Northwestern Path Upgrade Gets The Go Ahead
Auckland Transport (AT) has announced that construction will start this year to upgrade a section the Northwestern Path to make it safer for people walking and riding bikes.
This will enable the different users to have their own dedicated spaces which will better cater for current and future users.
Improvements will see the Eden Terrace/ Kingsland section upgraded to become a separate cycleway and footpath between Central Road and Haslett Street. From Alexander St to Bright Street, it will be legally reclassified as a pedestrian only zone.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the upgrade responds to strong increases in the number of people using the cycleway.
“Over the past 12 months, the number of people cycling through the area has almost doubled. Close to 1000 bike trips are made per day through the Kingsland section, making it the second busiest cycleway in Auckland,” he says.
“This upgrade will improve safety for people using the cycleway and will encourage more people to cycle or walk to work—helping to reduce traffic congestion on the roads and bring down carbon emissions.”
The path is also a key route for children from Newton Central School, both on bikes and in Walking School Buses.
“The current shared path was built nearly 20 years ago and it’s no longer suitable for the number of people who use it every day” says AT’s Group Manager Network Management, Randhir Karma.
“Last year we committed to fixing this problem following concerns raised by Newton Central School and Bike Auckland. Having completed the investigation phase, it is pleasing to be able to get on with delivering this important upgrade on one of Auckland most strategic cycling links. The new design will mean there will no longer be a dangerous pinch point on the shared path and kids can get to school safely on bike or in a Walking School Bus.
“Infrastructure improvements will also address capacity to ensure the path meets the needs of people using it now and in years to come.”
Newton Central School Principal, Riki Tereina looks forward to this important upgrade starting as soon as possible. “The delineation between cyclists and pedestrians is extremely important for the health and safety of not only our students coming to and from school, but for the entire Kingsland community”.
Jolisa Gracewood, Bike Auckland’s Communications Manager says “We’re glad AT has heeded the call for action initiated by Bike Auckland and Newton Central School. This separation project will make this critical section of path much safer for everyone who travels along it, and work can’t start soon enough.”
Improvements will include:
- Construction of a new 850m long cycle path and footpath between Central Road and Haslett Street
- Separated footpath and new cycle path with low-lying planting, berm and/or kerbs
- Reconfiguration of access points onto the cycleway and walkway to improve visibility.
- Remove five on street car parks to allow improved vehicle turning movements at the end of Bright Street and Alexander Street.
- Reclassify the driveway at the end of Alexander Street as shared space to allow pedestrian movement through here while maintaining vehicular property access.
- Reclassify the thoroughfare road between Bright Street and Alexander Street to a pedestrian mall to stop vehicle movements through here.
The upgrade project is now in the detailed design and consent stage, with construction scheduled to start in the 1st quarter of the new financial year.
“The Albert-Eden Local Board fully supports the improvements to what is one of the city’s fastest growing cycleways”, says Chair, Margi Watson. “The community has been waiting a long time for this upgrade and we’re pleased the route is now safer for all users, both now and in years to come”