Notes from Sydney: Harbour Crossings

Thoughts of Sydney are inseparable from images of its harbour:


It’s naturally beautiful, but also much of what has been added around the harbour increases its appeal, particularly the Opera House and the Bridge:


The bridge is not only beautiful, and massively over-engineered, but also is an impressive multitasker; trains, buses, general traffic, pedestrians, people on bikes. All catered for.


Despite that when looking at the bridge its mostly covered with cars in terms of moving people the general traffic lanes are the least impressive of the three main modes, as shown below in the am peak hour:

Sydney Harbour am peak

It is its multi-modality that makes it truly impressive, some 73% of the people entering Sydney on the Bridge from the Shore at this time are doing so on just one of the train lines and one bus lane; a fraction of the width of the whole structure. So not only does it shame our Harbour bridge aesthetically it completely kills it for efficiency too.

The Bridge has always been impressively multi-modal as the first toll tariff shows, and it carried trains and trams from the start:

Sydney Harbour Bridge 1st tolls

In 1992 it was supplemented by a pair of two lane road tunnels that up the cross harbour tally for this mode to match the number coming over by train [bridge plus tunnels = 12 traffic lanes], but that wasn’t done until the population of the city had hit 3.7 million. The high capacity systems on the bridge saved the people of Sydney and Australia from spending huge sums on additional crossings and delayed the date they were deemed necessary by many decades. But anyway, because the additional crossing is just road lanes it only adds around 10% extra capacity to the bridge. To think that the government here and NZTA are seriously proposing to spend multiple billions in building a third Harbour Crossing in Auckland with the population only at 1.5m, but not only that but they are planning to build more capacity for the least efficient mode; more traffic lanes.

The evidence from Sydney shows that what we need to add next are the missing high capacity modes. And that we clearly aren’t using the existing bridge well enough. Our bridge was never designed to carry trains, but it does carry buses, and currently these could be given the opportunity to carry even more people more efficiently. And that very opportunity is just around the corner. In 2017 or maybe even next year the alternative Western Ring Route opens, described by NZTA like this:

The Western Ring Route comprises the SH20, 16 and 18 motorway corridors. When complete it will consist of 48km of high quality motorway linking Manukau, Auckland, Waitakere and North Shore Cities. It will provide a high quality alternative route to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and take unnecessary traffic away from Auckland’s CBD.

Excellent, always great to invest in systems that take unnecessary traffic away. And there is no better way to achieve this than to make the alternatives to driving so much quicker and more reliable with dedicated right-of-ways. Here is the perfect opportunity to achieve that, the opening of the WRR should be paralleled by the addition of bus lanes right across the Bridge in order to lift its overall capacity. And at the same time perhaps truck priority lanes on the sturdier central lanes should also be considered, so the most important roles of highways, moving people and freight efficiently, can be more certainly achieved. Although the need for that depends on exactly how much freight traffic shifts to the new route [as well as the rail line and trans-shipping via Northland’s new cranes: ‘New crane means fewer trucks on the highway’]. Outside of the temporary blip caused by the building of Puhoi to Warkworth [much which will be able to use the WRR] heavy traffic growth on the bridge looks like it is predominantly buses.

Meanwhile our transport agencies should be planning the next new crossing as the missing and much more efficient Rapid Transit route. Cheaper narrower tunnels to finally bring rail to the Shore; twin tracks that have the people moving capacity of 12 motorway lanes. Here: Light Rail or super efficient driverless Light Metro are clearly both great options that should be explored:


But before all of this there are of course those two much more humble modes that can add their invigorating contribution to the utility of the Bridge, walking and cycling, Skypath:


The famous cycle steps on the northern side, there are around 2000 bike trips a day over the bridge [despite the steps]:


And there they were right at the beginning:

First Crossing of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo by Sam Hood.

First Crossing of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo by Sam Hood.

