There were quite a few interesting little transport news stories today that are worth covering off. The first one is that one of long promised projects is about to be delivered. The NZTA and Auckland Transport have been working with Cycling Action Auckland on extending the extremely popular NW cycleway through the CMJ and all the way to Beach Rd. This is great news and will only help to boost the popularity of the existing cycleway. Here is what the NZ Herald has to say about it:
Auckland cyclists should be able to ride their own off-road “super highway” from Te Atatu to the Waitemata waterfront by the end of 2015.
The Transport Agency expects to start construction in October on a 2.1km extension of the popular Northwestern Cycleway, to be built in two stages through Spaghetti Junction and Grafton Gully to Beach Rd. From there, it will be up to Auckland Transport to complete a link across the eastern railway line to the waterfront, along a route yet to be finalised.
The 13km Northwestern Cycleway now ends at the intersection of Ian McKinnon Drive and Upper Queen St, although its final section from Newton Rd includes loops and bends avoided by many commuter cyclists.
Although Cycle Action Auckland hopes for a third stage, involving a cantilevered addition to the edge of Ian McKinnon Drive, Transport Agency project manager Scott Wickman said that was deferred after being estimated to cost about $3 million. Riders wanting to stay on the cycleway will therefore still have to dismount at two sets of traffic signals on Ian McKinnon Drive.
They will have their own cycle lane on the road bridge across Spaghetti Junction but will have to dismount again at an enhanced pedestrian crossing of Upper Queen.
From there, the cycleway extension will follow the motorway corridor east and then north through Grafton Gully, skirting historic cemetery land, to Wellesley St.
Cyclists will be then be able to head to the city centre either along Wellesley St, via the university precinct or through the gully to the waterfront.
Mr Wickman said it was expected to prove popular with university students, and giving cyclists an alternative to the dangers of riding among traffic down Symonds St had boosted the economic case for the project. It had a projected economic return of $4.61 for every dollar of cost.
Being in Henderson I am quite far from town but perhaps I need to think about getting a bike as with the completion of a few other cycle lanes that are currently under construction near where I live there would be nearly continuous cycle lanes all the way from my house to town.