This is another guest post from Ben L that originally appeared on Cycle Action Auckland.
Following on from our posts on cycle streets and cycle boulevards, this post will look at how this cycling infrastructure can increase the catchment areas of public transport.
It is generally accepted that the maximum acceptable walking distance for public transport like trains and ferries – or a busway – is around 800m. Ideally it should be less than this and the tram system that operated in Auckland until 1955 aimed for a 400m maximum walking distance, by the use of smaller blocks and spacing of the stops.
Using an 800m catchment area, we see the public transport catchment area around the existing train network and ferry terminals as something like this:
As you can see this gives a fairly good catchment but there are large white areas where walking to trains and ferries would be beyond the distance most commuters are happy with. This is because time is probably THE main consideration for commuters and it will take the average person around 10mins to walk 800m at a reasonably brisk walking speed of 5-6km/h, allowing for the occasional delay such as crossing roads. Beyond such distances, the walk becomes too long for most, in more than one sense [Though with increasing residential densities around transit hubs in the future, even at walking pace, a sizeable percentage of Auckland will be close enough to the 10 minute frequencies the electric trains will give us and the even more frequent services after the completion of the CRL].
As most of you are aware, one of the biggest uses of bicycles in cycle friendly countries like Netherlands and Denmark of bicycles is to travel from home to the local public transport station. Around 40% of train passengers in the Netherlands use bicycles to reach the train station and another third walk to the station.
This is made possible the fact 45% of Dutch people live within 3kms of a train station, with great cycle conditions – and you can see it by the legendary cycle parking facilities at train stations:
Is that a tree growing through the middle?
Overcrowded cycle facilities are actually becoming a problem in the Netherlands – though it’s a problem the Dutch are very happy to have as it is far cheaper to solve than Auckland’s transport issues. The Netherlands spends around 30 Euros a year per person on cycling facilities, about $50 NZ.
[CAA Editor's note: Depending on what you include, a rough estimate for NZ's own spending on cycling currently might be around $7-14 per person per year, despite a much worse backlog than the Dutch have.].
Over 70% of cycle trips in the Netherlands are less than 7.5kms. In Auckland, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) estimated in 2007 that approximately 43% of peak morning trips are less than 5 km, and that approximately 67% of these are currently undertaken by car (ARTA 2007). The Ministry of Transport, Household Travel Survey, 2003–2009 revealed that one-sixth of household car trips in New Zealand were less than 2km long and almost half were less than 6km long. So it appears that our travel patterns are not that much different than in the Netherlands – only our choice of mode.
If we keep our 10min acceptable travel time for commuters to travel to high-quality public transport, we can calculate that most commuters should be happy to travel up to 3kms by bicycle at an average speed of 20km/h. This is a very comfortable travel speed and doesn’t require a huge amount of physical effort, no more than walking for the same period of time. If you have an electric bike, it is even easier! The 3km cycle range has also been found to be a suitable range by NZTA research.
A catchment area of 3kms gives us the following catchment map for train stations and ferry terminals:
As you can see, residents of almost the entire central isthmus, most of West Auckland and large parts of South Auckland are within a 10min cycle ride from a train station. In addition, almost the entire Devonport peninsula, Northcote, Birkenhead and the Howick area are within a 10min cycle ride of a ferry terminal.
Unfortunately this map doesn’t show western and far southern Auckland, nor the scope of the Northern Busway stations – or the future AMETI busways to the east – but you get the idea!
I know many people list hills as a major consideration as to why cycling won’t work in Auckland. I suggest this is mainly because cycling has been presented as a commuting option to your place of employment, which is often a distance of more than 5kms and may often include at least one major hill. However, despite Auckland’s hilly topography, there are many people who would have a fairly flat ride if the distance was less than 3kms (or you might chose to go to a train station that is 3km away, but has a flat ride, instead of the closer one that needs you to go up a hill).
In order to make this a viable option for a significant percentage of Aucklanders, there will of course need to be adequate infrastructure in place to make cyclists feel safe. The fact that cycling in Auckland is in fact already statistically safer than driving on a per hour basis is irrelevant – we must have infrastructure in place that FEELS safe, that allows children, women and the elderly to cycle, not just the 1-2% of Aucklanders who currently ride and who are largely males between 25 and 40 years of age. In fact, one of the biggest indicators of a safe cycling environment is the percentage of female cyclists. For example, 55% of Dutch cyclists are women. In NZ it is more like 15-20%.
