Mt Albert Town Centre urgently needs your help, to rescue it from a people-unfriendly design that’s been sprung on everyone at the last minute.
As our mates from Generation Zero put it in a recent mailout: just when we all thought we were ending the year on a high note, “Auckland Transport did something dumb and now we need you to stand up for bike lanes yet again.”
Here’s the quick link because time is short: hop over here, click the blue button to ‘HAVE YOUR SAY ONLINE’ and support Option 3 now.
Feedback closes Friday 16 December!
For the full background, see our previous post, with FAQs about crucial aspects of the design. Here’s the situation in a nutshell, as summed up by Leroy Beckett of Gen Z. Cheers Leroy, for concision and feistiness!
AT had plans for nice Copenhagen-style bike lanes through Mt Albert town centre. These plans had the support from the Local Board – but of the four options AT came up with, they’re now pushing for the one option with no bike lane!
This is unacceptable.
We aren’t going to campaign on every local bike lane, Bike Auckland do a great job in that regard. When a blindside like this happens though, we have to do something.
AT have set up their own really simple quick submit form here. Just tick option 3 and mention that you want a cycle lane.
We now hear AT’s ‘preferred option’ (Option 4) may involve even greater cutbacks to bike lanes than previously indicated.
The kicker: according to AT’s own numbers and analysis, as well as international best practice, Option 3, which preserves the bike lanes (and sacrifices the least-used right-turn), is also the best design in terms of:
- the Local Board’s aims for this project
- AT’s own Walking & Cycling department’s plan for the cycling network
- the local MP’s vision for the electorate
- the public feedback on the first consultation
- pedestrian safety and comfort, both on footpaths and when crossing
- and the business association’s desire to preserve as much parking as possible!
Option 3 also accords with the new Mayor and Council’s vision for the city. Indeed, the Mayor has just put the strong word out to Auckland Transport and other Council Controlled Organizations about his expectations. (See also Transportblog’s take on this). Can you guess which bit we’re keenest on??
Over to Leroy again, to help sum up why Mt Albert is our focus right now.
Of course this isn’t only about one bike lane. Thanks to the work our community have done over the past few years, Auckland Transport has a clear mandate and budget to make biking safe across the city. With decisions like this one, AT is wasting this opportunity to transform our city.
Rather than explain to concerned residents that these lanes have no bearing on the removal of parking, rather than standing by their research or best practice, rather than supporting their own vision of a connected bike network and a low carbon transport network, someone at Auckland Transport did the worst possible thing and gave up.
There are going to be obstacles to fixing our transport network. Falling over on smaller projects like this makes me worry what will happen when we get to the bigger roadblocks. If we are going to get people out of the cars that are ruining our city and planet, Auckland Transport needs to be bold. Everyone working at AT, from CEO David Warburton down, needs to understand that we need change. It’s clear from this backwards decision that’s not yet the case.
Help us help AT meet the transport and safety needs of the wider community here. Help us help them rise to the Mayor’s best expectations of what a 21st C transport agency can do for a city like Auckland. Help us do the best for a town centre that works for all ages, and all modes of travel.