Take a left at Don Buck Road

Don Buck Stage 3AT is currently consulting on a short new section of the cycle network to be built out west – on Don Buck Road (west of Triangle) Road, and on a stretch of nearby Red Hills Road.

A more detailed consultation plan is here.

The project is intended to do two key things, from how we see it:

  • Allow people to cycle more safely along Don Buck Road / Red Hills road – providing shared paths along the route, as well as partial cycle lanes. The shared paths seem mainly aimed at providing a route to the nearby Domain & Primary School – in the long run, we understand it may also link to several new Special Housing Areas planned nearby
  • Provide a way for less confident people to more safely ride around the intimidating Triangle Road / Don Buck Road roundabout, by adding a missing section of shared path across the northern side that CAA has long worked for (but that wasn’t included because of the impact on the local shop parking – apparently they have now resolved that)

So overall, this is an okay-ish scheme. But it is very limited by the fact that the two big multi-lane roundabouts stay around. We will therefore in our feedback note that we consider that at least the Triangle Road / Don Buck Road roundabout needs to be signalised (seeing that we are so hesitant to create Dutch roundabouts). If you look at it from the perspective of a less confident cyclist or pedestrian, that intersection remains pretty horrid.

Sure, there is a zebra crossing to the west of the roundabout – but that caters for only one of three road crossings (and is quite a distance away). On two other approaches, you have to cross multiple lanes in one step, and are not well protected waiting in the middle of the road (slightly out of date image, but the crossing in front is and will remain as shown).

If you would like to provide feedback, or have any other comments you can think of, please give online feedback straight to AT by 11 July.

Interestingly, AT’s consultation letter clearly states that they are not consulting on WHETHER the project should go ahead – being required for the Auckland Cycle Network and for cyclist safety – but just whether people feel it could be improved some way.

While that wording is sure to anger the odd person, it is, in many ways, really what we were promised AT would stand for: Make transport decisions from a higher-level perspective, rather than from the perspective of worrying about a few local car parks (this scheme removes 15, which according to AT studies never had more than 1/3rds in use). So – good on them. More cycle projects should take that stance.

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