Spoke in wheel of cy­cle­way

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Morgan

The fu­ture of a cy­cle­way link­ing cen­tral and west Auck­land hangs in the bal­ance.

The 1.3km route would ex­tend the north­west­ern cy­cle­way from Great North Rd in Pt Che­va­lier to Block­house Bay Rd us­ing a mix­ture of cy­cle lanes and shared foot­paths.

But some Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers have doubts about the project, which is ex­pected to cost $255,260 and start con­struc­tion next year.

Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says he sup­ports cy­cle lanes, but is not sure about the cost.

“It’s a hell of a lot of ratepay­ers’ money to ser­vice a few hun­dred-odd cy­clists,” he says.

A coun­cil sur­vey shows an av­er­age of 530 cy­clists al­ready use the route daily.

The pro­posal is for a north­bound cy­cle lane and a south­bound shared use path for cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans.

Mr Macdon­ald says he agrees with pro­pos­als to have share­duse foot­paths, but doesn’t like the idea of bikes on the road be­cause it’s un­safe.

“I’d much rather have rid­ing on the foot­path than the road, even if they have to widen the path­way.”

Deputy mayor David Hay says he’s con­cerned the project could end up a “mish-mash” of lanes that start and stop abruptly, like those on Mt Al­bert Rd.

“I haven’t spo­ken to any­one who thinks Mt Al­bert Rd makes sense.

“The devil is in the de­tail. Some­times it’s ap­proved in prin­ci­ple and the next thing you’ve got lanes painted on the road that zig-zag in and out.”

How­ever Walk Auck­land chair­man Andy Smith says he sup­ports the project, though safety is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion.

“Shared paths are needed be­cause of a lack of space. Sep­a­rat­ing cy­clists, pedes­tri­ans and cars is im­por­tant – as long as cy­clists use their bells we can share the paths.”

A coun­cil spokesman says there is no al­ter­na­tive cy­cle­way close to the pro­posed route. He says the pre­ferred op­tion is to al­ways pro­vide a lane if there is enough road space.

The board de­ferred en­dors­ing the project un­til they are pro­vided with more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion.

Dun­can Macdon­ald

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