2016 – A Year in Review Part 2 – Walking and Cycling

This is Part 2 of our series wrapping up the year and in this post I’m looking at Walking and Cycling. You can see Part 1 on public transport here.

We finished 20156 with the fantastic Lightpath and Nelson St cycleway and 2016 kicked on from there with more good progress – including right at the end of the year AT announcing the completion of the Nelson St route, something I’ll cover in the new year. So, here’s my summary.

Quay St cycleway

We ended 2015 with consultation on the Quay St cycleway and by July this year it was officially opened by then Prime Minister John Key, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and former Mayor Len Brown.

A number of cycleways have automated counters, and AT have installed more to help measure the impacts of unprecedented investment currently going in but the Quay St cycleway is the first in Auckland to have a counter on it showing how many trips there have been. And the number of trips has been rising steadily. In October just under three months after opening the counter hit 50,000. Then just another two months later it reached the 100,000 milestone. With the warmer weather the daily numbers have been frequently above 1,000 and so it’s possible we’ll see it surpass 200,000 before the end of summer.

In further good news, AT announced that work starts in February to extend cycleway to just short of the intersection with The Strand and will be extended past that as part of the Eastern Path project.

Skypath

In the middle of 2015 we were ecstatic when Skypath was granted consent but we expected appeals from a very small but vocal group of people who opposed it, primarily on Northcote Point. And as expected, those appeals came. During 2016 two of the three groups opposing the project dropped their appeals. That left just one small group of local residents to take the fight to the environment court in November. But only a few days in the judge stopped the hearing and verbally said the consent would be issued, and without any of the crazy demands the opponents to the project were seeking.

In mid-December the formal ruling was released and was very critical of the appeal including comments like.

In the overall analysis, we felt unconvinced by many of the claims of the residents about the existing environment, which unfortunately we considered had been viewed somewhat through “rose tinted glasses”

With the consent out of the way, hopefully 2017 will see progress made towards finally building it.

In what will be linked to Skypath, the NZTA consulted on Seapath too. We haven’t heard the outcome of the consultation yet.

Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai

In December, the first stage of Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai (the path of land and sea), formerly known as the Eastern Path and the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path, was opened. Stage one is from Merton Rd to St Johns Rd. Bike Auckland has some good coverage of the event.

Stage 3, widening of the Orakei Basin boardwalk should be starting soon while Stage 2, from St Johns Rd to the Orakei Basin is expected to start during 2017

Waterview Shared Path

At the beginning of 2016 work started on the Waterview Shared Path from Alan Wood Reserve, over the rail line, through Harbutt and Phyllis reserves, Unitec and over to New North Rd at about Alford St via a 16m high, 90m long bridge across Oaklely Creek.

Franklin Rd

The upgrade of Franklin Rd has been the subject of numerous debates and design revisions, including at one point only catering for “confident cyclists”. But in the end AT were able to find a decent design for the project. This is part of a wider upgrade of Franklin Rd and includes improving utilities. Work on the road itself should start in 2017.

Consultations galore

A lot has been happening behind the scenes too with a huge number of consultations this year for projects that are expected to start construction over the next year or so as AT continue to ramp up to make the most of the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund. I’m bound to have missed some but they’ve included:

There have been so many, I’m sure I’ve missed some, especially some of the smaller ones.

Usage

Of course, one of the points of investing in more cycling is to get more people using bikes and on that front we’re seeing some good results. For example, at Kingsland on the NW cycleway, usage is the highest it’s ever been and well ahead of what we’ve seen before thanks to the addition of cycleways like Lightpath and Nelson St.

Of course, there have been many other things that have happened over the year and too. Are there any key changes I’ve missed? You can also see Bike Auckland’s summary here.

Tomorrow’s wrap up will focus on roads

Eastern Path Open Days

With stage 1 well under way, later this month the council will publicly notify the application to build the next two stages of the Eastern Path, the walk and cycling path from Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr. Stages 2 & 3 are from St Johns Rd to Meadowbank and Meadowbank to Orakei. This week they will be holding open days where they say new designs for it will be on display.

