Hooray for the NZTA!

LucyJH at Cycling in Auckland reports that the NZTA has decided, as part of the Waterview motorway project, to include an $8 million cycleway linking the currently disconnected North-Western and South-Eastern cycleways. There are also some other wins for riders, including a separated cycle bridge across the Whau River. Cool or what?

Well done NZTA, and well done Cycle Action Auckland for all their hard work and negotiation.

Now, what do we want in Wellington?

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10 thoughts on “Hooray for the NZTA!

  1. Glen K

    “NZTA has decided…” is probably a tad generous. The Board of Inquiry pretty much forced them to cough up some money for this, based on strong submissions by CAA and co, after NZTA had initially resisted paying for the missing link in the cycleways.

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  2. I expect you’re right. Nevertheless, I like to provide encouraging community feedback to our decision-makers. It’s always worthwhile making people feel good about good things their organisation has done.

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  3. atom

    this is less than 0.5% of the total $1.85B project cost. the other 99.5% of the project cost is, arguably, wasted on road expansion.

    likewise, the projects that NZTA intends to impose on wellington will include some bicycle facilities, some of them may even be really nice… but in twenty years time (read: twenty years after peak oil) we’ll see what value remains in a six lane highway separating hataitai from kilbirnie (to point out just one of their “proposed road improvements”), compared to a 4-6m wide cycle lane connecting the same area to CBD.

    NZTA is doing this to pacify would-be opponents to their terrible road-expansion projects, and to that extent it’s probably cost effective for them. cyclists should be demanding the cycle facility upgrades *AND* opposing the road expansions, not shrugging our collective shoulders and saying “oh well, at least we’ll get some bike lanes”.

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  4. Malcolm

    I very rarely find anything the NZTA does to be worth cheering. In this case, its nice that they threw a few crumbs towards cycling. If only this was more common.

    It would be nice to get cycle projects like this built without also having to spend $2billion on a motorway. Sorting out the cycle path to Lower Hutt from Wellington, for example.

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  5. Sure, in an ideal world cycle infrastructure would be at the top of the NZTA’s list. But here’s the picture:

    1. A cycling infrastructure project has been given $8 million. $8 million! That’s freaking awesome!

    2. The NZTA is a national entity, so the benefits aren’t confined to Auckland – it can do the same elsewhere. Like here, for example.

    3. The Board of Inquiry found in favour of cycling infrastructure investment by the NZTA. I’m not sure whether this creates legal precedent – but even if it doesn’t it’s a powerful indicator to the NZTA of what is expected of it. The NZTA isn’t likely to want to waste money on lawyers arguing the same point at later inquiries.

    4. Now that the NZTA knows more about what is expected of it, it can better utilise it’s cycle team. I’m reliably informed that this is a highly skilled team who would love nothing more than to be able to contribute meaningfully to every relevant NZTA project.

    5. We know from the Board of Inquiry result that Cycle Action Auckland is an effective advocate. They’re part of the wider CAN network and I’m sure will be sharing their successful methodology with the other CAN advocates. For example, there’s that Cobham Drive to Buckle Street alteration currently being considered. I would hope that CAW are talking to CAA about the arguments they ran for Waterview.

    6. $8 million! Eight million dollars! That’s HUGE!!! That’s progress. And I’m happy to celebrate that the NZTA are bringing it.

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    1. Nigel

      Does anyone know what NZTA are really proposing? I’m not an Aucklander so it is harder for me to visualise the two motorways that are being linked here. I see the whole Waterview thing is 48km long. Hmm that equates to $16,600/km of cycleway – a bit cheap by NZTA standards I would think.

      I also shudder when I see tunnels. So may be the $8m is just for a cycle/walkway for the 4.5km “link” part of the project. Now the cost per km is so high they must be boring a new tunnel just for walkers/bikers… yeah right.

      We ALL need to help/participate in CAW. We can’t just hope that CAW do something by themselves on the big proposal currently before us all. CAW seem to be the group that engages with what I call the “political layer”. Lisa, we might need a different call to action!

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  6. I’m preparing to scrawl all over the lovely leaflet I got in the letterbox from NZTA, asking for my views on the Wellington Basin Reserve – Hataitai – Kilbirnie road. Something along the lines of “your roading proposal options A and B are both crap, failing to recognise the declining appeal of cars as a transport mode in an age of rising oil prices and greenhouse gas emission worries — BUT, if you’re determined to be stupid, yes please for your lovely cycling infrastructure bolt-on money.”

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  7. Simon Kennett

    Is the $8 mill for the Auckland project coming out of the total project budget, or is it coming out of the $30 mill budgeted for walking & cycling projects nationwide? Hopefully the former.

    The current estimate for fixing the Petone – Ngauranga gap is $14 mill. There will need to be a big contribution from local councils as well as NZTA. From a regional perspective, I see that as the number one priority.

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