Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Paths where we actually ride

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marc C,

    Yes, I read the post, and I note how some good improvements are being made in the area where you live. But so far we get only some projects in certain areas, and there is this approach of “radiating out” from the inner city into the suburbs, that I read, that AT seem to follow, by gradually extending existing networks.

    So I do not want to rubbish AT for the work they are doing and anticipating, and plans being made so far, but it is all rather limited to certain priority areas, where there is also likely to be more of an uptake of cycling. This though leaves very many suburban areas out of the picture, where only few routes have been built or are being planned. I am looking at the greater picture, and that is also involving the challenge of getting people out of cars, in larger numbers.

    That wasn't your original complaint, but yes, Central definitely gets the most attention in the next three years – no question about that. But the longest stretch underway with Urban Cycleways funding is the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path and there are projects to the East, South and West in AT's three year programme – and the map further out is good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    I understand it's landfill related. Whether it's something that is continuously leaching or ancient toxic sludge trapped in the mud, i don't know. It would certainly be good to know, and to have some clarity on both the Meola area and Coxes Bay - where insanely we are still unable to swim. Sewerage, or ancient factory poisons/heavy metals trapped in the mud? Whoever you ask tells a different story...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    One thing that would make cycle paths much easier would be to stop accepting that people should be allowed to leave their cars blocking main transport routes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Dan Salmon,

    Yes, well, the Central Interceptor is supposed to provide some of the answer, but there was some debate about whether Meola Creek would be made better or worse by that $800 million dollar project and still about 10 years away from completion.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10898489

    I don't think Coxs Bay is in the catchment of the Central Interceptor either, nor the houses on the Westmere peninsular overlooking Meola Reef. They still have the 90 year old combined sewerage and stormwater drains that overflow directly into the sea. Although a large number of them that have been renovated in the last 10-12 years will have been forced to add stormwater rentention tanks as part of the consenting process.

    I do feel for the various community groups that have the periodic working bees to clean up Meola Creek and Coxs Bay, they really are fighting a never ending battle until the root cause is addressed.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Meola Rd has variously allowed and dis-allowed parking over the years, the trouble is there are well patronised amenities there all within close proximity that just don't have enough off street parking to cope.

    Last Sunday was one of the worst I have seen in 20 years on Meola Rd, there was a football tournament at Seddon fields, the Military Open Day at MOTAT II and the dog walking park all within about 400 metres. On the southern side of course the Zoo and Western Springs lakeside and MOTAT I.

    It's great the facilities are being utilised and locals may benefit from cycle lanes but these amenities are used by people from all over Auckland and NZ who, like it or not, travel to them in large numbers by car.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    It’s great the facilities are being utilised and locals may benefit from cycle lanes but these amenities are used by people from all over Auckland and NZ who, like it or not, travel to them in large numbers by car.

    Yes – and the council has spent money on all-weather turf for Seddon Fields on the expectation that people will travel there.

    I suspect the issue with building a new path on the north side isn't so much that it's impossible, as that it would require spending beyond the limits of cycleway funding.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Russell Brown,

    They could just use the lovely Auckland clay that people are digging out to build garages and pools on their properties to cap the landfill on the northern side and save some $ ;-)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • jnorthover, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    I agree - the nw cycleway is fine until you come to the steep climb up to Newton Rd then K Rd then drop back down to Canada St. I understand a solution is being planned. It looks like a new detour off to Upper Queen St from which to loop back to Canada St.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2016 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    It’s great the facilities are being utilised and locals may benefit from cycle lanes but these amenities are used by people from all over Auckland and NZ who, like it or not, travel to them in large numbers by car.

    I know. But to some degree it's a chicken and egg problem. People travel there by car because they expect to be able to park their car when they get there. Nobody expects to be able to park on Queen St anymore so nobody tries (well there is always one plonker).

    Public transport doesn't bother establishing services for such events because they expect everyone will drive their car.

    At some point you need to cut through the knot. There IS parking off the (main) road. There IS some (not enough) public transport. There is also a reluctance to make more parking because it just encourages more drivers.

    Taking the step to say it's more important to have cyclists than parking isn't easy and it certainly isn't appropriate on all routes but there are some pretty obvious cases where making one side no parking and replacing it with a separated cycleway is doable. Eventually you'll get to the point where folks no longer expect to be able to leave their car on a major thoroughfare.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I understand your enthusiasm for the Grey Lynn route and so, but what is needed is a culture change and big plan to enable cycling along all major and not so major main streets and roads in Auckland, and this must be done by creating separate, designated cycle lanes, for safety reasons.