Measuring the state of cycling in Auckland

Auckland Transport sent me some interesting research that has been conducted for them recently looking into walking and cycling and what can be done to get more people using active modes. The research includes an online quantitative survey conducted by over 1,600 people said to be representative of the Auckland population as well as use of the census data – which as we know is limited to only those who are travelling to work. For the purpose of this post I’m just going to focus on the cycling data.

The research suggests that around 27% of people cycle although only 11% do so at least once a week or more. Most commonly people ride for exercise or recreation although as you can see those who cycle frequently cycling to get to shops is more prominent than the other categories. To me this highlights we still have a long way to go before cycling becomes more normalised, but more on that later.

Current Cycling landscape

Positively the numbers cycling have increased although for some of the occasions the numbers have fallen quite a bit. An example is with cycling to the shops which has fallen from 30% to 21% however it’s not clear if  this is an actual decrease in total numbers or just as a percentage from the larger number cycling.

Change in cycling 2014-15

Those that do cycle are much more likely to be male and middle aged.

Current Cycling landscape demographics

The map below shows the Journey to work data from the census. Given those that cycle to work are only a small portion of all cyclists it’s not fully representative of where people cycle but does very strongly show that cycling tends to happen in the areas where cycle infrastructure exists – such as around the NW cycleway. For this it uses AT’s description of cycle infrastructure as also including things like bus lanes. The outlier is a result of the Whenuapai Air Force base

Current Cycling JTW

So what gets people to cycle? Fun and convenience seem to feature highly, as does the presence of cycling networks.

Current Cycling Why Cycle

The things that hold people back from cycling should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the blog, it’s all about safety.

Current Cycling Why not Cycle

Cyclists are considered brave from getting on a bike.
Current Cycling Why not Cycle - safety

What people think about cycling appears to be influenced quite a bit by if or how often they cycle themselves, for example the more you ride a bike the more you like others who ride a bike

Current attitudes to cycling

Based on the Census data, the research shows that demographics strongly influence the propensity to cycle.

Current Propensity to CycleBased on the data it is suggested that the areas for the greatest potential growth in cycling are shown on the map below – although a lot of that will depend on the infrastructure that is put in place. One concern I have with this particular part of the research is that it seems to extrapolate current conditions as to who will cycle and as mentioned above, the census data only counts a small amount of all people cycling.

Potential cycle growth

While middle aged men are the most likely to cycle now, the report also highlights a concern that the stereotype of them being lycra-clad warriors could be preventing people from cycling. As the report notes it is “Cycle infrastructure is clearly a big part of what ‘normalises’ sage, and a clear indicator to users that safety is being addressed”

MAMIL culture

Looking at the potential for growth in cycling the report says of the people who don’t cycle, around 26% could do so.

Potential - who could cycle

It gets more interesting looking at the demographics of those who could cycle regularly. As you can see young people make up around half of the potential opportunity for more cycling.

Potential - who could cycle demographics

Of this potential group, like above it all comes down to safety the majority agree that there isn’t enough safe infrastructure in Auckland.

Potential - holding people back

Again there’s no surprise here but the biggest factor that would encourage more use is more cycling facilities.

Potential - encourage greater use

Lastly the report highlights that if the barriers to cycling were closed that millions more trips per year would take place on a bike.

Potential - Opportunity for growth

So get cracking on those protected cycleways AT – even if only temporary for now the most important thing is getting a usable system in place

Beach Rd Stage 2 opens Friday

This Friday at 7:30am the second stage of the Beach Rd walking and cycling project will officially open – almost exactly 1 year after stage 1 opened. This extends the current Beach Rd cycleway another 400m from Mahuhu Cres to Britomart Place making it more connected to the city than it was previously. While stage 1 was largely built on space used for on-street carparking, stage 2 makes use of the wide expanse of largely empty space that exists in front of the buildings north of Mahuhu Cres – especially in front of the vile Scene buildings. Along with the cycleway there have also been some other positive gains such as removing the dangerous slip lanes of Tangihua St.

Beach Rd Cycleway StageTwo Overall Plan

One aspect that has changed from above is that some of the planned stormwater raingardens have been cut after it was found they sit too close to the rail tunnel

Part of the underground rail tunnel was found to sit close to the intended location for stormwater raingardens. To avoid any potential damage to this structure caused by excavation needed for the gardens, this area will instead become part of an expanded shared area for pedestrians and cyclists.

