Sunday 13th November

Northcote Safe Route Feedback Due

Where: Online form
When: midnight

Cities around the world are rolling out protected bike lanes as fast as they can, be it London, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton or even the traditional auto dystopian city of Los Angeles. It’s encouraging to see Auckland joining the roll-call, with Auckland Transport rolling out promising efforts in parts of the inner west and a fantastic design for the much loved K Rd.

You’d almost be fooled into thinking that there’s been an epiphany high up in AT’s ivory tower, a realisation that we need to (re)design our city according to the 8-80 philosophy. Almost.

Thing is, AT isn’t the only one who has changed over the last three years. As they’ve gotten better (and bolder) with their designs, we’ve come to expect better from them… and so we tend to get a little stroppy when they sometimes slip back into their old ways.

Which brings us to the Northcote Safe Cycle Route [NSCR]. This is a 5.2km project designed to create a safe route from Smales Farm to the Northcote Ferry Terminal.

AT has been working on this project since 2013, with several redesigns and public consultations along the way, at considerable cost. The design phase was supposed to finish mid-2016, with construction complete in 2017.  Now construction won’t be complete until mid-late 2018. Here’s the rationale for the route, in AT’s own words:

There are currently limited or no dedicated cycling facilities along the route, which services many attractions that could be accessed by bike, including schools, places of employment, public transport interchanges, leisure and shopping centres.

The walking and cycling improvements along the route will improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and implement this section of the Auckland Cycle Network.

The longer this project has taken, perversely, the worse the design has become: safer options for people on bikes have been watered down in response to the protective feelings residents tend to have towards on-street parking, in the southernmost section in particular. (And no doubt the situation has been exacerbated by the drumbeat of the at times hyperbolic bikelash against Skypath by a small band of guardians of Northcote’s heritage).

skypathresistanceposter
A cyclist or pedestrian every five seconds? Sounds like a pretty sweet neighbourhood to us!
skypathresistanceposter2
Good to see safe cycling on the agenda, at least.

And yet. Over the same period, in response to the promise of NSCR, SkyPath and SeaPath, the city has been investing in an impressive programme of cycle training in the area, via North Harbour Sport and other initiatives. (Takapuna Normal Intermediate, for example, is being sponsored by NZTA for a Bikes in Schools project, on the basis that this safe route is going ahead). Much of the work is focused on schools and sports venues, which makes sense. This is a heavily congested corner of the city, with many children being driven short distances to school – and many adults driving short distances to sports facilities.

As the image below shows, there are 5 schools on the Northcote Safe Cycle Route and 5 within 1km of it, which gives a total of 7229 school students within 1km of the route (2015 figures). Add in AUT’s northern campus, the major sports clubs, and shopping centres nearby, and you can see the huge potential for safe cycling to unlock the roads (think of Devonport’s Bike to Soccer initiative).

School populations along the Northcote Safe Cycle Route (2015 data, via Justine Martin of North Harbour Sports).
School populations along the Northcote Safe Cycle Route (2015 data, via Justine Martin of North Harbour Sport).

Let’s be clear: the full corridor design – while a bit dated and at times short of best practice – isn’t terrible. It provides a combination of separated and buffered cycle lanes and shared paths, and while we have ideas for improvements (especially at the Onewa Rd intersection), we can mostly live with it.

But there’s a big hairy rat in weasel’s clothing that AT expects Aucklanders to swallow, and which it is currently consulting on (again!): the design of Lower Queen St, from the ferry terminal up to the Bridgeway Theatre.

The Background

The original design for this section featured buffered (and at times parking-protected) bike lanes. Great! However, these were dropped after AT capitulated to NIMBY concerns about the loss of car parking, and replaced with ‘traffic calming’ in the form of sharrows and the occasional bump-out. Not great.

You might think we’ve got the following two images the wrong way round… but indeed, this is the Before and After.

Pre consultation: some parking-buffered bike lanes.
Before consultation: the design has some parking-buffered bike lanes, with people on bikes in them!
postconsultationqueenstnorthcote
After consultation: sharrows with a bit of traffic calming. No people on bikes in sight; no wonder.

