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Bike Both Ways on (some) Shared Spaces

Filed under the banner of small but useful changes, Auckland Transport have allowed people on bikes to ride in any direction on some of the one way shared spaces in the CBD and will be looking to roll it out further. This makes a lot of sense by allowing for increased permeability though the city centre and in some ways it is odd that it wasn’t already allowed. This will add to the growing cycleway network in the city – the next stage of which on Quay St opens officially Friday week.

Two way cycle streets image

Cycling in both directions on some one-way streets in central Auckland is allowed from today. The move will create a useful cycling route on some of the city’s quieter streets, adding to the growing network of routes downtown.

Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking Manager, Kathryn King, says these are the first of Auckland’s one-way streets being investigated for two-way cycling.

“We are starting with the shared spaces on Fort Lane, Jean Batten Place and O’Connell Street, but we plan to roll it out on appropriate one-way streets around Auckland,” she says.

“The streets are close to each other creating another safe cycle corridor for the growing number of people cycling in the area. The shared spaces are great places to cycle; the low volume of traffic and low vehicle speeds create a safe environment for cycling.

“We’re trying to make it easier and more attractive to get around our city on foot and by bike. Cities like Paris and London have successfully introduced two-way cycling on their one way streets,” she says.

Signs will advise road users that people may be cycling in both directions.

AT is assessing other one-way streets in the city for traffic volume and vehicle speeds, Kathryn King says this is where the greatest increase in cycling is expected and where other cycle infrastructure is planned.

Two way cycle streets map

Good Work Auckland Transport – of course that map highlights the glaring omission of a shared street that is High St.

37 comments to Bike Both Ways on (some) Shared Spaces

  • It’s nice to have it formalised. Need link across Shortland street and something to ‘do’ at the Custom Street end – as much as I love footpath riding, Custom Street/Queen street corner is not the place.

    Have we given up on Federal Street? (I have)

  • Ben

    Wow. I though this was already legal. How can this be only being pushed through now. Its 2016.

    Also can wait for Quay St. That’s going to push profile of Segregated Bike Lanes way higher than any other Bike Lane in Auckland right now. It’s in the heart of Auckland where foot-traffic is massive. This will truly attract more people to get on the bike!

  • Tim Stevenson

    It definitely highlights just how much of a glaring omission High Street is from the shared spaces network.

    We know that the overwhelming feedback to Council from the public, particularly in last year’s consultation over Freyburg Square, was that they want a shared space to happen on High Street, and that it was only after angry comments by a few retailers that they didn’t make any changes.

    Would it be possible to find out what it is exactly that they said to Council that made Council change its mind and side with the very small minority, rather than finally roll out a proper shared space network that includes High Street? Is that information publicly accessible at all?

    • Alex

      I am sick and tired of High St. If they dont want change, so be it. Let them suffer and be stuck in the past while all the other street around them be transformed and revolutionised. Council should rename it Low Street. Its current name does not fit what it is right now.

      • Yeah they’re doing a great job at that; becoming irrelevant. But of course it’s all the Council’s fault.

        What a bunch of muppets; if your business is so autodependent then why place it in the heart of the city with declining vehicle mode share? Get your arse to a mall.

        • Frederick

          High Street isn’t filled with suburban mall shops. Jean Batton Place has UGG, Ben Sherman and North Face. High Street has a very different collection of shops. It always has. These are shops which are of a much higher value to people who live in the centre city than anything on Queen Street. If I really wanted a Nespresso machine, I could take the link bus to Newmarket and buy one. What High Street needs is a green grocer and a butcher.

      • BBC

        Whilst I agree with your sentiment, the fact of the matter is that High Street has the potential to be a great central city space and letting it deteriorate because of the wishes of one or two retailers isn’t the ideal in the long term. Changes just have to be forced through, more of us walk through here than ever go to Crane’s shop, why does his opinion matter over us. Ironically, if this was about widening a road AT wouldn’t care about the views of shops, their only consideration would be about getting more cars through here.

        • SimpleSpace

          The retailers also foaming about the re-furbishment of the community centre, adding playgrounds and extra seating around Freyburg – surely things that can only attract more people into ‘their’ territory at lunchtimes. Doesn’t need to make sense, it’s just roaring at change, any change.

      • HighSt

        Other than Murray Crane in that Metro(?) article — is there record of other retailers being against it? It seems so illogical

      • RHarris

        Tourists must truly be baffled when they walk down High street that this is supposedly one of Aucklands premiere streets. Embarrassing.

    • Kelvin

      Could be the business owners only rent the premises. They do not want any rent rise before their rental contract renews.

      Should consult the commercial property owner instead of just the retail tenant.

  • mfwic

    So either side of the road is ok?

    • Max

      Considering that either side of the road (unless blocked by street furniture!) is okay for cars (!) – why not?

      From our discussions with AT on this, once other streets that are not shared spaces get this treatment, they may well paint a cycle lane for the “contraflow” cyclists, as is common overseas in these situations. But here, obviously, that is out.

      • No need for lanes; its a shared space, share, slowly with care.

        Good they’ve made this change, always done it anyway.

        • Max

          > No need for lanes; its a shared space, share, slowly with care.

          That’s what I said. On some other roads, formalising where cyclists ride might be useful. On yet others, an entry treatment at the beginning will be all that’s needed.

