Richard at the excellent Cyclelicious has put together a journey planner that works in NZ. He’s looking for feedback on how it’s working – see his email at Cycling in Auckland for his questions, comments and observations.
I checked out the route from my home to the city, since that’s my most common commute. The map gave me two routes but only provided information on one of them. One of the routes sent me through the Mount Victoria tunnel, through Mt Vic, and up Wakefield Street, Jervois Quay and eventually Lambton Quay. The other took me over the top of Mt Vic, offroad to Marjoribanks Street, through Courtenay Place and Willis Street to Lambton Quay.
I compared this with the Greater Wellington Journey Planner, which took me through the tunnel,
around the Basin Reserve (the wrong way), along the footpath on the Kent Tce side of the median strip to the lights, then along Cambridge Terrace, up Wakefield Street and Jervois and Customhouse Quays ahem… this will not happen if you remember to select ‘Cycling’ as your journey option.
Neither of the applications took me completely along the route I travel. Both ignored the waterfront cycle path, although it’s shown in the GW Journey Planner. Both took me down Wakefield Street and Jervois Quay, mad streets where I’d never ride – especially when the waterfront is one block over! Nor can I see myself going offroad over Mt Vic on my way to work. Both applications got some of it right, but quite frankly I still think the Auckland MAXX pdf maps are still the best there is for figuring out the safest and quickest way around. I REALLY wish we had something like that here.
Anyway, check it out yourself and let us – and Richard – know how you find it!
*For the record, my usual commute is through the tunnel (with surgical mask!), along Brougham Street, dogleg down Levy to Marjoribanks, sneakily along the footpath on (what I think is) Oriental Parade to the crossing by the fire station/New World/Waitangi Park and thence along the waterfront. Nice and quiet, which is how I like my rides.
- The thing I like about the MAXX maps is that you don’t need any local knowledge to use them effectively. You can see at a glance, thanks to the colour coding, what your options are (including the fact that you have options!). You can decide whether to take, say, a busy road with some provision for cyclists or a quieter road with no cycle infrastructure but that has been recommended by other cyclists. You can see what sort of gradient a route involves. You can see whether a route is on- or off-road. By contrast, the Journey Planner and the Cyclelicious planner require a bit of local knowledge (accepting that Cyclelicious is still in development). For example, if I stepped off a cruise ship and hired bikes at Ferg’s Kayaks I wouldn’t know not to ride down Jervois Quay until I was actually on the full horror of it. Even as a local I don’t see much point using something that requires local knowledge. That’s already in my head. I should say, though, that the Journey Planner does have useful info about bike stands and other bits and pieces. It’s very good in that regard.
- There was a 2 but I can’t remember it right now.