Karori Tunnel

Now let me just squeeze past as I’m in hurry

Current situation

  • The narrow Karori tunnel creates a problem for both motorists and cyclists as illustrated in the above video.
  • It is part of the key route between Karori and the city.
  • There are no easy alternative cycle route options.

Complication / impetus for change

  • There is a high likelihood / high impact risk of a cyclist being hit or pushed into the tunnel wall if a driver is trying to pass and is having to avoid uncoming traffic (as shown on the video)
  • This is a popular route for people who bike to commute to work or to cycle to the off road tracks around Karori including the Makara mountain biking park.  Having danger spots like this puts less confident people off cycling.

Key questions

  • How to give cyclists a safe passage through the tunnel, without the risk of motorists trying to pass them or sitting too close behind cyclists?
  • How to make it clear to motorists that they cannot overtake cyclists, and that cyclists have priority over other traffic in the tunnel?    Noting that traffic signs (e.g. speed restrictions, no passing) and road markings (e.g. sharrows) are often ignored or not understood.
  • Is there any alternative route?  Noting that commuting cyclists in particular should not be expected to make a significant detour.

Answer / outcome

  • Cyclists must be able to travel through the tunnel without having to worry about other traffic.
  • Motorists must have a clear understanding of the situation and controls that avoids conflicts with cyclists.
  • The solution needs to avoid adding stress on peak hour traffic, and the opportunity may exist to ensure a better traffic flow.

The outcome should be a safe and pleasurable cycling route between Karori and the CBD, that helps to encourage more people to bike.


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