Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Works in progress

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  • Roger Lacey,

    It's brilliant that the cycleway is actually being built and that NZTA has kept the existing paths open as much as possible.
    The sudden stop at Lincoln Road is a bit of a shock, hopefully some cycle friendly ways through this intersection will be coming soon. As it is now, I still turn off to Central Park Drive and go through the lights to Triangle Road.
    Great pic's, thanks.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    The sudden stop at Lincoln Road is a bit of a shock, hopefully some cycle friendly ways through this intersection will be coming soon.

    Ironically, there's a path rightwards across the overbridge to the other side of the motorway. Where it promptly ends. Hopefully good for someone working at the businesses over there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Is the existing northwestern cycleway going to be at all rerouted in all of this? It's always been a big hole in an otherwise very good cycleway (especially since the lower streets of Kingsland were cut out) that the cycleway is forced to depart from the motorway and rise up (and it's quite a rise) to Unitec, then cross Carrington Rd with no bike friendly option at all (in fact it's quite especially bike unfriendly, with high kerbs, sharp corners with pedestrians, and those horrible trees that drop little morningstars on the ground), before entering a suburban street, then rejoining the cycleway at the bottom of that street at a sharp angle where another street comes out.

    In all of the gigantic work done there, is it going to come to pass that the cycleway could follow the motorway under the Carrington Rd bridge and coast sweetly down to where it resumes at Chamberlain? In short, could the vertical detour through Pt Chev become optional for every rider on the cycleway (and every pedestrian too) who hails from further out than Pt Chev?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Websta,

    I'm told that the Waterview Coffee Project, which operates out of this container near the Waterview Connection site, is really good

    I can confirm: it is good. Good coffee, good brioche (important!), good folks.

    We live in Waterview, and I am surprised and pleased to say that the level of disruption that has occurred to date during this truly gigantic project has been very low (for us). We do live approx. 500m as the crow flies from the tunnel portal, and so I understand that those living closer will be significantly more affected than we are by construction noise etc. But overall, the impact of the project on the day to day life of this Waterview resident has been minimal.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to BenWilson,

    There is A wee road being graded from the little bridge by chamberlain, westwards beside the motorway. Hopefully that's going to be what you're asking for.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    All this money and effort is admirable but we really really need a solution at Newton road. The cycle path should really continue into town beside the motorways, thru grafton gully and also under K rd down to freemans bay.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    There are some plans. And the Grafton Gully section is open.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Fingers crossed!

    thru grafton gully and also under K rd down to freemans bay.

    Well it does go down Grafton Gully now, although I’m slightly annoyed to find that despite it going the full length of the University there is not one convenient access point, unless you were going to Owen Glenn Building. All the rest involve a stiff uphill climb at the end of your trip. Admittedly it’s hard to see how they could have done anything else, but it’s just saddening to have a big cycleway go right past the University and yet to find that using the road is still more convenient. It’s basically nothing but a city bypass at the moment.

    As for what it does at the bottom of the gully…dear God who thought of that? It’s the worst piece of engineering I’ve seen in ages.

    I'm not sure how you think it could go under K Rd to Freemans bay. A tunnel?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    All the rest involve a stiff uphill climb at the end of your trip. Admittedly it’s hard to see how they could have done anything else...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m not sure how you think it could go under K Rd to Freemans bay. A tunnel?

    Under the overbridge! There has been some talk about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The pillars march off towards town. This thing is huge.

    Literally pillars of the community going large?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    All this money and effort is admirable but we really really need a solution at Newton road. The cycle path should really continue into town beside the motorways, thru grafton gully and also under K rd down to freemans bay.

    As sweet as it would be, I don't think a direct connection from the SH16 cycleway to Graftton Gully is realistic -- it would involve an ambitious new motorway bridge, solely for cycles. But the option shown in the Transport Blog post that Sacha linked to -- going under the Newton Road overpass and connecting with a new cycle lane on Ian McKinnon Drive -- seems eminently doable. That still leaves a climb up to Queen Street, but at least you only have to do it once.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm not sure how you think it could go under K Rd to Freemans bay. A tunnel?

    Connecting from behind K road to the Nelson offramp puts someone a short ride from Freepersons bay across the Wellington St overbridge (which might need (gasp) some separated cycling infrastructure added.

    But really, you'd probably go along the Ponsonby Rd ridge on the dedicated cycle lanes to be added there (if they survive the planning/motorists appealing process).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oh yeah, I always forget that K-Rd has an actual bridge. Presumably you'd have to be on the north side of the motorway yourself, so crossing from the NW cycleway one way or another. That would be good, not just for Freeman's Bay but for all of Downtown/Wynyard.

    it would involve an ambitious new motorway bridge, solely for cycles.

    Yes, or a tunnel/underpass, which would be preferable, since the very idea of it is to avoid climbing to the height required to bridge the motorway, and the direction is all downhill on the other side. There already is a bridge, on Upper Queen St, it's what we have to use now.

    But the option shown in the Transport Blog post that Sacha linked to – going under the Newton Road overpass and connecting with a new cycle lane on Ian McKinnon Drive – seems eminently doable.

    Yes, it would barely even require earthworks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    But really, you’d probably go along the Ponsonby Rd ridge on the dedicated cycle lanes to be added there (if they survive the planning/motorists appealing process).

