Cycleway planned for K Rd
A PROTECTED cycleway that would physically separate cyclists from cars on Karangahape Rd is one step closer to reality.
Generation Zero cycling spokeswoman Emma McInnes is thrilled to see separated cycle lanes included in the Waitemata Local Board’s 30-year plan for the area.
The Karangahape Rd Plan will guide future development and includes measures to improve safety, protect heritage and create more public open spaces ( Auckland City Harbour News, February 6).
It’s one of the city’s most used cycle routes but it’s under-protected, McInnes says.
‘‘Plans for the cycle lane are still in their infancy, but it’s great to see the council’s vision for the lanes is a daring and exciting one.’’
Generation Zero launched a campaign for protected cycle lanes along K Rd in May.
About 100 businesses supported the initiative, and a petition for the cycleways attracted more than 2500 signatures.
An Auckland Transport-led investigation into the feasibility of a protected cycleway along K Rd, leading to the soon-to-be developed Nelson St cycleway is expected within the next three years.
But that’s not soon enough, Cycle Action Auckland spokeswoman Barbara Cuthbert says.
‘‘It’s a vital link feeding into the Nelson St off-ramp.
‘‘If we didn’t go straight on and get it under way by early next year at the latest, Auckland would be missing out,’’ she says.
Karangahape Rd Business Association chief executive Barbara Holloway says it’s important that everyone’s views are taken into account.
‘‘As long as good consultation takes place, we’re happy for it to be accelerated.
‘‘It needs to work for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, taxis, buses - as well as the needs of retail.’’
The association is supportive of any level of pedestrian and cycle improvements for the road, Holloway says.
‘‘We had a lot of feedback from property owners and tenants saying they are really interested in slower traffic speeds, better crossings, easier pedestrian flow and support for cyclists.
‘‘They’ve looked at the good results for the Fort St area where retail growth has been tremendous since the shared space was introduced.’’
Waitemata Local Board member Vernon Tava is thrilled to see the cycleway plans progressing.
‘‘I’ve been pushing for this and really championing it,’’ Tava says.
‘‘Of course I’d like to see it happen as soon as possible, but it’s also important that it be done properly and in a lasting way.’’
He’s pleased the K Rd business community has shown support for the project.
‘‘Often when a protected cycleway is proposed through a shopping area a lot of the local retailers are up in arms.
‘‘The retailers on K Rd see that this will actually increase the ease of getting to the area and will suit a lot of the people who will actually go to the district.’’
Some car parks will have to be removed to make way for the cycle lanes but this will be a ‘‘relatively small number’’, he says.
‘‘I’d really like to see a cycleway that you’d actually feel happy to see young children riding to school on.
‘‘K Rd’s certainly not one of those roads at the moment,’’ he says.
People-friendly vision: An artist’s impression showing the proposed cycle lanes on K Rd in 2022.
Starting point: Karangahape Rd today.