Māngere could and should be cycling nirvana: easy flat terrain, lots of schools and churches, great local town centres, and stunning parks and natural features (go ask that maunga!). But while a few excellent cycling projects are falling into place, there’s no safe network to link everything up.
We could all help change that. Auckland Transport’s new plans for Māngere, out now for consultation, promise to link up all the key destinations where people work, play, learn and gather.
Feedback closes this Sunday 13 December.
We’re all for it, with adjustments here and there. And we’re asking you to speak up and support it too.
The feedback form is short – here’s the link. Or follow the button below to make it even easier:
Read on for more information about the project…
Māngere by bike is getting better all the time!
So many new cycling bits and pieces have been built and are underway around the edges of Mangere, it’s easy to get excited. The new ‘old’ Māngere Bridge for active modes; the new Norana pathway and boardwalks along the Māngere Inlet; the separated cycleway along SH20A to the Airport; Māngere Town Centre’s Te Ara Mua cycleways; the planted shared paths on Airport land; and a new separated cycleway under construction on SH20B linking SH20 and Puhinui Road.
They’re all popping up in a neighbourhood with flat terrain, easy distances between community destinations like schools, churches, and the two town centres at Māngere Bridge and the Māngere Centre, and Kāinga Ora’s new terrace houses and apartment building programme
And the people! Māngere has growing residential areas where family and community are one and the same, huge employment opportunities at businesses based around the Airport and at Airport Oaks – and the astounding work of Teau “Mr T” Aiturau and Triple Teez, in organising events and providing bikes for kids and families in Māngere.
All signs seem to point to bikes as a great transport choice. But there’s a huge missing factor.
Where are the safe routes connecting Māngere’s destinations and its patchwork of new and emerging bike projects?
How do locals and visitors get safely on bikes to and from the new Māngere Bridge, through Māngere Bridge Village, along Coronation and McKenzie Roads with their busy intersections, along Bader Drive to Māngere Town Centre?
If you’re headed to school (whatever your age), what’s your ride like to get to local schools reached via Māngere Centre Park, or across David Lange Park and past the Intermediate School to join the SH20A cycleway?
And it’s not far from most Māngere neighborhoods to thousands of jobs along Kirkbride Road and at the Airport. But without safe connections, would you get there by bike – or let someone you care about give it a go?
We have one more question that’s really an answer: what if someone linked it all up for biking?
And now, Auckland Transport has published plans to do this very thing.
Māngere Cycling Improvements out now for consultation connect from north to south and east to west – linking Māngere Bridge with workplaces around the Airport, Central Park and Mangere Town Centre, and passing the gates of schools and parks and nearby churches. It deserves our support.
It’s not perfect, but as as a much improved, safer cycling network, we give it a big tick. It’s a great basis for building cycling routes that take people where they want to go.
The project in detail
Here’s a helicopter view of what’s in store:
The big stuff for this project comes in three main parts:
- The flagship item is a new spine of safe separated cycleway directly connecting the new ‘old’ Māngere Bridge to Kirkbride Road, and the SH20A cycleway to the Airport. Great news. This is the most convenient route for people working, shopping and visiting cafes in the Village, working at the businesses around the Airport, or stopping off at any number of destinations nearby including three local schools and the Māngere mountain and domain.
- A second off-shoot from that main spine provides safe separated cycling along Bader Drive, going past Māngere College to the existing separated cycleways (Te Ara Mua) that encircle and weave through Māngere Town Centre.
- The third part is a shared path from Bader Drive to Robertson Road, linking across Māngere Centre Park. Some of this pathway exists already, starting at Bader Drive beside SH20A and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori O Māngere, following Moyle Park’s boundary and linking with the pedestrian entry at its back, before crossing pedestrian bridges and passing under SH20A to Māngere Centre Park. Lights will be installed along with CCTV at the SH20A underpass, and a wider paved surface for the whole 1.5 kilometre length will replace the narrow and sometimes muddy shortcut that students already use to get to the schools on Robertson Road, as well as Mangere College and the Intermediate School by David Lange Park on Bader Drive.
Apart from these big fixes, a smaller road upgrade is planned to slow traffic speeds and improve cycling safety on Jordan Road, an important link between the cycleways of Te Ara Mua and to Kirkbride Rd near SH20A.
