Speed bumps an obstacle for race cyclists

By Mathew Dearnaley

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Pedestrian safety measures planned for Tamaki Drive are upsetting racing cyclists - including world-class triathletes - even before they are installed.

Auckland Transport says pedestrian safety will be its priority in installing two speed "tables" this week near Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World to slow traffic.

The raised platforms - which will be wider than conical speed humps - will be part of a $14 million upgrade which the council organisation believes will make the waterfront route safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

It follow the death of cyclist Jane Bishop around the bend in Tamaki Drive from Kelly Tarlton's in late 2010, when she skidded into the open door of a parked car, and was run over by a truck.

Other measures include extended cycle lanes, and a boardwalk between Orakei Jetty and Mission Bay to provide more room for riders and pedestrians, enabling them to be separated.

But although Auckland Transport has agreed to make the road's speed tables lower than others around the city after hearing from cycling groups and bus companies, Auckland City Triathlon Club president Roger Slater is worried about their effect on competitive riders.

"If you're on a race-bike doing upwards of 50km/h on 21mm or 22mm tyres, the last thing you want to worry about is table-top speed humps," said Mr Slater, who has represented New Zealand five times at world triathlon championships.

Auckland Transport says it will pay up to $20,000 to remove the platforms and reinstall them, if required by organisers of the grand final in Auckland of this year's world championship series in October.

Spokesman Wally Thomas said that was because organisers had won a right to run part of the competition - expected to draw 7000 contestants and more than 50,000 spectators - on Tamaki Drive on the basis of its existing layout.

Auckland Transport could not wait until after October to install the speed tables and risk another tragic accident in the meantime.

But organisers of future events might have to pay the cost of removing the obstacles.

Triathlon World Champs 2012 chief executive Dave Beeche said that although he was pleased with discussions with Auckland Transport, his team would need to check before deciding whether they would have to be removed temporarily.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 19 Apr 2014 19:06:33 Processing Time: 673ms