Given the high speeds, tidal flows of traffic, and aggressive driver behaviour on Queen St this was obviously a terrible decision – but also perhaps a pragmatic one, given that (at the time) the project as a whole was under threat from the local MP, one local Councillor, and several Local Board members.

Roll the clock forward two years to 2016. Just as the truly world-class designs emerged for K Rd last week, showing how far AT has come – the Northcote Safe Cycle Route came up for yet another round of ‘consultation’, which is to say, watering down.

The current consultation focuses on three (not-so) different options for traffic calming along this straight road.

queenstnorthcoteoverview-map

Option 1: two lanes, two speed humps
Option 2: one lane, one hump
northcote-option-3-street-view
Option 3: one lane, no humps

If forced to choose, we’d reject Options 1 and 3, and go for Option 2 – one lane with a speed cushion. (And we’d ask for the treatments be spaced no further than 70m apart, plus extra traffic calming on side roads, especially the excessively wide King St intersection.)

But we’ve already heard that political influence is leading AT to settle on Option 3, which we consider the worst option for bicyclists. Given the heavily tidal traffic flows here, drivers will likely sail through the bump-free one-ways, with little to no speed moderation.

So we’re taking a stand. This is just not good enough.

With SeaPath under development, SkyPath just on the horizon, and locals already itching for safer travel on bikes, this section needs to be match-fit from day one. What’s currently proposed is the equivalent of building a dirt track for cars coming off the Harbour Bridge. And once it’s built, we’ll be stuck with it for 10 years.

Are we really going to dump people of all ages out of Skypath… and onto this street to mix with traffic?

hillsanddarby
Our friends at Gen Zero reckon Crs Hills and Darby are about as good as it gets when it comes to walking, cycling & public transport.

Our call for a revision here is neither cavalier or vexatious. The lay of the land has significantly changed in the last few years.

  • The number of local people (especially young people) who are ready to ride is increasing every day.
  • SkyPath is looking ever more certain, with all but one appellant having dropped their fight; the Environment Court hearing finally begins this week.
  • Lightpath has shown the huge potential for both commuter and recreational riders, a harbinger for SkyPath.
  • SeaPath drew powerful public support.
  • AT’s own figures show that if you build safe separated infrastructure it’ll attract people in droves – for example, the NW cycleway at Te Atatu is up 76% on last year and Grafton Gully is up 52% on last year.
  • Central government is backing more people on bikes thanks to significant investment via the Urban Cycleway Fund.
  • Local government elections saw the departure of George Wood and the re-election of Councilor Chris Darby alongside fresh-faced progressive Councillor Richard Hills, as well as a strong bike-friendly team on the Kaipatiki Local Board.

Moreover, the original parking-related arguments for dropping the bike lanes on Lower Queen St are, on closer inspection, highly questionable. To take just three extracts from the consultation report:

“[There are concerns that ] a large number of homes don’t have off street parking… and/or that elderly and disabled residents, and families with small children would be unable to find a park near their homes”

Not to sound like a certain presidential candidate, but: WRONG. Our review shows the overwhelming majority of homes have off-street parking or sufficient front yard space to provide off-street parking.  Of the approximately 85 properties on Lower Queen St, only 6 lack off street parking (Nos 28, 30, 47, 58, 116 and No 2 Hall St).

‘People felt that businesses would be negatively affected by customers not being able to park nearby”

Again, WRONG. The Northcote Tavern has plenty of off street and side street parking, and the Bridgeway shops have side street parking. (They’re also not a high ‘drive to’ destination, located on a peninsula a mere 600m walk from most parts of Northcote Point.) And, as a recent survey of retailers on K Rd showed, retailers significantly overestimate the number of customers that arrive by car and underestimate the number that arrive on foot or by bike, a result that is played out in regular surveys around the world.

krdcustomersurvey

“Some raised concerns about a loss of parking in light of plans to intensify housing density and/or thought that the SkyPath project would also require additional parking facilities in the area”

You guessed it – WRONG again! No intensification is planned in Northcote Point under the Unitary Plan.  And Auckland Transport already has plans underway to manage any potential increase in parking demand from Skypath.

