Issues to repeat for Santa Parade

It’s that time of year again where tens of thousands of people embark on an annual pilgrimage to Auckland’s city centre to watch the Santa Parade. The parade this year is being held on Sunday 29th at 1pm (it’s been at 2pm in the past).


In the past we’ve criticised Auckland Transport for how they’ve handled various aspects of the parade. In particular this has been the transport arrangements they create for getting to the parade and how they deal with Queen St and people afterwards. So what are they doing this year?

First on the transport arrangements AT have published information about this and while a slight improvement over last year, once again I’m left disappointed.

The good thing is that on many routes extra buses, trains and ferries have been put on and AT are being clear about where these are. Last year AT made it clear about the extra trains and ferries didn’t say anything about extra buses despite actually putting them on – putting extra services on for events and not communicating it has been a common issue for AT. The website lists all the bus routes which will have extra services and the times they will run so well that’s a good thing.

There are extra trains being run too however if you want to catch one keep an eye on the timetables. On many of the lines the extra services are only doing a short run, for example on the Western Line they will only run from New Lynn which means if you live further out you only have the normal half hourly services. When it comes time to head home things may be a little crowded too, out west there’s only one extra train on each of the three main lines to take people home

The downside of it all is that normal fares still apply. Given the $24 family pass can only be purchased from a few train stations it cab makes travel very expensive for many families. For example a family of four travelling from Papatoetoe would have to pay almost $31 for their journey to and from the city and that’s only if they all had HOP cards. If they didn’t have HOP cards that cost goes up to $42.

Note: Stations that you can buy a family pass from are Britomart, New Lynn, Newmarket, Panmure, Manukau, Papakura and Pukekohe.

With prices like those many families will likely opt to drive, especially considering that once again Auckland Transport are offering free carparking in their city centre buildings

If you are planning to drive to the parade, please be aware that road closures and parking restrictions will be in place.

Public parking is free at the Downtown, Victoria Street and Civic (parking will be limited at Civic) car parks for vehicles exiting between 1pm and 6pm.

Given those buildings combined only have capacity for about 2,000 vehicles it’s amazing that AT once again offered this.

The other main issue we’ve had in the past is a rush by AT and the likes of the Police to shuffle families on just so that they can reopen Queen St as fast as possible to a handful of drivers.


AT haven’t yet stated what time they’ll reopen Queen St to traffic however in my view they should leave it closed for the day, helping encourage people linger in the city. The numbers in Queen St at this time easily eclipse most other days. This can easily be seen from the excellent data Heart of the City collect through a network of automated pedestrian counters and which they publish online.

As you can see below, pedestrian volumes at 210 and 261 Queen St on the day of the Santa Parade were considerably higher than the year before and well above normal (volumes are just for one side of the road)

Santa Parade Ped Volumes

It will be interesting to see what they do about the Santa Parade next year seeing as a key part of the route – up Albert St – is going to be in the midst of construction of the CRL and many other buildings.

Tamaki-Ngapipi intersection

One of the items on the agenda for a decision at tomorrow’s Auckland Transport board meeting is about the intersection of Tamaki Dr and Ngapipi Rd. This intersection has been discussed for quite some time as is quite dangerous with it considered by the NZTA the 10th highest risk intersection in NZ. AT say 31 crashes have been recorded at the intersection over the past five years (possibly more now as there was another one recently) with 25 of them resulting in injury.

To improve the intersection AT want to up-scale the intersection and signalise it which they say will provide the best outcomes in terms of improving safety and improving traffic flow. As part of the up-scaling it will see the sea wall pushed out quite a bit to create more space. AT’s preferred option is shown below

Tamaki -Ngapipi Signalised Option

However as I understand it the Orakei Local Board have continued to push for an alternative roundabout option. I’m not entirely sure of their reasoning for this although I wonder if it isn’t about some kind of animosity towards stopping at lights. This option is shown below.

