On a busy stretch of highway dramatic improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure are stitching together the community of users that live nearby. The upgrade links people together and offers a generous invitation to local residents, students and commuters to exchange cars for walking, cycling or public transport. The upgraded Albany Highway proves that local arterials can be liveable.
Around 17,000 vehicles, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, use Albany Highway every day. It is a regional arterial road that serves five schools, Massey University and a cluster of residential estates.
Recently, a $38m project funded by Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency saw a 4.7km stretch of the highway between Upper Harbour Motorway (SH18) and Dairy Flat Highway (SH17) upgraded. Isthmus was involved from consenting to construction, and authored the Urban Design and Landscape Framework that established the design principles and parameters of highway components.
This included a connected network of pedestrian and cycle pathways that would benefit the local community and make cycling or walking to school or college easier and safer. Consultation with Cycle Action Auckland helped to refine the detailed design of path configurations at intersections, driveways and crossings to ensure clear cues for movement and pedestrian and cyclist safety.
A result of the project is a two-metre-wide separated cycle path runs along both sides of the highway, apart from at intersections, bus stops and constricted points where cyclists share a three-metre-wide ‘share-with-care’ path with pedestrians. This cycle path forms a safe route for younger riders, while more experienced cyclists can use the highway and transition onto the separated cycle lanes at intersections. Already, the project has successfully reduced congestion, improved safety for all road users – including the area’s 5,000 school students – and encouraged the use of public transport.