Most Aucklanders have some anecdotal evidence of why it is impossible for them to cycle to their local transport option. But two things need to be considered. First, what would it take for that situation to change? Do they need better cycle infrastructure or is there something inherent in their job (tradesman, travelling salesman) that requires them to use a car? If the problem is their job, what percentage of people they know have the same issue?
Second, it is well know that traffic in Auckland improves significantly during school holidays, often dramatically. This situation is attributable to a 5% drop in traffic volumes, an amazingly low percentage. If only a small number of commuters were to cycle to public transport, that would create huge knock on benefits for all motorists.
The real change needed for a network of cycle streets would be ensuring lower travel speeds of 30-35km/h on residential streets. Remember this would not apply to arterial roads, only to the quiet residential streets that usually make up 5-10% of most driver’s travel distances. That seems to me to be a small sacrifice to create a safer and more pleasant street environment for us all. So the benefits of offering this option to even a small minority of Auckland’s population will create benefits that can be enjoyed by everyone:
- More cycling – creating a virtuous cycle increasing safety, public acceptance and funding
- More public transport use – using our investment more efficiently, and creating a real mixed-transport city
- Decongesting existing roads for those who still want or need to drive, easing the constant pressure for “more roads!”
- Creating more liveable and safer suburbs for our communities
The costs of putting in place cycle boulevards and cycle streets are incredibly low. The amount spent on consultant reports for one Road of Dubious Significance would pay for a large network of such facilities in Auckland. The cost of separated cycle infrastructure on arterials is greater but will also happen alongside this, if the cycling numbers and modal share can be increased.
So let us go for this, big time – if this isn’t seen as low-hanging fruit, then only because we still need to open our eyes!
A cycling family seen in Devonport
Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne (aka Sydney)
There were quite a few transport related stories from around the Internet that caught my attention yesterday that I thought readers might like. Here is a summary of them
Truck Blind Spot
This video comes from Transport for London showing the blind spot of a truck
Stupid Scaremongering on the Shore
Some locals on the North Shore are trying to drum up fear about four storey buildings (note: that is not high rise) being built by Ngati Whatua
People on a North Shore street where up to 100 new residences could rise are worried about building height and traffic issues and want the community to rein in the developers.
A flyer distributed along Ngataringa Rd asked locals if they knew three- and four-storey apartment blocks could rise on the empty Wakakura block owned by Ngati Whatua o Orakei above Ngataringa Bay.
Flyer writer and resident Petra Heemskerk wants people to try to stop the intensive housing estate because buildings up to four levels or 14.5m could rise in the centre of the site, up to three storeys or 11m along Ngataringa Rd and up to 8m or two storeys alongside the Lake Rd and Wakakura Cres ends of the site.
“The issue is not the development of the site in itself. I think it is fair to say that most residents here are not opposed to the land being developed,” she said.
“The issue is intensive development. The streets near Wakakura Cres are all dead-end streets with one- or two-storey houses and it is hard to see how apartment blocks will fit in with the character of the neighbouring area.”
Only problem is the stupid residents haven’t bothered to check what’s allowed there and the Unitary Plan pretty clearly lists the site as Mixed Housing Suburban which limits buildings to two storeys in height
A 3d version of Streetmix
You remember streetmix right? this guy is building a something similar but in 3d. It’s fairly limited at this stage but hopefully he is able to give a lot more options as would be superb to use to help show how we can make out cities better.
I must say, I’ve long wondered why we can’t use some of the technology employed to make games to help better visualise making out city better.
A Stroll Around the World
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek is taking on a pretty epic journey, he’s retracing the paths taken by the first humans as they colonised the world and over a 7 year period is walking from Cape Horn in Africa to Tierra del Fuego in South America. In this piece in the New York Times he writes about it and his observations about how we view and interact with the world when behind the wheel of a car, something he calls Car Brain.
“Why did you leave the road?” one Saudi friend asked me, puzzled, when I improvised an obvious shortcut across a mountain range. “The highway is always straighter.”
To him, the earth’s surface beyond the pavement was simply a moving tableau — a gauzy, unreal backdrop for his high-speed travel. He was spatially crippled. The writer Rebecca Solnit nails this mind-set perfectly in her book “Wanderlust: A History of Walking”: “In a sense the car has become a prosthetic, and though prosthetics are usually for injured or missing limbs, the auto-prosthetic is for a conceptually impaired body or a body impaired by the creation of a world that is no longer human in scale.”
