Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway this morning with a celebration for bike riders.
The cycleway removes a hill for those commuting into the city centre on the Northwestern Path - the steep climb alongside the Newton Road on-ramp up to the Newton Road bridge.
The new cycleway takes people on bikes through Suffolk Reserve, onto Ian McKinnon Drive and up to the intersection of Upper Queen Street. From there, they can easily connect to the city centre cycleways.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “cycling is an important part of Auckland’s transport future. A connected and segregated cycleway network will encourage more people to get on bikes and help reduce the number of cars clogging up our roads.
“On any given morning the Northwestern Path route is like a motorway for bikes. In October, over 30,000 journeys were recorded between Kingsland and the city. Improving the connection of this cycleway through to the city should see that number rise.
“Council and government are working together to deliver 52kms more cycleways in Auckland over the coming three years. It’s an ambitious build and absolutely necessary to help decongest our roads and reduce our carbon emissions,” says Phil Goff.
Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager, says the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway is the going to be the best used piece of safe and protected infrastructure to open in 2018.
“The Northwestern Path is one of our busiest routes, but the section around Newton Road was difficult to navigate, and steep for anyone to get up.
“This project radically improves the experience of people travelling along this section, it makes the connection from Takau Street to Ian McKinnon Drive totally seamless, and suitable for all ages and abilities.
“It will also improve the journey for people travelling from Dominion Road, and will improve the experience of people walking along the southern shared path on Ian McKinnon Drive as there will be fewer people on bikes using this section.”
In October, there were over 30,000 journeys counted between Kingsland and the city centre and over 10,000 counted on Dominion Road. Improving the connection between the Northwestern Path, Dominion Road and the city centre will see journey numbers continue to grow.
The project was funded as part of the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says “The Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway is a key connector of existing cycle routes to and from the city centre.
“It delivers on the NZ Transport Agency’s goals of providing one integrated, multi-modal transport system that helps people get the most out of life, by whichever way they choose to get around - whether it’s by bike, by car, by public transport, or on foot.”
Construction of the cycleway started in February and the total cost of the project was $3.2 million.
Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway features
Suffolk Reserve section
The first section of the cycleway goes through Suffolk Reserve from Takau Street, goes under the Newton Road Bridge and joins the northern edge of Ian McKinnon Drive east of the bridge. This section of the cycleway is approximately 200m long and is a 4m wide concrete path. Over 80 trees have been planted as part of the project.
Ian McKinnon Drive section
Upper Ian McKinnon Drive has 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 has been 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.
Elected members – Kathryn King, AT Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager with Waitematā Local Board Chair Pippa Coom and member Adriana Christie, Mayor Phil Goff, Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Peter Haines and Councillor Paul Young.
Ribbon cutting – Mayor Phil Goff and Minister of Transport Phil Twyford officially open the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway with elected members.