The NZTA has released a video with a fly-through of the proposed Kapiti Expressway/Sandhills Motorway/ Mackays to Peka Peka route:
Here are my observations of what I can see in the video with regards to the cycling provisions:
- The cyclepath seems to follow close to the motorway along the bottom of the Raumati Escarpment north of Mackay’s Crossing. That seems to be a bit of a clueless option. Putting a decent cycleway through Queen Elizabeth Park as previously stated on this blog would be a much better proposition. Any cycleway out of the noise cone of the motorway traffic has got to be better than one that follows it closely. The cycleway shown in the video follows the road closely, but it’s got a whole park to use, so why not build a decent paved, well-lit commuter cycleway away from the road? It’s not high conservation land, but gorse filled paddocks, and with the new road and a new cycleway the paddock in the north east corner of the park could be remediated and turned back into wetlands with native flora planted.
- It’s hard to see what the Poplar Ave crossing would look like. An underpass would be preferred, but as long as it is safe.
- Just north of Poplar Ave it follows the motorway designation, but the now unused road reserve further west could be used for the cycleway and could link up with a cycleway through the park.
- Then there seems to be some new lakes and it looks like the cycleway leaves the road and goes through the dunes. Yeay! And it looks like an underpass under Raumati Road. Cool.
- Then some more new lakes and the cycleway meets up with the Wharemauku Stream paths. That’s good. And the path leading north from there starts a bit further away.
- Then at Kapiti Road it looks like an at grade crossing, presumably with no provision to stop the traffic. That’s bad, bad, bad. Why Raumati Road would appear to have an underpass, and not the busier Kapiti Road, I dunno.
- The next bit between Kapiti and Mazengarb Roads will be boring and noisy, and there’s another at grade crossing for Mazengarb Road. It’s not as busy a road so that’s probably OK.
- North of Otaihanga Road the cycleway goes missing before magically appearing from a lake on the other side of the motorway.
- A cyclists’ bridge over the Waikanae River is very welcome. The current SH1 road bridge is deadly to cyclists. However there seems to be very poor connections with the Waikanae River paths, which is surely an oversight.
- Then north of the river the cycleway disappears again, before having the most circuitous route through the Te Moana Road interchange roundabouts (wow that looks overengineered) and going back to the western side of the motorway.
- Then it follows too close to the road noise cone all the way to Peka Peka Road. Presumably north of Peka Peka Road any cycle traffic will go along the to be built local road, but the local road surely is going to be signposted at 80 or 100km/hr, and won’t be the safest road for cyclists to ride.
- If you’re not sick to death of doing so there is currently a public consultation til June 27th about the road, and presumably the cycle provision, on the NZTA website.
My verdict is that it is flawed in that it will be too noisy, and I’ll continue to ride the Kotuku Lakes, Manly Street, Marine Parade, Rosetta Road route if I pass through Kapiti on my bike. I look forward to safe cycling between Otaki and Waikanae and I’ve only ever ridden it on the beach, or sadly on the highway on a memorial ride. I really wish they’d get their act together on in QE Park and on the almost good Waikanae River paths. It will be nice to get cycling infrastructure funded and built for once, even though it isn’t filling a gap in safe cycle routes when there are gaps to fill, and it can only be funded as part of a super big bloody road, and not in its own right. And if they did link it to the Waikanae River paths on both sides of the river then Kapiti Coasters could use it as the backbone on a much more extensive cycle network than they have now.