I just call it Car Brain
Cocooned inside a bubble of loud noise and a tonnage of steel, members of the internal combustion tribe tend to adopt ownership of all consumable space. They roar too close. They squint with curiosity out of the privacy of their cars as if they themselves were invisible. In Saudi Arabia, this sometimes meant a total loss of privacy as Bedouins in pickups, soldiers in S.U.V.’s and curiosity seekers in sedans circled my desert camps as if visiting an open-air zoo, gaping at the novelty of a man on foot with two cargo camels. Other motorists steered next to my elbow for hundreds of yards, interrogating me through a rolled-down car window. (Not to pick on Saudi Arabia, which is no worse than any other Car Brain society, but exactly one driver in 700 miles of walking in the kingdom bothered to park and stroll along for a while.)
The whole thing is definitely worth a read. The Atlantic Cities piece on the article is quite good too.
You know things are really auto-dependant when….
Two stories from different parts of Tennessee:
The first a dad who walked to pick his kids up from school gets arrested for refusing to wait in a line of cars.
And the second a lady is being threatened with legal action by the council for letting her grandchildren ride their bikes on a quiet residential street.
Charlotte Mayor Bill Davis said it was “absolutely” true that in Charlotte kids can’t ride their bike on roads owned by the town; a resolution passed by the town in 2003 states that no one can “ride an all terrain vehicle, skateboard, roller blades, and roller skates or conduct similar activities on the city streets, in the city park or on the Court Square of Charlotte.”
A law that doesn’t allow children to play outside on rollerblades, skateboards or bicycles interferes with basic play, according to Mathis, who said she was “stunned” when she got the letter from the city. Mathis has lived on Old Columbia Road in Charlotte for 13 years, the first she’s heard of illegal biking.
And even though bikes are not included specifically, Davis said it’s implied in the language “similar activities.”
To both of those cases I just thing Wow
This is another guest post from Ben L that originally appeared on Cycle Action Auckland.
Following on from the previous post on cycle streets, just as with the network for motorised vehicles requires “arterials” to carry high traffic volumes, cycle networks need the same. But these routes will often be popular for motorists as well and will require some work to be suitable to both.
The North Shore suburb of Bayswater is a dead end peninsula with the ferry terminal on its tip. It also has Belmont Intermediate, the school with the highest mode share of cycling in Auckland – and the recent opening of the new pipeline bridge has helped to bolster cycling and walking numbers. Below is an aerial shot of the peninsula.
The dotted orange line is Bayswater Ave – the main arterial for motorised traffic. The solid blue line is the existing off-road shared path (called the “Green Route”, but bear with my colouring logic!), and the solid green lines are the remainder of the streets around Bayswater.
In order to create a link between Lake Road, the ferry terminal and the Green Route, the Roberts Ave/Norwood Road route could be turned into the main arterial down the peninsula for non-motorised traffic. This cycle/pedestrian boulevard would run from the corner of Lake Road down Roberts Avenue, along Norwood Road to Sir Peter Blake Parade and terminate at the Bayswater Ferry Terminal.
The second aerial shows the proposed route in green (with the existing off-road route in blue):
The features of the first stage of the boulevard would be:
- Signage to indicate new street environment and destinations for cyclists.
- Removing centre line from the whole length of boulevard route.
- Painting lines to indicate parking areas with small door clearance buffer to narrow road.
- Periodic traffic calming, possibly with curbside separated cycle bypass paths (to prevent cycle pinch points)
At first we were proposing mainly speed bumps. However, at the recent (and hugely successful) opening of the new pipeline bridge in Bayswater, a police officer told me that these are generally opposed because of the constant braking and accelerating they cause.
A much more popular option for some are chicanes. A good – if not quite perfect for cyclists – example of the kind of effect achieved by chicanes can be seen down Clayburn Road in Waitakere. Though for cost reasons the first iteration could possibly just be marked out with bollards or maybe plastic planter pots (if we use appropriate spacings, we might not even need complicated cycle bypasses – riders could just slip between the posts / planters).
[CAA Editor's note: The question is though whether we should accept the fact that some people dislike speed tables - spaced appropriately (i.e. closer than some motorists would like) they can ensure that speeds overall drop and become more consistent. A slow down/speed up behaviour may just show that we haven't really been strong enough yet in number or type of this treatment. Chicanes also need to be rather "harsh" to have any speed calming effect (i.e. creating single lane pinch points for cars, with cycle bypasses each side to be safe for riders). However, the big advantage of chicanes - especially as trial schemes - could be that they would be cheaper and quicker to install.]
