Construction starts this week on a new link to better connect the North Western Cycleway to the city centre.
The Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway will start at the intersection of Virginia Avenue West and Takau Street, travel through Suffolk Reserve and pass under the Newton Road Bridge along a motorway access road to join Ian McKinnon Drive.
It will then continue in a separated, two-way, on-road facility on the northern side of Ian McKinnon Drive to join the shared path at Upper Queen Street.
Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter says Bike Month is a great time for Auckland to be starting a new and significant piece of infrastructure.
“These projects are all about opening up our city and making it easier to access for everyone. It's critical infrastructure for Auckland’s future,” says Ms Genter.
Making the connection to the city centre quicker and safer
The project is funded through the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme and has support of the Albert-Eden and Waitematā Local Boards. As well as providing a seamless connection from the North Western Cycleway, the new link will also provide bike riders travelling from Dominion Road with an easier journey.
Auckland Transport’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager Kathryn King says the cycleway will make the connection from Newton Road to the city centre quicker and safer to navigate for bike riders.
“Safe links through tricky areas encourage people to give bike riding a go and we anticipate this project will increase the number of people cycling along the North Western Cycleway, which is already one of Auckland’s most popular bike routes,” Miss King says.
Bike riders and pedestrians using the new cycleway instead of the existing shared path on the southern side of Ian McKinnon Drive won’t need to wait at the lights to cross Ian McKinnon to reach Upper Queen Street.
A greater length of the path will be separated from vehicle traffic on Ian McKinnon Drive, creating a safer environment.
Suffolk Reserve section:
The first section of the cycleway goes through Suffolk Reserve from Takau Street, joining the northern edge of Ian McKinnon Drive under the Newton Road Bridge. This section of the cycleway is approximately 200m long and will be a 4m wide concrete path.
The route minimises the impact on surrounding properties and vegetation, while avoiding the steepest parts of the hill. 83 trees will be planted as part of the project, to minimise the removal of 25 trees in the Suffolk Reserve section of the project.
Ian McKinnon Drive section:
Upper Ian McKinnon Drive will have a 4m wide two-way cycleway with a 0.6m wide raised island providing separation from the traffic lane on the northern side of the road. One southbound traffic lane will be removed along upper Ian McKinnon Drive. Traffic modelling shows the impacts on traffic flow will be minor.
Along the lower section of Ian McKinnon Drive, a 4m wide two-way cycleway with a 3m wide grass verge will provide separation from the traffic lane. All four traffic lanes will be retained along lower Ian McKinnon Drive, and there is no change to the existing shared path on the southern side of Ian McKinnon Drive.
More details and a map of the route can be found here. The project is expected to take six months to complete.