Here’s stage 2 in context of the wider Beach Rd and Grafton Gully project

Beach Rd cycleway map

All up the project including stage 1 cost around $3.5 million of which $1.5 million came from the City Centre Targeted Rate

I believe the works are now mostly complete and here are a few images from a reader what the outcome looks like.

The project certainly looks beautiful and will be an asset to Auckland. There is one big concern I do have from a number of the images that I’ve seen so far though. It seems that many people are treating the cycle lane as a footpath, this is shown in the image below. Perhaps there are still signs to go in and/or it won’t be an issue once open so I’ll hold judgement for now but it is definitely an issue that I’m sure we and others will keep an eye on.

Here are also a few more images taken from one of the Scene buildings showing the works

Waiting a century for a cycleway

The Wellington to Hutt Road is, and has been for a quite long time, one of the most popular and important cycle routes in New Zealand’s urban areas. It connects a busy downtown area with large suburban areas in the Hutt Valley, via a scenic harbour front. It’s also a rare flat route in a hilly city where cycling is relatively popular by New Zealand standards.

Given this, you’d expect there to be a safe, separated cycleway of adequate width squeezed somewhere in between the road and rail line. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

If you’re headed northbound from Wellington to the Hutt Valley, you are required to squeeze into a narrow strip between two lanes of traffic and a vertiginous hillside. Some green paint has been provided along some parts of the route, as shown in the Google Street View:

Wellington to Petone cycleway 3

I haven’t cycled this route, but if I was headed this way by bike I’d probably take the train to Melling and cycle north from there. It just doesn’t feel safe.

The southbound route seems a bit better, as a narrow strip of tarmac has been fenced off between the motorway and the rail tracks. This is helpful for people cycling to Wellington, but I’ve heard that it sometimes causes dangerous confusion for northbound cyclists who get on the separated path in Wellington and then find themselves tipped out against oncoming motorway traffic near Petone:

Wellington to Petone cycleway 2


Unfortunately, the Wellington to Hutt Road has been disappointing people on bikes for a very long time. The Kennett Brothers fantastic book Ride: The Story of Cycling in New Zealand provides some background. Over a century ago, when cycling was a main mode of transport for many urban New Zealanders, there were Parliamentary debates over what should be done to improve the road for cycling, and working bees to remove sharp objects from the preexisting gravel cycle path. However, nothing much got done:

“When roads were improved for motorists, it was not always agreed that the cyclist should share them. Around the time of the First World War, some of the main Hutt Valley roads were bitumen sealed, but a by-law was passed forbidding cyclists from riding on them. On the main Hutt-Wellington route, cyclists and horses were forced to share a metalled path strewn with sharp objects from the nearby railway line. In one novel attempt to clean it up, a nail finding competition was won by a boy who bagged 391 of the total 1843 nails found on the path.”

The Kennetts dug up this old picture of the Wellington to Hutt cycleway in 1978, after almost a century of neglect:

Hutt Road bicycle path in 1978

The route is better today – the northbound cycle path is at least paved – but as the Google Street View shows, it’s still a far cry from a safe separated cycleway. The good news is that the NZTA’s new Urban Cycleways Programme looks like it will finally upgrade the route to an adequate standard.

One of the key projects in Wellington is the “Melling to CBD” cycleway, which seems to include an upgrade of the areas I’ve highlighted above:


I haven’t seen any detailed designs for the project yet, but the NZTA states that:

This project will provide a high quality cycleway between Melling and Wellington’s CBD, significantly improving the level of service for both cyclists and pedestrians. It will offer a safer and more attractive route for journeys between home and work or educational institutions, and will pay particular attention to how cyclists travel through intersections.

These additional facilities are expected to encourage new, less confident people to cycle as well as catering to the high numbers of people who use this route already.

