Auckland City's transport committee has delayed until next month a decision on a plan for cycle lanes along Mt Albert Rd at the cost of some on-street parking.
Residents yesterday presented it with a 182-signature petition opposing the plan, despite a proposed amendment reinstating 61 out of 174 parking spaces which council staff initially planned to abolish along 2.3km of the northern side of the road, between the Mt Albert shops and Sandringham Rd.
Spokesman Jeff Johnson said they were not opposed to cycle lanes in principle but believed the proposal had been introduced without proper consultation and would prove unsafe for cyclists as well as pedestrians, including residents walking to their cars on the other side of the road, where parking will still be allowed.
But veteran cyclist Marjet Pot said she would certainly feel safer in a dedicated lane, rather than face abuse and sometimes even missiles such as firecrackers and eggs for allegedly holding up drivers who thought they had the right to the whole road.
"Cycle lanes give me freedom from car doors opening so I only have to watch my right side for traffic - they allow me to arrive home feeling relaxed rather than feeling I have been in a war zone."
Councillor Linda Leighton warned about "taking people's property rights away from them" by removing parking spaces, but Eden-Albert Community Board deputy chairman Phil Chase said drivers did not own the roads and the plan struck a good balance between competing users, including residents who in most case had their own off-street parking.
Council transport general manager Stephen Rainbow said Auckland's record of more than 670 accidents involving cyclists in five years was "nothing less than shameful" and the proposal was critical to providing infrastructure to allow them a safer transport choice.
The committee ran out of time for its debate and deferred it until its next monthly meeting.By Mathew Dearnaley Email Mathew