Look: reducing this design to an argument about preserving on-street parking is no more justified in Northcote Point than in any other Auckland street. Doubling down on private cars is an expression of blind belief in a system already stretched to the point of failure.

Whereas doubling up on investment in sustainable transport modes is, to borrow a phrase that’s doing the rounds, an expression of confident possibility.

And safer streets for the increasing numbers of Aucklanders on bikes is an imperative.

That’s why Bike Auckland and our local heroes Bike Kaipatiki are calling on Auckland Transport to do this once and do it right. We believe AT is obliged to provide a safer and more appropriate design here for people on bikes and on foot – especially if hundreds more people on bicycles are to be streaming down this road every day.

We expect no less – because we know AT can do better.

Once upon a time, we’d have settled for Option 2. Now, it’s time to put protected bike lanes back in the picture for Lower Queen St.

Help us tell AT to stop kicking the can down the road and show some leadership in Northcote Point. Add your feedback in the quick form below – and we’ll make sure it gets through to AT. FEEDBACK CLOSES SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13th!

Stuck for what to say? Here is a suggestion for feedback; but please feel free to use your own words and/or add further thoughts:

“I believe it’s imperative to make our streets safer for the increasing numbers of Aucklanders on bikes, and that AT is obliged to provide a safer and more appropriate design for Lower Queen St for people on bikes and on foot. The proposed design is not appropriate for the ‘interested but concerned’ group of potential bicyclists, and will be totally unfit for purpose should SkyPath be constructed.

AT should make this street safe for all potential users, and at the very least delay a decision on this section’s design until the outcome of the SkyPath appeal is known.

Should AT choose to ignore these concerns and stick with this substandard design, then I request Option 2 is implemented, with treatments spaced no further than 70m apart, and extra traffic-calming measures on side roads especially the excessively wide King St intersection.”

Categories
Auckland Waterfront North Shore Skypath
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28 responses to “AT takes the “safe” out of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route

  1. A great post. As someone who regularly cycles Queen St I can vouch for the fact it’s not safe as it is, particularly for novice cyclists/children. Drivers are frequently in a hurry getting to or from the ferry, and the wide roads encourage high speeds and unsafe overtaking. Speed calming will help a little, but what’s really needed is a reversion to the original design where protected cycleways will actually provide the safety for cyclists so badly needed.

    And why does AT need feedback from residents to choose the best design for implementation? Design should be based on sound traffic engineering principles consistent with policy to achieve the desired outcome. Not what locals think. Given the hostility of a number of Northcote Point residents to cycling generally, it’s clear many will respond with poor design options that favour high speed motor vehicles.

    AT needs to rethink this one and do what’s right, not what’s dictated by local nimbys.

    1. Regarding hills, this is Auckland, and may of us have long dealt with the realities of a volcanic city. And of course an up hill is a down hill in reverse and if you haven’t felt the wind in your hair cruising down a hill, you are missing out!

    2. Euphobia. A very apt name

      Eu- (prefix)
      – good, well
      – true, genuine

      Phobia (suffix)
      Used to form nouns meaning hate, dislike, contempt, or repression of a specific thing.

    3. No – not all Northcote Point residents are hostile to cyclists. Many are keen supporters of SkyPath, the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, and the ever-increasing amount of cycling infrastructure around the city.

      But there are a small number of Northcote Point residents who value on-street parking and the ability to drive at speed as more important than the safety of vulnerable road users, especially our children. While not necessarily hostile to cyclists, they are hostile to roading changes that will make our roads safer.

      Auckland too steep for cyclists? I’m in my sixties and have no trouble getting around Auckland on my geared bike. I have a friend in her 70s who’s recently purchased an e-bike. She has a smile on her face as she cruises up the Council Tce/Maritime Tce hills out of Little Shoal Bay. Forget the single-speeders of your youth – have a look at some modern bikes. They’ll take you anywhere, and are an excellent choice for getting around the city and lower North Shore without dependence on cars.

