Hello all riding on the Northwestern Cycleway – and between Pt Chevalier and Waterview on the “spur cycleway” along Great North Road.
Due to construction in the centre area of the Pt Chevalier Interchange, the footpath / cycleway there (shown in red at the right) will be closed until 2017. This means that the walk/cycleway through Unitec may get busier.
There have been some complaints in the past about cyclists riding past pedestrians in this area at unsafe (or simply startling) speeds. It would be good if everyone could look out for each other. Smiles work too.
To help, CAA has in recent months asked for a variety of safety measures in the area, running from fixing a variety of broken streetlights to adding additional signage and warning markings on roads and cycleways. Recently AT and the Well-Connected Alliance on our request also installed temporary “flexi-post” markers to get drivers to slow down / stay a bit further away from the narrowest part of the shared path along Great North Road.
[All images from the Well-Connected Alliance's Waterview Construction Newsletter]
… probably most of you do not, considering the current, rather… unfriendly… conditions of Great North Road. Okay, I am joking, conditions there are horrible.
But for those who do ride that route – Auckland Transport is reviewing the traffic light operation along the GNR route between Avondale and Waterview and have invited CAA to comment. The changes will be mostly adjustments to timing & road markings etc… rather than changed infrastructure. However, CAA has already identified a few locations where we will be asking for feeder cycle lanes which might be feasible even with such limited changes. Small fry stuff, but hey, better than a kick in the shins!
So if you have any comments about the traffic signals on the route, between Rosebank Road / Ash Road in Avondale, and Alford Street / GNR in Waterview, please sing out in the comments field below, and we will see if we can advocate for more.
Another bridge is about to be opened for traffic late February – NZTA have almost finished constructing the new Richardson Road bridge between New Windsor / Owairaka. The bridge leads over the future Waterview Motorway.
And it will have wide (3.5m) shared paths on each side, with the western side also having a direct off-road link down to the Waterview Cycleway going west and east. Cycle Action originally saw the plans for the bridge proposing cycle lanes, and narrow(er) footpaths. We felt that that close to one of our premier cycleways, Auckland could do better! So we instead suggested that the footpaths be widened out and changed to shared paths instead (note to those who prefer to ride on-road – the flush median will help ensure you aren’t crowded out).
We are very happy that our suggestions were taken up – we suspect that the photo also shown at the bottom right (of a shared bridge path in Europe) may have played a role in that. We had shown it around the project team and the local decisionmakers when we suggested the shared path change, showing how things can work
As a result, the “tendrils” branching off this off-road cycling network “trunk” will now reach another couple hundred meters further into the surrounding areas, encouraging people to take up urban cycling.
Well done, NZTA and Council / AT.
TL:DR: Waterview Cycleway delayed. Cycle count numbers in October behaving oddly.
As every month, we had a look at the business report of Auckland Transport to review any items of interest for cycling. Where possible, we will also provide additional context from our own discussions with Auckland Transport.
Note that where the below is italicised, we have copied the text from Auckland Transport’s report directly, without changing it. Where news is of particular importance, we have bolded the item.
Continue reading 'Auckland Transport’s Business [to] Report: November'»
Some good news – Auckland Transport has just approved the next steps for the Waterview Walk & Cycleway. This means that a preferred route has been identified (see at right), and that progress will now start on land owner negotiations and design, so that construction can start as soon as possible.
The preferred route has few surprises, though a potential idea we had heard of (to bridge over New North Road, rather than have cyclists cross it at grade at a signal or similar) does not seem included in the design (though it will always be hard to use a relatively simple map like this to extrapolate design choices that may or may not occur yet). Probably such an extra bridge would have been more expensive than the 8 million assigned by the Board of Inquriy – bridges are big-ticket items.
Good news include the fact that the preferred route goes straight all the way through the Phylis Reserve part (the long section about halfway along the blue route). There were some concerns that the route would have to travel along local roads here for a short section, as some local landowner’s properties go very close to the stream, and were threatening to block passage. It seems that AT have stuck up for the logical and preferable solution of keeping the route direct and IN the park, even if it will require some extra work, negotiation & maybe compensation.
At the north end, we understand the “kink” is partly caused by some Iwi properties on the Unitec side that have to be avoided (because the owners prefer them not to be cut into two halves by the cycleway), and by the specific requirements of the Board of Inquriy condition that placed the link directly opposite Alford Street, so as to be most suitable for Waterview residents.
Another interesting confirmation from the document is that the path will be a generous 4m width – while it is unclear whether the bridges will also have that width (one hopes!) this is very encouraging, and shows that Auckland’s design standards are getting higher. The extra width will also make it easier to share the path between the more casual and more hurried users (be they cyclists or pedestrians).
Having been a key player in getting the cycleway included by the Board of Inquiry, CAA are happy to see that the project is proceeding at what we see as a reasonable pace for such a large undertaking. Having specifically been intended by the Board not only as permanent, but also as construction-period mitigation for the local residents, it is not at all unreasonable to expect the path to be open long before the motorway will be.