Urban cycleways are so far missing from the National Cycleway

24 07 2010

I like this post on Cycling in Auckland, for it shows this recent letter from Sonali Geo in the North Shore Times.

The warm sunshine on Sunday, 18th July pulled me out of bed and it seemed too tragic to spend the day indoors. So I went to church on my bicycle in my Sunday best. It was still so gorgeous that I decided to explore the neighbourhood on my bike. After a few false starts and stops I was sailing down hill on the cycle path from Baysview road towards Takapuna. The uphill’s had me get off my bike and walk my bike till I reached the top. But the downhill’s with the wind in my hair was an experience beyond words.
Since I reached Takapuna without any mishap, I thought I would continue down to Milford and perhaps surprise my son at The Warehouse and take him out for lunch and a spot of sunshine. Not surprisingly, I was not the only one enjoying the sunshine. The footpaths were milling with people taking in the sun and window shopping. I noticed that there were no cycle lanes although there were many cyclists. The more confident ones in their battle gear were whizzing past on the road. The lesser confident, albeit determined cyclists, like me, were weaving in and out of lazy shoppers on the footpath. Since I could not spot a cycling lane, I consoled myself that this must be a “share and care” footpath. There could be no other explanation after John Key’s ambitious declaration to connect both the North and South Island by cyclable lanes. But, when a busy shopper pointed out the road to me and reminded me where the street was, I thought that I must be making a mistake.
So, I cycled down to Milford and back trying to find the cycle lanes that I should be on so as to avoid the pedestrians being a hazard to me, but they were conspicuous by their absence. If anyone does find these missing cycle lanes, could they please inform me.
Kind regards
Sonali Geo

It’s early days of course for the National Cycleway and I’m really looking forward to get on some of those new cycleways once they’re finished, but they are going to be like going and tramping the Kepler or Rees Dart tracks. Something wonderful to do, but not really a way to get to work or the shops.

The National Cycleway is surely also about having the standout rides and the continuous route between Cape Reinga and Bluff, but surely it should also be about joining towns to each other, and for commuting to work, and going to the shops. As sure as someone wants to ride from Wellington to Martinborough in a day, so too the residents of the Hutt want to cycle to Wellington, and they’ll ride on the same bicycle infrastructure. i.e. National Cycleway planners don’t forget the commuters and the riders in town doing their groceries and visiting friends. It’s as true on Auckland’s North Shore as it is in Invercargill.

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4 responses

26 07 2010
Celia WB

Agree that we are missing out on rutes close to population centres – althoughthe model communities funding will help Hastings and New Plymouth build on their excelent beginnings.

I’ve been working away on Great Harbour Way and Porirua/Tawa but we lso need calmed radial routes – have a look at London’s twelve proposed cycle superhighways at
http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/news/what-the-12-cycle-superhighways-mean-for-london-cyclists/

Support a cyclist for Mayor!

26 07 2010
Matthew

And Celia, we need bike lanes through Johnsonville town centre. Get rid of the parking on the east side of Johnsonville Road and put in separated bike paths on either side of the ride, out of the door zone on the west side. There is ample room for such infrastructure. It’s needed for between the Tawa and Porirua paths and the Ngauranga Gorge side. See https://wellingtoncycleways.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/from-ngaurunga-or-newlands-to-johnsonville-heading-north/ and https://wellingtoncycleways.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/fixing-the-fraser-ave-johnsonville-deathtrap/

Other than that good luck with the Mayoralty. And we do need a cyclist for Mayor, or we’ll never get any decent cycle infrastructure.

27 07 2010
Celia WB

Thanks for pointing me to this detail – have you shared it with Paul Barker or Stavros Michael at WCC? Or Andy Foster who has been given the political overview of cycling?

12 10 2010
ingolfson

Can’t give you details yet, but in Auckland they are apparently still pushing the idea of a Waiheke path in the NZ Trail system. Still not quite urban, but edging closer. At the moment, it’s very much a tourism thing still, but it can grow from that. Maybe eventually have a two-class thing: “Great rides” for the stunning tourist trails, and “Main trails” or whatever generic-but-not-negative for the remainder.

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