Spokes(Wo)Man

Scared of traffic ? No bike infrastructure ? Too Far ? Helmet hair ?

 

Fuck it, ride anyway

“Magenta” is totally a legit colour; look it up !

It’s NOT pink.

Look at this Sydney, look at what Auckland has done.

This week the 100,000th commuter crossed the stunning new Nelson Street cycleway, named Te Ara I Whiti, Maori for "the Lightpath".

  Free Hundreds and Thousands ice-cream, to celebrate the 100,000th rider; geddit ?

Free Hundreds and Thousands ice-cream, to celebrate the 100,000th rider; geddit ?

Cyclists and pedestrians now have no trouble crossing the motorway and continuing on via a revamped off-ramp ( a revampramp ?) which had been in disuse for a decade.

  Not highlighted for the photo, this is the actual appearance of the Auckland Lightpath from the air. it joins the Great Wall of China as one of the few man-made constructions visible from outer space.

Not highlighted for the photo, this is the actual appearance of the Auckland Lightpath from the air. it joins the Great Wall of China as one of the few man-made constructions visible from outer space.

The newly revamped Nelson Street off-ramp includes a string of interactive lights along one side which react as you ride or walk past, and these are proving to be a big attraction during the evenings.

The pathway has an initially controversial but quite frankly gorgeous magenta surface with large scale Māori designs, including a 140 square-metre koru pattern at the northern end. 

  The Koru is based on a new unfurling silver fern frond, and symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace.  The circular shape conveys the concept of perpetual motion and life.

The Koru is based on a new unfurling silver fern frond, and symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace.  The circular shape conveys the concept of perpetual motion and life.

The project team worked with Māori artist Katz Maihi and iwi throughout the design stages to ensure the path has a distinctly New Zealand identity.  NZ are so good at this sort of inclusive planning. In contrast, ask yourself what Sydney’s distinct identity is ? No, really?

The path was opened on 3 December by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Councillor Chris Darby, Bike Auckland's Barbara Cuthbert and children from nearby Freeman's Bay Primary.

  Schoolkids using the Auckland Lightpath instead of a PS4

Schoolkids using the Auckland Lightpath instead of a PS4

 Representatives from the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council, and Auckland Transport also attended the opening.

One of the most pleasing things about the project is how little time it took from inception to delivery. While the 2012 City Centre Master Plan suggested making use of the disused motorway off-ramp for a New York High Line type development,  nothing was actively happening until a little over 18 months ago when Max from Bike Auckland wrote a blog post suggesting a temporary bridge to access the old off-ramp linked to a cycleway down Nelson Street.

Yes, a mere 18 months from suggestion to opening.

 OH. MY. GOD. Doesn't the magenta like  totally  make that chartreuse bike like totally  pop  !

OH. MY. GOD. Doesn't the magenta like totally make that chartreuse bike like totally pop !

“This is a moment to celebrate," says Auckland Council urban design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid,  "A celebration of a youthful, innovative and progressive city where people and mobility are key factors to unlocking the potential of Auckland.

"What better way to move away from our ‘city of cars' brand to become a ‘city for people’ by repurposing a redundant motorway off-ramp in such a fun, dynamic and colourful way.

“The project sends a powerful message about our desire to be the world's most liveable city. Cycling the magenta superhighway will soon become a must-do activity for Aucklanders and visitors alike.”

  I see helmet-less riders and pedestrians, moving together in harmony

I see helmet-less riders and pedestrians, moving together in harmony

The project was a partnership with the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, as part of a three-year $200 million programme of investment in cycling to make it safer and more convenient to travel by bike.

The route for people on bikes continues down a separated cycleway on Nelson Street as far as Victoria Street, the second phase will extend to Quay Street and is scheduled to open in mid-2016.

  Matching your lippy to the Auckland Lightpath ? Priceless.

Matching your lippy to the Auckland Lightpath ? Priceless.

Bloody marvellous.