Auckland’s biggest ever cycle infrastructure project was opened yesterday (Saturday 6 September 2014) by Barb Cuthbert, Chair of Cycle Action Auckland, the PM and the Mayor Len Brown. The Grafton Gully cycleway links the NW cycleway via Upper Queen Street Bridge to Quay Street via new separated cycle lanes on Beach Road. Transport blog recorded the opening speeches. There were many people to thank and acknowledge for the successful completion of the project after many years work (much of it behind the scenes to keep the project alive)
I’ve never been so excited about a cycleway opening before. Grafton Gully sets a new standard for design, safety and connectivity. It is beautiful to ride and gives a glimpse of what should be possible across Auckland to make cycling pleasant and easy. I especially love how the route has opened up all the long forgotten bush in the gully and provides a stunning view down to the Harbour (the Waitematā Local Board has plans for walking connections into Symonds St Cemetery which will open up even more of the native bush).
What was a bit lost in the applause for NZTA’s work on Grafton Gully was that Upper Queen Street Bridge (the removal of general traffic lanes and slip lanes to provide a new shared path) and Auckland Transport’s Beach Road cycleway was also opened at the same time. The project teams have worked extraordinarily hard to coordinate the opening of all three sections and deserved far greater acknowledgement.
In March I reported that Auckland Transport was 6 months behind NZTA and that Upper Queen Street Bridge was not even at the design stage. The Waitematā Local Board’s advocacy was instrumental in both projects being brought forward. We also funded the installation of a drinking station on the corner of Upper Queen Street and Ian McKinnon Drive ( a location suggested by Cycle Action Auckland).
I think we can now look forward to a fabulous summer of cycling in Auckland especially once Waterfront Auckland’s Westhaven Promenade opens later in the year.
Transport Blog – the completed Grafton Gully Cycleway (lots of photos and videos)
Cycle Action Auckland – Go have ride – Grafton Gully and Beach Rd open
NZTA media release – Big boost for Auckland cyclists with opening of central city link
Vernon Tava – opening of the Grafton Gully cycleway