If demonstrated increase in cycling is achieved, further stages could offer further safety and traffic calming measures (e.g. raised tables at intersections with northern side streets, one way ingress/egress at northern side streets) as well as more elaborate chicanes.
Just to be clear, the proposed cycle boulevard will NOT:
- Remove on-street parking for residents or visitor
- Remove traffic lanes
- Affect the ability of traffic to travel at safe speeds on the boulevard
- Require expensive cycle paths or other separated cycle infrastructure
- Affect any arterial roads in the area
The cycle boulevard WILL:
- Make traffic to travel at a safer speed of 30km/h so that cyclists, especially school children, can feel safe on the boulevard
- Have cheap traffic calming measures to ensure traffic travels at safe speeds on the boulevard
- Encourage school children to travel to school on the boulevard
- Encourage commuters to travel to the Bayswater ferry terminal by cycle
- Replicate the form of the successful cycle boulevard/neighbourhood greenway network in Portland, Oregon
- Create cycle friendly, low speed streets that have been very successful in the Netherlands and Portland, Oregon
- Integrate with the existing Green Route and the cycle lanes on Lake Road
- Have clear signage indicating the route of the boulevard and destinations accessible from the boulevard
We have had great support from local schools, the Bayswater Community Committee and all the residents who attended the pipeline bridge opening (though possibly a partisan crowd). Boulevards like these can create walking and cycling “arterials” to allow residents to move freely between the smaller, quieter residential streets. This creates walking and cycling as real transport alternatives, whether it is for a bottle of milk, a trip to a friend’s house or a swim at the beach. This is how we start to reduce congestion and create a more liveable city – not with expensive road widening.
If you know any residents of this area, please forward this to them for their support. If a proven concept, we hope this cheap and effective solution could be rolled out to more suburbs to create cycle friendly corridors all over Auckland.
We’ll leave you with an example photo of a bike boulevard in Berkeley, in the US. If they can do it, so can we.
A cycle street – except for the houses, nothing we couldn’t easily have in Auckland [Photo from aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com]
This is a guest post by by Ben L and Bryce P and originally appeared on Cycle Action Auckland.
What prevents more people from riding bikes to school, work, to shops or simply to a friend’s house? The biggest deterrent to cycling, for many people is their perceived lack of safety while riding. This has been confirmed by a recent study by Auckland Transport.
Currently most cycling focus is on high quality cycle paths – be they on-road lanes or dedicated off-road cycle paths or, more likely in the shorter term in Auckland, shared paths.
There is also an emergence, mostly via Local Boards, of ‘Greenways’ projects. The ‘Greenways’ look great and are something to aim for – but due to cost (the on-road sections involve quite major reworking of roads) they cannot be built everywhere.
In fact, all these off-road projects tend to be quite expensive to build, especially where land has to be bought. So are there other options for quickly expanding the Auckland cycle network without breaking the bank? Let us explore this a bit more.
The image, in most people’s heads, of quality cycle infrastructure is off-road cycle paths – but even the Dutch only use these where necessary or most suited (such as between villages / on main roads). Most Dutch cities utilise a low speed (30 km/h) network of traffic calmed residential streets and these are linked together by the much photographed dedicated cycle paths. We really need both – the flashy infrastructure on key routes, and the much lower-key changes area-wide.
So, the aim then is to follow the Dutch idea (also used to good effect in the likes of Portland, USA as well), utilise some creative thinking behind the transformation of New York City (planters and paint) and create a network of safe, residential road routes for riders of all ages and abilities and to do it on as small a budget as we can get away with.
The point is that cars are not inherently unfriendly to walkers or cyclists. If a car is travelling 30 km/h or less, the vehicle can stop very quickly and does not present a significant danger [CAA Editor's note: By some measures, Auckland is already safer to cycle than most of New Zealand, likely because as our average traffic speeds are lower than in other regions - as of 2010, we had 25% of NZ's cycle crashes, but only 18% of the associated social cost - in short, our cycle crashes tend to be less serious than, say, in the Waikato].
