Figures from Auckland Transport show thousands of people have used Te Ara I Whiti – the Lightpath during the first fortnight since the Nelson Street off-ramp was transformed into a dazzling magenta cycleway.
On the opening day alone, almost 2800 people cycled the Lightpath, with hundreds more crossing it on foot and enjoying its sweeping views over the harbour and city.
More people predicted to cycle into the city
While the cycleway’s popularity is encouraging, it will take time to know how many people will use it regularly, says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling Manager.
“All cycleways reach their potential when they connect with other paths. With a number of cycle projects in the inner city to be completed in the next two to three years, we predict a real growth in the number of people choosing to bike into the city.”
Assuming the inner city network is completed, Auckland Transport projects 1400 cycle movements per day on Nelson Street by 2026.
A network of safe cycleways to be built
“Our research indicates that people want to feel safe when cycling,” says Kathryn King. “This is why we will be building a cycle network with a focus on cycleways physically separated from traffic, like at Nelson Street.
“One of the objectives is to create some buzz about the cycle infrastructure we’re building – and the Lightpath has certainly grabbed people’s attention.”
“In raising awareness of existing cycle infrastructure, we’re hoping more people will consider cycling to into the city for work or study,” she says.
Lightpath a critical ‘missing link’ to improve cycling
Ernst Zollner, the NZ Transport Agency’s Auckland Director, says ‘missing link’ projects like the Lightpath are critical to achieving the government’s goal of getting more people using bikes in urban areas, with the aim of increasing the number of cycle trips by 30 per cent by 2019.
“To do that we need to create user-friendly cycling corridors to get people where they want to go safely and quickly,” he says.
“We’re delighted with the numbers of people already using the cycleway and we expect those numbers to increase as people learn how it gives them safe travel choices.”
Numbers of cyclists using Te Ara I Whiti – the Lightpath
|Date||Nelson Street Lightpath||Nelson Street|
|Thursday 3 December||2797||1064|
|Friday 4 December||1086||511|
|Saturday 5 December||1685||612|
|Sunday 6 December||2231||776|
|Monday 7 December||892||463|
|Tuesday 8 December||684||514|
|Wednesday 9 December||806||436|
|Thursday 10 December||840||420|
|Friday 11 December||380||280|
|Saturday 12 December||1153||443|
|Sunday 13 December||787||295|
|Monday 14 December||728||435|
*Table measures cycle traffic in both directions and does not include pedestrians.