A new cycleway planned for central Auckland will put pedallers on a potential collision course with crowds of bus passengers.

Cycling groups and Auckland Transport, however, say the risk has been addressed by safety measures.

Auckland Transport expects construction of the $4 million to $6 million Victoria St Cycleway will start in November next year and be completed within nine months.

There will be one lane on each side of the road for bikes, separated from motor vehicles and the footpath, from Beaumont St to Hobson St.

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Bike Auckland says the risk of crashes between cyclists and bus users at the planned Victoria St Cycleway is addressed by give way signs and other safety measures. Image / Auckland Transport
Bike Auckland says the risk of crashes between cyclists and bus users at the planned Victoria St Cycleway is addressed by give way signs and other safety measures. Image / Auckland Transport

At some bus stops the cycle lane will pass between any stationary buses and the bus shelter. Bus users will have right-of-way to cross the cycleway to and from the bus in front of oncoming cyclists.

Cyclists will be warned of the potential hazard by the lanes being painted red rather than green or unpainted, mini pedestrian crossings, a speed hump, and give way symbols.

Auckland Transport says it has refined the plans since publishing them on its website and there will be strip about 600mm wide adjoining bus-stopping areas at some stops to increase safety for passengers.

Other bus stops were already planned to have a 1.5m-wide strip for passengers to stand on between the cycleway and the bus-stopping area on the road.

"The current design has been chosen to ensure all modes of transport are accommodated in this busy road corridor," said Auckland Transport's manager of walking, cycling and road safety, Kathryn King.

"It is the safest design solution and best practice design.

"It will also expand the area's safe, separated cycling connections significantly by linking up the new cycling facilities on Franklin Rd to the Nelson St Cycleway, the existing paths through Victoria Park, as well as planned improvements on Cook and Union Sts."

King said the Victoria St design avoided the problem of some Auckland cycleways which are interrupted by bus stops. They forced cyclists to stop and wait behind stationary buses or move out on to the road to ride around them.

When asked about the road rules on the new cycleway, King said, "There is no current Road User Rule or other legislation around separated cycleways. People on bikes are expected to follow signage and marking - showing priority for crossing pedestrians - as if it were on a road."

Bike Auckland spokesman Steve Southall, a former traffic engineer, said the AT plan at the Victoria St bus stops was a compromise that properly mitigated the risks - a good design, given the constraints.

"I wouldn't call it dangerous. I would call it perhaps an area of increased hazard."

The red paint and other safety features would warn cyclists they were approaching a hazard and needed to slow down and be prepared to stop.

Patrick Morgan, of the Cycling Action Network, said a similar design had been used in Wellington's Victoria St and he wasn't aware of any crashes.

"I think there's probably been some near misses as people adjusted to it."

He urged Auckland Transport to put staff at the bus stops when the cycleway goes into use to remind bus passengers to watch out for bikes.