    I would at the moment, but any route that saves unnecessary ascents on a bike is something a lot of people would choose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    Here's an interesting bicycley thing: http://imgur.com/DL3mLhR. Are there any of these in NZ?

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to BenWilson,

    All the rest involve a stiff uphill climb at the end of your trip

    Mmmm, is there no pleasing bike riders ??( Unlike motorists they are paying zilch for their new cycleways)

    Maybe we can introduce rickshaws for those unable to meet the physical challenge, or there are those other thingys...buses .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    The closest I have seen is a bicycle assembly station at Nelson airport. AFAIK it's only a stand, but it seems to be quite a good idea considering the good riding to be had in the Tasman district.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Wilson,

    Looking pretty dry in those pictures! Must be the epic summer youse are having. That aside, great to see more bike infrastructure going in.

    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I'm pleased by the improvements to the cycleway but I'm becoming steadily more horrified by the scale of the new interchange as it comes together. It seems that between Grafton Gully and SH16, we only get cycleway projects on any scale through areas that are being completely stuffed (or were stuffed decades before) by motorways. Personally I find it hard to put your head down as you pedal and say "very nice, mustn't grumble", all the while in the shadow of the massive place-ruining project beside you.

    I was ill before Christmas so didn't get a chance to try out Grafton Gully until a week or so ago. I previously got to work via New North Road, K Road and Albert Street which I had gotten down to a fine art (20 minutes to town on a good day) but which seemed increasingly perilous - the cycleway seemed like a good way to speed up the trip and avoid some of the risky parts. From St Lukes Road to Quay Street traffic free? Sounded great.

    And it is great in places. On the way in coming from the West, you still have the big grind up to Newton Road and the instant roll back down, only to climb again to Upper Queen Street, but that sounds like fodder for a later project. Upper Queen Street bridge is improved out of sight, but I'd definitely recommend using the right-hand side not the left (otherwise you wait at one more signalised crossing and have to do an annoying little climb back uphill to the cycleway entrance).

    Once you’re headed down the cycleway all is bliss most of the way down the hill – even one more signalised crossing right beside the Owen Glenn building isn’t too bad – and then you have to cross a signalised left turn lane and then join a thinly disguised repurposed pedestrian crossing over the mouth of Alten Road and ride uphill and across one more road to get onto Churchill Street (behind the Police premises).

    The Beach Road section of separated cycleway is interesting but I wasn’t prepared for just how short it was, and the bizarre diagonal crossover at one intersection where it changes sides of the road. Then it disappears down Mahuhu Crescent towards the park and appears to suddenly vanish – in fact it diverts off to the left and there is one final cycle signal to cross Queen Street, although there’s not much signage to help you follow it.

    Going uphill from town through Grafton is obviously more of a slog, and you have more time to notice some of the prettier elements of the setting (the bush, a great close-up view of the bridge) but also how completely isolated it is from the liveliness of town. There aren’t many side destinations or interesting diversions once you are headed uphill – just the roar of cars to your left. The Kingsland stretch is right beside homes and is usually quite packed with people – Grafton Gully feels like the motorway it sits beside, only slower.

    I half wonder if a better result wouldn’t have been achieved if they had simply decided to bite the bullet and implement Beach Road-style lanes all the way down Symonds Street (if width allowed). It’s somewhat pretty and the downhill experience is fun, but at Grafton Gully you do rather feel like you’ve been shunted off to a place where you are guaranteed not to be in anyone else’s way. If I didn’t work on Quay Street it probably wouldn’t be worth the indirectness and longer distance. And yet, mustn’t grumble. What else would we have gotten? Probably nothing.

    Apologies for the long post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    by any other name…
    I thought you were being sardonic when you called them ‘The Well Connected Alliance’ – but I now see that is their given name – a bit like SCIRT in Chchch – Old Boys At The Trough – OBATT doesn’t have the same ring to it, I guess…
    nice that they are being upfront about it though!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sam F,

    I wasn’t prepared for just how short it was, and the bizarre diagonal crossover at one intersection where it changes sides of the road. Then it disappears

    This was what I meant by the appalling engineering. Next time, I'll just leave it at the crossing and carry on along the road.

    And yet, mustn’t grumble. What else would we have gotten? Probably nothing.

    This was my feeling, that it was built the way it is because it's available land. It was a use-it-once-for-the-novelty thing, even though it literally goes within 200m of my final destination. Unfortunately it's about 50m below it. I can't see how that could have been improved, since the only way to hug the ridgeline cuts through existing buildings. So I still use the road. The only actually convenient destination of that cycleway is the bottom end of it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Is the climb back up to Symonds St near Elam brutal?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Is the climb back up to Symonds St near Elam brutal?

    No, but it's unnecessary, avoidable. So people will avoid it, unless safety is their primary concern. It's the cycle helmet of cycleways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Mmmm, is there no pleasing bike riders ??( Unlike motorists they are paying zilch for their new cycleways)

    The idea that it's the poor motorists who pay for everything is a face-slappable myth. Rates pay for urban roads, footpaths and cycleways. Fuel taxes don't cover the full cost of national roads either, the Government has sold off the power companies to help pay for the proposed holiday highways. Motorists don't pay for the environmental damage caused by vehicle exhaust, spilled oil, rubber and brake pads or the eventual disposal of their car. The environmental, health and community benefits of cycling are huge. It still floors me that motorists fume about "free loading cyclists" while not comprehending that for every cyclist they see, there is one less car in the queue in front of them.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

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