Lifehack for the diagonal cycle crossing at Victoria/Nelson Street: if you want to go down towards the viaduct or Quay Street quickly and in peace, punch the button to activate the crossing, then when it goes off, head along it for a couple of metres and then drop straight downhill on Nelson Street in the regular lanes. You get the nice downhill run and the activated crossing will keep the traffic off your back until you get to Fanshawe Street at very least.
I think I’m going to have to go for twitterati too. Illusory and meaningless yet it was everywhere you looked in NZ in 2015, either being name-checked by the clueless or chucked around like a hand-grenade online, or both at the same time.
2015’s quintessential word for name-calling and pointless squabbling while important issues are left wanting: let’s tie this one around the neck of the year almost gone and deep-six them both.
(well except that for about 3 months they just used the stretch of it past St Lukes Rd to park digging machines and diverted all bikes up a whole bunch of suburban hills to get across what was a 100m downhill cycleway stretch before - I don't know if this is now fixed)
Confirmed for no. Anyone going east of St Lukes is apparently going to be climbing those goddamned hills for another 2-3 weeks minimum (I've learnt not to treat AT's claims about when paths will reopen as gospel).
I bought Chandler's The Big Sleep to keep me sane on a work trip, and was very pleased to find rich veins of humour and snappy repartee alongside the hardboiledness.
I finished a large part of it during an afternoon's downtime at a café in Palmerston North, so I now have a rather odd fictional overlay to my memory of my first visit to the Manawatu.
At risk of over-posting here - I took the Nelson Street and NW Cycleway route back home to Morningside last night. Massive difference - it's shortened my commute home by 15 minutes (1/3rd reduction). That is time in pocket to commute in from further out, or visit destinations in town, or stay later for work or entertainment - and it's moved the city that much closer for people coming in further out by bike. This is a Very Good Thing.
I've never had such a big grin on my face on this Nelson St bike hoon since the great Harbour Bridge civil disobedience crossing in 2009(?).
My forgotten 8th reckon from the post above was just that - at last, a return to that same festival atmosphere.
A few thoughts:
1. I can't think of a single cycle project that has generated as much excitement as this, even amongst the relatively bike friendly circles I move in (online and off). I rode up for the first hoon with a group of several colleagues plus one more who met us in town with his wife and primary-school age son. That's never happened for me in several years of trying to persuade acquaintances to get into the bike scene.
2. And I think that's really the key; you don't have to be remotely tied into advocacy or the (entirely) worthy wrangling over Auckland transport policy to get this project, and to get excited about it. It's most definitely a people on bikes project, not a ghetto for "cyclists" as too many other projects have ended up being.
3. Whoever went for the pink colour has nerve, and in a very good way. The AT consultation on the offramp treatment gave a few anodyne options around "contemporary", "classic", "natural" etc. In the intervening months, someone has grabbed the ball on contemporary, sprinted over the try line and smashed straight on through the grandstand into the suburbs beyond. I'm very keen to see where else this kind of approach pops up in future.
4. Taken as a whole, Canada/Nelson Street most definitely does the business as a transport link. The offramp section has tons of room, a good quality surface, and for once there is an Auckland cycleway with a camber that actually enhances fun and safety, rather than threatening to throw you off (cf: top of Grafton Gully, and the Newton Road cloverleaf). But the most obvious thing is connectivity. This thing actually talks to the rest of town - you're surrounded by destinations wherever you go, on left and right. The difference from Grafton Gully, or even Beach Road, is like night and day. I've used it on a weekday precisely once I and already know that it'll be my ongoing route into and out of town.
5. Despite the praise above, the diagonal crossing and route proposed from Victoria Street northwards still sucks. Hopefully the praise heaped on this part ("Phase One") will embolden AT to keep their nerve and shift the "Phase Two" path to the left side of Nelson Street all the way to the Viaduct.
6. Even if it's a one-off, it's really sad that people are extending on-road intimidation of people on bikes onto a "protected" path. I suspect, and fervently hope, it's a one-off lone idiot deciding to take their frustrations out on a new very visible facility in a car-dominated part of town. Still, it'd be nice if Hosking and others could put a lid on their vapourings, so we can hasten to the point where people consider cyclists' humanity and remember not to be sad, antisocial dicks BEFORE they pull these stunts.
7. If the Ti Xiang Dumpling House ever reopens at Upper Queen - directly opposite Canada Street - we'll unlock the potential for 100% jiaozi fuelled crosstown rides, clearly the transport solution of the future.
Committing this act of thread necromancy to let you all know that an alternative to the Newton Road overpass hell-climb is at last going to happen - probably in the next one or two years, but hopefully faster than that.
One more barrier to wider bike use in Auckland due to be removed - every little bit helps.
Interesting piece from The Spinoff that pieces all the chaos together. (Spotted via a tweet from Danyl McLauchlan)
Claire J endorsed these on the previous page. You can stick 'em in a supermarket trolley and do the use your own bag thing. Got mine for less than half new price on TradeMe. Faffing-B-Gone.
The video shows Ortliebs which by all accounts are great, but Vaude's Aqua Roller bags are pretty much exactly the same setup, plus they have a hard plastic backing (so are harder wearing with wheel muck etc and can take a bit more of a bashing), and they actually cost a little bit less than the Ortliebs. I got mine online as even with GST taken into account it was $100 cheaper that way.
The downside with rolltop panniers is that they generally don't have external pockets, so I'm considering getting one of those little packs for my handlebar stem to hold keys, wallet, swipe cards for the office etc.