Follow us on Twitter

Skypath Passed (and how it will connect)

As I’m sure you will all know by now, Skypath was discussed today at the councils Governing Body meeting. In the public part of the meeting there were talks from the:

  • two concerned Residents Associations along with the Westhaven Marina Users Association
  • Skypath Trust and Cycle Action Auckland  (thanks Ben for the shout-out)
  • Waitemata and Kaipātiki Local Boards whose areas are connected by the project

As expected the first group spoke in opposition while the rest spoke in support. There was also a presentation of the report talked about in the earlier post by council officers. There wasn’t really much discussion at all by the councillors of any of the presentations as most of that would have happened in the closed session where financial details were also being discussed.

The great news is I’ve just heard that in the closed session the council voted to move the project to the next phase meaning the council officers can work towards a formal agreement with the Skypath trust and their backers.

During the open session the Skypath Trust also showed this presentation which includes some new images of what the landings at each end are expected to look like.

Westhaven Marina

As you can see below the Skypath will double back on itself and then head under the bridge exiting on to Curran St. Presumably this negates the issues with Westhaven Marina as walkers or cyclists would be using Curran St just like people do today. They also said they are working with artists and designers to come up with an interesting gateway for access to the path. In the bottom left image you can see a large pole sticking up, that will be carved by local artists.

Skypath Landing - WesthavenNorthcote Point

At Northcote the path does something similar, doubling back on itself which I assume keeps it within the motorway designation

Skypath Landing - Northcote Point

The presentation has a lot more images of what the Skypath might eventually look like including some lighting options.

136 comments to Skypath Passed (and how it will connect)

  • Sailor Boy

    Thank God for this

  • Thank God the council did something useful today as well as wasting hours on arglebargling!

  • Good job! Congrats to all involved.

  • Jennifer Ward

    Brilliant work. I can’t wait to use the Skypath and to be able to take overseas guests across – similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran. only better! Walk from Ponsonby to the Bridgeway theatre – priceless. My thanks and respect to everyone who has pushed the project through this far.

    • tuktuk

      +1. Great to see a positive step forward on this project. I think the makings of a superb multi-purpose facility that will be enjoyed by Aucklanders and visitors to Auckland for decades to come.

      • Glen

        Sharing the love here too. I really can’t wait for it to open.

        In future years we’ll definitely look back and wonder why it took so long to build…

  • obi

    How do they intend to prevent bicycle-pedestrian collisions? Sydney Harbour Bridge has bicycles on one side and pedestrians on the other, and you really fly cycling down the thing. Greenwich foot tunnel in London has a gentle curve that would be fun to free wheel down, but they make cyclists get off and push their bicycles through the tunnel. I imagine you wouldn’t have much problem getting up to 40km/hr or faster on the Skypath and that sort of speed could seriously injure a careless pedestrian.

    • Max

      We are treating this very carefully, be assured. It is one of the key topics in terms of traffic in the team, since we do not have enough width for a full separation. The resource consent documentation next year will document the strategy and measures to ensure safety.

      • bbc

        It’s also important such that it’s even cycleable, similar shared paths I’ve been on in NY are often so full of tourists that cyclists can even get through, and I can imagine this being pretty similar on a busy day.

      • Tim A

        The Oosterdokskade shared path in Amsterdam manages just fine with nothing but two white lines. Of course, that is Amsterdam. But the only real cultural differences that make it work are that people know to keep right (or left, in the local case) and are aware that bikes can be coming at any time. The path is aproximately 4m wide and sees very heavy traffic at various times of the day, with almost no accidents.

        See:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/evilrooster/5001850917/
        https://maps.google.co.nz/?ll=52.375422,4.908029&spn=0.001502,0.004128&t=h&z=19

        • obi

          That’s flat. The Bridge isn’t and it’s the downhill speeds that will be dangerous. Because of the speed itself, and because of the reduced braking.

          • SteveC

            can you clarify “reduced braking” what do you mean?

            I think the majority of users will be commuters, i.e. regular users who will become aware of pedestrian issues and act accordingly, same with walking in commuting periods

        • Amsterdammers are VERY aware of cyclists and not getting in their way when on foot.

      • obi

        I’ll be interested to see what you come up with. It’ll need to be something that preserves the fun for cyclists… the payback for struggling up a slope is the thrill of screaming down the other side with no pedaling effort required. That won’t happen if you end up putting a speed limit in place.