30 km/h or less represents a speed where motor vehicles, cycles and pedestrians can safely share the street space. Therefore, the challenge is not to eliminate cars but to encourage drivers to travel at safe and appropriate speeds on residential streets, something that unfortunately happens far too seldom nowadays in Auckland.
Some streets have so little through traffic that no changes are necessary. However, those streets often tend to be isolated pockets and, as we all know, it is connected networks that are needed for any form of transport to be a useful option.
The main features of cycle streets that achieve this aim include:
- Bicycle friendly road markings and signage. Cyclists need to know that they are welcome on the street and also, just like motorists, they need to know where they are going. Sharrows are one way that streets can be designated as cycle friendly areas and have been used to great effect in North America. Portland has also been great at using cycle friendly signage to create networks to destinations. This is the kind of signage that we should see more in Auckland.
- Narrowing particularly wide roads to discourage high vehicle speeds. This can be done by physically narrowing the street (obviously an expensive option) or redrawing the street markings to make the street appear narrower – for example, by delineating the parking areas with painted lines. This may also include allowing parking on both sides of the road where it is currently only on one side – parked cars are not necessarily a bad thing as they create barriers to speed. In a slower-speed road where the environment allows cyclists to safely ride in the middle of a lane, the dreaded “dooring” risk also is much reduced.
- Eliminate centre lines to discourage the “expected segregation” of the street space. The presence of centre lines encourages motorists to think they have ownership of their side of the street and discourages using the whole street to allow all modes to co-exist. Make motorists feel more like they are sharing the street, and have to have greater regard to the existence and positioning of other road users – instead of blindly trusting a “this is my lane” approach – and so slow them down, by removing something prescriptive.
- Traffic calming infrastructure. This may take the form of speed bumps, chicanes, pedestrian tables at intersections, small roundabouts at intersections or some combination of the above. These traffic calming measures would be more appropriate on wider, straighter streets that encourage high speeds and “rat running”. As Paul Steely White illustrated so well recently, let’s start with cheap bollards and planters. If the traffic calming is a success we can then lower the speed limit (remember in NZ you pretty much have to slow the cars and only then can you decrease the speed limit) – and eventually make the changes permanent using fancier infrastructure.
As always the best examples of how to achieve this can be found from those paragons of cycling virtue, the Dutch. We often forget that from the 1950s to the 1970s, the Dutch were just as enthusiastic about motorised traffic as Auckland still is today and cycling plummeted in the Netherlands in that period.
Many residential developments were built that were very motor vehicle friendly and cycle and walking unfriendly. There is now a process of slowly transforming these residential developments and what is so surprising is how little really need to be done. [CAA Editor's note: Point England in Auckland has had a successful trial project a few years back, which managed to traffic-calm local streets to an average speed of 30 km/h, and ensure that the 50 km/h speed limit on main roads was obeyed much better - we are aware of a follow-up project in South Auckland which is about to go public very soon].
Creating cycle-friendly streets is not an expensive exercise; and the only real requirement for success is for motorists to accept that, at least until they are back on the main arterials, they must share the street space with other non-motorised users on a much more equal footing. This is a great video that illustrates the transformation process.
I remember this from the past but didn’t realise it was on again so if you want to ride over the harbour bridge then here’s your chance. Of course at some point in the future Skypath will allow people to cross the harbour by bike every day of the year. In addition to cycling over the bridge you also get to cycle up the northern busway.
The 2013 edition of MS Bike The Bridge promises to be bigger and better than its predecessor. But entry is strictly limited. We have a maximum number of participants allowed to cycle over the Harbour Bridge. Once that number is reached the event is closed. The Auckland Marathon (that enjoys more than twice our limit) sold out within 3 weeks – so you must get in early to avoid disappointment! Enter Now and secure your place.
There is no excuse not to get into it! This year MS Bike The Bridge offers the following event options. These events all include the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge and Northern Busway.
- Harcourts Cooper & Co. 20km
Each of these distance options above include a division for Secondary School pupils. See our Event Information for more Details.
In keeping with the community ethos of MS Bike the Bridge our new finish line at North Harbour Stadium enables us to keep your whole family engaged and entertained with specific event options for Primary School kids, pre-schoolers and those who like to do their cycling a little on the edge!
Yesterday the government announced the formal transport plan for the Christchurch central city which is one of the parts to the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. I’ve had a brief look through the plan and I must say that overall, it isn’t too bad. You can read the plan here. It appears that one of the key actions has been to prioritise streets for different modes instead of trying to make all streets do all things for everyone. I think that this is a good strategy and something that should be thought about for Auckland too. Here is the plan showing all modes.
