Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Cycle infrastructure: the blessings are not evenly shared

20 Responses

  • Jason Kemp,

    Where is that first photo (rainbow one) taken please. A street address.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Where is that first photo (rainbow one) taken please. A street address

    It's the path that runs between Unitec and the motorway west of Carrington Road – effectively part of the northwestern cycleway. At the bottom of the slope, you hang left to join the Waterview path, or right to take the overbridge and continue on the northwestern.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've added this from Peter Haynes, chair of the Eden-Albert local board, to the post:

    You probably know this, but the traffic planners decided to start in the centre, where the population is densest and the usage greatest, and then move outwards from there. (It is certainly true that Waitemata Local Board has by far the highest population density in NZ, and the Albert-Eden Local Board the second highest in the region.) Where I think they got it wrong, and where the argument against the traffic planners' thinking is strongest, is that there are far higher numbers of car accidents and people killed and injured by traffic in the south than others parts of Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just posted by Bike Auckland: how the Waterview path was won.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Fab post, thanks Russell! And great timing - here's Barb's look back at the nitty-gritty of getting the path included as part of the Waterview consent.

    An epic undertaking that has paid off handsomely. (Although we all wish new cycleways didn't all come with an enormous motorway on the side, though - Great South Road/ East-West a case in point).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    BTW, did anyone else catch Bryan Leyland’s hilariously wrong-headed submission on the Point Chev cycleway?

    This paragraph:

    It also seems that they did not consider how many cyclists might use it and whether or not most of them would be recreational cyclists – which is certainly the case right now. Why should the Council spend large amounts of money providing for recreational cyclists instead of spreading that money equally among other organisations and groups of people who provide and make use of recreational facilities?

    Of course no one has ever driven a car in a frivolous mood. It’s a very serious business, motoring, and all journeys matter. (Also: the council has actually spent millions of dollars on "recreational facilities" either side of the road.)

    He then goes on to recommend a more serious and appropriate, if highly circuitous, route – across the middle of a school playground!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks Russell. I had seen photos before but the stone wall made me think it was at Greenlane.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Lumley,

    One of the big problems Auckland has compared to Melbourne (where I grew up) is that the old roads are much narrower. Melbourne has unnecessarily wide streets and so had no difficulty putting bike paths in all over the place, even in the non-grid areas around the CBD. It's harder here. Great South Rd could accommodate bike lanes, even if they're not currently planned, but Manukau Rd and Mt Eden Rd would have a lot more difficulty.

    At least it's daylight saving time now, so Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain are open later than 6pm, allowing me to avoid the Royal Oak roundabout and a lot of Manukau Rd in the evenings.

    But while commuting to the city campus of UoA isn't too much of a pain, I have to go to the Tāmaki campus twice this week. It's about the same distance from Onehunga, but Google tells me the best transit options go via Newmarket or the CBD, and it's a pretty unfriendly cycle route.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    We've been exploring from Mt Roskill in every direction we can. The cycleway along the southwestern has been great fun leading us to the Onehunga path and along the estuary - but yeah it ends there.

    One Sunday we explored further in that direction and ended up riding up Gt South Road through to Newmarket. It's a beautifully smooth road surface (please can we make bike routes smoother) and on a quiet Sunday morning a pleasant ride but it reminded me of when I dodged traffic to ride to my holiday job as a student - essentially everyone was trying to kill me and it doesn't look much different now.

    Great South Rd could accommodate bike lanes, even if they're not currently planned, but Manukau Rd and Mt Eden Rd would have a lot more difficulty.

    All three of those roads could have wide bike lanes separated from cars by a curb with ease - they are easily wide enough. The problem is everyone looks at the road and sees the lanes for the cars and thinks "that's how wide the road is" but it isn't - for most of those roads there is a line of cars that people have left on the side of the road - remove those and suddenly you have MUCH more space for the transport network. Yes people will have to find somewhere else to put their car, perhaps on their own land or park on the side streets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Just wanted to say

    ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES!!!!!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • Viv10101,

    We walked across the Waterview bridge a few weekends ago – It was really cool!! I definitely want to go back and explore more - is there a map somewhere with the cycle path routes?

    Auckland • Since Oct 2017 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    One Sunday we explored further in that direction and ended up riding up Gt South Road through to Newmarket. It’s a beautifully smooth road surface (please can we make bike routes smoother) and on a quiet Sunday morning a pleasant ride but it reminded me of when I dodged traffic to ride to my holiday job as a student – essentially everyone was trying to kill me and it doesn’t look much different now.

    That's how I "discovered" Great South Road – although the first two times I was only on a short stretch before crossing over to do the circuit around the isthmus. And it was the weekend, which made me wonder how much worse it was at commuter rush hour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Viv10101,

    We walked across the Waterview bridge a few weekends ago – It was really cool!! I definitely want to go back and explore more – is there a map somewhere with the cycle path routes?

    Here's the Waterview map.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Nice photos, Russell. Next time I ride to Pak N Save (I live in Morningside), I'll go via the Waterview Track :)

    About 18 months ago I was considering a contract in Otahutuu so, as a committed cycle commuter, I investigated potential routes. And there really aren't any safe ways to get to Otahuhu and my plan was basically ride to Ellerslie and catch the train. Cycling along Gt South Road just seemed too risky. I ended up working in the CDB which is closer, and as you note, far, far more cycle-friendly

    One thing I did notice was that much of the railway line through Otahuhu had a small service road running next to it. Based on my observations from Google maps (satellite mode) it seems reasonably straight forward to get a cycleway that goes from around Kaka St in Otahuhu and links up to the walkway/cycleway that meanders along the Onehunga coastline south of Neilson St.

    Putting a cycleway heading north along the Southern Line might well be feasible, but would likely require engineering. I'd like to see a feasibility study done on using the margins of the rail lines as potential cycleways.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Putting a cycleway heading north along the Southern Line might well be feasible, but would likely require engineering.

    FWIW they do this in Melbourne... but Melbourne also accepts quite a high death rate from running trains at ground level with minimal separation.

    I used to ride the Upfield bike path most days and this looks ok but as you get into more built-up parts it can get a bit ugly. Despite that, I do recommend that as an example of how you can wedge a bike path into a very small space (especially as the alternative is Sydney Road which is very ugly to ride on). I would much rather ride very close to a busy railway line than a busy road. Or live, for that matter :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1020 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    There's some good detail on next steps for improving cycling in Auckland here:

    https://at.govt.nz/media/1974191/item114-auckland-cycling-programme-for-investmentfinal.pdf

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 235 posts Report Reply

  • Jon Briggs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks for the map! I have been wondering how the NW path connects up to the SE one. Will be handy for me. I am often heading home in Mt Roskill from the West. I am going to try it out tonight!

    Since Dec 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Been trying to figure out a way of saying this without screwing it up, hopefully this will be taken in the spirit intended.

    While I understand the value of investing in infrastructure in the highest density areas I think a case can be made that Sth Auckland has a greater need. Access to low cost transport might have a bigger impact in Sth Auckland than in Grey Lynn. And having safe paths and places to cycle might encourage healthy activity in communities that are not currently well served with places to play.

    In short, the benefit might be greater in Sth Auckland even if the population density isn't as high as in central Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I have had similar thoughts, Bart.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    For those interested Love to Ride is doing a mini bike challenge with prizes to get people on their bikes for spring.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

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