What it’ll look like on the ground
The project includes four different types of new safer cycling facilities:
- Solid separators (concrete) to protect people riding on the road from traffic on Swanson Road leading to the new Māngere Bridge, and extending along Coronation, McKenzie and Kirkbride Roads towards the Airport. The consultation material describes ‘safety improvements to intersections, bus stops and roundabouts, including raised paired crossings to allow for safer cycling movements.
- Bader Drive is proposed to have a new bi-directional separated cycleway, on the western side outside Māngere College:
- Māngere Central Park gets a new shared walking and cycling path with lights connecting Bader Drive near the pedestrian gateway to Moyle Park to reach Robertson Road:
- And on the more modest side, Jordan Road is proposed to be upgraded with traffic calming and sharrows to reduce speeds and give people on bikes more priority:
Do we like it?
Simple answer – yes!
It’s a massive improvement to the disjointed (or non-existent) infrastructure that currently makes biking between key Māngere destinations unsafe and unattractive.
And it gives visibility, safety and separation for people on bikes to protect them from busy traffic and heavy vehicles, which increasingly dominate the key connections between those destinations along Coronation, McKenzie and Kirkbride Roads.
Do we have questions?
Yes, we do!
There are safety, aesthetic and parking issues that need more discussion to ensure this project creates the safe, unified network Māngere needs:
- We’re most concerned about unsafe design where the cycleways (north and southbound) on Kirkbride Road meet McKenzie Road. This is near the middle of AT’s map above, by Māngere Lawn Cemetery. As proposed by AT, the cycleway is too open here, with protection interrupted for too long – and turning speeds, especially into the northern part of Kirkbride Road, are simply too fast for this to be safe. We’ll be pushing for a fix to this, and we urge you to put it into your submission too.
- We have questions about how the Coronation and McKenzie Road cycleway design deals with the roundabout for the SH20 on-ramp, the lights at Walmsley Road, the intersection at Bader Drive, and the existing slip lanes. We want to ensure people on bikes are visible and protected riding through these intersections and the roundabout in particular, especially with the volume of existing traffic on these roads.
- The residential area to the west of Māngere Bridge Village was consulted on street improvements to make it safer for walking and scooting to the shops and Māngere Bridge Primary School, and street calming was installed last year. Another round of Māngere Bridge Town Centre Improvements is also planned, and is referred to on the plans for the Māngere Cycling Improvements. These are welcome, but it’s not clear how they will mesh together, including how people of all ages on bikes will be able to safely negotiate the roundabout at the southern end of the Village/Town Centre. We’ll be talking to AT more about this.
- Cycling improvements anywhere in Auckland mean grappling with carparking – and hopefully, in Māngere AT will be setting expectations early. As a whole, this project will reallocate existing road space from 465 carpark spaces to the new, safer separated cycleways. That road space isn’t heavily used for parking now – occupancy sits between 3% and 18% – but we understand it’s a sensitive issue and worth front-footing so it doesn’t derail the project later, especially in an area that has been car-dependent by default, not choice, for many years.
- This project doesn’t currently tie in to the Tarata Creek pathway – a popular short cut for bikes from Moyle Park to Hinau Road and Coronation Road, which will become even more popular with the new shared path linking Moyle Park and Māngere Central Park to Bader Drive. We’re not proposing a change to the scope of the project here – but we will be talking to Council Parks and AT about signposting and small changes to the bollards where the pathway meets Elmon Street, so families and riders of all abilities can use this route more easily.
- The changes to Jordan Road will make it more safer and attractive for less confident people to cycle here, but it’d be even better with raised crossings at both ends of the road to suit a quiet residential area and safer cycling route.
- Māngere Bridge Village is a great place to shop and meet for coffee, with planter boxes and hanging baskets decorating shops and cafes. We know cycleway separators come in all forms, including planter boxes to fit – so some more thought needs to be given to the concrete separators planned for the lanes leading into and out of the Village, so they enhance the streetscape that locals have created.
We’ll be raising all of these matters in Bike Auckland’s submission, so we can work with Auckland Transport to fine-tune and get an even better result for the project.
All we ask of you is to respond to AT’s consultation to give the project the support it deserves!
Suggested items to cover are listed in our Quick Submit Guide below – make yourself heard by Sunday 13 December.