    I have been cycling for much of my life, having grown up in the country and cycling to school and back daily for 8 kms there and back every week-day, rain or shine. I also took up cycling when moving to Auckland in the 1980s, but then having been hit by a bus, ending up in hospital, and prior to that having had endless close encounters on streets and roads in the city and further out, that finally told me, leave the bike at home, use the bus.

    And to this day, I am not that convinced when I see such shared lanes or lanes along streets and roads, where you are often only inches away from cars, trucks and buses going past, that this is the solution.

    People will travel along main routes to shops, to the city and out, to whatever destination, also their work. So it is realistic, I think, that in future many cycle ways will be alongside streets and roads, but they need to be clearly separated, for safety reasons. AT are still working on future planning and improvements, and I hope they will take my concerns on board.

    One major challenge though will be funding, as most taxpayers are still motorists, and they will not like having to pay extra, same as ratepayers, to build a network of cycle lanes that will simply cost a lot.

    But after all this is an investment in the future, same as train networks, which will in the end pay off, it is just the start up investment that will be high, people have to accept that. It is a political challenge to get more people on our sides to support all this and agree to pay for it, so let us see where this will end, hopefully for a positive outcome.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to Russell Brown,

    projects to the East, South and West

    Maybe I have a case of "WIMBY" (Want In My Back Yard) but I'm not excited by any of the projects listed for the North Shore. They look like a case of building what is easy rather than what is needed. Who commutes between Massey and Albany? I wonder what the occupancy of the half-hourly 130 bus (that route) is compared to the double-deckers being added on the busway?
    Further out it DOES look interesting, mostly because of the prospect of linking to the SkyPath.
    There's more to the picture than just the roadways. How about converting the lowest level of all the carparks to bicycle only and installing shower blocks? It could even be a requirement of all new developments, like fire regulations.
    I guess we just have to be patient.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to Marc C,

    what is needed is a culture change and big plan to enable cycling along all major and not so major main streets and roads in Auckland,

    That's going to be hard. Most of Auckland's arterial roads are already widened to capacity. And motorists hate it when you take lanes away again.

    My children's "best" cycle route to school is basically a huge gravity well. But the more direct route along the ridge (shorter, and virtually level) includes a long stretch with two lanes, no parking margin, and the narrowest of footpaths.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    you need to lower speed accordingly. If you don't like it, don't use a shared path.

    It's unreasonable in general to say "if you want to do this lawful thing you have to obey some extra rules I just made up", but more so in this case.

    For example, I could avoid the shared path on my commute by trading ~7km of shared path for the same distance on a 6 lane dual carriageway. Or more than twice that distance of less busy roads. There's no parking or verge, let alone a door zone, on that road.

    One counterargument is that if pedestrians don't like sharing the shared paths they should perhaps re-evaluate their choices.

    We have people campaigning against cyclists, and not just the one-man "Pedestrian Council of Australia" which regularly opposes cycle facilities and cyclists. My local river-care group regular submits on bicycle plans to say "cyclists must be required to travel more slowly than pedestrians and should be made to dismount when they can't be blocked from using the path at all". It means we have to organise submissions for every little thing saying "remember to allow for cyclists".

    requires cyclists to maintain a 1m distance between themselves and pedestrians.

    I'm in NSW and ride on shared paths every day, but I can't find any reference to this as legislation, only a "should" that's restricted to "when overtaking", so I'd really like more information. I can't find mention of it in any of the media about the recent legislation.

    There's no obligation on pedestrians to leave that metre of the path available and they're not obliged to behave reasonably or even pay attention to their surroundings. That makes it very hard for cyclists on shared paths when pedestrians decide to be difficult, and unfortunately campaigns like the recent one explicitly encourage that behaviour by delegitimising cyclists (being generous, the roads minister has repeatedly said ugly things).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Moz,

    It's unreasonable in general to say "if you want to do this lawful thing you have to obey some extra rules I just made up", but more so in this case.

