Full Nelson, coming closer!

By , September 19, 2014
Nelson South Access 300x195 Full Nelson, coming closer!

The now-proposed bridge and access route to the Nelson Street ramp (not shown, but in the works – cycle facilities on East Street to K’Road).

While people at the Grafton Gully Cycleway opening were (deservedly) congratulating each other on the achievement, I joked to several at the event that – with the ribbon cut – the path was now “old news” to CAA. We already had our sights on future projects – such as our suburban town centre pilot project, or the Nelson Street Cycleway. So it’s time for a bit of an update on that latter project.

Since our original proposal took imaginations by storm a few months past, a lot of work has already gone into it. NZTA in particular took the project and ran with it – but Auckland Transport wasn’t going to be outdone, and has since decided that rather than do a short-distance “Half-Nelson” cycleway to Cook or Wellesley Street, the path would go all the way to the waterfront. A “Full Nelson”, you’d say – during the same timeframe. That’s the kind of surprise we like!

Not quite as happy was the news that on closer study of the structural, property and geography constraints, most of the ways to get TO the old Nelson Street motorway off-ramp proved unfeasible, certainly for an on-the-quick project like this. Access from Day Street was constrained by the relatively narrow one-way nature, and the lack of publicly owned land from which a connecting bridge could be launched. Access directly down from K’Road would have required significant works on the overbridge, as the bridge’s sides are structural elements, and a ramp directly down from it onto the old motorway on-ramp could also constrain emergency use of vehicles on the old ramp. Access from West Terrace or Galatos Street wasn’t possible due the very high vertical drop in tight conditions.

Now, none of the above would be fatal flaws that could not be worked around somehow – but not in the time and budgets available. Thankfully, there is an option which, while somewhat less direct for K’Road users, still ticks all the key boxes – South Street, as you can see in NZTA’s sketch shown at the top right.

The option chosen by NZTA (with our support) will require a longer bridge (but is still easier to do than others, as there is space for a new bridge pier to support part of it). As such a substantial structure, it will likely be a permanent design from the start rather than a “bailey bridge” or similar. Though it won’t necessarily be a curved truss bridge like in the NZTA sketch, we are pleased to hear that NZTA have already hired a designer for the bridge.

Access to it will be via a cycleway NZTA and AT will build along Canada Street, and we are also discussing appropriate ways of providing for cycling on East Street, so it links more directly with K’Road after all. Overall, the solution is slightly worse for K’Road connections (we’re still hoping for a Day Street link some time in the future) but better for cyclists riding from Newton area, from Dominion Road or from the Northwestern Cycleway – as these will not have to climb up to K’Road ridge first (South Street is several meters lower).

So overall, good progress has been made – and we are meeting with AT in a short time to discuss progress on the on-street route north of the ramp to the waterfront, and hope we’ll be able to talk more about that section in a while.

Important information – SH16 citybound closures 27-29 September

By , September 18, 2014
SH16 advert from Causeway Alliance 17 September 2014 300x194 Important information   SH16 citybound closures 27 29 September

This is the advert which will be published in three local papers this week

The Causeway Alliance has asked us to give you early notification about a couple of closures on the northwestern citybound motorway planned for the weekend of 27 – 29 September.  The cycleway and all westbound lanes will remain open all weekend.

  • Northwestern motorway citybound closed between Te Atatu and Rosebank, including Lincoln Road citybound on?ramp

5pm Sat 27 to 9am Sun 28 Sept

  • Great North Rd citybound off?ramp closed

5am Sat 27 to 5am Mon 29 Sept

Click here to download an overview of the closures, maps with detours routes, a summary of the Causeway Alliance’s communications plan and contact details.

With the elections this weekend, the comprehensive communication plan starts Monday, 22 Sept (this coming Monday).

Cycle friendly work place: Level Portland

By , September 17, 2014
bta reception area 540x252 300x140 Cycle friendly work place: Level Portland

Reception at New Relic: Yes that is cycle parking!

Have you ever heard people talk about a cycle friendly employer and wonder what that would really mean? Would you like to be a cycle friendly employer but you don’t have any ideas on how to achieve that?

