15 December, 2021
Bayswater Ave parking slashed in cycleway plan
All street parking on the southern side of Bayswater Ave would be removed under plans for a new cycleway.
Parking directly outside Bayswater School and beside Bayswater Park would be lost with the construction of a two-way bike lane running the entire length of the road – work Auckland Transport (AT) hopes to start next year.
Outlining AT’s intentions to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board last week, its manager of strategic projects, Daniel Newcombe, said the aim was to improve safety, lower speeds and tie into a developing cycle network. “It will narrow the road up a bit. We’re hoping this inherently will slow traffic,” he said.
Residents would be consulted, he said. “The parking is restricted to just the northern side, so that will be an issue.”
Board chair Ruth Jackson agreed: “I think we’re going to get some blowback on that.”
The plan was revealed at a workshop where board members were given an update on design work for the $48 million Lake Rd upgrade, which is still several years away.
Bayswater Ave plans fall under this wider project, but Newcombe said: “We want to get the cycle lanes put in as cheaply and quickly as possible and then come back to side streets.”
The intention is to later install raised crossings where side streets join Bayswater Ave as is planned for streets joining Lake Rd.
A pedestrian refuge island is being considered for people crossing near Balfour St, and work already under way to improve the crossing to the park by Birkley Rd is not expected to need major changes.
Newcombe said surveys would be done to determine the parking needs of those using the sports fields at Bayswater Park. “I’d be hoping that there would be enough room to accommodate all the parking on the northern side,” he said.
Design work is yet to be done on how best to tie in Bayswater Ave changes to work planned for the congested intersection at Belmont.
AT is looking to spend about $2.8 million on the Bayswater Ave component.
An application had also been made to the Streets for People programme of transport funding agency Waka Kotahi.
AT intends to work with Bayswater School about realigning kerbing along its frontage. Newcombe said. “We’re keen to get the kids involved.” This could be with special planting, designing a mural or signage to give them ownership of this section.
Member Jan O’Connor applauded making an early start on work that would improve green-way connections. These would flourish with the planned Esmonde Rd to Francis St cycle and pedestrian link, she said.
Member Toni van Tonder asked how cyclists coming off the Bayswater ferry would connect to the new cycle lane.
“I don’t know to be honest,” said Newcombe, who said the work was limited to Bayswater Ave. Cyclists coming from the marina would most likely move through the roundabout “like a U-turn” at the base of Bayswater Ave to cross and enter the lane. But a safety audit would help AT determine and it was open to extending the lanes downhill towards the marina.
Member George Wood said the Bayswater ferry offered a great opportunity for encouraging commuting and better catering for the needs of cyclists and other commuters needed to be factored into AT’s thinking.
Jackson said getting more people out of cars was a laudable goal, but some people needed them. She worried that with greater intensification – including developments without car-parking – the pressure on street parking would grow. “I worry about people who need caregivers or district nurses or an electrician or a plumber.”
Newcombe said prompting changes of transport mode was not an all-or-nothing process but a transition over time to encourage more people to get out of cars by offering other options. “It’s not just taking away, it’s providing something.”
AT wanted those who needed to use cars have the ability to use them without being crowded out, including from parking, while showing others that “it is easier to live your life without being dependent on a car”.
“Not in the suburbs,” said O’Connor.
Newcombe said AT, the council and the government were all trying to take the community with them on the need for change. “If someone just wants to park wherever they want, to drive wherever they want at all times, then increasingly they aren’t going to be able to do that.”
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