Domain road to change
Proposed safety improvements to the roading layout of the central city's largest park is welcome news to cyclists, local board members and Auckland War Memorial Museum.
The 40km speed limit at Auckland Domain is expected to be reduced to the 30km limit already in place on Lower Domain Dr as part of the plan.
A traffic study by Auckland Transport in March 2012 found the average driving speed in the park was well over the posted limits, at just below 50kmh.
Other likely changes include more traffic calming measures, extra pedestrian crossings and sections of cycle lanes.
Cycle Action Auckland chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert says: "I'm very keen on the general thrust of the plans.
"The difficulty is although it's the major area of green space people enjoy in Auckland, it's also used as a commuter route."
There are plans for an uphill cycle lane on Lower Domain Dr and an eastbound lane between the hospital and the intersection with Lower Domain Dr.
"It will be nice to have some cycle lanes but our primary focus is slowing speeds. Short-cuts and recreational spaces just don't mix.
Parnell resident and Cycle Action Auckland secretary Barbara Insull cycles through Auckland Domain several times a week.
She says it can be congested at both ends and difficult for cyclists to navigate, particularly through the narrower sections of road.
"We need access through the Domain to be easy, to encourage more people to cycle.
"It's great to have a couple of stretches of cycle lanes. We're hoping Auckland Transport puts in as many as it can and widens the roads where possible. But the speed restrictions will make a huge difference."
Museum director Roy Clare says the plans suit the recreational use of the park.
"I'm a great supporter of open space being part of the community's enjoyment. I think if cars are racing around it reduces the quality of that.
"That's not to say motor vehicles shouldn't have access to the park but they need to take care and pedestrians, walkers, runners and cyclists should have some sense of a priority," Mr Clare says.
"I think Auckland Transport has been very canny in selecting the kind of traffic calming measures that tourist buses and cars can navigate easily."
Waitemata Local Board deputy chairwoman Pippa Coom says the works are consistent with the local board's plans.
The board recognises these works do not solve all the issues, but the $400,000 budget can go only so far, she says.
"There's a lot more potential for putting in more shared paths, pedestrian crossings and cycleways."
Waitemata Local Board member Rob Thomas agrees the changes outlined are a good start.
The two most significant missing elements are the extension of the cycleway between Domain Dr through to Parnell Rd, and upgrades to the Paper Trail cycle route near Lover's Lane, he says. The work is expected to be carried out in late 2012 and ealry 2013.
Council spokeswoman Angela Jones says the various council-controlled organisations will be working with Waitemata Local Board to compile a co-ordinated plan for the Domain over the next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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