The Whole Problem 01…is that you need something good to sell, when you sell cycling.

CAA strongly supports “culture change” for cycling. Some of the most dedicated people in CAA – and in Council / AT – working for cycling are aiming to make cycling be perceived as mainstream again. They love cycling, and that passion shines through.

Yet for the poor novice on the road, that passion can quickly turn sour. And a telling example was recently, when the AT website linked to the Google Maps cycle layer for Auckland (see image at right).

What popped up was the below map layer on Google. Well, so if I live in Mt Eden, and want to ride to Onehunga or New Lynn, I have… no safe route. At all. Lots of little unconnected bits of cycle infrastructure, and large swathes of isolated areas. And on the opposite side, the map shows large parts of Howick – a pretty bad area of Auckland for cycling – as connected up with cycleways like a little Netherlands!

[Explanation: Google’s map shows lots of footpaths unsuitable for cycling on the cycling layer]

The Whole Problem 02

Reality is both better and worse. Better, because Auckland Transport actually has better cycle maps online themselves (towards the bottom of this page), that provide a much more realistic pattern of where cycling is safe (and also give you hints of how to get from Mt Eden to Onehunga).

Worse, because despite that, Google’s map is not too far off when taken as a symbol where the Auckland Cycle Network still is – a patchwork, and one that is growing. only. very. slowly. For all the exciting plans we are working on with AT on closing certain gaps.

And we are quite concerned about the speed (or lack of it) with which those cycle projects are occurring. Stay tuned for more on this, one of our most important workstreams – the scope, consistency and delivery of the Auckland Cycle Network.

Because you can’t catch fishes if your net has holes, and you can’t attract (many) cyclists, if your network has gaps.

Auckland Transport Cycle Resources - Maps General News Key Projects Regional Auckland Cycle Network
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5 responses to “The whole of the problem…

  1. Awesome Max – totally agree! I completely agree;thanks for your tireless work!

  2. So bad its funny, like the cycle ‘trail’ up the north side of one tree hill.

  3. With Google MapMaker public access now, Google Maps is only as good as the people who supply data. So it may be that in some areas there are some keen members of the public who are busy filling in all the details around their area, while other areas are bare simply because no-one has got around to plotting them. If you know that something is missing on Google Maps (or something is wrong like inappropriate footpaths marked), you can do something about that yourself!
    As well as specific cycle facilities, it’s also worth putting on Google Maps the many quiet cycle-friendly streets around the city – they tend to add a lot of viable options to the network (and probably also highlight problems crossing major roads along them…). Neighbourhood greenways would be likely to make a lot of use of these routes.

    1. Helo Glen – well, at the time Google maps in New Zealand went live, AT made a big thing out of how they liased that process with Google. Well, the logical thing would have been to use their own cycle maps as the base, not some other database of walking paths…

      Its true that the Google Maps can be updated, but we don’t rely on wiki-processes to have Google create good street maps in the first place, do we?

    2. I already contribute too two open source mapping projects that have existed several years before google started. The needless duplication in this area is a problem.

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