Eastern Path - Tahapa Reserve

An artist’s impression of the path, looking towards the city from Tahapa Reserve.

With a total cost of the project at $40 million, AT say the it is the 7km path is biggest ever cycle project in the city and the total project including Stage 4 over the Orakei Basin will in 2018. We and our friends at Bike Auckland believe a lot more needs to be done to improve connections to the path. Below is a bit more detail on each of the stages about to be notified.

Stage 2 

  • The path will be around four metres wide, constructed mostly in concrete.
  • From St Johns Road, the path descends into Purewa Valley, crossing streams and wetlands. The bush environment and cityscape backdrop create one of the most scenic sections of the project.
  • A bridge will take the path over the eastern rail line at Tahapa Reserve, connecting with Meadowbank Train Station.
  • Future links into the path are under consideration. These would enable more people to access it.

Section2_map

Stage 3

  • Construction is planned towards the end of winter, taking advantage of the cooler months when fewer people use Orakei Basin. We plan to keep the boardwalk open during construction.
  • The boardwalk will be widened from 2.7 metres to 4.5 metres – lots of space for people walking or cycling.
  • A slip-resistant surface applied to the wooden boardwalk will keep the path from getting slippery.
  • LED lighting incorporated into a wooden handrail will provide a visual effect and extend the hours of use.

Section3_200DPI map

The open days are on Tuesday and Thursday this week

  • When: Tuesday 12 April and Thursday 14 April 2016, 3pm to 7pm.
  • Where: St Chads Church, 38 St Johns Road, Meadowbank.

 

Cycleway or Motorway

While we need to get more connections on the next stage of the Eastern Path, Stage 1 is well underway. Earlier this month Auckland Transport published some pictures of the work so far.

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr stage 1 - March16 2

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr stage 1 - March16 1

The thing that struck me was just how wide the work area is. It almost makes you wonder if they forgot they’re building a cycleway and are building the meant to be dead eastern motorway. Thankfully there is a more reasonable explanation and it’s good to seem them having a little fun with their answer too.

If you’re not sure about where Stage 1 is, it’s shown below and goes from Merton Rd through to St Johns Rd

Section 1 map update

 

A Tale of Two Paths – big bikeways, local streets, and community connectivity

This is a cross post from with our friends at Bike Auckland.

This is a tale of two paths. We begin out west, on a stretch of the Northwestern Cycleway. This is a ‘road of national significance’ for people on bikes – a commuter path from the far west into town. But at the local level, it also makes all sorts of handy journeys possible for people like Penny and her family, who use the path to access school, daycare, and work.

Motorway-style routes have a seductive A to B directness, whether they’re for cars or bikes, but what makes them truly useful, as Penny’s family’s story shows, is the exits – the on- and off-ramps, if you will.

Of course, the Western Springs/ Kingsland stretch of the NW cycleway is especially rich in access points, a legacy of how SH16 was sliced through the heart of the original connected neighbourhood. Take the 2.5km stretch from St Lukes Rd to the Waima St over bridge that leads to Penny’s school. There are by a rough count 14 connections to local streets. One every 180m or so!

NW Cycleway - St Lukes to Waima St

This frequent access and deep connectivity (if it strongly favours the southern side) have made this section of path a busy thoroughfare, and not just for cyclists. School kids use it morning and afternoon, joggers and dog-walkers share the path, and in spring when the wisteria is in flower, it could be a slice of Europe.

wisteriaNWsmileyboy

Compare this with another 2.5km-ish stretch of the NW cycleway nearby, along the Causeway between Rosebank Rd and Waterview. It’s a smooth ride – but a long walk if you get a flat tire, because this Two and a Half K has zero connections to local streets.