    4. “Are Northcote Point resident hostile to cyclists?”

      Well if you are a Northcote Point resident then in your specific case the answer is clearly yes.

      “Get the cyclists off the footpath. Cyclists love footpaths.” – Pathetic false premise.

      “Cyclists stay away from Northcote Point.” – You own the property, not the suburb.

  2. I ride Queen St to get to the Ferry Terminal on a semi-regular basis. My son is on the back of the bike most times. It’s really hairy sometimes. The biggest issue we’ve encountered is when people somehow “didn’t see the bike” and turn right into your path (like on the video above), or swipe you when they’re turning left. It is completely unsafe with the status quo, and I completely agree with the above and SteveS that it’s not what the locals think should be done, as most will obviously going to be against any carparking removal. I also said to AT that if Queen St will delay the rest of the Northcote Safe Route, then they should get onto the rest first, while sorting out the politics here.

  3. Oh my god, here we go again. This is so stupid.

    We have a problem with speeding, aggressive drivers. After building those chokers, we will have a problem with speeding, aggressive and *frustrated* drivers *on a collision course*. That is a much worse problem than the original problem.

    For cyclists options 2 and 3 are terrible, much worse than doing nothing. Cars have swerve to the left before those chokers to let opposing traffic through. They’ll often do so suddenly if there’s ambiguity about who’s going first. Cyclists will be squeezed between those cars and any parked cars Note how the parking lane extends to right up to the choker, and note on the cross-section how there’s only about 2.5 metres between the gap and the parking lane.

    (so PLEASE do not promote option 2)

    So what’s the alternative?

    They could do something similar to the chokers on Moore Street

    https://www.google.com/maps/@-36.7985988,174.7336339,3a,75y,227.41h,79.46t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIgjk-agW4hzTt_6ord_fZQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    These introduce a swerve, and will actually break the appearance of a long straight street. This works so well that the lack of a bypass for cyclists is not even a problem. I used to commute along that street on my bicycle and I can’t remember any trouble with aggressive or rude drivers.

    There’s another example which successfully prevents cars from speeding down the incline on Ellice Road off Wairau Road.

    And otherwise, dispense with that stuff at all and work with the layout. Shrink that huge roadway down to 5 metres, which is wide enough for local residential streets. They can even keep their “heritage” concrete surface. Use the remaining width for things like trees, planters, or car parks, but make sure that it is unambiguously not part of the roadway. Paint a “suggestion lane” in a bright colour of choice, which will visually narrow the street even further.

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=suggestiestrook&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdjOC4qffPAhWJNpQKHe-VDXQQ_AUICCgB&biw=1078&bih=718

    But any of those options above, that’s going to be a very bad show when Skypath opens.

    ~ ~

    And that video, that’s pretty scary. Not sure what’s wrong with that driver
    at 0:35. Maybe he wanted to ‘teach that stupid cyclist a lesson’. You
    can clearly see his car waiting on the right a few seconds earlier,
    at that angle he definitely saw that cyclist coming, and he definitely
    waited to cut him off.

    And a protected cycle would help nothing at all about such behaviour. Cars can still enter that side street, and they can still do so 1 metre in front of a cyclist.

  4. I’d say go for option 1. The problems I see with the other two (basically, having only a single lane through the chokers) are:

    (1) The basic problem is that opposing traffic is going to be in the middle of the street instead of on (for you) the right-hand side, forcing you to swerve much more to the left than normal. If you’re yielding you’ll stay left of that middle lane so opposing traffic can go through the choker freely. If someone cuts you off you’ll have to do a much more abrupt swerve. With all of this going on, cyclists will be squeezed between your car and any parked cars.

    (2) related to the point above, the cycle bypasses are in the wrong place, they should be at the edge of the roadway, with a large enough gap in the parking lane to avoid that squeeze. As it is now, I’d probably cycle through the middle lane to avoid getting bowled.