Hopefully, this project will finally fix the longstanding issues with cycling on this road. The city has waited over a century for a safe cycling route between Wellington and the Hutt Valley – it would be a shame to prolong the wait any longer.

Lastly, I’m sure that many other roads in New Zealand have long-standing challenges for safe cycling. What other issues have you noticed, and how long have you been waiting for a solution?

SkyPath: Councillor v Advocate

Brewer v Reynolds


NBR Radio

In which Councillor Cameron Brewer tries extremely hard to find a possible cost to ratepayers in a privately funded and user pays addition to our transport networks, while ignoring the real cost of $13m to ratepayers for a free-to-use walking and cycle project in his ward [just one example].

Here at transportblog we are very keen on value for money for all publicly funded projects, which means every single transport project in the land. Except one. The SkyPath. To campaign that this project is some kind of burden on ‘the poor suburban ratepayer’ is so silly as to be beyond parody.

Ratepayers’ watchdogs play a potentially valuable role. But they need to be coherent and consistent, oh and factually accurate. Especially when they are taking a ratepayers salary to do it. Here Brewer is complaining about a user pays route but ignoring the fully subsidised one that happens to run through his ward. So either he really has no idea what’s going on or is being more than a little deceitful in order to score some kind of political point.

Don’t get me wrong, I am entirely in favour of both the taxpayer and ratepayer funding of the Eastern Connections route, but also think the SkyPath should be so funded. And it is also clear which route costs ratepayers more. A certain $13 million versus a possible future liability.

Basically the people of Auckland are getting a huge bargain with the SkyPath. Either it costs nothing, or a much lower sum than it would if funded like every road, bus lane, train station, or cycleway in the city. And this doesn’t even begin to calculate the years of free work contributed by those who have made it happen. And all to make up for what is essentially an institutional failure in transport provision. SkyPath is listed as the region’s most import Active route yet our current institutions weren’t able to get started on it themselves, somehow.

Perhaps it really is time Councillor Brewer took his financial expertise into the private sector…?

The busiest days to cycle

A month or so ago Auckland Transport kindly provided me with some data from their automated cycle counters that have been installed on a number of sites around the city. The data shows how many people on bikes passed each of the sites for each day up to the end of May and for some of the sites the data goes as far back as later 2010. Peter recently looked at the data from the Grafton Gully and Beach Rd cycleways and over a few posts I intend to take a look at the other ones as well as the two Peter covered from a few different angles.

All up there are 19 counters spread across the region.

  • Beach Rd
  • Dominion Rd
  • East Coast Rd
  • Grafton Bridge
  • Grafton Gully
  • Highbrook
  • Lake Rd
  • Lagoon Dr
  • Karangahape Rd
  • Mangere Bridge
  • NW Cycleway – Kingsland
  • NW Cycleway Te Atatu
  • Orewa
  • SH20 Dominion Rd
  • Symonds St
  • Tamaki Dr
  • Twin Streams
  • Upper Harbour

These maps from AT show where they are.

Cycling Counter Locations - Region

Cycling Counter Locations - City

To start with, for this post I’m going to look at how the number of people cycling changes over the course of a week. For this I’ve averaged the results out by day and the data is from November 2014 to the end of April which is the peak cycling season. I’ve done it over this time period as it’s one where data is available for all counters.

As you can see by far Tuesdays are the most frequent days for cycling while Saturdays the least frequent.

Daily Cycling Averages - All Sites



The relative strength of Sundays surprised me a bit and as such I suspected it is the result of some routes having quite significant differences in use. Looking at the data confirmed this and it seems the various routes can be split into one of three rough categories, weekday commuter sites, sites with fairly even usage all week and sites that see much greater weekend recreational use. The results of these are shown below.

First up the weekday commuter routes and you can see that each generally sees a significant drop off in usage on the weekends. The highest in here is the NW cycleway at Kingsland which averages well over 700 per day on Tuesdays and in fact in the height of summer is averages close to 1,000 per day.

