Cy­clists ad­vo­cate slower speeds

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

Cy­cling ad­vo­cates sup­port plans to ex­tend Auck­land’s cy­cling and walk­ing net­work, but say more needs to be done to make streets safer.

The NZ Transport Agency and Auck­land Transport are spend­ing $1.3 mil­lion on the de­sign of cy­cle­way ex­ten­sions on Beach Rd in the cen­tral city, as well as in Mt Roskill and Pa­pakura.

The NZ Transport Agency’s 53 per cent share ($735,107) of the cost of the three projects is funded by rev­enue col­lected from the ex­cise duty on fuel, road user charges, and ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion fees.

Brake Road Safety di­rec­tor Caro­line Perry wel­comes the ad­di­tional fund­ing, but more pri­or­ity needs to be given to sep­a­rat­ing road users, she says.

‘‘More ded­i­cated cy­cle and walk­ways, and speeds of 30kmh or less in com­mu­ni­ties are es­sen­tial to en­cour­age more peo­ple to walk and cy­cle, and to help re­duce the num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble road users need­lessly killed and in­jured on our roads.’’

Cy­cle Ac­tion chair­woman Bar­bara Cuth­bert says com­plet­ing the Beach Rd cy­cle­way, which con­nects with the Grafton Gully project is ‘‘enor­mously im­por­tant’’.

Cuth­bert agrees that slow­ing the speed limit in se­lected ar­eas would be safer for all. She’d like to see the 30kmh limit on Queen St ex­tended to Karanga­hape Rd and Pon­sonby Rd. The speed limit on K Rd is cur­rently 50kmh and on Pon­sonby Rd it’s 40kmh.

‘‘Peo­ple used to be hit on Queen St and peo­ple have been killed try­ing to cross Pon­sonby Rd. Now peo­ple just walk out in front of you on Queen St and that’s great. They’ve started to re­claim the area. Let’s slow down Pon­sonby Rd and K Rd so we can cre­ate a net­work.’’

Cy­cle Ac­tion mem­bers also want to see the pro­posal for pro­tected cy­cle lanes on Pon­sonby Rd get un­der­way, she says. ‘‘We want less talk, more ac­tion.’’ Transport blog edi­tor Pa­trick Reynolds sup­ports the ex­tra fund­ing.

But there needs to be a shift in at­ti­tude at Auck­land Transport to make cy­clists a part of ev­ery­day road­ing projects, he says.

‘‘On ar­te­rial roads where the traf­fic is go­ing faster we need more cy­cle lanes but some­times cy­clists can be ac­com­mo­dated just by cre­at­ing a much slower, calmer en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘Quiet res­i­den­tial streets that are su­per wide or have sweep­ing cor­ners should be 30kmh.’’

It’s not a ques­tion of spend­ing more and more money, the Grey Lynn res­i­dent says.

‘‘It would cost zero dol­lars to paint in a cy­cle­way when they resur­face streets. We’re call­ing for what’s known as com­plete streets for ev­ery user. The cost of that is no dif­fer­ent from nor­mal cor­ri­dor man­age­ment.’’

Photo: REUTERS

Two wheels: Auck­land cy­clists will soon be able to get around on new cy­cle­way ex­ten­sions.

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