    (3) finally there’s the problem of speeding and aggressive drivers. We will now force them to stop for no apparent reason, which will only lead to more frustration and aggression.

    You have pointed out the problem with option 3 yourself: chokers like this don’t do any speed moderation. The key property of the chokers in options 1 and 2 is the speed bump, and option 1 doesn’t involve bringing traffic on collision course.

    As to alternatives: an example of a similar treatment which actually moderates the speed can be found on on Moore Street. These chokers introduce a swerve, breaking the appearance of a long straight wide street. I used to commute on my bike along that street, and despite having no bypasses for cyclists, it works very well. There’s another example which successfully prevents cars from speeding down the incline on Ellice Road off Wairau Road.

    Another possibility, perhaps more long-term, is making the entire street more narrow. A 5 metre roadway should be plenty. The rest of the width may be used for things like planters, trees, parking, as long as it is unambiguously not part of the roadway.
    Do we need protected cycle lanes? Not sure, given that there’s only 1 km of narrow peninsula south of the Bridgeway, this should really be more like a local street, with a 30kph speed limit. At that speed it should be safe to just cycle on the roadway. OTOH if there’s indeed going to be 700 cyclists per hour, having cycle lanes will probably work a lot better for car drivers.

    1. “37% say the want to park and ride” asking customers what they want is a notoriously poor way to figure out what they actually want. The only way to figure this out is to go out and count once Skypath is built.

      Making sure cyclists can ride safely via Queen Street (instead of leaving it as it is) will for a part solve this parking problem. As it is now, Skypath is practically unreachable on a bicycle, so many people will prefer to drive their car instead. On the other hand, if there is a proper cycle route many people will use that.

      And finally, the rest of us are smart enough to spot the difference in situation between Northcote Point and Calais.

      1. I somehow feel like the motorway lobby is a bit stronger than the cycle lobby, so your plan sounds like a bit of a stretch. However we are gaining ground on the heritage lobby, so I reckon we could realistically raze the tired old houses in a 100m radius around the egress to make room for car parking and refreshment stalls for the skypath hordes. Maybe even an outdoor bar! that would be cool.

        1. A little harsh on the good citizens of Northcote Point who aren’t still clinging desperately to the middle of the 20th Century while the 21st Century gets on without them. Remember, this is the so-called residents association that doesn’t actually represent the residents, it only represents the residents that think like them, and wear tin-foil hats to protect themselves from United Nations plans to take over the world. Sad really.

      2. Well I’m sure they have a current estimate of the amount of people walking or cycling or parking over there. Such estimates are notoriously unreliable. The harbour bridge got clip-ons only 10 years after it was built, for instance.

  5. Watching that video, I can understand why no one would cycle there! More reason to bike lane it up!

    1. Can the moderators please remove Janette Miller’s trolling comments?

  6. What gets me is the hypocrisy of Bike Auckland. They castigate Northcote Point local residents for daring to maintain on-street parking (“NIMBY concerns about the loss of car parking”) but in the same breath demand that exclusive sections of the public carriageway be reserved in waiting just for them when they might (infrequently) decide they want to use it.

    1. Hmm, “reserved in waiting just for them” – you mean roadway space that anyone can use to get around? Kind of like a traffic lane, bus lane, or footpath? AT’s own surveys show that the majority of Aucklander’s would like to be able to use a bike for transport, they just don’t feel safe doing so on roads that are designed for cars.

      Let’s be clear, cycle infrastructure isn’t put in for the benefit of people who already ride a bike, it’s put in for the benefit of those that currently don’t. Those that are encouraged to ride benefit from having transport choice, those that aren’t interested in riding a bit benefit from having less cars in front of them when they queue at the Queen St traffic lights.

      Road space is a public asset, AT’s current approach to Lower Queen St is endorsing the privatisation of public space. Most houses have off street parking, and a large proportion of the time the on street parking us very under utilitsed. Removing parking on one side of the road allows Queen St to cater to more than just people in cars.