Daily Cycling Averages - Weekday Sites

Next up the sites that while they may have some peaks, generally don’t see a significantly noticeable change over the course of the week. Unsurprisingly the star here is Tamaki Dr which doubles as both a strong commuter route during the week and sees a lot of recreational use on the weekends.

Daily Cycling Averages - All Week Sites

Here are the sites that see a clear increase in usage on weekends. The Mangere Bridge, Orewa and Upper Harbour sites are very noticeable with this – I suspect the former being families with the later more weekend warrior types.

Daily Cycling Averages - Weekend Sites

All up some quite interesting data and results and as mentioned I’ll look at the data in some different ways it in separate posts. Is there anything you’d particularly like to see?

Lastly I understand detailed before and after monitoring is a key requirement as part of the Urban Cycleways funding so I expect that over time AT/NZTA will roll out more and more of these automated counters. I also expect that in the coming years as new routes get completed and linked together we should start to see a bit of a network effect happening.


Can Carlton Gore be a template for more of Auckland

The new cycle lanes on Carlton Gore Rd open this week – and the picture below from Auckland Transport on Twitter yesterday shows them nearly completed and looking great – although the Herald is already complaining about the new layout even though it isn’t finished.

Carlton Gore Rd Result

There are more details showing what’s being done in Carlton Gore Rd here and the image below shows what’s planned in this section.

Carlton Gore Rd 2

Of course as some parts of the lanes aren’t protected and outside the parked cars, this has already happened.

With a new found focus on cycling – including from the government – perhaps AT needs to start looking at how they could start retrofitting the roads across large swathes of the city quickly, cheaply and easily to leverage off the big investments they are making. That means they need to be able to avoid lengthy consultations with residents arguing about parking and they need solutions that don’t involve large amounts of construction work. Some of this will likely need to make use of some of the tactical urbanism tools Mike Lydon talked about last week. I’ve also talked before about how many of our suburbs built over the last few decades actually have very few cars parked on the street due to each property having often large amounts of off street parking.

Roads tend to have a variety of different sizes and their width depends on a lot of factors however it appears many of the arterials in the suburbs tend to be in the range of 10-13 metres wide between the kerbs (excluding four lane roads). Moving kerbs will be expensive on a large scale so that got me thinking, perhaps they need to come up with a couple of template designs – perhaps using Carlton Gore as an example – that could fit between existing kerbs. That template could then easily be rolled out across the city for very little cost i.e. if the road is 13m wide between the kerbs then there is protected cycle lanes and parking on one side.  A 10m wide road might have just painted lanes with no parking and perhaps some flexi posts to help delineate the cycle lane.

So just how many roads do we have over 10m wide? Kent helped me put this image together showing all of them in Auckland and as you can see there are quite a lot.

10m wide lanes

While I realise not every street on here would be able to or need to have cycle infrastructure it doesn’t stop us dreaming it could all be exist.

p.s. AT need to address how locals deal with their rubbish bins as the ones in the first image appear to be blocking the footpath – or at least taking up a lot of room.

Photo of the Day: Commercial Quaxing

Here is the caterer taking away the empty bottles from a wedding celebration attended by my sister in Copenhagen over the weekend [thanks Amanda]:

Quaxing in Cpipenhagen


Bring on the Cycleways

Yesterday the John Key and Simon Bridges announced the planned cycling investment throughout New Zealand for the next three years and pleasingly it represents a massive increase on anything we’ve seen before. There are two primary reasons for this increase in funding.

  • One of the government’s election promises was to create a $100 million Urban Cycleway Fund (UCF) to be spent over four years. The first year of projects (well half year really) totalling just under $10 million was launched in January and this announcement constitutes the remainder of the funding.
  • The NZTA are spending significantly more money from the National Land Transport Fund (which comes from fuel taxes, road user charges, licencing fees etc.). This funding is governed by the Government Policy Statement (GPS) which was confirmed at the end of last year and sets funding bands

In effect this is the first announcement of what’s inside the 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) which is the three year programme of transport activities that will be funded throughout the country and ties in with regional land transport programmes – which AT consulted on at the beginning of the year. I understand the rest of the NLTP funding will be announced next week.

