Last Thursday Cycle Action was at the Albany Busway Station handing out flyers for our on-line survey to learn how more people can be encouraged to cycle to the Busway. It’s a real buzz watching the empty buses pull in – passengers fill them in a few minutes and buses whisk them up to the Busway, to be replaced immediately by another empty bus. Passengers say the peak hour return trip from the University precinct is hectic, as the the North Star buses can’t cope with the huge demand. I hope AT is working to fix this – but we were hugely impressed by how the slick the operation is at the start of the day.
We used any spare moments to talk to bus drivers – they were all bursting to tell us how they fear sharing bus lanes with cyclists. I told them we feel the same about sharing with buses. All of the bus drivers were well disposed towards cyclists. The simple reality is their buses are very big and drivers have limited visibility to the rear; cyclists are tiny and flighty in comparison.
All of us have stories of bus drivers who don’t treat us with respect. Here’s a rare chance to learn how bus drivers feel. It pays us to do this, as we’re often in the same road pathway - 44km of the 280km of ’completed‘ Auckland Cycle Network are on bus lanes. We’d love to change this overnight, but our shared use is the best we can do for now. In the meantime we want your ideas on what cyclists can do to improve our safety while sharing bus lanes.
The bus drivers’ describe that they are careful to locate cyclists as they approach them, so they can pass them safely. They report that cyclists who were on their left on approach, often turn up on their right when the bus stopped at the lights. One woman bus driver reported her fright on Friday in hearing a cyclist’s helmet hit her right hand mirror as he passed the bus to reach the green stop box at the front of the lane.
This story confirms the hazards of our poor cycling infrastructure. We desperately need lead- in lanes to make stop boxes effective, as well as ensuring there are no more narrow bus lanes. We’ve got a new project underway with AT to start fixing this. In the meantime we need to share ideas on how we can respond safely to the bulk and lumbering moves of buses and our city’s cycling infrastructure. If we have enough good ideas, we’ll ask AT to help us spread the word to the cycling and bus communities.
PLEASE save your complaints for another time – give us your creative ideas NOW – this is your chance to make bus lane cycling safer for you and our cycling mates.
Three Kings may not strike you as a cycling spot – except if you are into unsanctioned mountain biking, maybe.
But could the 3K be a nice suburb for cycling in the future – with the quarry filled in, and the town centre to its south revamped? What do you think?
Auckland Council is asking for feedback on the Three Kings Precinct Plan – and of course their plan has a variety of transport aspects. New paths around the remaining volcanic cone and the new park. Streets for a new suburb planned in the old quarry. A new town centre focus near Mt Albert Road. There’s even mention of a potential Greenways route. Lots of opportunity to get cycling right – or to instead create paths with stairs blocking all cyclists, and roads with four lanes to encourage driving to the local shops.
You can give your own response here, but we also encourage you to sound off in the comments, because we would like to source YOUR opinions on how this area could be better for cycling.
Bikes want to be free – so why would we want to corral them? Well, when we are dipping into the nearest dairy for a liter of milk, or stopping at a cafe for lunch, of course.
Auckland Transport is trialling their first “bike corral”, replacing car parking with bike parking – and it is going in on 264 Ponsonby Road from June.
Here are a few designs for how it will look. Sing out if you have any comments, as CAA will have a chance to make comments back to AT before it is installed (We won’t give you our own thoughts on tweaking it yet, as we’d like yours to start with).
Another winter cycling event – this one’s a drop-in for the CBD!
Prizes for the best lit-up bikes / cyclists, so glow away!
Also: free coffee and bike mechanic checks for everyone else.
When: 4pm-7pm, 17th May (this Friday)
Where: Queen’s Wharf (just north of Britomart).
Cycle Action is doing an great little pilot project with Auckland Transport to learn what it would take to encourage more people to try cycling to the Northern Busway Stations.
A few people do it now – they’re the ones using the 20 of so bike parks at each of the Stations. But this is nothing compared with the people who use the 1,600 carparks at the Albany Station, 1,200 at the Constellation Drive Station, as well as the feeder buses and drop- off facilities at each of these.
With a new Bus Station coming for Silverdale, AT had the inspiration to team up with Cycle Action to learn how things could be done differently to help make cycling a realistic option. We know that the roads leading to the Busway Stations are no fun to ride, particularly when they are crowded with cars desperate to get on the motorway or racing for one of those coveted carparks at the Bus Stations. The project meshes perfectly with our work with AT to prioritise corridors on the Auckland Cycle Network which upgraded to be safe, pleasant and fit for purpose.
Here’s our survey on cycling to the Bus Stations. It’s not just for people who cycle to the Busway – we’re keen to hear from anyone who uses the Busway now (or may at any time in the future).
Please help by filling it in NOW – and send it to everyone you know who lives on the Shore. They just need to be a candidate to use the Busway, now or in the future. Go for it!