    2. What on earth does that mean? Is a footpath hypocrisy now? Is a motorway? A railway? Every mode of transport has some sort of dedicated infrastructure. It’s not hypocritical to prioritise moving traffic over the storage of private property on public streets.

    3. Michael, I can only interpret your comment as being extreme irony. Think about it. A car parked on the street is very exclusive usage of that carriageway, for a single person, for arbitrary lengths of time. A cycle lane (especially on Queen St) will be used by literally hundreds of people over the course of the day. Not to mention your use of the term “carriageway” in connection with parking 🙂 Seriously?

  7. A pretty sad outcome compared to the excellent consultation I’ve just seen for K-Rd. It looks like a compromised solution that will have to be rebuilt in years to come.

  8. Unbalanced article and its sad to see such a harsh reaction. A few points to note:
    * The rest of Queen St will have cycle lanes as released by AT in May 2015. Also the designs being consulted on are better for cyclists than the speed calming that was released as the final design for this section of the road in May 2015…at least they have protected cycle bypasses.
    * The design for the rest of the route is being progressed ahead of this section.
    * This section of the road has low traffic volumes, and slowing traffic so that cyclists and other vehicles can share the road is a sensible approach. Cycling treatments should be horses for courses, this quiet dead end road is nothing compared to K Rd so of course should have a different treatment.
    * AT is actually smart in this instance, the benefits of a cycle lane over speed calming along this small section of road near the end of a dead end street are minimal. Why give the ‘bikelash’ people more ammo for such a small benefit. If AT put in a cycle lane and 10 people us it a day, then how will that help grow public support for cycling?? Especially when that would likely require the removal of lots of car parking. AT need to pick their battles wisely if they are to transform Auckland for cycling. This battle is not worth it. If in future the rest of the route and Sky path prove to be really popular and there are hundreds or thousands of people using this section a day, then they could considered a more comprehensive treatment and would have the justification to do so….but would they even need to as the large numbers of cyclists on a low traffic volume section of the street would create safety in numbers.

    1. There’s well in excess of 10 people a day that get on the Northcote Point ferry with their bicylces, and that’s without the inevitability that is Skypath.

    2. I don’t see it as a harsh reaction, I see it as a justified response to a design that is well short of best practice. In response to your points:

      “the designs being consulted on are better for cyclists than the speed calming that was released as the final design for this section of the road in May 2015” – minor improvements on a compromised design are not something to be proud of, nor content with. Regardless, it’s arguable whether Option 3 is actually an improvement on the May 2015 design.

      “The design for the rest of the route is being progressed ahead of this section” – the entire project is well behind schedule, it’s totally reasonable to point this out in the article. I don’t think that it’s unreasonable for the Lower Q St section to be behind on the rest of the design, in fact it should be delayed further as what is being consulted on needs to go back to a first principles basis – it clearly does not fit with the stated project goals.

      “This section of the road has low traffic volumes, and slowing traffic so that cyclists and other vehicles can share the road is a sensible approach” – I disagree with this. I regularly ride Queen St and and experience multiple passes from cars, the higher the number of passes the less safe it is to mix with traffic. The tidal nature of vehicle movements, and the spacing 100m spacing of traffic calming devices, means people on bikes will still be subjected to multiple passes at speeds higher than 30 kph. Would you let your 8 year old child/nephew/niece ride to school by themselves on this section of cycle infrastructure? The obvious answer is no, therefore the design fails to meet both it’s stated aim of getting kids cycling to school nor international best practice of designing cycle facilities for all ages and abilities.

      “AT is actually smart in this instance, the benefits of a cycle lane over speed calming along this small section of road near the end of a dead end street are minimal, Why give the ‘bikelash?’ people more ammo for such a small benefit.” – sure, if you’re a confident cyclist. How about a child wanting to ride to school? Big difference between mixing with traffic vs protected/buffered cycle lanes. Have you considered that cycle lanes may actually be better for people in cars? Drivers dislike mixing with cyclists as it generally makes them nervous. Additionally no traffic calming means better driving conditions.

