Cyclist warns of danger
CHANGES to the layout of an Eden Terrace cycleway are a recipe for disaster, resident Lizzie Sullivan says.
She’s keen to raise awareness of safety issues at the Takau St stretch of the northwestern cycleway where she received minor injuries after being struck by a cyclist on January 29.
Sullivan was entering the bottom of the slope from Virginia St West. She looked before crossing the path with her bike but didn’t see anyone.
The cyclist must have been obscured by the bushes, she says.
‘‘I heard him yell and then I yelled. I stood there like a stunned mullet and he ploughed into me. The next day I saw his brake marks and they started on the black [asphalt].’’
Sullivan was lucky to come away with only minor back and knee injuries as a result of the collision, she says.
It wouldn’t have happened if the cyclist had obeyed the painted yield sign, but it’s the road layout that’s to blame, she says.
Her partner Jeff Harrison, 27, has started an online petition to gather support for the installation of a safety barrier, as was there previously, or another measure that protects people crossing the cycleway from Virginia St West.
‘‘I’ve always thought the cycleway was a bit sketchy’’, he says. ‘‘If Auckland Transport expects cyclists to stop, it’s got to be more than a painted line.
‘‘Things like this are fine if you have a few cyclists every hour but as it gets busier it’s only going to get worse.’’
Cycle Action Auckland committee member Max Robitzsch agrees it isn’t a very safe location.
But the proposed Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway, which is one of the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board’s priority cycleways, will link to this intersection of Takau St so the layout is likely to change in the future.
‘‘Any temporary changes before then should make sure that a new barrier is not more dangerous than the accidents it tries to prevent,’’ Robitzsch says.
‘‘Putting steel barriers at the bottom of a steep slope is far from an ideal solution.
‘‘Possibly the temporary design could use flexible posts that bend when someone hits them.’’
Auckland Transport spokesman Dai Bindoff says a safety rail was removed late last year because of safety concerns.
‘‘On-site observations showed that there was a tendency among cyclists travelling downhill of entering Takau St on the right-hand side of the cycle rail.
‘‘Pedestrians coming in the opposite direction were gen- erally keeping to their left.
‘‘This increased the risk of cyclists and pedestrians coming into conflict.’’
Markings have been added to encourage both cyclists and pedestrians to keep to their left and to encourage cyclists to slow down and give way as they approach the intersection, Bindoff says.
Lizzie Sullivan and her partner Jeff Harrison. Sullivan collided with another cyclist on the Takau St cycleway.