I know it’s a bit dramatic, but this intersection has the worst cycling safety record of any in Auckland. It’s a disjointed mess of pinchpoints, truncated cycle lanes leading into side-swipe collisions from Ngapipi traffic etc . I can’t think of a road or commuting cyclist who can’t recount horrific stories of near misses and fearsome travel through this intersection.
AT has spent the past year looking at options to improve cycling safety. They also want to give pedestrians a chance to survive a bid to cross from Ngapipi to the Tamaki Dr waterfront. The project team came up with 2 options; a roundabout and traffic lights, and after lengthy analysis have chosen lights as their preferred option. This is now open to consultation until 20 December.
The proposal includes these features ;
- Traffic lights for improved management of traffic flow through the intersection
- Advance cycle boxes and cycle lane greening to reduce vehicle and cyclist conflict
- Additional left turn lane from Ngapipi Road
- Additional lane on the city bound approach to the intersection
- Signalised pedestrian crossing points and shared path upgrade for improved access and safety
- Sea wall extension to facilitate construction and support future improvements as outlined within the Tamaki Drive Masterplan
In September Cycle Action invited AT to present on the project to representatives from the road cycling community, ie clubs and shop riding groups. We did this because we’re aware that most of Cycle Action’s infrastructure team are commuter cyclists, and we don’t always have the same riding approach as bunch or individual road cyclists. The meeting had a good turnout, providing a lively night of questions, challenges and suggestions. I was impressed to find an atmosphere of mutual respect by the end of the session, and a good list of issues for Aaron and Howard from AT to work on.
They have since met us on site ( riding from town on their bikes) to discuss the issues and possible responses, and will be continuing to work on changes to the design as the project progresses. We’re impressed by the time that the various cyclists we have consulted to date have put into the project. We also value the genuine interest and collaborative approach from AT’s guys.
Cycle Action is backing AT’s traffic light option. We know it’s not a silver bullet and that the safety issues extend beyond the intersection to the bridge and the lack of connected cycling infrastructure leading through and both ways from the intersection. We’re working on these with AT, but our take is that lights give more security to cyclists at peak hours and other times of the day, given the volume and speed of cars, trucks and buses on this section of Tamaki Dr.
We’re putting hours into the project, (on top of many other projects we are working on with AT), so need you to step up to make your own response. And to pass it on to mates, so AT gets heaps of feedback. Raise extra issues by all means, but we hope you’ll consider the merits of the lights seriously.
There’s an electronic form at the end of the AT document. Please use it asap!