    • Jym H Clark

      And just because there isn’t a sign – doesn’t mean you can’t just do it, where there is room … a la Federal St shared space

  • Dan C

    What? Midday already and no comment from Ricardo about what a waste of time this is as nobody cycles? Shouldnt we be replacing these shared spaces with carparking that would actually be useful to the public? A wise person would know this.

    • Ricardo

      Funny. Not. In our Sydney office this week and everyone was discussing the removal of cycling lanes in the CBD which has been happening here recently. Apparently lack of use.

    • Ricardo

      Google College St, and others implemented at great expense by Mayor Clover Moore that are now being returned to traffic lanes in Sydney.

      • Matthew W

        I recently cycled around Sydney. To get into the CBD from even the inner eastern suburbs you are taking your life into your own hands. They havent really tried to build a cycleable city. So the patronage on individual CBD cycle lanes is not going to be indicative of latent demand.

        • Ricardo

          Also Google cycling rates in Sydney. They are dropping. Like it or not vehicles are all weather, all terrain, all season modes of transport. Cycles are not. And yes I have a cycle, and yes I cycle for enjoyment in summer with my kids, but the truth is cycling is not a mainstream form of transport for the masses and is unlikely to ever be, no matter how many dutch statistics get printed on this blog.

          • Matthew W

            Um the evidence is that where you provide decent safe continuous infrastructure that lets people get to where they want to go, you get high cycling mode shares. I am pretty sure they have various kinds of weather conditions in the Netherlands.

            Low cycling rates in Sydney does not surprise me. It was simply dangerous from my experience.

          • Nick

            So all these people that cycle for non-recreational purposes, e.g. to work, and enjoy it, and prefer it to driving even though they might own a car… They’re obviously just wrong and don’t fit the rules. How do you propose we deal with them? Retraining? “Accidents”?

          • Doug

            As somebody who lives in Sydney I can categorically state that your information is wrong.

            Cycling rates for both commuting and shopping etc have increased a lot in the last three or four years in some areas. However, it is very dependent on the area and how many reasonably safe and viable routes there are.

            Weather is a not an issue. Winters are generally calm and mild and apart from a few brief periods summers are not obnoxiously hot or humid.

            The College Street cycleway was used a lot. The main it was removed was Duncan Gay’s irrational hatred and cheap politics to attack the mayor Clover Moore. It’s been replaced with an absurdly long right turn lane that moves very few people.

            I notice you are using the Daily Telegraph as a source. Virtually everything in it related to cycling in Sydney is at best clickbait and at worst an outright lie. Here’s what the SMH had to report http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/as-duncan-gay-considers-cycling-licences-bike-lanes-shown-to-be-highly-effective-20140502-zr3ff.html:

            Confidential analysis prepared by Transport for NSW shows separated bike lanes installed in central Sydney have doubled the number of cyclists on the road but led to fewer total injuries among them.

            “Detailed analysis shows … the number of reported injuries has been halved on the sections of road where separated cycle ways have been constructed,” the analysis says.

            The documents also show that the separated bike lanes in central Sydney regularly carry as many people as in cars on adjacent traffic lanes.

            The Kent Street cycleway moves 34 per cent of the people using that road in the morning peak, but takes up 25 per cent of the road space. The College Street cycleway, which the government proposes to rip up, moves 20 per cent of the people on 20 per cent of the road space.

            It is also worth noting that most of those cycleways were created by sacrificing on-street parking so increased the road capacity.

          • cycling is not a mainstream form of transport for the masses at the present time in New Zealand and Australia – there fixed it for you.

            There are of course many places in the world where it is THE mainstream form of transport for the masses. And it was in NZ and Australia in the past.

  • Jym H Clark

    High Street wouldn’t be added as it isn’t physically wide enough for a car and a bike to pass. The eventual redesign will sort that out though.

  • kelvin

    The shortland street is dangerous to cross near jean batten place. There should be a crossing.

    • Tim Stevenson

      I agree, why isn’t there a pedestrian crossing here? At peak times, people have to fight against the traffic (often taxis who drive dangerously) just to get across the road.

      • That whole area should be a shared space from O’Connell Street down with cars only allowed to travel at walking speed.

        Eventually the exits into Queen Street from Shortland and Fort Streets will need to be sealed off to make that a real city area. Plus of course there will be no cars on Queen Street.

        It isn’t if, it is when this happens.

  • SimpleSpace

    Ummm, not quite Ricardo. http://www.sydneycycleways.net/projects/college-street/

    and this http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cyclists-protest-removal-of-cycleway-in-sydney-cbd-20150726-gikyjn.html

    Cycleways only temporarily moved for construction of light rail, to much much protest.
    And, remember, back in 2013 – 4- 5 the cycle-meisters of Sydney were instructed by the Lord Mayor and council to get cycle ways into operation quck-fast BEFORE the rail building started, so that there would be fewer cars in the CBD and people would be used to cycling.

  • SimpleSpace

    Ummm, not quite Ricardo. http://www.sydneycycleways.net/projects/college-street/

    and this http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/cyclists-protest-removal-of-cycleway-in-sydney-cbd-20150726-gikyjn.html

    Cycleways only temporarily moved for construction of light rail, to much much protest.
    And, remember, back in 2013 – 4- 5 the cycle-meisters of Sydney were instructed by the Lord Mayor and council to get cycle ways into operation quck-fast BEFORE the rail building started, so that there would be fewer cars in the CBD and people would be used to ccluding.

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