Auckland Transport is applying to the Government's urban cycle fund for a massive boost in off-road bike paths.
The council body wants to pour $111 million into new cycleways over the next three years - for which it hopes a local share of $42m from Auckland ratepayers will be outweighed by hefty Government contributions.
That will require $27.5m from the $100m urban fund the Government announced before last year's election, and $42m from the national land transport fund.
The cycle fund is already contributing to an $11m bikeway from Upper Queen St to Victoria St, including a 160-metre prefabricated bridge to be installed above Spaghetti Junction by the end of this year.
A report to Auckland Transport's board yesterday on the aggressive push for new projects to criss-cross the CBD and beyond coincided with an announcement by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that applications were "flooding in" from across the country for $90m remaining in the national fund.
But transport services general manager Andrew Allen assured board members of support from the Government's Transport Agency for the plan, which was aimed at "front-loading" a 10-year programme of additions to Auckland's partly-completed cycling network costing $290m.
He said in his report that two deaths and 40 serious injuries among Auckland cyclists in the year to July 31, 2014, meant a "social cost" of $36.5m.
That represented nine per cent of the city's serious crash statistics, even though cycling accounted for just one per cent of travel hours.
"This suggests cycling is the second riskiest form of transport in Auckland after motorcycle use ... " Mr Allen said.
However, he told board members of a 23.8 per cent increase in bike travel since 2010 and said Auckland Transport research showed 60 per cent of the city's population would cycle - even if only recreationally - if there more routes were separated from motor traffic.
Although Mr Bridges said 59 new applications had been received for grants from the national fund, Cycle Action Auckland chair Barbara Cuthbert praised city's transport planners for "getting on the ball" with more solid proposals than those of other centres.