    Maybe that was a bit harsh. What I'm trying to get across is that if we can't get THEM, the authorities, to give us segregated facillities, pedestrians and bike riders need a bit of give and take to rub along, and we shouldn't behave as though the shared facility belongs wholly to us. I mean, that's what nasty motorists do, acting as though the road is theirs alone, and it's a shame if cyclists emulate them amongst the pedestrians on a shared path. I hope that pedestrians try to be a bit more alert and aware, and I hope that cyclists don't ride at speeds where they can't take evasive action. If you want to go that fast, maybe pick somewhere where you aren't endangering your fellow citizens who are on foot. That needn't be a matter of what's lawful (hence why I said cultural change) but of courtesy and consideration for other members of your community.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    PS: the NSW law changes are awful and the state roads minister is a dickhead.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton,

    I drive on the motorway through Grafton Gully at least once a day when I am in Auckland. There is what looks to me to be a fantastic new cycleway that I understand allows people to cycle all the way from west Auckland to the CBD. I even reflect on how nice it would be to cycle on it. But on only a single occasion have I ever seen anyone cycling down it. This is usually during rush hour, between 8 and 9 am, after I have dropped of the kids at school.

    People from west Auckland: why don't you use this new facility? Knowing the answer to this might help AT make better decisions in future.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    the doors of perception...

    But on only a single occasion have I ever seen anyone cycling down it.

    Perhaps because you are driving on a motorway and you have 99.9% of your attention on the high speed two-dimensional traffic matrix you are involved in?

    I'm not sure what length of cycleway you can see, nor at what speed you pass it, so can't do the math on your possible exposure to viable visual data, chances are as soon as you pass from the 'golden viewing zone' a whole peloton of cyclists come into sight, who knows - seems an odd way and to gather 'statistical samples'?

    I'm also sure the other drivers around you would be concerned that you are conducting a visual census of non-connected cycle-paths rather than concentrating on your immediate obligations of matching speeds and following distances with other hurtling masses of metal - not to mention fantasising about being on 'the other path' contemporaneously!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Su Yin Khoo,

    Luckily, Auckland Transport have cycle counters set up to do just that. Here are the official cycle count numbers from AT. They tend to go up year-on-year.

    And here's Transportblog's summation on the cycle count from January.

    Perhaps the most interesting is that there was a large spike in usage of Grafton Gully (+29.9%) and Beach Rd (+23.5%).

    Auckland • Since Aug 2011 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Meanwhile, this lovely little NW cycleway underpass at Patiki Road opens at 2pm today, cyclists.

    Gaze upon it and weep while NZTA bulldozes through yet another deadline at St Lukes Road, without an underpass.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Su Yin Khoo,

    And here’s Transportblog’s summation on the cycle count from January.

    Perhaps the most interesting is that there was a large spike in usage of Grafton Gully (+29.9%) and Beach Rd (+23.5%).

    That is interesting, as is Matt's guess as to why:

    Monthly data suggests that while numbers had been improving, growth rates really picked up from December and that coincides with the opening of Lightpath. Perhaps we need more data to confirm but it suggests that more connected routes are helping drive usage (who would have thought). Also telling is that the only other route to grow is also connected – the NW Cycleway at Kingsland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    And from the same source, NW cycleway usage at Kingsland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    observer bias

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Su Yin Khoo,

    Luckily, Auckland Transport have cycle counters set up to do just that. Here are the official cycle count numbers from AT. They tend to go up year-on-year.

    And here’s Transportblog’s summation on the cycle count from January.

    sigh you and your data - next thing you'll be telling us Hosking was wrong too!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Katy, in reply to Walter Nicholls,

    That’s going to be hard. Most of Auckland’s arterial roads are already widened to capacity. And motorists hate it when you take lanes away again.

    So we just have to kowtow to motorists because they won't like it? Yes it's a hard fight, but no one said it was going to be easy. However it is entirely do-able.

    The cold hard fact is that bikes are unwelcome on almost all Auckland streets. We either have to risk it on the road, or risk it on the footpath. If we are to see any kind of meaningful uptake of bike-riding then a place needs to be made for us in the form of separated cycle paths. Motorists are just going to have to suck it up and give up a tiny section of their precious asphalt!

    Since Mar 2016 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey, in reply to jnorthover,

    Hendry is absurd, and a constant bug bear. When I have time to bike and train into the city (rather than bus from very near my house) I cycle to Onehunga (which is mostly down hill) but on the way back I take the train to Mt Albert and cycle home mainly to avoid Hendry.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

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