Posts tagged: Mt Roskill

New Zealand’s First Cycle Boulevard

By , July 17, 2013

Dom Road Map 210x300 New Zealands First Cycle BoulevardBy Paul Shortland, Deputy Chair CAA

Construction on New Zealands first cycle boulevard is due to commence this summer with completion due mid 2014. The concept and consultation phase of the Dominion Road project, including the parallel cycle routes has now ended, and the project moves into the next phase of detailed design, tendering and construction. The community will be able to enjoy the cycle routes well before the completion of the main corridor scheme.

Whilst the decision to not include cycle lanes on Dominion Road was a blow, particularly for commuter cyclists, CAA was determined to work constructively with AT to get a good outcome on the next best alternative. CAA has participated actively in the Dominion Rd Stakeholder Group over the last 6 months including providing detailed feedback on the plans.

I am confident that most our concerns have been taken into account and the proposed measures will create an environment that will make the route attractive to less confident cyclists. Once the work is done, it is going to have the look and feel of a real cycle boulevard.

For the first time in New Zealand sharrows (shared arrows) will be deployed along the route indicating to road users that this is a shared road environment. In addition to this, a considerable number of speed control measures (“LATMs” – most with special 1.5m cycle slip lanes) will be distributed along the route. Generally the route has low traffic volumes but there are a few sections, such as Valley Rd, where speed control will be critical. Cycle friendly designed signalised crossings are intended to provide safe passage across the main arterials of Balmoral and Mt Albert Rd’s. Other important features include:

  • Connections at the southern end with the Puketepapa Greenway projects and the SH20 cycleway
  • Cycle lanes on View Road, and connecting cycle lanes on Dom Road / Ian McKinnon Drive to link the routes to the existing cycle facilities there
  • Signalised crossings for both routes over Balmoral Road and Mt Albert Road – either built specifically for the cycle routes, or adapted to cycle use
  • An off road shared path will through the Mt Roskill school grounds
  • Way finding signage
  • Lighting improvements where the route travels through parks

What still needs to be resolved is the treatment for the Burnley Tce and King Edward St’s deviations where they intersect with Dominion Road. The narrow foot path and adjacent shops provides considerable challenge to make safe for both pedestrians and cyclists. In my view this is a critical to get right because the route is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

In the meantime I would like to encourage you to get involved and find out more information and perhaps provide your own feedback on the entire scheme. This is a once in a generation opportunity to be part of the reshaping what is a large part of the inner city and an important transport corridor.

Public open days are planned for:

Tuesday 23 July, 3.30 to 7pm at Deaf Society, 164 Balmoral Rd, Mt Eden.

Thursday 25 July, 3.30pm to 7pm at Dominion Road School, Quest Terrace, Mt Roskill.

More information

http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/improving-transport/dominion-road/Pages/default.aspx

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge Phil Chase who ably assisted CAA throughout the consultation process, without whose help the task would have been considerably more arduous. Max Robitzsch of course provided heaps of technical assistance in his usual thorough style.

Greenways through the Waitemata & Puketapapa Boards

By , June 14, 2013

Cox Bay Opening 211x300 Greenways through the Waitemata & Puketapapa BoardsCox’s Bay Boardwalk Opening

The Waitemata Board is happy to annouce the public opening for the first of their Greenways projects – the Cox Bay Boardwalk, which was widened during reconstruction so as to allow walkers and cyclists to share it better.

Come to tomorrow’s (Saturday 15th June) opening at 11:30am at Cox’s Bay Reserve. For more details, click here.

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War Memorial Park Greenway Section Open

We have also been remiss in not calling attention to another piece of the Greenways network, this time in the Puketapapa area. Last Friday, Mayor Len Brown and Local Board Chair Richard Barter opened a further section of their growing Greenways network, this one through War Memorial Park.

The changes involved path widening, and replacing some steps leading onto a bridge over a local creek with a cycleable ramp. Read about the project here, and how the routes in Richard’s board area are the envy of many other areas in Auckland.

Also worth mentioning at this time is that CAA has been working with Auckland Transport and the Local Board on a new cycleway that will link War Memorial Park with the Mt Roskill Grammar School cluster and the cycleway bridge over the motorway at Keith Hay Park. This is a project which we understand is goign to happen relatively soon.

Dominion Road – A Progression Of Disappointments

By , January 29, 2013

Guest blog by James S.

As someone who lives in the wider Dominion Road area, I was asked by CAA if I wanted to do a guest post on the recently announced changes to the road, and what I thought of them.

If you’re completely new to the Dominion Road plans then they might sound quite good. They will include better bus lanes, more amenities for pedestrians and some back-road cycleways. What’s not to like? But what makes the Dominion Road decision depressing is that if you look closely, in many ways it represents a real loss for cycling and cyclists in Auckland. To explain why I have to delve into the history of the project a bit.

Most of the council’s own documents have been taken down so I’ve linked several times to the Auckland Transport Blog as it commented a lot on the plans as they were being developed.

