Urban cycleways put to the test
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.
Journalist Mary Fitzgerald will provide weekly reviews on nine of Auckland’s urban cycleways.