        Apart from that, Auckland needs to pull its finger out and start creating some world class buildings for bridge users to look at. For me, the highlight of walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge (which I have done many times since my sister lives on the north shore and it is an easy walk to her place from the city) is spotting the Opera House and realising what a stunning world-class urban skyline they have. Auckland’s natural harbour is pretty, but with only a few exceptions Auckland CBD is a bit ordinary.

        • Dan

          I think cyclists may well just have to slow down sometimes — it’ll be a matter of riding to the conditions. As bbc mentions, the shared paths in NY can get pretty crowded but they are still damned useful. And this one is unlikely to get nearly as crowded as those.

        • V Lee

          I think you will be disappointed if you expect any part of the skypath is going to allow bikes to move at high speed. It will have to be a leisurely ride across and careful descent with a strict speed limit.

          A large number of cyclists travelling at speed and scaring pedestrians and tourists will make this project go bad really quickly and with it kill the enthusiasm for anything similar in Auckland for many years.

          • I would hope all users would observe the social contract that it is a shared space. I don’t see why the crazies doing the 50k circuits at 6am on a saturday when it’s mostly deserted should (necessarily) be limited by a speed limit – just common sense.

  • Jacob

    Obviously plenty of lighting and no dark spots where nefarious activities can take place must be key for public safety. It’s an isolated spot in the middle of the bridge so no one should feel trapped or endangered as frankly there’s nowhere to run (pardon the pun!)

  • V Lee

    Excellent, it looks like they have come up with great solutions for the landings. Good use of the empty space under the bridge on the Northcote side.

    • All I could think was what an improvement the landing area will be – it’s a nice spot by no one has a reason to be there besides fishing as far as I can tell – just passing through in a car/bike/jogging.

      Does NZTA own all the land at both ends? If it were me I’d be trying to have a restaurant on the northcote end looking at the city, with a ‘bikeman’ type service ferrying passengers from downtown along the (to be built) westhaven promenade, across the bridge and to their tables. And some nice cafes at the to catch the tourists/walkers coming in and out at both ends.

      Makes the westhaven walking/cycling facilities really important now.

      • Starnius

        NZTA has motorway designation for the land under the bridge at Northcote, but there’s also Iwi sites, a Council reserve, and some private properties in close proximity.

      • Starnius

        That’s going to limit what you can do there, I think. But people can walk / cycle onwards to Northcote shops some 800m further, or they can get their icecream at the south landing, where there seems to be more scope for hospitality businesses…

        • V Lee

          Stokes Point is a pa site and a reserve – in my opinion one of the nicest unknown spots in Auckland. It is a good place to go on a really hot and sunny summers day, to get away from the heat (the bridge is the ultimate shade sail) and enjoy great views over the harbour and city!

          On the city-facing cliff face there are something like 5 residential properties (one of which I’m pretty sure is owned by NZTA and used for offices or something). No real reason why these can’t be eventually converted for commercial use when the Skypath is embedded in fabric of the area. I’m sure our friends in the Northcote Point Residents’ Association may have something to say about that prospect of course.

  • Joel Gibson

    What were the nay-sayers concerned about? I fail to see how this could be a bad thing in any way (aside from the cost obviously)

    • V Lee

      The opposition from Northcote Point and St Mary’s bay was basically about being unhappy with having non-residents coming into their “exclusive” neighbourhoods. Westhaven Marina was hoping to get some money out of t.

      • dm

        That’s untrue. I attended a meeting where the proposal that was favoured by skypath would have rendered it impossible for residents to enter their propertys. I’m broadly in favour of the proposal but its clearly actually led by a pro cyclin lobby with scant regard for pedestrian traffic.

        And I’m not a resident of either the point or st marys bay

        • V Lee

          I never imagined that every single objection they had was frivolous, but rather their overall motivation for objecting to the project was as I said it was. One of the ideas floated was to make the entrance somewhere near Exmouth Road and keep people locked into the skypath until they were way past Northcote Point.

          We shall see. I predict they will continue to oppose this project with the new landings because it still means more non-residents in their neighbourhood.

          • I agree with V Lee, this was very much a NIMBY objection and has been cast aside by the council on that basis. Likewise Westhaven’s craven
            attempt to make money off the proposal.

