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Free wheeling for Mt Albert cycle lanes

14 December 2006

Free wheeling for Mt Albert cycle lanes

Auckland City took a strong stand for cyclists at a committee meeting yesterday, approving cycle lanes along Mt Albert Road.

The decision by the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee comes after months of investigation, including parking and cycling surveys, safety audits and consultation with residents, who were concerned with losing some on-street parking.

Councillor Glenda Fryer, the committee's deputy chairperson, says she is satisfied the design has been amended to preserve as many parking spaces as possible.

"This is a pivotal decision for cycling in Auckland city. It highlights the importance this council is placing on improving facilities for cyclists to make cycling an attractive and safe travel choice," says Ms Fryer.

The cycle lanes will be installed early in 2007 along both sides of Mt Albert Road, between New North and Sandringham roads, and existing lanes widened along a section of Carrington Road.

The original design proposed the removal of an estimated 174 on-street parking spaces along the northern side of Mt Albert Road. Following consultation with residents, the design was revised to retain 61 parking spaces while still maintaining safe cycle lane widths.

Some residents were also concerned about pedestrian safety as the plan means they will have to park opposite their homes and cross the arterial road.

To help address this concern, and ensure appropriate safety levels, the council will introduce dedicated pedestrian refuges at several locations along Mt Albert Road.

The cycle lanes will be regularly monitored for safety for 12 months after the installation date, as will general road safety issues.

Ms Fryer says she feels the council has heard people's concerns and responded accordingly.

"We have to consider the needs of all road users and weigh up overall public good with the local impact as we advance initiatives to improve transport in Auckland.

"These cycle lanes form a strategic link in the city's cycleway network. They will offer important benefits to cyclists already using the route and will encourage others to jump on their bikes," says Ms Fryer.

"It is vital that Auckland City continues to improve its cycling facilities to make cycling a healthy, sustainable way to travel around the city."

Auckland City is working on a number of cycling initiatives to make it easier and safer for people to get around. Projects include a new cycle safety education programme in intermediate schools, cycle advance boxes and cyclist traffic signals at selected intersections around the city and completing the Waikaraka cycleway, which will follow a 12 km on and off-road route from Onehunga to Wesley.


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