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A smoother, safer ride for cyclists

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE

19 May 2006

A smoother, safer ride for cyclists along Mt Albert Road

Cyclists will stress less with the introduction of dedicated cycle lanes designed to improve cyclist safety along a busy stretch of Mt Albert Road.

Auckland City is currently seeking feedback from the community to improve the design of the new cycle lanes, which will be 2.5km long in each direction.

There were 39 cyclist-related crashes in the Mt Albert area in the five years up to 2005, including 13 crashes along Mt Albert Road.

Studies show that the route is in high demand by cyclists, particularly students cycling to Mt Albert Grammar, Marist School and Unitec.

The new cycle lanes will run along both sides of Mt Albert Road, between New North and Sandringham roads, and along a section of Carrington Road, between Woodward Road and Willcott Street, where they tie into existing cycle lanes. The route will form part of the city's cycle network, connecting with the Northwestern cycleway.

Councillor Richard Simpson, the council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson, says it is imperative cyclists feel safe on Auckland roads.

"Mt Albert Road is a very busy arterial road, with more than 20,000 vehicles using it each day. We need to make changes to ensure it is friendly for all road users, including cyclists," says Mr Simpson. "We want to encourage people to cycle. It's a sustainable and cheap way to travel, but people won't do it unless they feel it is a safe, easy, stress-free option.

"This is only one of a number of cycle-safe projects we are working on. Auckland City is committed to making it easier and safer for cyclists to get around," says Mr Simpson.

Cycle Action Auckland (CAA) has shown its support for the new cycle-friendly measures.

"These cycle lanes will make it safer for cyclists, allowing more Aucklanders to make the choice to cycle to work, to school and to the shops," says CAA chairperson Bevan Woodward.

"Every cyclist equals one less car, so it's got to be good for Auckland - not just in terms of traffic congestion, but reduced air pollution as well."

To ensure appropriate cycle lane width, car parking along the eastern stretches of Mt Albert and Carrington roads will be removed. However, a recent survey has shown limited demand for parking in these areas.

The public can find out more about plans for the new cycle lanes at a drop-in evening being held on Wednesday, 31 May, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, at Mt Albert Presbyterian Church, 14 Mt Albert Road.

Auckland City is also inviting people to have their say on how the design of the project could be improved by submitting their feedback online at: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/auckland/transport/bikes/mtalbert.asp

After the design has been finalised, construction will start later this year.

ENDS

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