The funding announced today is broken up by city below

NLTP 2015-15 cycling

We knew the urban cycleways funding was coming – and the government deserves credit for seeing it fully implemented – however as mentioned above the NZTA are also spending a lot more money. To highlight just how much of an increase in spending this $107m from the NLTF is, in the 2012-15 NLTP there was $53 million allocated for walking and cycling. That’s less than half what this announcement contains and itself was a 27% increase above the 2009-12 GPS. So even without the urban cycleway funding the level of money available for cycling has increased dramatically. Add in that remaining $90 million from the UCF and it represents significant increases in spending from Central Government.

One interesting aspect I’ve also noticed is that the $107 million from the NLTF is actually higher than the upper limit of the funding band in the GPS – if only they would also do that to PT funding.

The money shown above is going towards 41 separate projects.  Below are just the Auckland projects however you can see a table of all of them here. It’s worth noting that what’s shown only represents the projects where joint funding is taking place, a lot more cycle facilities will be delivered as part of other projects too. In addition the council have voted to significantly increase spending on cycling and that means it will be funding some projects on its own. It would be interesting to know just how much more network we could have had rolled out if were were able to at least get a 50% contribution from the NZTA for those other projects. The Auckland projects are split into four categories.

NLTP 2015-15 cycling - Auckland Projects

And here’s a map of the projects

Auckland urbancycleways map 2015-18

We’ve talked about many of these projects before and it’s really great that we should be seeing all of this within just three years. One new part I also really like is the addition of two programmes to link up the surrounding areas of New Lynn and Glen Innes to their train stations as well as other local amenities. I think that will be really useful in getting more people cycling not just to those town centres but also to catch trains and buses.

Quay St cycleway impression

An artist impression of a cycleway on Quay St that will be built within 3 years

Here’s Bridges and Key after making the announcement.

All up a great announcement and one that should see some major progress on improving cycling facilities in Auckland – and elsewhere around the country. After years and years of pushing for more funding it’s finally starting to arrive which is a testament to all the people who pushed so hard for a better future. Let’s just hope the various transport agencies have the capacity and capability to deliver all of these projects.

Next up – perhaps even today – we should hear if Skypath will be approved.

Making some quick and easy cycling improvements

I believe that as a city we should take every opportunity we have to retrofit the city with better and more inclusive infrastructure. That means any time we dig up a road for “an upgrade” or even when a road is resealed we need to be thinking about how we can add cycling infrastructure (this also applies to walking and PT infrastructure too). It also means implementing quick wins where ever possible. Below are a few examples of where I think we’re missing easy opportunities to do that.

Chivalry Rd

When I ride to work I try to avoid the utter mess that is Wairau Rd as much as possible – the part around Tristram Ave is particularly bad as the lanes are narrow and drivers are often distracted while also changing lanes etc. Instead travel further along Glenfield Rd and use Chivalry Rd to bypass the worst of Wairau Rd. Using this route adds just over 1km to my journey but it feels much safer thanks to more space in on the road and much less traffic.

Chivalry Rd vs Wairau Rd

The map above shows the Wairau route in blue and the Chivalry route in red. Just because the latter feels the safest of the two, that doesn’t mean it’s great for cycling and can’t be improved. In the last week or so work has started on upgrading the intersection with Chartwell Dr/Diana Dr. I assumed that this would be good as it should mean improved cycle facilities at least around the intersection. This is especially so seeing as the route appears on AT’s proposed cycle network map as a connector route as shown in the yellow circle in the image below. In addition there are two schools nearby – just 100m and 300m away (Glenfield Primary & Glenfield Intermediate). The schools are shown in yellow on the map above.

Chivalry Rd cycle map

The image below shows how the intersection looks today. The only thing really noticeable with it – and it doesn’t seem all that bad – is that Chartwell and Diana Dr are slightly offset from each other meaning that drivers have to slightly turn the steering wheel when travelling north/south through it. Unrelated but one additional thing about the intersection is that it runs with a Barnes Dance for pedestrians. That’s something that’s quite rare outside the central city.