The History of Dominion Road

In 2004 Dominion Road was designated for a 24 hour passenger (i.e., public) transport route. This designation meant that the council had the legal right to reclaim 1-2 metres of store frontage from shops alongside Dominion Road to create a bus or light rail corridor. It also designated some land around Valley and Balmoral Roads for bus stations that were behind Dominion Road.

In June, 2010 Auckland City Council put forward a plan to use some (though not much) of the designation to upgrade Dominion Road and the three main shopping centres along it. The basic aim of this upgrade was to try and create a high quality bus route that would support intensified development.

Old Dom Road Proposal 300x200 Dominion Road   A Progression Of DisappointmentsIncidentally, however, Auckland City Council also proposed continuous cycle lanes along the route, which would have been physically separated (probably by slightly raising the road) from the bus lanes. As you can see in the diagram at the right, to create space for both a high quality bus route and cycle way, Auckland City Council proposed to remove the on-street carparking on Dominion Road.

This proposal instantly became very controversial because local shop owners felt strongly that removing the on-street carparking would damage their businesses. They were probably wrong about this because studies from overseas and in Auckland NZ have shown that removing parking in exchange for better walking and cycling facilities can actually lead to an increased spend for adjacent shops.

Sadly, locals were supported in their opposition to the proposal by all of the local councilors who were vying for re-election at the time (Cathy Casey and Glenda Fryer, Christine Fletcher) and so Auckland City Council officials were told to rethink. Some time later, the project then got handed over to the newly formed Auckland Transport.

In July, 2011 Auckland Transport came back with a scaled down proposal which retained on-street parking but looked to extend bus lanes around key villages on the route during peak hours only. It also aimed to provide cycle lanes where “room allows.”  In fact, these wouldn’t really have been “cycle lanes” in the sense of being physically separated from the buses, but they would at least have provided a 4.5 metre wide lane for buses and cycles to share.

Unfortunately, however, this proposal was expensive because it could not be done without widening the road. Widening roads cost heaps because you have to relocate services sideways, away from the traffic lane under the footpath (e.g., water pipes, stormwater, electricity cables).

Updated Dom Road Proposal 300x168 Dominion Road   A Progression Of DisappointmentsSo, in October 2012 Auckland Transport’s Board announced that they had approved an even more scaled-down version of the project which would extend the bus lanes slightly at peak time, retain on-street car parking (off-peak in the bus lanes) and involving some small upgrades for cyclists on side streets, but not on Dominion Road.

So in just two years we went from a proposal for the first high quality, on-road cycle lanes on a major regional arterial in Auckland, to a plan for some very small improvements to current cycling facilities. This is pretty much the same story that has been repeated in Auckland over the last 10 years many times. A major roading project is proposed and carried out which creates some improvements to public transport, some upgrades for pedestrians, and almost nothing for cyclists.

My next blog post is about why I think the upgrades to cycle lanes that are being proposed are of dubious value and why this whole project represents a major lost opportunity.

The Dominion Road Decision

By , November 6, 2012

Cycling Environment On Dom Road 300x225 The Dominion Road DecisionYou may have heard of the decision to proceed with an $47 million upgrade of Dominion Road. What may not be obvious – especially when reading about how positively various groups reacted – is that this project is actually a significant cutback from an earlier proposal, which was costed at approximately $100 million.

Auckland Transport’s Board decided that due to the high costs (the extra $53 million) involved in relocating the kerbs and underground services, they will now leave widening of most of the corridor’s bus lanes to an unspecified future time.

This is a major disappointment for cycling, and also a concern for public transport, as buses and cyclists will be forced to coexist in a very tight corridor of 3m wide bus lanes – each hindering the other. Buses will also struggle more to get through congestion spots, around cars turning in and out of driveways etc…

You may remember that Cycle Action has in the past fought hard for dedicated cycle facilities – not just shared bus lanes – on Dominion Road. However, the necessary removal of parking was the lightning rod for a lot of fears about the project, especially by local shopkeers who still believe that most of their customers will drive from far away to park outside their shop, not seeing that a cycle friendly city actually benefits local shops (why drive far away to a big shop when you can cycle to your local cafe or dairy?).

Yet despite losing the fight for dedicated cycle lanes, we thought that at the very least, the 4.5m wide bus lanes would create a significant improvement for cyclists on Dominion Road.

Continue reading 'The Dominion Road Decision'»

Cycle Summit Video – Puketapapa Greenways

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By , September 26, 2012

Here we have an inspiring video from the Cycle Summit featuring Richard Barter, the chair of the Puketapapa Local Board, describing the “Greenways” project (we blogged about it before, but Richard gives a much better summary of it than we did).

How can one not be uplifted by that message that cyclists CAN have their own protected space – where they can visit friends, do errands, or just ride – all without needing to be on a road? We’re quite a bit away from that in Auckland, but Puketapapa is taking what they have, and making more of it. A great message for all of Auckland – if your Local Board doesn’t have a plan for a network of cycle paths, ask them why!

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