Confusion of lane swap concerns cyclists

Under the watchful eye of Lydia Perkins, of Fulton Hogan, NZ Transport Agency project manager Simon Underwood wheels his e-bike across Great King St to reach the revamped section of cycleway. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Under the watchful eye of Lydia Perkins, of Fulton Hogan, NZ Transport Agency project manager Simon Underwood wheels his e-bike across Great King St to reach the revamped section of cycleway. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The NZ Transport Agency hopes larger signs with a ''more obvious message'' will address cyclists' concerns about the revamped cycleway on Dunedin's northbound highway.

Imogen Coxhead, of Opoho, wrote to the Otago Daily Times yesterday about her sense of confusion while cycling north along Great King St on Monday night.

South of Albany St, the cycle lane was still on the left-hand side of the road but, from Albany St north, it had been moved to the right-hand side of the highway.

''Now, at Albany St, they [cyclists] must cross to the right-hand side among the horde of pedestrians, but roadworks there mean there is no space to line up while waiting for the lights to change.''

Ms Coxhead said she saw cyclists who did not realise they had to cross, who then found themselves ''in no lane at all with traffic bearing down on them''.

The cycle lane lines on the left had been lightly painted out but ''the pictures of bicycles on the road have not'' and road cones and some other markings were unclear.

Some ''really urgent clarification'' of the signs was needed, Ms Coxhead said, asking for swift action ''before someone is injured''.

In response, NZTA project manager Simon Underwood accepted the situation in the area of the Albany St intersection was confusing.

It was the lack of clear signage indicating the change which had concerned Ms Coxhead and others who had vented their frustrations on social media.

Mr Underwood said larger signs with a more obvious and clearer message about the change were being produced and should be installed very soon to back up the signage already in place.

New road markings had to be applied before all the old markings could be permanently removed, he said.

And removing the old road markings by sandblasting was ''a slow process'' although it had now started.

The new layout would become more consolidated as removal of the old markings was completed, the new separating islands were installed and the balance of road markings applied, Mr Underwood said.

He acknowledged switching the cycle lane to the right-hand side was ''a significant change'' for cyclists and motorists, especially when turning right.

''So we ask everyone on the road to take special care while drivers and cyclists get used to the new layout.''

Asked about the concerns of cyclists about delays when turning right from the southbound cycleway into Dundas St, Mr Underwood said the agency had recognised the turning time allowed for cyclists was too short. A change had been made a week ago.

A camera had been installed at the intersection so the traffic flow could be monitored in the Dunedin office and also at the traffic operations centre in Wellington.

kay.sinclair@odt.co.nz

Comments

The other end near dukes street is worse, making cyclists cross to the left at the last minute before the stop sign. Cycle lanes are a dumb and dangerous idea,just make the road lanes wider, cyclists can get on the correct side of the road depending on where they're going and cars would have plenty of room to pass.

Also dangerous is the weird angle now created if you are driving north in the right-hand lane on the one way system. When you go across the Albany St intersection, you now have to veer to the left because the road has a new alignment. The whole thing is ridiculous. Why has it been changed at all? To have cyclists changing from one side of the road to the other across an intersection is idiocy and just inviting an accident.