Chivalry Rd Intersection Current

I was hoping the change would add in some cycle infrastructure decent enough to get local kids riding to school, after all both proudly display on their fences that they’re a Travelwise school with the primary school a gold Award winner and the intermediate school a silver award winner. As such I asked AT for the plans seeing as there was nothing on their website. The image below shows what is being done and frankly it’s disappointing (click to enlarge) note: this image is effectively rotated 90° clockwise to the image above.

Chivalry Rd Intersection Future

AT say that because Chartwell Ave and Diana Drive approaches are offset slightly it creates safety and efficiency problems and so this project is to address that. Safety issues I can understand however efficiency is just a code word for “a few cars have to queue at the lights.

To make these changes it’s also required the removal of one house (Number 107 in the aerial photo) – the left over land not needed for the intersection works will be left as just a landscaped area. By transport standards the project isn’t hugely expensive at $1.3 million but it’s still a sizeable amount of money as I don’t think that includes the purchase of the house which I understand took place in the old North Shore City Council days. Still, removing a house when housing is such a hot topic doesn’t seem like the best idea AT’s ever had.

However back to the original topic, while the works are primarily on Chartwell Ave it doesn’t appear that a single bit of cycle infrastructure is going in anywhere near this intersection even though this would be the perfect time to implement some. That’s disappointing and means that at some unknown time in the future AT will have to go back and create more disruption to do that. It’s also quite telling that we can seemingly so easily through money down to change an intersection on safety and efficiency grounds but it’s so difficult to do the same with walking, cycling or public transport infrastructure.

One last point on this particular intersection, AT say that they and the local board are funding the project as it was way down the priority list so didn’t qualify for a subsidy from the NZTA. Surely if it’s way down on the priority list that’s a good sign it’s not, well a priority. Also after a brief discussion with a local board member it appears that they too weren’t that on pushing the project forward but that it was AT who came to the board to push it. Is this a case of some engineer trying to get an old scheme across the line?

Hobsonville Rd

Another part of my route home takes me along Hobsonville Rd. Since the motorway opened a few years ago the traffic on Hobsonville Rd has dropped dramatically and combined with a fairly wide single lane road used very infrequently for car parking it should be quite easy to start installing some cycle infrastructure. Perhaps the most pressing place to start on this would be the uphill section between Westpark Dr and Luckens Rd. One unique feature is that over the ~400m heading up the hill there are just two driveways as most of the houses are accessed from other locations.

Yet despite no demand from nearby houses there almost always tends to be a handful of cars parked on this section. The cause of is even visible in the image below from Streetview – cars parked for sale. An on road cycle lane could effectively be created up the hill for price of a few yellow lines of paint (note: there are also signs on other parts of Hobsonville Rd saying no car sales but not here).

Hobsonville Rd - For Sale Parking

Moire Rd

Another easy to add route would be Moire Rd. A section of the road was recently dug up and rebuilt – which is good as the surface was terrible and like other routes on here is also on AT’s cycle map yet despite being fairly wide and without much demand for on street parking the road was re-instated without any cycle provision. As you can see from the images below there is quite a bit of space to do so. Also note that the empty looking land to the right of the image is one of the pieces of land the government have identified to be developed. It would be good to get some cycling provision in before anything happens with that.

Moire Rd

Westgate Dr

Lastly we have Westgate Dr. This road was subjected to protracted fight between the developer and the council however that’s now resolve and the road is open. The road is significant as it connects to the Westgate shopping centre at one end and runs is right through the middle of an SHA which is being developed.

Westgate Dr Aerial

The first houses are already starting to go in and given the development that’s planned it would surely make sense for AT to get in there now and implement some cycle lanes before people move in and have an expectation of the entire street having free on-street parking. The thing is the road is probably wide enough to have cycle lanes plus parking on one side as you can see in the image below with Westgate in the distance. A quick and easy win (although of course I would prefer protected cycle lanes).

Westgate Dr

What do you think, where are the quick easy cycle wins in your area and what examples of missed opportunities do you have.