Tag: Chris Darby

The Southern Airport Line – More than a Light Rail Line – A Community and City Builder Too!

A line that also builds communities   This post originally appeared in LinkedIn on February 14:¬†https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/southern-airport-line-more-than-light-rail-ben-ross/ Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Auckland Council Planning Committee on the importance … Continue reading The Southern Airport Line – More than a Light Rail Line – A Community and City Builder Too!

Slowly Getting with Cycling

Bit by Bit with our Active Transport Network


Yesterday there was a large presentation followed by substantial debate on the roll of active transport (this case cycling) in Auckland. The presentation was given by Generation Zero and the Cycling Action Network (in which I’ll ask for the presentation later today) about our lagging state of the cycling network. The material in the agenda (embedded further down) further outlines the state of our cycling network:

From page 8 and 9 of the Infrastructure Agenda

  • Auckland is one of the most car-dominated cities in the world, with approximately 80 percent¬†of all journeys made by car (Mees and Dodson 2007). Around two thirds of all car journeys in¬†New Zealand are of less than six kilometres, with one third of all car journeys less than two¬†kilometres (Tin Tin, Woodward et al. 2009; Turner, Hughes et al. 2010). Many of these shorter¬†journeys could be undertaken on foot or by bicycle.
  • Auckland was ranked third most liveable city for quality of living in the 2012 Mercer rankings.¬†However, ranked 43rd in relation to infrastructure, which includes a measure of transportation¬†infrastructure.
  • The ACN currently consists of approximately 283 km of cycle ways, consisting of 95 km of¬†cycle metros, 130 km of cycle connectors and 57 km of feeder routes that comprise of varying¬†levels of service and cycle infrastructure provision. Parts of the existing network require¬†cyclists to use bus/bike lanes and consist of short sections of unconnected cycle lanes, which¬†advocacy groups do not consider to be an optimal solution in terms of safety.
  • Cycle monitoring is undertaken annually in Auckland and shows the success of providing high¬†quality, connected cycle routes such as the segregated North-Western cycle way (linking¬†western suburbs with the city centre) and the cycle lanes along Tamaki Drive (along the¬†waterfront) that facilitate commuter and recreational cyclists of all ages and abilities.
  • On an average weekday Aucklanders take around 29,000 trips by cycle (approximately 0.6¬†percent of all trips). Monthly monitoring data reported to the Auckland Transport Board shows¬†an annual increase in cycling of 10 percent compared with previous 12 months (based on¬†data taken from nine automatic monitoring sites).
  • Safety is a barrier (perceived and actual) to people cycling in Auckland. Research undertaken¬†on behalf of Auckland Transport by Ipsos in 2013 shows that 59 percent of respondents¬†indicated that safety concerns are a barrier to them cycling more, with 79 percent agreeing¬†more should be done to promote safe cycling in Auckland.
  • In 2012, crashes involving cyclists accounted for 5 percent (1 fatality and 18 serious) of all¬†reported serious and fatal crashes across the Auckland local road network. This is¬†disproportional to the mode share of cycling in Auckland that is approximately 1.2 percent of¬†morning peak time journeys to work (based on 2013 census data).
  • Providing continuous separated dedicated cycle lanes and other types of cycle infrastructure¬†to link the cycle network with transport interchanges and local services is one of the key¬†priorities of the cycle infrastructure programme. This was confirmed in a 2013 Auckland Cycle¬†research survey where 55 percent of people identified the provision of separated cycle¬†facilities as a key priority.
  • The feedback from cycle advocacy groups such as Cycle Action Auckland and Generation¬†Zero is that we should be focusing on segregated cycle lanes (preferably off road) and¬†providing a connected network. This is aimed at improving safety and connectivity.
  • It is important that high quality cycle connector routes are provided to encourage interneighbourhood¬†and shorter trips to schools and local services. These connector routes are¬†also significant as they provide linkages to the wider cycle network.
  • Research also suggests that there is a strong demand for cycling in Auckland, with about one¬†in four people owning a bike. Survey results indicate that 18 percent of respondents who are¬†not currently cycling are primed and ready to cycle given the provision of high quality cycle¬†facilities.
  • Auckland Transport runs campaigns during spring, summer and winter, as well as year round¬†cycle training and ‚Äúshare the road‚ÄĚ safety campaigns. During the 2012/13 financial year,¬†Auckland Transport delivered cycle training to around 10,000 people from school children to¬†businesses and community groups,

The Herald picked up further on the cycling situation in their “Paths full, say cyclists” in which even now pedestrians are getting cranky with cycling provisions.

From the NZ Herald:

Council told of pedestrian anger at surge in bike use of shared facilities. Cyclists are starting to feel the heat from pedestrians rebelling against having to share paths with them, Auckland Council members were warned yesterday.

In delivering her warning, Cycle Action Auckland chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert reminded the council’s infrastructure committee that pedestrians were “at the top of the hierarchy” of an active transport network.

“You may be hearing – we certainly are – that pedestrians across Auckland don’t want more shared paths,” Mrs Cuthbert said.

“Because now cycling numbers are getting up so high that those shared paths are not pleasant for pedestrians – pedestrians and cyclists deserve their own facilities.”

But Mrs Cuthbert was glowing in her praise of a council staff report recommending a greater financial commitment to cycling while warning that only 40 per cent to 50 per cent of a 900km network of bikeways will be in place by 2020 on current funding.

That compares with about 30 per cent now in place – much of which her group says is disjointed and in poor condition – and an Auckland Plan target of 70 per cent by 2020.

Committee deputy chairman Chris Darby, a cyclist, said other comparative cities around the world but particularly on the Pacific Rim were well ahead of Auckland in developing bikeways which raised public transport patronage by widening the catchment of buses, trains and ferries.

“We have been failing Auckland miserably – cycling is a badge of a smart city and we really need to have that badge on our lapel.”

His comments followed a presentation by Generation Zero youth organisation and TransportBlog representatives, who cited efforts by United States cities to attract young talent by providing safe cycling opportunities.

You can read the rest of the article over at the Herald site


Essentially the argument can be nutted down to this:

That is true to a point. Our heavier arterials should have dedicated and separated cycle ways but our smaller streets should be in a position to take cyclists automatically. This might be dropping local roads down to 30km/h and where possible flipping them over to shared spaces to remove the car as absolute priority from the road space.

For more on cycling by Talking Auckland check these related posts:


If someone asks for quick wins in getting some quality cycle and active transport infrastructure up before hitting the big stuff (long distance cycleways) I can think of two places to start:

  • Within 1km of a school
  • All Metropolitan Centres


Finally some pictures of either cycle infrastructure, some ideas, and/or places for a quick win

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I will get the resolutions up from the Infrastructure Committee when they come through – most likely Monday if not Tuesday


Infrastructure Committee Agenda