Ur­ban cy­cle­ways put to the test

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGERALD

Mil­lions of dol­lars be­ing pumped into Auck­land cy­cle­ways ap­pears to be pay­ing off with the num­ber of com­muters opt­ing for pedal power rapidly in­creas­ing.

Auck­land Trans­port’s (AT) an­nual Walk­ing and Cy­cling Sur­vey pub­lished last year showed 353,000 peo­ple were us­ing bikes - 45,000 more than in 2015.

AT’s cy­cling, walk­ing and safety man­ager Kathryn King said there was con­tin­ual growth in cy­cle trips across the city with the big­gest in­crease in the city cen­tre.

‘‘It’s great to see an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple cy­cling to places like schools, lo­cal shops, work and to pub­lic trans­port in­ter­changes,’’ King said.

An es­ti­mated $200 mil­lion will be in­vested in cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture across Auck­land be­tween 2015 and 2018.

New cy­cle­ways are fre­quently open­ing as a re­sult of the city’s Ur­ban Cy­cle­ways Pro­gramme (UCP).

The UCP, a joint project be­tween Auck­land Coun­cil and the NZ Trans­port Agency, is re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing cy­cling projects as an im­por­tant part of the city’s trans­port net­work.

It aims to cre­ate more live­able neigh­bour­hoods, make it eas­ier to get around, boost lo­cal economies and help the en­vi­ron­ment.

King said it also aimed to give peo­ple choice in how they travel.

‘‘We have come an enor­mously long way in the last two years, as part of this chal­leng­ing three year pro­gramme,’’ King said.

‘‘Our com­mit­ment is to make cy­cling as at­trac­tive as pos­si­ble to a wide cross sec­tion of peo­ple’’, she said.

The num­ber of peo­ple cy­cling into the city has dou­bled over the past three years.

Bike Auck­land spokesper­son Barb Cuth­bert said the new city cen­tre cy­cle­ways ‘‘are phe­nom­e­nally suc­cess­ful’’.

Bik­ing ad­vo­cate Tim Duguid said Auck­land had turned a cor­ner with re­gards to cy­cle­ways.

‘‘Op­tions were once dis­con­nected but we now have the beginnings of a con­nected cy­cle net­work and one that starts in the city,’’ Duguid said.

‘‘We also now have, driven by coun­cil, an em­pha­sis on cy­cling in the CBD which is great progress for Auck­lan­ders,’’ he said.

Over the next few months we will be tak­ing a look at Auck­land’s new cy­cling net­work with this jour­nal­ist rid­ing, re­view­ing and rat­ing nine of the city’s cy­cle­ways.

CATRIN OWEN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Jour­nal­ist Mary Fitzgerald will pro­vide weekly re­views on nine of Auck­land’s ur­ban cy­cle­ways.

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