Yet another project focused on offering on street parking. For one key block this is a priority cycle route. Even if you avoid this area now, please consider making a submission to help others who have to cycle here.
Link : https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/consultations-and-submissions/haveyoursay/show/234 due 10.6
Thank you for trying to make the best of this congested space. Spokes supports the 10km/h speed limit and appreciates that cycle parking is shown on the plans.
Public Sentiment and City Transport
Share an Idea found wide support for a city inviting to people on foot and bicycles. The vision for the central city was as a shared space where people on foot or bicycle would feel safe and engage in the community.
The Accessible City Plan designates High Street as a priority pedestrian route from St Asaph through to Hereford Street. The section of High Street from Tuam St through to Ferry Road/Madras/St Asaph and connecting to the cycle route through the East Frame is designated as a priority cycle route. No portion of High Street is designated a priority for cars or on street parking.
Council has made efforts to encourage active transport and a commitment to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. This project caters to some merchant’s obsession with on street parking. Council needs staff able to present both the international and NZ sourced research which finds that on street parking is not the profit centre too many remain convinced it is.
Spoke’s can only assume a deliberate choice was made to exclude cycle lanes between parked cars and the tram from the safety audit done for this project. Pretending a problem does not exist does not make it so.
Council’s practice of favouring some groups as ‘key stakeholders’ continues to produce plans which fail the broader community, Council goals and policies and the future by advantaging the status quo.
High St Cashel to Manchester
This shared space with two sets of tram tracks and on street parking on both sides presents people on bikes with hard choices. Choose to keep left of the tracks to be wedged between cars, trams and on street parking or cross a track to take the lane or avoid the street entirely.
Cashel St offers a similar treatment with the added hazards of landscaped pinch points.
Please prominently sign both streets as shared spaces.
High St Lichfield to Tuam
More on street parking on both sides with a shared roadway for north bound cycles and south bound cycles in a narrow painted lane squeezed between parked cars, carriageway and tram tracks.
The cross section here has on street parking allocated 2m. This is very narrow. Including wing mirrors many full size cars will exceed this width. Even compacts are generally at least 1.9m wide.
The cycle lane hard up against the parked cars is shown as 1.8m with an unspecified buffer between it and the tram tracks whose width is also not specified.
Trucks and most SUV’s along with poorly parked cars will protrude into the bike lane. With a minimal door swing area of 0.9m the cycle lane is reduced to 0.9m, at best. Handlebar width of typical ebikes, cruisers, utility and comfort bikes are 0.7m+.
Under ideal conditions with cars parked hard up against the kerb people on bikes will have 0.2m of free space when dodging a car door opened into their path. People on bikes can hope that the trams and cars are very observant and will only pull out or pass when it is safe. No doubt this hope will be dashed from time to time.
Congestion will be increased by on street parking with a 60 minute limit assuring frequent ins and outs to interrupt traffic and further reduce safety.
Both the entry and exit points to High St need to be clearly labelled as shared space.
Tuam to High St
Where both car and bicycle traffic from Tuam come into the shared space on High St it is unsafe for people on bikes coming from the right to give way to cars on their left. Traffic coming from the right is expected to have right of way when entering a shared space. The proposal is counter to road user’s expectations. The on street parking on both sides presents an additional and unacceptable hazard.
Spokes acknowledges that car traffic from Tuam has little cueing space and may cause a tail back onto Tuam St. It is also acknowledged that on street parking seems sacrosanct and worth more than preventing death or injury. Redesign is required.
High St from Tuam to St Asaph/Madras
Further south where High connects to Madras/St Asaph traffic is offered a ‘Y’ intersection to choose left to Madras or right to St Asaph. Include sharrow markings on pavement in centre of ‘Y’ and at stop signs. Ideally the arms to Madras and St Asaph would have a bike lane to access the bike lanes on both streets to reinforce the advantage that cycling offers over driving. This supports Accessible City’s ‘safe, accessible and people friendly’ focus and Council’s climate change and active transport goals.
Spokes appreciates the cycle infrastructure to the corner to facilitate access for people on bicycles coming on St Asaph from the east and to allow east bound cycles to get to Ferry Road.
Council Recommended Alternative
To comply with Council’s Cycle Design Guidelines for a local cycle way in this setting the project would need to implement section 3.2. (Emphasis added)
“3.2. Local cycleways through urban commercial centres
Local cycleways through commercial centres ideally will be separated cycle paths to provide a comfortable and safe
environment for cyclists. Separation can be achieved in a variety of different ways depending on the individual centre and competing needs.
Where there is limited street space available other options such as wide cycle lanes or a slow street environment can be considered.”
A slow street environment is recommended.
Due to the limited space alternatives must be considered. The Cycle Design Guidelines 3.3 offers more help.
“3.3. Local cycleways and residential streets
In urban residential streets, local cycleways ideally will be neighbourhood greenways which create a slow, safe environment where bicycles, vehicles and people can comfortably co-exist. The quality of the environment and amenity of the residential street is also enhanced through the design.”
A slow streets and neighbourhood greenways approach with pedestrian and cycle priority is a far better fit for a narrow street in this densely commercial area with high pedestrian numbers. This is recognized as speed is limited to 10km/h.
Unfortunately the tram tracks complicate the street by creating a real hazard for two wheeled vehicles. A standard quiet streets approach providing a wide hazard free shared carriageway is not possible.
To provide a safe space on street parking needs to be removed to accommodate cycle lanes, especially for the St Asaph to Tuam section.
The plan recognizes that this is a major route for Ara and for the planned stadium. People will be encouraged to walk noting the dining and shopping options, benefiting High Street merchants. With parking removed merchants will benefit by offering a space with reduced car congestion conducive to strolling, shopping and dining. The current design leaves people on bicycles in an unsafe zone wedged between unrealistically narrow on street parks, traffic and the trams.
Getting people on bikes from the St Asaph St intersection to Ara’s bike park off Madras St is a crucial missing link. Doing so legally requires walking a bike on the Madras footpath for 100m to access the facility. Many just ride either in the road or on the footpath. A contra-lane along Madras St to Ara is needed. Council staff had indicated to Spokes in year’s past that this would soon be delivered. Now is the time.