      “If AT put in a cycle lane and 10 people us it a day, then how will that help grow public support for cycling?” – redundant arguement. How many people were swimming over the harbour prior to the Harbour Bridge? Current numbers of cyclists bear no relevance, it’s the potential number that matters. AT research shows the huge potential for the “interested but concerned” group that would like to get on their bike, the biggest barrier to this is real and perceived concerns about safety. You get what you build for, induced demand works as well for people on bikes as it does for people in cars. Build a high quality road and you’ll attract traffic. Build a high quality cycle route and you attract people out of cars and onto bikes.

      “AT need to pick their battles wisely if they are to transform Auckland for cycling” – what AT need to do is push the boundaries, the status quo doesn’t change by asking people if they want change. Both central govt and local govt have stressed the importance of getting more people on bikes. Where AT are not taking a gently gently approach they’re reaping the rewards, of course there is local opposition but you don’t change the entrenched car centric approach to transport without breaking a few eggs. Do we want to perpetuate car dependency or give people realistic and attractive alternatives?

      “This battle is not worth it. If in future the rest of the route and Sky path prove to be really popular and there are hundreds or thousands of people using this section a day” – The possibility/likelihood of Skypath surely is sufficient influence to make AT stop and think about what they’re doing here, why plough ahead when a resolution on this is close at hand? If this design is built, a redesign if Skypath is successful is both a waste of ratepayer money and likely to be years down the track

      Lets be honest – attempting to find a “balanced” solution will result in a sub-par outcome for all users. All cities worth their salt know that a transport network that prioritises cars results in a failed system, one that puts cars last serves all best – including those that choose to drive.

      1. I couldn’t have sad it better myself, Person who rides a bicycle.

        I think what Balanced is missing is that the traffic calming design is unbalanced as it’s heavily weighted in favour of motorists. When AT first conceived the NSCR they proposed a good measure of cyclist protection along the entire route. I recall the words they used in their initial consultation as being the loss of some on-street parking is necessary to provide cyclist safety. Sadly a few Northcote Point residents objected to the loss of “their” on-street parking, and political pressure started to be applied to the point where AT capitulated. The political pressure is still evident in the “options” to water the design down further so motorists can travel faster. What parent is going to be happy for their child to cycle in that sort of environment?

        AT needs to revert to sound traffic engineering design where the safety of vulnerable road users isn’t usurped by political pressure under the smokescreen of consultation.

    3. “at least they have protected cycle bypasses”

      These bypasses are death traps. Any signage or planting on the traffic islands will obscure the view on cyclists coming out of the bypasses. Cyclists will get pinched between parked cars and cars swerving out of the way of opposing traffic which decided to not yield after all.

      I wouldn’t even ride through them myself, and I’m reckless enough to ride a bicycle on the street on Birkenhead Avenue. You absolutely cannot have chokers like this without proper cycle lanes.

      “this quiet dead end road”

      That is a good point, but it only counts if we make sure no cars will travel faster than 30 kph. That will require some calming measures. Most people tend to drive faster on a wide straight street like this.

  9. Come on – there were 3 cars in the video and admittedly one idiot. But that car would have pulled across regardless of if there were traffic calming or not. 8 speed bumps on Queen Street is madness – that will just add to the bottle neck of cars at rush hour and increase the particulate matters entering into the local atmosphere. Outside of rush hour, you hardly see a car on Queen Street – it must be the safest street to ride a bike on in Auckland. Lets remember – THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A REPORTED ACCIDENT INVOLVING A BIKE – on Queen Street.

  10. I think Queen St, while important, has taken focus away from the rest of the route. On Lake Road there are 1.5m wide bike lanes with a 0.5m wide painted ‘buffer’ (hooray!) and 4m wide traffic lanes. This is unsafe. Yes, there is combined walking/cycling on the pavement, but overall it is a bit of a mess – and not good enough. This is also the stretch that goes past all the schools and connects them to the sporting facilities to the north.

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