Spoke in wheel of cycleway
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.