Tamaki -Ngapipi Roundabout option

For me one of the big issues with the roundabout option is how it works for pedestrians and those on bikes. For example if you were coming from Ngapipi and wanted to walk anywhere on the northern side of the road you will need to

  • be capable of dashing across two lanes of traffic approaching the roundabout to the traffic island
  • cross a lane of traffic exiting from the roundabout including or turning left around a blind corner
  • cross Tamaki Dr east of the intersection

At least with the signalised option this is controlled and you can cross in any direction with a wait for lights. This isn’t to say I think the signalised option is ideal. For example why go to the cost of extending out the seawall and not at least provide a protected cycle option that isn’t a shared path.

Other than safety there’s another area where AT say the signalised option works better, traffic flow. They have put online the results of their modelling in the AM and PM peak showing how long they think the traffic queues will be with either option vs the current layout. As you can see in the AM peak AT think the traffic queues will be almost non-existent with the signalised option – which seems almost too good to be true. The roundabout option is suggested to have traffic queued up way back down Kepa Rd.

Tamaki -Ngapipi AM queues

In the PM peak the roundabout performs a little better for those heading away from the city but not but too much.

Tamaki -Ngapipi PM queues

Based on this information it seems the signalised option is a far preferable solution. I’ll be watching with interest to see the outcome of the board meeting.

Oct-15 Patronage and Rail to 15 million

Rail patronage continues to soar to new heights and yesterday passed 15 million trips within a year for the first time. That marks also the third million trip milestone we’ve seen this year after passing 13 million trips in March and 14 million trips in July. This is a fantastic result and continues to show that when given a decent option that Aucklanders will use it.

General Manager AT Metro, Mark Lambert says rail patronage in Auckland has grown by 22% over the past year. “Just four months ago we marked 14 million passenger trips. And if we go back 10 years we had just 4 million trips a year.”

Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy says when he became AT chairman in November 2012 rail patronage was just 10 million. “What Aucklanders have wanted for decades is reliable, frequent and safe public transport options and we have a very clear focus on delivering to those wants and needs.”

Mayor Len Brown says this is another outstanding achievement for public transport in Auckland. “At this rate we will pass the next big milestone – 20 million – at the start of 2017. Aucklanders love their trains and compared to this time last year, they’re taking around 10,000 extra trips every day across the suburban network.”

Since the rail network went all-electric in July, from Papakura to Swanson, there has been a marked improvement in reliability and on-time performance. In October 93% of services arrived at their destination within five minutes of their scheduled time and the previous month 94.9% of services arrived on time, a new record for Auckland trains.

Mr Lambert says “Our customers are liking the improved level of service and the comfort and convenience of the new trains. We’re also working on a timetable improvement which will see services on the Western Line go to six trains an hour at peak like the Southern and Eastern Lines.”

Overall public transport patronage in Auckland across rail, bus and ferries now exceeds 80 million passenger trips a year.

The result also marks us being halfway to the government’s patronage target for the CRL of 20 million trips by 2020 just over two years after it was set.

2015-10 - Rail vs Govt Target

If current trends continue we will hit 20 million trips in mid 2017 however the Ministry of Transport have continued to claim that patronage growth will taper off. There’s no sign of that happening yet and in fact patronage has continued to grow at increasing rates with it currently increasing by over 22%. There are also a lot of improvements still to come. As AT say in the press release above they are working on increasing frequency of trains on the western line which last I heard was expected to occur around April. That will both help address capacity constraints and make the service much more useful at the same time. In the middle of next year we will also get integrated fares which will make most journeys cheaper and in the South the new bus network will be rolled out which should see more people transferring to trains. The changes to will happen after that. All of this means that patronage is likely to continue to grow strongly for some time yet.

One aspect I will be watching is to see how it takes us to reach the next million milestone. We’ve seen the last two taking just four months. There’s been a distinct downward trend although I’d be surprised if it went lower. One aspect likely to help keep the current trend up is that this year will see the shortest rail closure over Christmas so we should see some decent increases in patronage in the December and January months.

