In a victory for common sense, the North Shore City Council’s I&E Committee has voted to proceed with renovating Lake Rd between Esmonde Rd and Hauraki Corner, and despite considerable opposition, on-road cycle lanes are part of the design.
The crux of the issue was that the established design with its associated NZTA subsidies had to progress quickly, or else there would have been a considerable cost blow-out if the project had been delayed. But it didn’t stop some local groups from trying to derail the initiative by trying to argue the on-road cycle lanes should be converted to off-road/”share with care” or scrapped altogether.
Cycle Action made a number of submissions to local community boards, MPs and the I&E Committee in support of the design, pointing out that on-road cycle lanes were supported by an overwhelming majority of Shore cyclists, were the safest option in this location, and were vital in completing the “missing link” between the cycle lanes to the south, and Esmonde Rd/Takapuna.
However we are still concerned the removal of the right turn ban into Hauraki Rd may compromise the continuation of cycle lanes across and to the south of the intersection. We’ll be watching the detailed design unfold with interest, and continue to make submissions in support of continuous on-road cycle lanes on this very busy and dangerous arterial road.
Implementation of on-road cycle lanes here reduces the likelihood that cycle lanes will be removed from Lake Rd altogether. But the risk has not evaporated completely – there are still residents and Councillors hostile to cyclists. Vigilance and ongoing representations are required to ensure our hard-gotten gains are not undone, and to push on for rapid implementation of Council’s cycle network (ref http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz/PDFs/Cycle-strategy/North-Shore-City-cycle-map.pdf) and general traffic calming measures.