One of the central themes to the plan appears to be about making it easier to get around the city by walking and cycling while reducing the impact from cars. One of the key parts to this is that the inner part of the central city will have the speed limit reduced to 30km/hr and the document also says that it will be more than just putting up some signs as the streets will be designed to reinforce the speed limits through streetscape upgrades. The outer zone will remain at 50km/hr although they say some of the residential sections will be managed with lower speed limits to “fit with the surrounding environment”.
Overall that seems very positive and Auckland could perhaps learn something. Queen St has a 30km/hr speed limit but that is the only street to have one in the CBD (although the shared spaces help to encourage people to drive slower.
One thing I like is how the plan frequently talks about the need for the central city to be people friendly to encourage people to once again visit the central city. I couldn’t agree more as it is people that buy things, not cars. In the core (inside the red dotted line on the image above) the plan talks about how some streets will be pedestrian focused either by being pedestrian only or becoming shared spaces. The plan also mentions that additional walking connections will be encouraged through the introduction of laneways (and they will be required in the retail precinct). The walking plans all sound really good however the key will be how they implement them.
Like the walking section, there are a lot of positive aspects about this plan with it even talking about having some physically separated cycle lanes in some places (although just how many will be like this is still to be decided. The plan also talks about providing more cycle facilities around the city and requiring developers to provide cycle parking (this is happening in Auckland as part of the Unitary Plan). It even talks about the how cycling parking needs to be provided at the bus depot and at some of the major stops to enable people to combine cycling and PT.
Victoria and Colombo Streets which both extend outside of the slow zone will have the 30km/hr speed limit imposed and the plan says that they will be redeveloped to prioritise walking and cycling while the parts that have PT on them will have that PT priority measures included. Here is an image of what the change may look like.
If the after image is what actually happens then that’s a nice change.
The plan talks quite a bit about the bus interchange however it only says that bus priority will be provided on streets where necessary which seems a bit weak. In saying that it appears that Manchester St will get a physically separated central busway for about 600m as shown in the image below. For most of the city the bus network has been consolidated onto two way streets to make it easier for users to understand – except for in the south of the city.
As mentioned earlier one of the great things about the plan is that central part of the city will have the speed limit reduced to 30km/hr which should really help improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. However one disappointment is that the two way system will be retained with the exception of northern pair of Salisbury and Kilmore. The plan also says the roads “will be enhanced over time as needed to cater for increased traffic volumes.” That doesn’t really sound ideal and seems more about moving as many cars as possible improved only by the fact there is a lower speed limit so time will tell if they live up to the promise of being more friendly for everyone. Here is a before and after from the document showing Montreal St which appears to have been narrowed and had decent chunks of parking removed.
The last section I will look at is parking and there appear to be some good things here too. The plan says the amount of on street parking will likely reduce overall due to many of the previously mentioned plans. In the core the parking will be focused on serving the disabled, deliveries and short term parking. Within the zone parking maximums have also been applied to try and reduce the amount of vehicles that need to travel through the more pedestrian focused areas. Public parking will be managed through initiatives like time of use and variable pricing. The plan also talks about how the preference is for any off street car park to have active street frontages which should hopefully reduce some of the impact of parking buildings.
All up there are some very positive things for Christchurch in this plan and some that would be good to use elsewhere. For example it would be great if we could a 30km/hr speed limit across the Auckland CBD. What’s perhaps even more positive is that Gerry Brownlee has been talking up how important it is for the city to be friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says reducing the speed limits of Christchurch’s inner-most streets will provide for a more people-focused environment in the redeveloped city.
The new 30km per hour limit is a significant factor in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan transport chapter “An Accessible City,” released today, which explains the transport system which will support the new compact CBD core.
“Overall we are trying to make the central city as attractive as possible for people to come in and shop, socialise and live, and I’m confident executing this plan will help meet that goal,” Mr Brownlee says.
And you can even hear him saying it will encourage more pedestrians and cyclists in this piece from TV3.
I must say, it’s really nice to be able to talk positively about a government announcement on transport for once. If only it happened more often.
A great video from Streetfilms shows how the Netherlands has transformed itself to cater for and encourage cycling over the past few decades. What’s really interesting is how things haven’t always been this way – rather through investment in really good quality cycling infrastructure (not just green paint on roads):
Also very very little lycra and almost no helmets.
