Time to try another new cycle path which opened recently. The $45 million Avondale - New Lynn Shared Path connects the Waterview Shared Path to New Lynn. Prior to this there was no safe off-road cycle route to New Lynn or beyond.
Another wonderful day, will this weather end?
Towards Waterview on SH16 North-Western Cyclepath.
Waterview reflections from SH16 North-Western Cyclepath.
Taking a new turn on the Waterview Shared Path. Often used the ramp on the right (to go along SH20 towards Onehunga) but there was little reason to take this short path to Blockhouse Bay Road before.
The new path heads towards Avondale from Blockhouse Bay Rd on this long elevated path.
Avondale Station compromised
At Avondale Station, beyond this photo, there's a weird narrow connection with signs asking cyclists to dismount. Seems a strange compromise on a brand new path.
Saint Jude Street death-trap
The real problems start at Saint Jude Street with this “crossing”, close to a road intersection and near to the railway level crossing. Saint Jude Street is the connector between Great North Rd and New North Road with additional traffic from Blockhouse Bay Rd. All of these are major urban corridors and can be extremely busy. When not, the nature of the road leads to reasonable speeds passing here as vehicles ‘race the railway crossing’.
The crossing was slightly changed, for the new path, from this dated map image with a fence to redirect people to the new, slightly longer but no wider, central reservation about the same location the small old one in the map occupies. Other than that, there are no markings, no speed table, or any signage to indicate if pedestrians/bikes or traffic have priority.
There's also poor visibility for drivers due to clutter around the level crossing, the curve, and the gradient change.
Chalmers Street crossing or what?
A bit further along the path there's this half-arsed crossing at Chalmers Street. The raised table (why here and not Saint Jude Street?) slows traffic but again no markings to indicate which mode has priority. I've seen drivers stop here for cyclists, cars behind blasting the horn wondering why they did...
Chalmers Reserve Underpass
The Chalmers Reserve Rail Underpass is superb, must have taken a considerable portion of the budget.
It's not perfect though, the path beyond is constantly wet/damp, even in summer, with water leeching from the retaining wall alongside it.
Saint Georges Road done right!
Saint Georges Road Crossing is superb, raised table, clearly marked priority, why aren't they all like this?
Saint Georges Road Bike Path, properly separated, brilliant.
It connects to the new raised path towards Whau Creek Bridge and on to New Lynn.
Portage Road Crossing
The Portage Road Crossing is also good, lights controlled with proper marking and priority (again, why isn't Saint Jude Street like this?).
The only issue is this horrible square kerb, a pedal strike hazard in the waiting.
Veronica Street Crossing?
Short distance from Portage Road (1), the Veronica Street Crossing (2) matches Saint Jude Street's uncontrolled speed tableless mess. The lack of consistency along this path is appalling.
There's a controlled crossing by Lynnmall which connects to the New Lynn Station bypass.
This bypass runs alongside the rail trench and connects to the ground level of the New Lynn Transport Interchange (rail and bus station combined).
Cross the road from the New Lynn Transport Interchange and the off-road option continues with this path through Gardner Reserve.
It connects to the Ambrico Historical Reserve.
New Lynn was once a centre of ceramic, brick and crockery production. This reserve represents the remains of this historic industry with the only remaining kiln in the city. This down-draught kiln was built in 1926 and produced 30,000 bricks a fortnight. | Ambrico Historical Reserve - PlacesNZ
From here, there's a narrow, really for pedestrians, path through Manawa Wetland Reserve.
Cross over to Seabrook Avenue Cycle Path, from the end of here its on to suburban streets for the rest of my commute.
Waitakere Ranges from Pleasant Rd
The new path is a great asset but street crossings along it still need a lot of work to make them, I'd say, acceptable.
It was frustrating to learn most of these problems had been raised by Bike Auckland, and others, during the design and consultation process but were deemed to be 'acceptable solutions' or 'out of scope'. No consolation for the people who will, not might, get injured (or worse) when the inevitable happens...
To quote Tom Flood: "These aren't accidents, these are results"
Previous < TO2122 Index > Next