          • Phil

            On what do you base that statement on Ford? The residents of Northcote Point have very valid concerns and objections. As someone else has already pointed out – the original design of the northern ramp was going to restrict residents access to their own properties… you really think that is acceptable? The re-design was only a result of residents complaints.
            There was a suggestion that the Northern Ramp could be a staircase that would have had less impact on residents. This was rejected by the Skypath trust as not being ideal for cyclists. It seems to work ok in Sydney – but oh no – not in Auckland where the cyclists are too precious and lazy to push their bikes up a few steps.
            There has been lies and deception from day one of this project over funding. It has never been and never will be a zero cost to tax payers. This will be a huge annoyance to residents who have every right to complain and it will be a financial burden to rate payers.
            Of course I understand that if you dont live next to the thing – only intend to use it occasionally (in most Aucklanders case never) – or think you can save a ferry fair twice a day then you are going to think this is a fantastic idea. I quite enjoy the airport as long as its in Mangere and not in my back yard.
            It is certainly not a done deal yet either. All that has happened is the council voted to proceed to the next step. At the moment the council are now investigating the patronage estimates.

          • Nick R

            Sydney is currently working through the HarbourLink plan to add stair free access to their harbour bridge cycleway, which they identify as a major gap on their cycleway network. Just because Sydney has a problem they are trying to solve doesn’t mean we should copy the problem too!

          • Bryce P

            I couldn’t imagine motorists accepting stairs. Why should other wheeled forms of transport? Of course, there are times when stairs and a wheel ramp are acceptable but not on a high traffic route.

          • Phil

            Sydney has had stairs for years. My understanding is the cycling lobby are demanding ramps but it’s falling on deaf ears. Stairs are fine for peds and would be a compromise solution for residents and cyclists. If anyone thinks they will be able to cycle overSkypath at anything greater than walking speed they are going to be very disappointed so pushing their bike up stairs won’t slow cyclists down. There are quite a few shocks for cyclists if the path is ever built, with all the CCTV it’s going to be very easy to police and fine cyclists not wearing helmets.

          • Bryce P

            Great idea on the helmets Phil but in the interests of fairness, I would like to see the introduction of timed sections of motorways to catch those who speed on the motorways. Seems fair.

        • Grant

          “I’m broadly in favour of the proposal but its clearly actually led by a pro cyclin lobby with scant regard for pedestrian traffic”

          Thought we lived in a slightly more inclusive world where people with disabilities were considered in any public development?
          People in wheelchairs or otherwise limited mobility will love the suggestion that they use the stairs. Lifts might be part of the answer there, but ramps might help.

          And what is so wrong about trying to provide for the growing numbers of cyclists as well as pedestrians – they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, so best before the design is finalised to try and meet as many concerns as possible. Take a walk or pedal along the Green path (Takapuna to Bayswater/Devonport to see a shared path in operation on the shore, within eyesight of the proposed Skypath).

          I doubt that any reasonable design will satisfy individuals with the NIMBY altitude, but from what I have read of there concerns the only one that actually makes sense is that they don’t want an increase in public using public roads in there exclusive neighborhood. I can understand that, but that is not going to hold up in an environment court as a valid reason to block progress that will benefit many others.

      • John Polkinghorne

        The silly thing is, those residents will get more out of Skypath than anybody. They’ll be able to walk out their front door, and walk, jog or cycle across from the Shore to the CBD. Great recreation, and a reasonable commuting option, on their doorstep.

        • Reasonable commuting option? Fantastic for Northcote Pt residents. Why would you drive in at all but a blizzard? If they had any sense they’d be now working with Waterfront Auckland to make sure that the PT plans from there to the rest of the city are really good, so they can efficiently expand their range.

          The opposition that we’ve seen here has been of the unhinged fearful local blowhard variety. You always get some of those, but in these neighbourhood the self-important crazies come with entitlement, spare time, and lawyers.

          This project is so self-evidently positive that we look like busting through them, hopefully they haven’t drowned out those with sensible concerns around practicalities and detail, but seeing these new plans for each end it’s pretty clear the SkyPath team have been listening and making changes. Good work.

          • But if they dont drive their car, how will everyone know how rich and important they are? As a few regular commentators have made clear, that is their number one concern. Otherwise people might mistake them for lower caste plebs.

          • Max

            Which is kinda funny, in its own way, because, by golly, if there is a “hobby” that you can spend ooodles of money on, it’s buying high-priced bikes. I suspect that some of those carbon bikes are worth more than their weight in gold…

  • V Lee

    Would be good to know how each councillor voted on this.

