The new Waterfront Promenade linking the Harbour Bridge to Wynyard Quarter will be fantastic when finished later this year however its completion will leave a gap in the network through Wynyard Quarter itself. Auckland Transport and Waterfront Auckland are going to be fixing that gap through the addition of some separated cycleways and shared paths through the area.
Increasingly, more people are choosing to cycle to work or for fun. The creation of cycle paths through Wynyard Quarter supports this and makes it easier to get around.
The vision is to provide a world-class facility connecting the North Shore (via SkyPath), Herne Bay, and Ponsonby, with the CBD and Tamaki Drive.
Separated cycle paths will go along Beaumont Street and Madden Street.
A shared pedestrian and cycle path will go along Westhaven Drive and the western end of Gaunt Street to Daldy Street, where it will connect with the Daldy Street Linear Park.
More separated cycleways as well as filling in holes in the network are obviously a good thing but as you can expect not everyone is happy about it.
The prospect of a cycleway in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter has fired up members of the marine industry.
The plan would mean reducing the number of parking spaces in the area and that’s got some business people worrying about their futures.
Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield supports the idea of a cycleway linking up the waterfront but not if it keeps customers away.
If customers can’t park nearby they won’t come and businesses will close, he said.
“When someone comes to get a propeller repaired they need to put it in their car and drive to the shop. You can’t put it on a bus or take it on a bicycle.”
Stephen Harris is the owner of Auckland Engineering Supplies and said the proposal to replace parking spaces on the west side of Beaumont St with a dedicated cycleway would “absolutely kill the business”.
It’s not surprising to see a business complaining about the loss of parking as it seems to happen everywhere cycling infrastructure is proposed however if a simple cycle lane is going to kill his business then I’d suggest the business isn’t that going that well in the first place. The talk of lost carparks is even odder for two reasons. First of all the building in the photo with the article its own customer parking on the roof.
And secondly there is still proposed to be parking on the eastern side of the street according to this map from Auckland Transport.
Perhaps the one thing that could be questioned is whether the western side of Beaumount is the right place for a separated cycleway.
Harkin New Zealand managing director Gary Lock said there are several other routes where a cycleway could go. It’s unsafe to mix heavy vehicles and cyclists, he said.
“It’s an industrial marine zone. You’ve got to protect the cyclists, especially if you’ve got kids and parents cycling.
“Most of the people who turn into the driveways are trade-related or driving heavy vehicles and they will have to turn across the cycleway.”
Ovlov Marine co-owner Lachlan Trembath agrees safety and customer access should come first.
I can only assume the western side was chosen to allow for access from Silo Park to the promenade without having to cross roads.
Like many other businesses in New Zealand when it comes to cycling, I suspect that the marine industry can’t see past the status quo.
Cycling and public transport are good activities but you’ve got to have time, he said. No-one’s going to cycle to Beaumont St to pick up a pail of oil or an outboard, he said.
Large heavy and bulky items might not be ideal to transport on a bike but I would bet there are a huge number of other products sold by the businesses along Beaumont St that would be easily transportable by bike back to the marina once the promenade if complete.
I’m going to predict that at worst these cycleways aren’t going to do anything to harm the local businesses and if anything might even gain them some new customers from people riding past.