Time between Rail Millions

The patronage results for October have also been released ahead of the AT board meeting next week. Other than rail which reached 14.8m to the end of October both bus and ferries also saw patronage increase despite there being one less business day this October compared to the last one. Buses were up 0.5% for the month while ferries have continued strong growth over the last six months or so up 8.2% for the month.

2015-10 - Total Patronage

2015-10 - Patronage Table

Quay to unlocking the waterfront

Auckland Transport are really picking up the pace on their cycleway projects – which they have to do if they want to have any chance of making the most of the governments Urban Cycleway Fund – and are today starting consultation a cycleway on Quay St. The stretch from Queen St to Lower Hobson St is possibly the busiest place in all of Auckland for bikes a dedicated cycleway will make things much better for both those on bikes and those on foot.

The project will see a 3m protected two way cycleway built along most of the northern side of Quay St from the Lower Hobson St intersection through to Plumber St – I’ll talk about the exception to this in more detail later in the post. This cycleway is actually an interim solution for around a decade until a more permanent solution is created when Quay St is made more people friendly (after the CRL is finished). As such it will be a bit of a mix with the cycleway separated by a rubber kerbs, some sections where the path is raised to the same height as footpath and one section of shared path. Due to how busy the area is with bikes and how key it is for many bike movements it was felt the project couldn’t afford wait till the larger Quay St project to happen hence why they’re pushing it now.

Quay St Cycleway - Along Quay St

AT say the reason for the cycleway being on the Northern side is:

We have chosen the northern side of Quay Street as this keeps the cycleway clear of cars turning into side streets and means less of a stop-start journey for What are the proposed changes? At the intersection with Lower Hobson Street, the cycleway sits flush with the footpath people on bikes. We can also keep traffic light phasing on Quay Street similar to the current phasing.

Quay St Cycleway - Hobson St intersection 1

To make space for the cycleway AT will be removing the planted median islands to the west of Queen St and combining some of the dedicated right turn lanes with the lanes going straight.

The benefits AT list are:

  • Connects with the ferry terminal and with cycle routes along Nelson Street, Beach Road and Auckland’s waterfront.
  • Designed for people of all ages and abilities. • An interim step towards the long-term transformation of Quay Street and the water’s edge.
  • Makes Quay Street a more pleasant walking experience, by shifting bikes onto the cycleway.
  • Helps create a city centre in which people feel safer and more confident walking and cycling.
  • Along with improvements to bus and train services, provides more travel options into the city, particularly during construction of CityRail Link.
  • Helps achieve our target of a 30% increase in cycle journeys within Auckland by 2019.
  • Supports the different ways in which Quay Street is accessed and used.
  • Improves travel options around the city for local residents, now one of the most densely populated parts of the country.
  • Supports the social benefits of cycling – improvements to health, a reduction in household costs and a cleaner environment.

Below are the diagrams of what is proposed (click to enlarge)

Quay St Cycleway - Plan legend

Section 1 starts off from the Lower Hobson St intersection. As the Nelson St Stage 2 section is still under review I guess it’s possible that the crossings could change. The cycleway is raised to be level with the footpath however hopefully with it being on the south of the trees it will mean that pedestrians stay out of it.

Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 1

Section 2 shifts to a cycleway at road level but protected by kerbs.. You can also see the accessway with a blue line where low level mountable kerbs – like was used on the first stage of Beach Rd.

Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 2

Section 3 is where things get odd. It appears that the cycleway narrows outside the ferry building before eventually moving back to a shared path in front of Queens Wharf. This is for a number of reasons which I’ll explain later.

Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 3

Section 4 continues on as a shared path before returning to a cycleway on the road with protection, this carries through section 5 too.
Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 4

Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 5

Section 6 will see the removal of some oddly placed carparks and again it looks like the cycleway narrows just before the end.


Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 6

Section 7 has the cycleway moves to being alongside the footpath and like section just to the east of the lower Hobson St intersection. It’s unclear what AT will do to prevent or restrict people from walking in the cycle lane.