  • Steve D

    Fantastic news. I think a few months after it’s built the naysayers at the Marina will be wondering what they ever thought was wrong. The Residents Associations will probably still be just as disconnected from reality, though.

    Those connections at each end are nicely designed to stay within the motorway and council land, but they’ve both got scope to be extended with more direct accesses later on, once the toll gates are removed – e.g. extra steps at the end of the loops to Shelly Beach Road, and Princes Street. It’s quite a neat design, with flexibility for later.

  • exaucklanderinsydney

    I hope this is a success, even despite my doubts. Is this planned to be open 24/7? If so, will they have staff there around the clock, or will it be free after a certain time?

    • Max

      Proposed to be open 6am to 10pm, with security and information staff roving & each end. Closed at night, as a concession to resident’s noise concerns and for security reasons (also, would be very expensive to pay night staff when you have like 3 people per hour using it…)

  • Patrick Reynolds

    Praise the Lord! The Skypath Passeth!

    Despite the craziness at City Hall today Council managed to get some good business done.

  • grantb

    Congratulations to all those involved in creating something new and exciting for Auckland.

    Must have been a huge amount of work to get to this stage, and plenty of work ahead to battle NIMBYs who would rather stop all progress, but very much looking forward to riding over the harbour one day.

  • Patrick Reynolds

    By the way on the issue of Transit system ridership predictions, it looks like the experts getting it wrong on the low side is a worldwide issue: Here’s a US study showing actual performance by recent systems attracting between 1.6 and 3.3 times more passengers than predicted by authorities:

    http://www.planetizen.com/node/66571

  • lti

    Closing at 10pm seems insane, why cant it be open 24/7? Its a bloody footpath, not a post office.

    Forcing cyclists to weave their way through meandering, oblivious pedestrians when they could otherwise be enjoying a 400m downhill! ridiculous.

    • Starnius

      “Closing at 10pm seems insane, why cant it be open 24/7? Its a bloody footpath, not a post office.”

      Because our transport funding system has ensured that it is not a footpath, but a user-pays BUSINESS OPERATION. Keeping it open at night doesn’t only make it harder to get permission to open it, it’s also a loss-making proposition once you pay for staff, lighting, etc…

      If you don’t like it, tell your MP, Councillor etc… that they should have better transport policies. Or wait 25 years until the toll is paid off and SkyPath transfer to standard Council property.

      • bbc

        So much for walking to town for dinner and a drink and walking back, looks like people will still need to catch taxis. NZ’s funding priorities are a joke, $20 million appears from nowhere to widen an intersection tomorrow, yet such a project as this that doesn’t involve cars drags on for years and becomes a tolled walkway closing at 10pm.

  • Patrick Reynolds

    I like the connections too. The South Shore flip-back is very elegant and it’s great that more people will be seeing a view of the bridge that I have always liked- underneath from the North side. A few years ago I took this shot there:

    • Steve D

      Yeah, it’s neat. You’d think it’d be a horrible junk space under the bridge there, but the park is nice, the views of the city are good, and the underside of the bridge is compelling in its complex, industrial way. Few people really get to enjoy it at the moment – a few park-and-riders who’ve overflowed from the ferry terminal, the odd local walking his dog, and intrepid souls willing to make a serious trek (or drive) to get there.

      People on this very blog have been skeptical that there’s any real point in walking to Northcote, but I think it’ll be worth the walk just for the view.

  • Early concepts for the Skypath definitely looks cool! This will be a great addition for the city of Auckland, although I do agree with one of the prior comments concerning what seems to be a relatively early closing time (10pm). In any case, looking forward to seeing the pictures of the finished product.

  • Rex

    Kinda feels like it’s on the wrong side of the bridge? Shouldn’t be be maximising views over the city and out to sea, not over a big ol’ inlet plus mangroves?

  • Sanctuary

    I live in Kingsland, so the Skypath is going to be important to me – it means I can cycle to the shore to see my friends! I have to admit though, the snobbish and reactionary opposition of the local residents associations just does my head in.

    • richard

      What do you expect, this is Auckland! Sometimes I actually think I’m in another city as I’m seeing electric trains and stuff actually getting done that is not road related. Hopefully heaps of stuff gets started in this term of council as some right leaning idiot will get elected next time and roll it all back. Sorry for the negativity but like Sancturay said “just does my head in”

    • Grey men with grey ideas.

