Hibiscus Matters letters - December 16, 2020
Not cyclist friendly
Ron Jackson, Orewa (abridged)
I am pleased to see the road safety improvements around Orewa town centre, especially the extension of the 30kph speed limit. One aspect that I am disappointed with is the side island that is being constructed outside 384 Hibiscus Coast Highway. As a keen cyclist, daily I observe a large number of cyclists using the highway – some in groups, others on e-bikes and age from school children to elderly residents. To date these riders enjoyed a wide road shoulder and white line, on both sides of the road, from the town centre northwards for more than a kilometre. This has supported safe cycling. The side island will force cyclists further into the road space used by motorists. This will clearly make it less safe. I have already experienced a near miss riding north past the island and sincerely hope no serious injury arises due to the excessive protrusion of this new north bound side island. All it would require is to reduce the width by about 250mm. The southbound side island has been constructed clear of the cycle area and is not an issue. I hope Auckland Transport will act on this suggestion urgently.
Auckland Transport replies (abridged): After working closely with the community and business association on the design, it was clear that car parking needed to be retained. That was in the design consulted on earlier in the year and we have worked closely with the business association and local board on these designs before we asked for public feedback. A parked car has the same effect as a gateway treatment as, either way, a person on a bike would have to go around it. Installing this threshold has allowed five new car parks to be added prior to the island, and allows for a safer gateway into the 30kph area. The 30kph means that everyone can safely share the road. We will, however, continue to monitor the installation post-construction and welcome any community feedback to: email@example.com.