St Lukes Road a biker gam­ble

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

An Auck­lan­der’s am­a­teur video shows the real risk rid­ers face when nav­i­gat­ing a busy cy­cle lane.

Mt Al­bert res­i­dent Bren­dan Barnes, a reg­u­lar recre­ational cy­clist with his chil­dren, caught the mo­ment on video when a truck nar­rowly misses his daugh­ter cy­cling along St Lukes Rd.

‘‘This video high­lights that a painted line doesn’t do any­thing to pro­tect cy­clists from traffic,’’ he says. Barnes would like to see a sep­a­rate, bor­dered off cy­cle lane and thinks this would be the best op­tion.

An up­dated Oc­to­ber 2016 Cy­clist Crash Facts re­leased by the Min­istry of Trans­port shows in 2015 six cy­clists died, 145 were se­ri­ously in­jured and 600 suf­fered mi­nor in­juries in po­lice-re­ported crashes on New Zealand roads. Ap­prox­i­mately nine in ev­ery 10 re­ported cy­clist ca­su­al­ties oc­curred on ur­ban roads (roads with a speed limit of 70kmh or less).

Over half of all cy­clist ca­su­al­ties oc­cur on ma­jor ur­ban roads (typ­i­cally busy ar­te­ri­als), rather than on the mi­nor ur­ban roads that usu­ally pro­vide ac­cess to ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties.

‘‘The key thing in ad­di­tion to ef­fec­tive de­sign of cy­cle­ways, is driver re-ed­u­ca­tion re­lat­ing to cy­cle­ways and ve­hi­cles,’’ Al­bert Eden Lo­cal Board mem­ber Jes­sica Rose says.

‘‘We on the board would be very happy to ne­go­ti­ate with Auck­land Trans­port (AT) on be­half of the com­mu­nity in order to make our cy­cle­ways safe,’’ she says.

An AT spokesper­son con­firms there is a plan to in­stall sep­a­ra­tors be­tween the cy­cle lane and the road to pro­tect the ex­ist­ing cy­cle lanes on both sides of the af­fected sec­tion along St Lukes Rd.

The up­grade will in­clude plas­tic safety hit posts and rub­ber kerbs to ad­dress the prob­lem of ve­hi­cles driv­ing in the cy­cle lanes. AT re­ports the aim is to com­plete the project early in 2017.

Bike Auck­land (BA) spokesper­son Max Ro­b­itzsch says they are keen to see changes. He says BA would un­der­stand a par­ent not al­low­ing their chil­dren to ride on the St Lukes Rd painted cy­cle lane with the cur­rent lay­out.

‘‘We hope that this date doesn’t slip, be­cause it is long over­due, and a great ini­tia­tive for AT to get a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment for what will be a pretty small amount of money,’’ Ro­b­itzsch says.

Auck­land Trans­port has con­firmed plans to in­stall sep­a­ra­tors be­tween the cy­cle way and St Lukes Road. Cy­clist Crash Facts,

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