      The irony of course is that in a few years they will be selling their houses with a major selling point being “close proximity to SkyPath!”

      • TheBigWheel

        Send them all a betterment levy in their Christmas mail! Say 1% of their CV. Skypath funding sorted, no need for a toll..

      • Phil

        Rotfl, until very recently one of the ‘grey people’ was a top international actor world famous for action movies…. Hardly the blue rinse age group you are trying to suggest.

        • V Lee

          Yes, because actors are more important than anyone else aren’t they?

          • Phil

            It is simply a response to the suggestion that everyone on Northcote Point is some old fart who is right wing anti cyclist.
            I would ask you Mr Lee if you think people who have invested millions in their homes and pay huge rates bills should be denied a voice about a project that will have a negative impact on their lives and assets?

          • V Lee

            No one has been denied a voice. Quite the opposite in fact, those in opposition have had a very loud voice. Luckily in this case the council has decided that the voices of many “unimportant” people outweigh those of the rich and famous.

          • Negative impact, yeah right. More likely to be the complete opposite and house values are likely to rise because of it. How long till people start advertising the proximity to Skypath as a benefit for their properties?

          • Phil

            Sure Matt… Of course you are right.
            A solution to everyone’s issue could be for Skypath to start at sulphur beach or Onewa interchange. The path could then be fully enclosed and sound proofed as it passes the houses on Northcote Point. Surely that would not cost a lot more and if it’s as successful as you say, a couple of mill more is no problem to Skypath or the council.
            All it requires is the users of Skypath to spend a few mins of their ride in an enclosed tube.
            Alternatively the path could be accessed by elevator or stairs only at stokes Point and that way there would be no need for the ramps. Would save Skypath money and all the cyclists would have to do is carry/push their bikes up the stairway.

          • Sailor Boy

            I wasn’t aware that I had the right to stop people using the street in front of my house! I’ll never let those schoolkids getto school ever again. How dare they use my road for thoroughfare.

          • Phil

            No Sailor boy. How about you come up with something a bit more creative like a good reason not to build the path in a way sympathetic to the residents? Anyone can be a dick – try and be a clever one.

          • Greg N

            “A solution to everyone’s issue could be for Skypath to start at sulphur beach or Onewa interchange”

            Yeah right, a solution for your issues maybe, a solution for other folks? Not so sure.

            “Anyone can be a dick – try and be a clever one.”

            Now, now, children, you know that there can only be one of those around here at one time, and currently this position seems to be filled…

          • Sailor Boy

            You see Phil to feel sympathy I would need to have gone through the experience of not wanting strangers in my street, to feel empathyI have to be able to relate to those feelings, I can claim neither, thankfully.

            I understand that residents are concerned that a large number of road users may well congest their streets, but sea path is being built specifically to get long haul trips off of local streets, and if residents really were concerned about congestion then they would be advocating a resident’sparking scheme, and a bidirectional segregated cycle lane through to Onewa road. All of the genuine concerns possible can easily be addressed, but instead of addressing them, you, under the guise of an LRA are fighting tooth and nail solely to prevent others travelling through.

  • I read in the North Shore Times the other day when this was announced, that it would be made of space-age materials, etc. that would last 100 years. Do they think the Harbour Bridge will last another 100 years? Is this thing a bit pointless considering the Harbour Bridge is well past its use-by date already anyway. How about getting private investors to build a new bridge that we actually need, rather than a walk-way across a bridge that is not going to be around another 20 years, let alone another 100.

    • V Lee

      The current bridge is not even close to its use-by-date. It will last way over 100 years – no one is suggesting knocking it down in 20 years! Even the proponents of the “additional waitemata harbour crossing” are talking about making an “additional” crossing not a replacement! I’m sure my great-grandchildren will enjoy cycling over the Skypath.

      • Phil

        That is not true. The central structure has an ‘undefinable’ life while the clip ons have 15-20 years left after the expensive repairs. The clip ons have a critical load bearing as well and that is why Skypath will have a max capacity of users.

        • V Lee

          No, that is a misconception. The strengthened clip-ons are only able to continue to carry TRUCKS for another 15-20 years. They will still be able to carry general traffic and the skypath for much longer. This is a red herring though. Even if the skypath only lasted 20 years, it would still be well worth it.

        • Starnius

          And NZTA’s own website predicts 30-40 years of problem-free life for the current clip-on strengthening.

          http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=1

          Also note the first document linked mentions further strengthening as part of SkyPath (cost $1-3 million, which I believe is already included in the total cost currently being discussed, even though NZTA is offering to potentially share the cost).