Quay St Cycleway - Plan Section 7

Overall I think this cycleway will be very popular and it’s good that AT are progressing it however I have a serious concern for the section around Queens Wharf where it goes back to a shared path. This probably wouldn’t be so much of an issue if it was in some of the eastern sections but it is here as that’s where a lot of people are. AT have said there are four reasons for doing this.

This change has been necessary due to the following constraints that leave no space for an on-road cycleway:

  • The requirement for a dedicated right turn traffic lane into Commerce Street to provide for Skybus movements
  • The requirement for a dedicated right turn traffic lane into Queens Wharf to provide for Skybus and tour coach movements
  • Retaining the existing Explorer Bus stop on the northern side of Quay Street
  • Retaining the existing bus parking and Pay & Display parking on the southern side of Quay St

These have to be some of the four weakest excuses I’ve heard for not doing something properly (even though it’s only an interim solution. Lets step through them.

  1. So because of the CRL works are closing lower Queen St and instead of just shifting the Skybus stop from outside the ferry terminal someone at AT has decided we need to keep it where it is thereby requiring extra road space and preventing a dedicated cycleway. Absurd doesn’t begin to describe it. Note: I understand from conversations in the past they have some long term deal to be outside the Ferry Terminal but surely that can be changed.
  2. The same goes for the Explorer Bus which may be even worse. The bus only runs once every 30 minutes in summer and doesn’t even start till after 9am and finishes at 5pm. By in large it only runs off peak so why does it need an offline stop. Perhaps instead AT should just merge the bus stop within one of the general traffic lanes and just have a bit of a wider island for passengers to use (i.e. send bikes behind the bus stop.
  3. As for the last comment, since when is bus lay over parking and pay and display the highest priority on our waterfront. It’s insane that those few places are being retained ahead of a cycleway and really makes you wonder who in AT is putting their retention as a requirement.

Sometimes it really feels like we are constantly taking two steps forward and one step back with some of this stuff.

Consultation is open till 11 December at

There will also be an information day on Thursday 26 November from 6pm to 8pm in the Cloud.

New AT Station Signs

As part of Auckland Transport’s trial around platform markings they are also updating other signage at stations. I need to get out and have a look at them in more detail but one of the most obvious changes is in the station name signs. Below you can see what it looks like at Fruitvale Rd.

Station Name Signs - New - Fruitvale Rd

There’s a couple of interesting features:

I like that they seem to using W in a green circle to indicate the line. Although Western Line is listed in the top left corner under the AT Metro logo, perhaps the prominence of the W suggests AT are thinking of moving to a single letter system for the train or Rapid Transit lines. This would likely tie in with new route numbering that is being rolled out as part of the new network which sees frequent bus routes have one or two digit numbers with less frequent routes having three digit numbers. If I’m correct it will be interesting to see how they’ll treat stations served by multiple lines e.g. Otahuhu.

I also like that they’ve added the next and previous station information on them, it’s little things like this that add to usability. At Fruitvale at least they’ve taken this further with a list of upcoming stations printed on to the screen stuff that covers the glass to prevent damage (don’t have a photo sorry).

Many of the old MAXX signs these replace had been scratched and vandalised – as far as I’m aware the signs only appeared on Tuesday and had already been vandalised by that night. Hopefully these signs are cheaper and easier to replace when that happens. Speaking of the old signs, I personally think these new ones look much better than the signs they replaced, an example of which is below.

Station Name Signs - Old - Glen Eden

What do you think, an improvement or what would you have done differently?

Auckland Rapid Transit Network

This is AT’s official future vision for  the Rapid Transit Network in Auckland. I feel the need to show this again in the context of a number of uninformed views about the CRL popping up again, as one of the chief misunderstandings is to treat the City Rail Link as a single route outside of the network it serves.

All successful transport systems are designed through network thinking and not just as a bunch of individual routes, this is true of our existing and extensive motorway network just as it is true for our rapidly growing Rapid Transit one. The Waterview tunnel is not being built just so people can drive from Mt Roskill to Pt Chev, and nor is the CRL just to connect Mt Eden to downtown.