NW Cycleway - Causeway

That’s because of course this 2.5km is mainly home to excellent bird life and the occasional stranded whale (although, that said, the planned connections to the ‘islanded’ Waterview and Pt Chev back streets on the right will be extremely handy for locals; especially Waterview, which has to contend with the moat-like Great North Road.) But all in all, it’s a long uninterrupted ride from one end to the other, and it simply connects A to B. Which is not such a problem, because on that section, there’s little XYZ along the way.

Imagine the frustration if the section of path through Western Springs/ Kingsland had no exits. Picture it. In fact, how about a thought experiment so we can really feel it. Let’s think about this distance in terms of travel time.

Google’s a bit optimistic about biking speed, but let’s call 2.5km a ten-minute ride for ordinary folk. For comparative purposes, how far could you go on a motorway in a car in ten minutes, assuming free-running traffic and sticking to the speed limit?

Google says 16.6 km. To put that in perspective, a reasonable 10-minute motorway trip under Sunday-driver conditions might take you from:

  • Town to Te Atatu
  • Town to Takapuna
  • Princes St to Princes St: from the university to Otahuhu.

Now, imagine exits every kilometre or so along those routes, analogous to the Kingsland section of the cycleway – oh wait, there are! Righto. That’s a well-connected stretch of motorway.

But now imagine if there were zero exits along the way (exactly like the cycleway along the Causeway). No exit between town and Te Atatu. No stopping between the city and Takapuna Beach. No way off between Auckland U and Otahuhu. Connectivity denied.

And that brings us to the second 2.5km path in this story: the GI to Tamaki Shared Path, currently being designed and constructed in four stages (thanks to the Urban Cycling Fund). When completed, it will run all the way from Glen Innes, through the Pourewa Valley (the green corridor once set aside for the Eastern Highway) and across and around the Orakei Lagoon, to connect to Tamaki Drive near the city.

Just as its NW counterpart has done for the west, this NE cycleway will open up huge swathes of the east to bike commuting.

From our first engagement with this project in November 2014, we’ve seen this path as not just a utilitarian urban access route for long distance commuters, but an iconic destination and local treasure in its own right. We’ve consistently made the case for linking the cycleway to existing recreational paths and nearby streets, so as to make local journeys possible and to integrate the path into the neighborhoods it passes through. (We’re also battling tirelessly for better cycle facilities on the roads that will bring people to the cycleway).

In other words, this path will not only link Glen Innes to downtown, but will also allow for smart local trips like Penny’s family’s rides – if it comes well-supplied with local connections.

Wait a minute. Did we say ‘if’? 

Yup.

Because there’s a chance that Stage 2, which is the 2.5km stretch between St Johns Rd and the Orakei Boardwalk, may yet make it through construction with no side connections (only the future possibility of them).

This would be a massive shame, to put it mildly. Because unlike the scenic Causeway out west, this section of the journey isn’t just for the birds.

Section2_map

The connective potential is huge.

In this 2.5km section, Meadowbank train station (10 minutes to Britomart) is on the route of the path itself. And, along with shopping centres, businesses and health centres, there are probably 3000 homes within cooee on both sides of the valley.

Eastern Path Section 2 - 1

More than 1,000 of those homes, in places like John Rymer Place and the Gowing Drive area, will be “islanded”, with no access to the path, unable to get along the path to Meadowbank train station –  or across the Pourewa Valley safely to St Thomas’s and Selwyn College.

Eastern Path Section 2 - 2

You heard right: there are two schools whose zones straddle the green corridor – St Thomas’s and Selwyn College. At the moment, those kids living south of the railway have to take a trip round three sides of a rectangle via urban arterial ‘trucking routes’, St Johns Road and Kohimarama Road on the east, or via Orakei Road / Kepa Road in the west. Properly connected, this path could change their lives, by making it possible to get to school while taking lots of cars off the roads (and this is pretty topical).

GITamakiStage2connections

Some of the existing “gaps in the fence” – the dotted yellow line shows the “fence” (i.e. no access), while the circles show points of access – currently walking only – that could become side connections to the shared path. Note how cut off Gowing Drive is, below the green corridor in the right of the image – and similarly, John Rymer Place, top right.

