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Guest post: An infrastructure tour of Auckland

Posted by on January 29th, 2020 at 2:25 pm

When I have the opportunity to travel I always keep an eye open to infrastructure that is welcoming, surprising, unique, or very hostile to humans. Over the winter break I was in New Zealand, so I thought I’d give a quick tour of what caught my eye.

There is a lot of public art in Auckland; this was my favorite mural:

A contraflow bike lane. This is going up a hill and the path needed to get creative. In the distance the lane is on the street but has a curb:

Bus lane. This is somewhat common where the bus lane leaves room for turning drivers:


Another view of the green bus lane:

A beautiful sign for common space that is overseen by a waterfront restaurant. This reminds me of Portland’s Street Seats, but is more welcoming because it explicitly invites non-customers:

A human-oriented construction detour sign:

A very explicit “shared zone” sign. It’s clear who is being invited to use this alley:


A less explicit “shared zone” sign:

A subtle cue that bicyclists are welcome on this walkway. It seems useful where sidewalks are meant to be shared by humans on various modes:

Picturesque view with sharrows on the road. This is a relatively low-volume street through office spaces in the heart of the city:

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That was fun, and inspiring! Thanks for bringing us along.

Steve Scarich
Steve Scarich

New Zealand is widely known for some of the most anti-cyclist drivers in the world. Read that many times, and heard it from friends who will not tour there again. They said it pertains particularly to one of the main islands; I cannot remember which one. Anyone else have opinions on this view?


My wife and I rode there for a month in 1990, another month in 1995, and are going back there later this year for a couple of weeks. An ex-Californian friend of mine has lived and cycled in the Christchurch area for about ten years. I have not heard of nor experienced any such anti-cyclist vibe. I have, however, heard that cycling in Australia is very much that way.