H/T Atlantic Cities.
A couple of weeks ago our friends at Cycle action Auckland managed to bring Paul Steely-White to the city to talk about transport.
Paul Steely-White is an internationally known author and lecturer on bicycling, walking and transportation reform. He recently appeared in The Human Scale international documentary. Under Paul’s leadership, Transportation Alternatives has released groundbreaking studies on urban planning issues and pioneered a host of new advocacy strategies such as citizen-led traffic enforcement, crowd-sourced parking studies and the transformation of car parking spaces to public parks. Previously, Paul worked as regional director for the New York based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
There was actually a decent amount of coverage of his trip including even this piece in the herald.
Auckland is being challenged to follow top American cities in creating hundreds of kilometres of cycle lanes.
Visiting alternative transport chief Paul Steely White confessed to feeling out of place riding in inner Auckland yesterday, unprotected by the types of cycle lanes he says are helping to “humanise” his native New York and other US cities.
“Right now, riding around Auckland, you feel like you’re an alien riding on your bike – like you’re encroaching into what is otherwise very obvious car space,” he said.
Mr Steely White, 43, is executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit organisation of about 30 staff and 100,000 supporters.
It has campaigned successfully to add about 600km of bikeways in the past five years to streets and parks as an extension of New York’s public transit network, and to ban cars from Times Square and much of Central Park.
Mr Steely White denies being anti-car, saying the group simply aims for better balance on streets it believes should be for everybody.
He was encouraged to see dozens of fellow cyclists yesterday, which he takes as a sign of a large “latent demand” for dedicated bike lanes.
But they were being forced to take “heroic risks”, he said. “It reminded me of New York 10 years ago, when to be a cyclist you had to be aggressive and super-confident. But you shouldn’t have to feel like an interloper on your own streets.”
Mayor Len Brown acknowledges “more progress is required” on Auckland’s walking and cycling network, while his leading election challenger, former New Yorker John Palino, promises to push for a continuous cycle lane from North Shore to Pakuranga via St Heliers.
Mr Steely White is rejoicing at a “race to the top” by American cities trying to outdo each other in building more bike lanes in the belief this will improve life for high-tech workers, many of them less enamoured than their parents of car culture.
One of the events that Paul spoke at was one of the councils Auckland Conversation talks. They recorded the talk and have posted it online. At 87 minutes it isn’t short but well worth a watch.
We learned a few months ago that AT were about to trial some cycle cages at a few rail stations and if successful roll out the scheme to the rest of the rail network. Now the first cages at Papakura, Papatoetoe and also at the Birkenhead Ferry Terminal have gone into operation and if you live in the area, you can register to use them here.
New bike parking facilities have opened at two train stations and a ferry terminal.
Auckland Transport is trialling enclosed, covered bike parking at Papakura and Papatoetoe train stations and Birkenhead ferry terminal.
The parks at the train stations hold 20 bikes while the one at the Birkenhead ferry terminal can store 30 bikes. All three parks offer a choice of standing racks and hanging bike parking.
Auckland Transport’s Manager of Community Transport, Matthew Rednall, says “We want to encourage people to leave their car at home and get on their bike to connect with the train or the ferry. It’s a chance to get fit and takes another vehicle off the road.”
The bike parks are covered by CCTV cameras and, to add to security, access is by a proximity card which is issued after registering on-line.
The parks at the rail stations also have bike repair stands for small jobs like fixing punctures.
Cycle Action Auckland Chair, Barbara Cuthbert, says “Bike parking has moved into a new age with these superb facilities – they even have a bike pump as part of the installation. Secure, undercover bike parking will allow more of us to cycle to the train or ferry, and have peace of mind out bike will be ready and waiting at the end of the day.”
Access to the bike parks is on a six-monthly basis, you will be contacted before your registration runs out in time to renew or cancel it.
For more information and to register go to: http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/moving-around/biking-cycleways/cycling-and-public-transport/Pages/default.aspx
Here are some pics of what they look like.
This is a good initiative and hopefully is successful and rolled out to all train and bus stations as well as ferry terminals. Many stations have woeful options for storing bikes yet can have a heap of carparks, like my local station at Sturges Rd below where there are 170 car parks but only a few exposed hoops to tie bikes up to. It’s no surprise that they are never used.
Lots of space for cars at Sturges Rd
Not much space for bikes