Well check out what one company in Portland has done to make itself more friendly for cycling employees.

The perks at New Relic include:

  • inhouse cycle mechanic tune ups
  • 1,000 square foot (93 sqm) of cycle parking onsite
  • a shoe-drying rack that during the winter had inserts with built-in heating elements
  • a rack of personalized shower bags hanging in the adjoining locker room (with shower, of course)
  • a wall of rubber coat-hooks that are actually handlebar grips

This has resulted in less than 10 of New Relic’s 180 employees driving to work in downtown Portland.

It isn’t mentioned, but I am willing to bet that the employees also take less than the average number of sick days (a big deal in a country where health insurance is an expensive necessity) and their staff turnover is low. How much is that worth to the bottom line?

Safety in numbers: Let’s get out there!

By , September 15, 2014
safety in numbers families 300x201 Safety in numbers: Lets get out there!

An environment everybody feels safe in – separated and plenty of other people on bikes

A common theme among cycling advocates is that the more people cycle, the safer people on bicycles are. Recent evidence from New York appears to bear this out. This phenomenon has been backed up by various studies and reports.

A somewhat contrary view is presented by David Hembrow (of View from the Cycle Path) who holds that the very safe cycling environment in the Netherlands is not the result of safety in numbers but of good infrastructure that separates people on bikes from people in cars. There is something to be said for that but I think we all know how much better it feels to see other people on bikes around us. It at least increases the feeling of subjective safety (i.e. feeling safe is more important than being safe), a concept David Hembrow is very big on (rightly, in my opinion).

Safety in numbers Melbourne 300x155 Safety in numbers: Lets get out there!

Safety in numbers on a Melbourne street

A very recent study in Australia has shown that the safety in numbers theory certainly seems to work if we expand it to cover the changed attitudes of people in cars when they are also (at least sometimes) a person on a bicycle. That would also match up with the experience in the Netherlands where almost everyone is on a bicycle at some stage. From the article on the study:

Garry Brennan, General Manager of government & external relations at cycling advocacy group Bicycle Network, told CyclingTips that the findings of Dr Johnson’s paper are consistent with what’s been observed in Melbourne in recent years.

“We started counting [rider numbers] on streets in Melbourne maybe 15 years ago, and on some of those streets we’ve matched the crash rate with the numbers of riders”, Mr Brennan said. “That shows that where we’ve got a five-fold increase in rider numbers, the crash rate only doubles.”

Dangerous intersection 300x194 Safety in numbers: Lets get out there!

This guy is not feeling the love – dangerous environment and the only bicycle

So how do we get these people out on bikes? Well I think we have to come full circle and embrace David Hembrow’s point – until the infrastructure and environment is in place to make people on bikes (especially people who are new to the experience) feel safe, we can’t get those numbers that create safety. We know, for example, that separated cycle paths encourage women to cycle – and women are a great indicator of cycling health for a city.

So what do we need? Separated cycle infrastructure on arterials, more direct routes for people on bikes and  30km/h speed limits on non-arterials.

And the best way to achieve those things? More money, so don’t forget to sign up to the campaign!

 

 

 

 

Update from the St Lukes Leicon team

By , September 14, 2014

From Friday 5th of September Leicon will be starting construction on retaining wall 121 and as part of this they will be installing site access control gates, similar to what is used on the Causeway.  These gates provide a safety feature by swinging a gate in front of the cycleway ensuring any construction plant and cyclists don’t cross paths.

Leicon 12 Sep 14 300x203 Update from the St Lukes Leicon team

From Monday 22 September Leicon will be clearing vegetation alongside the cycleway in the below highlighted red area.  For cyclist safety they will be clearing vegetation in 30m sections with traffic management at the marked areas with the blue x.

Also at a later stage, they will be installing site access control gates, similar to what is used on the Causeway in the below area as well.  These gates provide a safety feature by swinging a gate in front of the cycleway ensuring any construction plant and cyclists don’t cross paths.

Leicon 12 Sep 14 2 300x202 Update from the St Lukes Leicon team

Please note that there will be no closures of the cycleway.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Elise Miller.

T +64 936 21917

E elise.miller@leicon.co.nz

 

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