        • Starnius

          Here’s Stephen Town clarifying the point V Lee mentioned regarding truck loads (some pages down in PDF). Presumably means that in two decades or three, trucks may have to use the centre span instead of the clip-ons. Notably, this is a FATIGUE issue, not a loading safety issue.

          http://www.skypath.org.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/130226_-SkyPath_Princes-St-Residents-Meeting.pdf

          • Phil

            Skypath has a max capacity because of the load on the clip ons. Just read the engineering report if you remain in denial or ask yourself why spend the extra monies on super expensive carbon fibre if it wasn’t to save weight?

          • Greg N

            Phil you may be right on using CF to save weight.

            But, the extra $500K for CF seems to be money well spent as the ongoing maintenance reduction will pay for that cost many times if nothing else.

            But it also has an upside – by spending more money to make the structure lighter and stronger they can fit more paying customers on it at “peak pedestrian” which will make the SkyPath’s success even more assured.
            .
            And no doubt some of those extra paying customers will increase your perceived nuisance value by littering, talking, and generally pissing about – some of course, literally – on your front lawn – as they “Pass Go”.

          • Greg N

            And on carbon fibre on bridges, well its not just SkyPath using this new-fangled “space age material” they make planes out of these days, in a transport context.

            NZTA does as well too – using it to upgrade bridges for the HPMVs NZTA allowed on the roads a few years back.
            So if its good enough for an HPMV its got to be good for SkyPath too.

          • Sailor Boy

            Phil, a single 40 ton truck o the clipons weighs as much as 500 pedestrians, skypath is not the loading issue.

          • Starnius

            “super expensive carbon fibre if it wasn’t to save weight?”

            I don’t see $500K extra as super-expensive. Less than 2% price increase due to composite materials? Bring it on, if it helps improve the project.

    • Starnius

      NZTA has officially confirmed that with regular maintenance, the clip-ons can now last “indefinitely” after the strengthening works that occurred in recent years. Which is why NZTA – eventually, after lots of work & assessment & plain stubbornness by the SktPath people – agreed that yes, you can hang a pathway underneath the clip-on, and no, nothing will fall off!

      If we get a second harbour crossing, we could potentially put either cyclists or pedestrians on top of the clip-on, and retain the below for the other group, though. But that is 15-30 years away. SkyPath might now be 1-2 years away.

  • Chris Darby

    Here are yesterday’s council resolutions progressing SkyPath.

    MOVED:
    That the Governing Body:
    a) receive the report on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway project.
    b) authorise the Chief Executive to:
    (i) assess funding and procurement options for the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway project with a single investor, being the Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund in the first instance;
    (ii) undertake preliminary and non-binding negotiations around the Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund’s proposal;
    (iii) enter into any non-binding heads of agreement, if required to progress preliminary feasibility work that informs the viability of the project and/or the procurement options; and
    (iv) take any other actions in the Chief Executive’s discretion to assess the merits of the Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund proposal and other options available to Council.
    c) agree that the Chief Executive obtain the Governing Body’s approval on the recommended procurement option and preferred financing partner (if any) for Council’s involvement in the project prior to entering into a final commercial arrangement on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway project.
    d) request that the Kaipatiki, Waitematā and Devonport-Takapuna Local Boards appoint a member to the project steering group. This steering group would consist of the CEO of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development as Project Sponsor, a representative from each of the Kaipatiki, Waitematā and Devonport-Takapuna Local Boards; an appropriate officer representing Auckland Council and each of the relevant Council Controlled Organisations (Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland, and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), and a representative from the New Zealand Transport Agency. Those Councillors from these Local Board areas would also be invited to attend Steering Group meetings.
    e) direct officers to report back to the Infrastructure Committee on progress when appropriate.
    f) direct Council officers to work with the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Trust on an approach to the future engagement with local residents regarding consultation on the landings’ design.
    g) note that, if acceptable terms can be secured, financing through the private sector is appropriate given the current local government funding constraints and may be preferable in driving project revenue to reduce Council’s funding exposure.
    h) note that this project may possess characteristics that are inconsistent with the Council’s Public Private Partnership Policy and that, if material, any such inconsistencies must be identified should Council formally commit to this project in the future under Section 80 of the Local Government Act 2002.
    i) note that, if the project proceeds based on the SkyPath proposal, Council (through Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) would be required to disclose in its Annual Report that it has entered into an agreement to provide a revenue underwrite and that the likelihood of any future liability would be dependent on future patronage and revenue conditions being met, or not met, as prescribed in any underwrite agreement with the Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund.
    j) note that under the SkyPath proposal, Council would take ownership of the SkyPath structure after 20 years.
    k) agree that the report remain confidential but that the decisions be restated in the open agenda

    CARRIED

  • Phil

    My understanding is that the council are going to look very carefully at the patronage projections. That should be interesting when put to scrutiny.