The CRL is but one project on the way to a whole city-wide network, as is clearly shown below, and as such it doesn’t do everything on its own.

But then having said that because it is at the heart of  the current and future city-wide network it is the most crucial and valuable point of the whole system. That is true today and will continue to true for as long as there is a city on this Isthmus. In fact it is hard to overstate the value of the CRL as by through-routing the current rail system it is as if it gives Auckland a full 100km Metro system for the cost of a pair of 3.4km tunnels and a couple of stations. This is simply the best bargain going in infrastructure in probably any city of Auckland’s size anywhere in the world and is certainly the best value transport project of scale in New Zealand. Because it is transformational* for the city and complementary to all our existing systems, especially the near complete urban motorway network.

Additionally the capacity it adds to the region’s whole travel supply is immense: taking up to 48 trains an hour this can move the equivalent of 12 motorway lanes of car traffic. All without flattening any place nor need to park or circulate those vehicles on local roads and streets. And all powered by our own renewably generated electricity. This is how the city grows both in scale and quality without also growing traffic congestion.

AT Rapid Transit Network - 2041

This map will evolve over time as each addition is examined in detail. For example I expect the cost-effectiveness and efficiency a rail system over the harbour, up the busway and to Takapuna to become increasingly apparent well before this time period. In fact as the next harbour crossing, so we are likely to see that in the next decade, otherwise this is that pattern that both the physical and social geography of Auckland calls for. Additionally Light Rail on high quality right-of-ways, although not true Rapid Transit, will also likely be added in the near term.

Welcome to Auckland: City.

* = transformational because it substantially changes not only our movement options, the quality of accessibility between places throughout the city and without the use of a car, but also Auckland’s very idea of itself; we have not been a Metro city before: It is doing things differently.


Matt suggested adding this more recent version. I agree this is a good idea, it shows just how quickly ideas are changing in Auckland right now. This is a very fluid and exciting time for the city as the new possibilities are becoming acknowledged by all sorts of significant players. It remains my view that extending our existing rail system is better for Mangere and the Airport, but that taking AT’s proposed LR across the harbour in its own new crossing is a really good option:

RPTP potential LRT + RTN Map

And just this morning we get wind of these very big changes for those making plans for Auckland. It looks like the funding roadblocks [pun intended] for the necessary urban infrastructure that the growing and shifting Auckland needs may be melting away….?

Treasury Tweets


Otahuhu Interchange gets under way

Good news yesterday with the Otahuhu Interchange officially getting under way. The interchange is the key to enabling the new bus network in South Auckland to be implemented

Otahuhu Interchange aerial overview

Work is beginning today on a major upgrade of Otahuhu Station to make it easy to connect between high frequency buses and trains.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Deputy Chair Carrol Elliott have marked the start of main construction works by turning the first sods at the station construction site.

Otahuhu Station is an important part of the new, simpler and more connected south Auckland public transport network. It is designed to provide Aucklanders with a new network of buses that better connect to the trains at Ōtāhuhu.

The $28m project is funded by the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council. The fully integrated bus and train station is expected to open in the second half of 2016.

In the first five years of a united Auckland, Mayor Len Brown says growth has been dramatic across all public transport modes. “This station and the simpler and more connected new South Auckland public transport network will see patronage on the southside leap even more.”

“Otahuhu is a part of the new Auckland that we as a united council have been heavily investing in to make life better. It’s wonderful to see how Tōia, Otahuhu’s new recreational precinct, has so quickly become the vibrant heart of the community reflecting the character of the area. The transport station will provide another big boost to Otahuhu.”

Local Board Deputy Chair Carrol Elliott says, “Otahuhu has been waiting a long time for a modern, clean and safe public transport facility. This one should serve the people who live in Otahuhu and those who come to Otahuhu to work.”