What’s more, the Pourewa Valley itself is a unique, ecologically significant place: it’s by far the largest tract of estuarine native bush in the isthmus, and is being lovingly restored. The GI to Tamaki path runs right through it, past an established network of trails. If these trails were connected to the path, they’d get even more use, which would make for a safer and livelier space.

Imagine bridges, a boardwalk or two across the creek to make loops for walking and running, linking Meadowbank and Kepa Bush, and Kepa Road to Meadowbank Train Station. A fully connected shared path would bring this space to life. And give your kids (and you) an awesome backyard ride or walk, too. Some balance to the Xbox and smartphone sedentary seductions that we all tend to fall prey to in our daily lives.

So why is nothing proposed to be done about this right away?

We’re not saying that anyone among the decision-makers is just willfully closing their eyes to the possibilities. There are a couple of factors that make this difficult, including terrain: the gully is pretty steep and bush-clad, so creating paths, especially for bikes, is not like crossing an open field.

But the major hard issues are boring stuff: zoning and costs.

Zoning – well, for instance, we’d have to go back a couple of decades, and ask the people who laid out places like Gowing Drive what they were thinking?!? A street of over a kilometre long that turns its back to the gully and has not a single gap in the row of private properties. Not one alleyway. Not one track. Not even one maintenance access. Not a single thought given to a project like this happening one day, when people might want to explore what’s over their back fences. So this means that, short of Council buying a property to get through-access, Gowing Drive may stay “islanded” for a long time yet.

On the northern side, things look a little better. Some accesses may well be doable – but not on the cheap, because you still need to build the connecting path, maybe with the odd small bridge, etc. And that money is simply not in the budget for the main path. We’ve asked, and the cash is tight. Yes, NZTA and the Minister of Transport are putting in a lot of funding for this flagship project – but it won’t cover any additions, we’re told, especially as the project managers will need to keep some in reserve for contingencies (you never know what issues you might find once you start actually digging…)

But there’s still time to make sure this is done right

How many side connections could there be in this 2.5 km?  One every 200m would make for a dozen connections. The potential is huge. Let’s aim for at least a few, and see them built this decade, rather than the next.

As one observer noted, constructing this section of path without side links is the access/mobility equivalent of running water and power lines past houses… but not actually hooking anyone up. And the likelihood is that without ‘official’ links in place, people will try to work out how to get across as soon as the rail overbridge is in place. (Probably not by bike… but you never know!)

That’s why as transportation advocates who have been influential for lobbying for the project, we want to make sure that this situation has been well recognised and anticipated while everyone involved has ample time to do something about it.

So who needs to do what?

  • We will continue to advocate for a quality path, maximised side links, and safe connections at each end, to Tamaki Drive and Merton Road (that’s another story altogether).
  • And the Local Board could sponsor side links and prioritise their construction.

Here’s the good news: the Orakei Local Board’s list of priorities for the 2016/2017 budget (see full list here) includes scoping and providing connections to the path:

  • developing cycling and walking connections to the Orakei Spine (Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive path) from Tahapa East and West Reserves
  • providing additional funding in 2016/17 for design and consents for additional connections to the Orakei Spine (Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive path)

You can help by giving supportive feedback on the Orakei Local Board’s priorities, using this feedback form (scroll down to find Question 5b about the priority projects).

Anyone can comment, but feedback is especially valuable if you’re a local and can say how adding side-links would improve your walking or biking life.

NB Feedback must be received by 4pm Thursday 24 March 2016.

This really is an important and visionary project, with massive potential to open up the neighbourhood – let’s make sure it’s accessible to as many people as possible, so they, too, can experience the happiness of having a cycleway in the back yard.

Improving cycling in Glen Innes

One of the projects to get funding from the government’s Urban Cycleway Funding announcement is to improve cycling links to the Glen Innes train station. Unlike other projects from the UCF the project isn’t a set route but seems to be intended to create a network of routes linking not only the train station but also the town centre, schools and employment areas.