  • Chris

    I rarely comment , but on this occasion I believe my daughter’s expression of ‘yayayayay’ is about right.

  • Phil

    Council is going to examin the patronage figures. Then it will have to get resource consent. It is going to be challenged so expect delays.

    • Chris Darby

      Patronage numbers have been reviewed and are viewed as being conservative. The financial arrangement with private funder will be based on those conservative numbers and further reviews. The resource consent will be fully notified but keep in mind new RMA provisions which allow for direct referral to the Environment Court.

  • Phil your ship hit the iceberg a while back, time you found a lifeboat, it’s getting embarrassing.

  • Phil

    And yet, as a resident, I can object to resource consent. Or would you like to deny the locals that right?

    • Sailor Boy

      Of course you can, but now it is much harder for you to stop it asyou have to show genuine concern with the project instead of just tryingto coerce councillors.

    • You can keep objecting all you like, but you have to realise you are up against a whole city and at best all you would do is delay the inevitable and cost yourself and others time and money for no gain. Almost everyone who has heard of the proposal is in favour, the public, politicians, everyone.

      Time to move on, take one for the team. Hell, maybe even get a bike and try it out yourself, you’d find it a very fun way to get to town.

      NZTA is currently building a new cycleway 30m from my front balcony, and frankly I think it is great. I don’t know why anyone would complain against having such a useful facility handed to their neighbourhood on a platter. I’m definitely expecting it to improve my property values, especially as I expect the cycleway will draw more funding for streetscapes upgrades and beautification. Cycleway = more people = greater investment = nicer neighbourhood = higher property values.

  • Oh Phil. Nobody denies your right to object. It’s the idea that council or AT should be obliged to put the (at most) tiny inconveniences to you ahead of the massive benefits projected for a lot of other Aucklanders that I would personally disagree with.

    Best of luck to you although I think your proposal that people on bikes should be fully enclosed in a tube until they are are past your neighbourhood really says it all. What, are you expecting people coming through at dawn with loudhailers shouting “Good morning Phil”? What is it about the sound of other human beings (and a few clicking freewheels) that bothers you more than 6+ lanes of motorway roar?

    Anyway, if it does go ahead I hope you’ll find the problems if any are minor, as everyone expects them to be, and you might even come to enjoy the occasional ride yourself (although IIRC you are a mountain bike rather than roadie type?).

    • Greg N

      Its not loud-hailers Phi objects to, I gather from past posts,,as much as the urine streams, rubbish, and of course those ever present used syringes and condoms he fears.

  • Phil

    So what is the objection to an enclosed tube past the residents homes? I thought you wanted the path so you could cycle across the bridge, You would still have the views from beyond stokes point and landing at Sulphur beach is only another 200-300m away from Princes Street. Seems pretty unnecessary to me for the northern ramp to be at stokes point.
    Surely the Skypath trust would be bending over backwards to find a compromise? Can anyone actually come up with a reasonable reason not to move the landing point?

    • counterpoint

      Presumably the main objection is that is isn’t needed…

    • Greg N

      Yes three I can name, easy walking and cycle access to and from Birkenhead Ferry Terminal is one.

      Easy access to the public park at Northcote end (Stokes point?) is another (or do you consider that park your personal playground?)
      If you continue the Skypath past the “under bridge” terminus as planned, you simply make it much harder for walkers to access them.
      Increased cost is another as well.

      Probably other reasons too, but those are the few I can think of in 30 seconds.

      • Starnius

        I understand “SeaPath” was never / is not proposed as a “only option”, even when it eventually happens. I understand there would always still be the opportunity to get off near Princes Street / the ferry terminal, as much as some locals might hate that idea.