The NZ Transport Agency’s Director for Auckland, Ernst Zöllner says the development of the Otahuhu Station will help contribute to the development of a rapid transit network to provide the future backbone of Auckland’s transport network and better choices for getting around the city.

“The Government has contributed significantly to the renaissance of rail in Auckland through investment in network, station and rolling stock upgrades. It’s investment in the Otahuhu Station upgrade continues this commitment to growing public transport as one of the solutions to addressing Auckland’s transport challenges.

Auckland Transport Chief Infrastructure Officer Greg Edmonds says the upgraded station will make it easier to connect between trains and frequent bus services being introduced with the new public transport network.

“It will be linked with two new bus platforms and a terminal building via an elevated concourse. It’s pedestrian friendly and will have improved accessibility.”

The new Ōtāhuhu station will offer the following benefits:

  • A high quality accessible modern facility
  • The design and architecture will reflect local and historical stories for mana whenua (portage site for waka)
  • Clear separation of buses, trains and a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway (including cycle storage racks), separated cycle crossing at the adjacent signalised intersection
  • Passenger drop off zone
  • Covered bus platforms for passengers moving between bus and train services
  • More frequent bus services from the second half of 2016
  • Better connections between bus and rail networks
Otahuhu Station Sod Turning - Simon Bridges Len Brown

Simon I know of a place in the central city where we would welcome you getting the digger out

New ideas for Franklin Rd

The discussion over the future design of Franklin Rd has be going on for some time now and has taken a number of twists and turns along the way. The most recent of these was a few months ago when Auckland Transport suddenly dropped the two of the four options they were considering – the two with any kind of cycle infrastructure included. Since then a lot of work has been going on to push for a better outcome and to cut a long story short, AT now say:

Since options A – D were presented in June 2015, AT has been continuing with technical investigations to address the safety issues raised by residents and in safety audits. As a result of this further work, options have been revisited and further revised to address safety issues and meet the project objective.

In addition to a “do minimum” option (which is maintaining the current design), the 3 options outlined below are currently being considered.

The great news is that other than the no change option, all three now include cycle infrastructure of some kind. They are shown below

Option 1 – Parking is between the trees and 1.5m wide on street cycle lanes that are buffered from the general traffic lanes by 0.6m of paint. This option retains the central median for those turning.

Franklin Rd - October 2015 -revised option 1

The cycle lane and painted buffer is similar to the setup they’ve put on Upper Harbour Dr as shown below. They are certainly better than a normal painted cycle lane but I’m not sure it’s necessarily going to encourage a lot of less confident people to get on their bike and use them.

Upper Harbour Cycle Lane with BYL

Note: incase anyone was concerned, the courier wasn’t parked there and moved before I reached the driveway

Option 2 – This is very similar to Option 1, the key difference is there is no flush median and the space it used has gone into making the cycleway wider to keep it further away from the door zone of parked cars. I wonder if this is one of the first times we’re talking about removing a painted median in Auckland, good to finally seeing it suggested.

Franklin Rd - October 2015 -revised option 2

This option is better than the first one but can three be better again?

Option 3 – Option 3 takes a very different approach by moving the cycle lane to the inside of cars and raises the pavement, something much more akin to a Copenhagen lane. The lane itself is only 1m wide however there is also a 0.5m buffer to the trees and a 0.7m buffer to for car doors meaning all up the lane is about 2.2m wide. Further it widens between the trees. In my view this is a considerably better option than the first two and the only one that really enables people of all ages and abilities to ride comfortably.

Franklin Rd - October 2015 -revised option 3

When the whole process started one of the first things AT tried to do was stop parking between the trees to help protect their roots. This option would also achieve that much better than the other two options.

We’ve even a real world example of what it would look like, from the Netherlands of course. This is Molenlaan, in Rotterdam

Rather than repeat things too much I’d highly recommend you read this post by Cycle Action Auckland on the options. They have a much more detailed look at the proposals including many more features and downsides for each option, a more detailed look at the safety issues and a better look at the Molenlaan example.

