very much

Cycle Action Auckland

If you want to support this safety issue finally getting dealt with, why don’t you add your voice to Auckland Transport by calling them / writing them about it?

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Auckland Transport Central Auckland Cycling safety
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7 responses to “Slow enough on Meola Road?

  1. Interesting. Just as background, what were the consultant report recommendations exactly?

    1. Using paint markings to (visually) narrow the road even further – which we don’t think will have much speed or safety impact at all.

      Providing on/off-ramps and shared paths around the conflict zone. Which we think would be a costly exercise for a rather mediocre result that many cyclists would ignore, as it does not serve them well, and would bring them into conflict with pedestrians.

      They noted that road widening to increase the on-carriageway width, or replacing the refuge crossings with raised table crossing (sans central refuge) would not be merited, seeing that it isn’t on a cycle route (missing the fact that it has been on the cycle route network for more than 5 years…)

  2. Meola is a pig of a road! It’s so flawed in so many ways. I ride it very regularly and drive it often, and I find that I tend to do both with a wince and my eyes mostly closed, just waiting for something to happen. Add to that the fact that I’m finding those pedestrian “havens” in general are a kind of magnet for shocking driving – people misjudge their rush to get past a bike before the pinch point – and we’re really risking things here. Well done for lodging this. I’m submitting now.

  3. Could we use sharrows at the ped pinch points to encourage cyclists to take the whole lane here – which is what I do at these pinch points…

    1. We could, but we would want better than that on our cycle network, don’t we? It might be a good thing to do as a temporary measure, but there’s a risk that that would then be ticked off as “resolved”.

  4. Didn’t know what a ‘sharrow’ was – had to look it up 🙂 Sounds like a good idea.
    I ride down Onehunga Mall and when in the shops area with its pinch points I ‘claim the lane’. I give the thumbs up to the following cars when I am through and able to ride on the left again. Never had anyone get angry.

    1. Probably because people kinda get it that Onehunga isn’t a high speed zone – parking close to the carriageway, lots of pedestrian crossings, buildings close to the road, activity and pedestrians.

      On Meola Road, the road design (through “open country”, arrow straight and wide, except at these pinch points) says “go fast” to drivers.

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