Our 2014 prize for perseverance goes to Rudy from West Auckland. The award is made because of his superb campaign to defend the new Portage Rd cycle lane from cars, which saw the lane as an easy parking place.

Over a series of months Rudy reported the problem to AT’s action line and copied me at Cycle Action. He advised the only way to fix the problem was to paint yellow dashed ‘no parking’ lines. AT resisted his advice, and after some delay sent out its parking officers, who issued tickets to the offenders, but this simply brought a new crop of parked cars to occupy the lane.

We really appreciate his initiative in reporting the complaint and copying his message to Cycle Action. This allows us to stay in touch with local issues while we focus on the high level work of lobbying for more cycling $$, as well as vetting and pushing along more projects.

Rudy was super patient in repeatedly updating the situation to the action line people, noting the waste of staff time and money AT was incurring.

Reason eventually prevailed with AT –   just before Xmas Rudy and the Portage Rd cycle lane got yellow dashed lines.

Portage Rd cycle lane yellow lines Portage Rd parking in cycle lane Portage Rd yellow lines needed

Rudy understands that we tend to get more co-operation when we give bouquets to our colleagues – hence he was generous, ( albeit delightfully ironic) in expressing his thanks to AT –

I am now the proud parent of a bright new broken yellow line and I would like to show you how much joy it has brought into my life. Last week my life was one of frustration, with un-returned phone calls, ignored e-mails and up to 20 cars parked in my cycle lane. With the birth of my new BYL, on Wednesday evening the legal carparking was FULL but my cycle lane was CLEAR, not one car!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it, who ever said that car drivers don’t respect the BYL.

One minor point, there was a few bits missing off my new baby. Outside No 183-185 Portage Rd, you have left a small opportunity for one car to park in a very dangerous position. In the photo attached you can see a BYL that stops 10M before the crossing where the cycle lane exits the footpath which is only just past the roundabout at Golf Rd. If a car parks in this position it creates a hazard at a point in the road where it narrows, has a double yellow line in the center, and is an entry, exit point for the cycle lane, in close proximity to a busy roundabout, surely a recipe for disaster! Please find photos attached of last Wednesday (cars in cycle lane), this week, a clear cycle lane with a BYL and the danger point at 183-185.

Looking forward to seeing this little problem sorted and enjoying a relaxed cycle in my new and much safer cycle lane.’

Don’t you love it! Take a bow, Rudy. You’re a star, with impressive patience, good humour and communication skills. 

Auckland Transport Cycle lanes General News West Auckland
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6 responses to “We celebrate Rudy – star of New Lynn’s Portage Rd cycle lane

  1. Awesome result but why is it so hard to get any traction within the halls of power at Auckland Transport? Drives me insane!

  2. As for bouquets for AT, once they actually get back to me on any raised issues with something other than – we’ve looked into it and there aren’t enough pedestrians / not our responsibility for bike racks / the chicane (where I got clipped) is satisfactory/ that 30kmh sign is illegal and we’re going to remove it / there is no problem, etc, etc, etc, I’ll start handing out bouquets.

  3. Good result, but I question whether No Stopping lines are the answer. Officially marked cycle lanes like these are special vehicle lanes and unless signed otherwise stopping is illegal by definition.

    I’m wondering if AT could have taken a more graduated approach:
    – an intensive period of education, temporary signage, enforcement and towing to get the message across
    – if this didn’t work, some physical presence on the edge of the cycle lane like solid rubber kerbs and flexible bollards (as per Triangle Rd).

    What worries me with the current solution is that motorists might assume they can stop in other cycle lanes if there’s no No Stopping line marked as well. So while the problem might be solved in Portage Rd, it might be aggravated elsewhere.

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good result – but to my mind our signs and markings have to be consistent across the country if they’re to be uniformly observed and enforced.

    1. A graduated approach was pretty much what AT did on this new cycle lane, Steve. Rudy is best able to tell you the steps that led to the no parking lines being painted. Each time it was fruitless – polite messages and tickets resulted in more cars.I’m therefore glad that AT saw the pragmatic sense of the yellow lines in this instance.
      I agree with you in theory, and am happy to report that AT is working with Cycle Action to target a few high profile cyclelanes with the procedures you recommend. AT has been monitoring this so I’ll update you and our readers soon on how successful this approach has been.

  4. Same issue in Wellington (at least when I lived there a few years ago). There was always cars parking in the Evans Bay cycle lane. I complained a few times to the council asking them to paint broken yellow times, but got fobbed off with “parking officers will get sent out” each time. Don’t know if they ever did anything about that.

    Nice work and persistence in getting some action here though! I’m impressed.

  5. Good work Rudy!

    Am currently fighting the same battle on Triangle road, on the patch between Waimumu road and Huruhuru creek.

    Constantly cars parked in the lane, always reporting them to council.

    Best bet for anyone who wants to ‘crusade’ is to always ask for the ‘reference number’ when reporting to council, and follow up later as to outcome, if no outcome or unsatisfactory outcome, ask why/escalate.

    I don’t have time to follow up every battle, so just reporting in meantime, and can say that most cars that are there a few hours after I report them seem to be ticketed 🙂

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