In my view only option 3 would make one of Auckland’s truly iconic streets even more so – and a goal to aim for with other streets across the region.

Photo is copyright to Sydney.



Auckland’s Great Rides

Auckland Transport have come up with what they are calling great rides which are 10 of the best recreational rides that can be ridden by people of all ages and abilities.

The top ten most scenic bike rides in the Auckland region have been revealed today. One of ten bike rides featured in Auckland Transport’s Great Ride Passports is the Twin Streams bike ride in suburban Henderson, it runs alongside a stream and is surrounded by native bush and birds.

Each passport contains a map of a ride with a description of the terrain, length, amenities and points of interest along the way. The 10 passports are available at local libraries or on the Auckland Transport website

The number of Great Rides has increased to ten from six last year and Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling manager says they have proved very popular.

“We are often asked by people who are new to cycling where they can find safe, scenic, fun places to ride. In fact, our cycling maps are among the most searched for items on the AT website,” she says.

“These great rides offer a way to get out with family or friends and discover a new part of Auckland by bike. The Auckland region has some stunning natural beauty and what better way to enjoy it than on a bike.”

The rides are suitable for most ages and abilities and take in a variety of environments, scenic vistas and points of historical and cultural interest.  The webpage has maps and a short promotional video which provides a glimpse of some hidden gems, accessible only by bike or on foot.

The “Great Rides” are:

  • Matakana Trails
  • Te Ara Tahuna Pathway:  Orewa Estuary
  • Green Route: Devonport to Takapuna
  • Hobsonville Point
  • Twin Streams: Henderson Creek and Opanuku Stream
  • Auckland Waterfront:  Britomart to Mission Bay
  • Pakuranga Rotary Pathway
  • The Cascades Paths:  Pakuranga, Botany and Meadowlands
  • Waikaraka Cycleway:  Onehunga to Mangere Bridge
  • Wattle Downs

Great Rides:

It’s interesting they’ve highlighted the Twin Streams path in Henderson in the press release as I often use part of the route to get to Henderson for some shopping – my quaxing route if you will.

I look forward to the day in the future when they can talk about using Auckland’s extensive urban cycleways to safely go about your daily activities by bike – whether it be shopping, riding to work, riding to school or just visiting friends. Although in saying that once AT put an extensive urban cycleways in they probably won’t have to tell anyone about them, people will be using them anyway.

Are there any great rides you think AT have missed?

AT Trialing New Platform Markings

Starting from next week Auckland Transport are trialling new markings at a few train stations in a bid to make it easier for those with disabilities, pushing prams or with bikes. They say “concerns have been raised about how difficult it is to know where to stand on the platform to be in the best position to locate the doors (visually impaired passengers) or the ramps (mobility impaired) and be able to board the trains before they depart.”

The trial markings are being installed at Sylvia Park, New Lynn, Avondale and Fruitvale Road Stations for use starting Monday. One of the impacts is that some 3-car trains will stop at different locations on the platform to provide consistency and that may mean doors to the low floor section are further away from the shelter – which AT need to provide more of at most stations. AT also hope that by improving access for those who need to use the middle carriage they can improve dwell times of trains.

The trial will be monitored over a number of months for effectiveness and compliance. Some of the measures being monitored include:

  • Mobility Group feedback
  • General feedback through all customer channels
  • Dwell time analysis
  • LE & train Manger feedback
  • AT staff general feedback
  • Transdev staff general feedback

They say that if the trial is deemed successful then the Platform and Door Markers may be rolled-out across the rail network. Here are what some of the trials look like.

Train platform layout 1

Train platform layout 2

Train platform layout 3

Overall I think this is a good idea and one that should help however I suspect it will need more than just some markings on the platform. Often I people with disabilities, bikes or prams who don’t even realise that the middle low floor car exists and who then struggle up the stairs and in the case of the latter two groups can potentially block doors and aisles.

I’d also like to see AT include information about what train is going to turn up on the platform displays – of which we need more. Showing the length of the approaching train is quite common overseas.