“Critical mass” aims to make Symonds St more cycle-friendly

Green MP Keith Locke, who will be participating in an Auckland central city “critical mass” bike ride tonight, wants to make Symonds Street more cycle-friendly.

“One of the aims of the bike ride tonight is to highlight the problems with Symonds Street, and to promote solutions to those problems,” said Mr Locke, Green Auckland Transport Spokesperson.

“Symonds Street has an atrocious accident rate. The Council has some good proposals to improve safety on the street, but they could go further.

“Symonds Street is the main bus corridor to the south. The 2,600 buses which run through this corridor every day are pretty intimidating to cyclists. Combined bus/cycle lanes are a help, but only if they are wide enough. Four metres, as proposed for the new sections of bus lane, isn’t enough to stop cyclists like me feeling scared as the buses roll by.

“There is also the problem of cyclists getting crammed against the curb at free left turns, such as Wakefield Street, Wellesley Street and Grafton Road. On any free left turn, we need a cycle-first system with a clear cycle lane marking.

“Removal of much of the on-road parking along Symonds Street would make the street a lot safer for passing cyclists who are endangered by opening car doors and other parking manoeuvres.”

Participants will be gathering at the fountain in Albert Park at 5.30pm tonight, Friday, January 28.