Local businesses against proposed Pt Chevalier cycleway

Bob Hunter, who lives on Meola Rd, says the proposed cycle way will create "a traffic nightmare" for locals and commuters.

Bob Hunter, who lives on Meola Rd, says the proposed cycle way will create "a traffic nightmare" for locals and commuters.

A proposed Auckland cycleway is being opposed by all 13 businesses that trade along its route.

The Point Chevalier to Westmere cycleway would run along Pt Chevalier Rd to Meola Rd, then along Meola and Garnet Rd to the Westmere shops.

It is budgeted to cost $8 million.

An AT consultation report released this month said 56 per cent of 1220 submitters liked the proposal, 39 per cent were concerned about a loss of parking on Meola Rd and 37 per cent supported walking and cycling improvements in general. 

However, local businesses were far more one-sided in their opinion of the project. 

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A petition against the cycleway, lead by Pt Chevalier resident Bob Hunter, has been signed by 13 retailers along the proposed route.

Of the seven businesses Stuff was able to contact, all confirmed they signed the petition. The remaining six were unable to be reached.

Businesses sighted road safety and a loss of parking as the main points of contention. 

Hunter attached the signed petition to a letter he sent to the mayor's office in June. It was forwarded on to AT.

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Hannah Clarke owns the Let Them Eat Cake Bakery on Pt Chevalier Rd and said local businesses needed shop front parking to survive.

The cycleway would reduce the number of people shopping locally, she said.

"If you can't park, it isn't convenient," she said.

Clarke said the cycleway was "simply unnecessary" and that Pt Chevalier didn't have enough cyclists to warrant the build.

"During the week, I see so few cyclists commuting down Pt Chev Rd. There are more recreational cyclists on the weekend but they go wherever they please anyway." 

Last year Auckland mayor Phil Goff said said he wanted council organisations to make cycling and walking projects a priority. 

Kathryn King, AT's Cycling, Walking and Road Safety manager said there would be some car parking removed along the route with the exact number still to be determined.

King said some of the car parking spaces close to the shops will be made P30 or P60.

Dorothy de Lautour, who owned Whau Studios along Pt Chevalier Rd, said she saw fewer than 10 cyclists a day.

Twelve Pohutukawa trees would also need to be relocated to make room for the 1.5 meter wide cycleway. 

"The council spent a lot of money putting in trees along this road a few years ago," Clarke said.

AT mailed brochures to about 6000 residents near the proposed route and hand-delivered brochures to about 2000 homes and businesses.

Construction is set to begin in early 2018.

 - Stuff

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