If you managed to make it to last Thursday evening’s event, you will already have heard the headline news: Tamaki Drive’s future cycleway design between Solent Street and Ngapipi Rd has gotten a major boost in quality.

In a stunning turnaround, after a consultation in which we (and many of over 600 submitters!) expressed grave concerns about the orginal design, Auckland Transport has decided that the changes proposed by Bike Auckland make sense.

AT essentially adopted Bike AKL’s Quality Option. YOU DID IT! 

We’ll be able to go into more depth soon,* but for now, here are the highlights – hold on to your handlebars…

  • As we strongly pushed for, the new cycleway will be on the north side of Tamaki Drive – thus fitting in better with the existing north-side Quay Street path, and likely future extensions around the bays.
  • Instead of a partially separated/ partially shared path, it will now be a dedicated 3m wide two-way cycleway, with a ~1m wide physical separator to protect riders from both moving cars and dooring risks from parked cars.
  • Pedestrians will have the existing seaside shared path largely to themselves. (We suggest in the long run this should become a pedestrian-only zone again.)
A protected cycleway on the north side. Mmmmh, where have we seen this before? (Photo of slideshow at unveiling)
Cross section of the new proposed design for Tamaki Drive, after Bike Auckland’s intervention. (Image: Auckland Transport).

But wait, there’s more!

  • At the same time, Auckland Transport will add clip-on bridges to the pinch points halfway along the route, and on both sides of the Ngapipi Road bridge (just west of the intersection on Tamaki Drive), thus ensuring the cycleway is consistent all the way to the Ngapipi Road intersection.
  • Structural assessment found that bridge is sound, and can carry the new clip-ons for footpaths, with the old shared paths becoming cycleways.
The two-way cycleway on the north side of the Ngapipi Bridge – and a one-way new cycleway on the south side for westbound road riders too. (Photo of slideshow at unveiling.)
Feast your eyes: the Ngapipi Bridge, with new clip-on footpaths on both sides, flanking new separated cycleways on both sides. (Image: Auckland Transport, shared with us in advance of the consultation that will open later this week.)

This is an absolutely massive win for people on bikes in Auckland, providing another 2km of high-quality protected cycleway for our busiest cycle route (not to mention, another kilometre in similar style is coming soon, to plug the gap between The Strand and the end of the current Quay Street Cycleway).

With more and more people choosing to ride on the off-road path, despite quality issues and conflicts with pedestrians, it’s clear that another shared path would not have been the best choice here. So we are absolutely delighted that Auckland Transport have found that they can make this solution work – and that they can integrate it tidily with works to the west and east, including Stage 4 of the Tamaki Drive – Glen Innes cycleway which will now land at the Ngpaipi Rd intersection.

All projects are scheduled to happen – and hopefully be completed – in 2018.

The rolling average daily usage on Tamaki Drive, our busiest bike route. Note the crossover in early 2016, when weekday commuters overtake the steady stream of weekend leisure riders and begin to trend consistently upwards. In the words of the first question at our Thursday night event, with relentless positivity: “So is the new design intended for the 1,500 people a day who are already there – or the 5,000 who’ll come once it’s built?”

So, is everything perfect? Not quite yet. There are some details in the new proposal which will need to be modified – mainly to ensure that those who will still prefer to ride on-road are safe. (We will discuss this in a future in-depth post, mainly regarding the need to ban westbound parking in sections where lanes are narrow).

And the proposal doesn’t yet remove the section of shared path between The Strand and the Ports of Auckland entrance at Solent Street. However – crucially, those sections can be improved later without having to rebuild or relocate the new cycleway on Tamaki Drive again – and as such, we wholeheartedly welcome the new design!

Thank you to everyone who supported our call for better facilities – and thanks to Auckland Transport for listening to us.

Bring on 2018 and the completion of another big piece in the bikeway puzzle. A big, quality piece!

* First paragraph updated to make clear that the consultations opening this week are on the Ngapipi Bridge clip-ons and Section 4 of Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive.

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Tamaki Drive
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  • Peacebrother

    Congratulations to AT and Bike Auckland for your collaboration in making things better and better for alternative transport. With the exponential rise in ebike usage, which will continue, these improvements are well warranted and will be enjoyed by many people. Thank you.

  • Teebs

    Amazing work Bike Akl team. Truly making a positive difference in Auckland right now, plus setting up a platform for the next generation to build off. Your suggested plan seems so common-sense, it’s hard to see how Akl council got it so wrong in the first place. Despite best intentions ‘commonsense’ is something Auckland Council seems to be occasionally lacking in. Keep up the great work – and keep nudging Akl council to better outcomes.

  • AKL wino