    • How about to not be a dick to your community? Going to Sulphur Beach Rd would mean anyone on Northcote Point would have to go back to Beach Rd only to come right back again. That’s a detour of 1.2km for someone who lives on the point, same distance as crossing the bridge itself. Skypath would be pretty mean to force that kind of detour on the group who are likely to be the biggest users (one grumpy absentee expat excepted of course).

  • Tim O'Shea

    The fourth reason might be that we want to enjoy Phil’s radiant smile as we pedal past his house ?

  • Dave B

    Seems that these Northcote Point objectors must be a bunch of Greenies. Aren’t we always being told that Greenies are those who object to everything and want to stop all progress?

    • conan

      I think that’s just the ‘far left’ in general. The Greens want to rip up all the roads. Which wouldn’t work well here as we need the bridge to attach Skypath to.

      • Starnius

        Lol. You better be trolling…

        (or if not, you are a good example of “the lie travels several times around the earth while the truth is still getting its shoes on…” regarding Greens policies).

  • marty

    Great news and well done Bevan & team .Just a few thing you may not know about St Marys Bay ,The road’s in St Marys Bay that will see the most walking /cycle traffic is West Haven Drive which no body lives on, the other is Shelly Beach rd which is a Motorway off ramp ! Get a life St Marys Bay Association .(I could say more about smba but this is not the place )As for the guys at Northcote Point yes they did have real problems but most of the have been worked through or are still being worked on .

  • So I just rode from Mairangi Bay to the City, but got stung by the ferry. Having just missed the sailing I was aiming for I discovered a 45 min hole in the timetable until the next one. I spent longer waiting at Devonport than in took me to get there from the East Coast Bays.

    Bring on the Skypath (and Seapath) pleeease!

    • Yes there are hypocrites and NIMBYs everywhere. Anyway, those holiday paths are not urban transport infrastructure.

    • counterpoint

      So the story here is that the chief of tourism who, while breathlessly dismissing any conflict of interest, objected to the construction of a concrete cycleway considered popular with tourists that runs past his holiday home which the article strongly implies he uses for something in the order of 1 week per year. Additionally, other residents who also occupy their homes for similar periods of time shared this concern.

      And what of these people whose selfish desire to not have a concrete path in front of a property they occupy for 2% of the year has incurred an additional $10,000 of rate payer money as well as spat in the face of a $240,000 gift given, according to the article, for the very purpose of extending said cycleway?

      I mean, Martin fucking Snedden (chief of tourism) is quoted in the article as saying, in reference to the lack of consultation “They knew the residents here are people who are not here for 52 weeks of the year”, and yet he somehow thinks this puts him and others like him in a position to dictate the terms of a piece of infrastructure that the article suggests should fall under his remit?

      Its not all all clear what point you are trying to make with this article, but I for one, agree with the comment made by deputy mayor Keith Crate – “They only come here for a week a year. It’s arrogance.”

      • If the council had of built it one of the 51 weeks of the year the once a week owners wouldn’t have noticed to be able to raise an objection and would have arrived at the house at some other time to find it already installed.

  • Phil

    I am sure we would all be Nimbys if we felt a project was an inconvienience. Some people complain about the noise of F1 engines in Albert Park and no amount of talk of the advantages to Australia will dissuade them. Others don’t want a third runway at Heathrow or concerts at Western Springs.
    I dare say there would be projects you wouldn’t want forced on you Patrick regardless of the greater good.

    • counterpoint

      So hang on, you’re comparing a Formula 1 circuit on which high performance motorsports competitions are held, to a concrete path next to a holiday home on which people will ride bikes? Or perhaps you’re comparing it to a runway at an airport on which large aircraft will arrive and depart? Or maybe a music event with a stadium sized PA system?

    • Buzz

      Martin Snedden simply wants the pathway’s surface material changed to plastic matting because he doesn’t like concrete. He’s not opposed to the Pathway as such, hence he doesn’t qualify as a NIMBY.

      However you may want to write to Martin to inform/warn him of your concerns re cyclists riding past houses. This may encourage him to become a NIMBY and work with you to stop cycleways such as this Taupo pathway & SkyPath.

  • Phil

    I’m not comparing or passing judgement. I’m just saying there are always going to be local resident objections to projects. Can anyone really say they wouldn’t object to projects on their doorstep? Maybe everyone should consider that when labelling others Nimby?

  • Phil

    I don’t disagree counterpoint.

  • I think this will greatly increase the number of people who cycle in Auckland. I live very near the Auckland bridge and I look forward to being able to cycle to the northshore

Leave a Reply