Auckland urbancycleways map 2015-18

Auckland Transport are now asking the public just what they think needs to be done to make cycling in Glen Innes better. This is quite different to the usual consultation done where they asking about some pre-prepared plans.

 

Glen Innes is set for a major upgrade with improvements planned for people getting around on bike and the local community is being asked what should be done.

Auckland Transport will be improving cycling links to the Glen Innes train station but also wants to know what else can be done in the area for people on bikes says Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling manager, Kathryn King.

“Glen Innes and the surrounding area will be developing in the coming years. We are planning for that growth by encouraging people to leave the car at home and instead walk, cycle or use public transport. Getting people walking and cycling to public transport connections is a key priority.  The people who live here know it best, so we are asking them to tell us what needs improving to get them on their bikes,” she says.

The local community is being asked to identify routes they would like to see improved for cycling. That will include routes to the train station but also how access can be improved to the town centre, parks, community facilities and the future Glen Innes to Tamaki shared path. This shared path, which starts at Merton Rd and follows the rail line all the way to Tamaki Drive, will connect communities and provide a direct route into the city for people on bikes.

People are also being asked if there are any particular problems for people cycling in the area that they would like to see addressed.

“We want to make it easier to cycle to the train station so people can get to where they want to go for work or study. That means improvements to the road corridor, but we are also looking at other improvements like bike parking,” adds Ms King.

The project is part of a $200 million, three year programme of cycle projects in Auckland to be delivered by AT, Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency. To get more people cycling and to reduce the number single occupancy vehicles on the road, the partners will focus on cycle projects to, and within the city centre, as well as links to major transport interchanges.

The investment is a joint initiative between Central and Local Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme.

For more details on the project or to send feedback online go to the project webpage AT.govt.nz Search: Glen Innes cycle improvements

The method of consultation is also new. AT have developed a mapping tool allowing people to drop a pin on a map and add a comment about it rather than having to try and explain details in a text box like we’ve had to in the past. This is a good step from AT. You do have to have to register to give feedback but you can do so using your twitter profile (if you have one).

Glen Innes Consultation Map

AT’s new cycle consultation tool

The consultation is open until Friday 6 November

2014 – A Year in Review Part 2 – Walking and Cycling

In the second in my series of posts wrapping up the year I will look at Walking and Cycling

There have been a couple of major projects but in many ways not that much seems to have been done with most of progress being on proposed projects that have yet to start construction. Further perhaps the most disappointing aspect is there main focus continues to be on large feature projects – which are definitely needed – but little progress seems to be being made on the less glamorous but equally important need of connecting people to local amenities like shops and schools. Here’s what has been some of the biggest stories.

Grafton Gully and Beach Rd

The biggest advancement this year would have to be the opening of the NZTA’s Grafton Gully cycleway and the first stage of Auckland Transport’s Beach Rd cycleway providing a protected route all the way from Upper Queen St to Quay St. Just last week the latest link was added providing a connection to Whittaker Pl.

Grafton Gully Opening - Grafton Bridge

Beach Rd is only a short section so far but will be extended in 2015 to become more useful but is a great example of what can be achieved when Auckland Transport have the courage to remove parking. We need a lot more of this all around the city. In 2015 it will be extended from Mahuhu Cres to Britomart Pl.

Beach Rd Cycle Way

Government Cycling Budget

Perhaps one of the more important aspects this year wasn’t something physical but the increasing political realisation that cycling needs investment. The election saw all major parties pledge to put more money towards creating urban cycleways. While the government’s proposal of $100 million over four years was the lowest of suggestions, it is still a significant improvement compared to what we’ve been spending.

Skypath Resource Consent

Skypath is probably the single most important cycling project in Auckland. When completed finally adds the major missing mode the Harbour Bridge and gives residents of the North Shore a walk/cycle connection to the rest of  the region without having to go via Upper Harbour or catch a ferry. Earlier this month the project took a huge step forward when the resource consent for it was publicly notified and is open for submissions till 23 January.

Skypath Consent - From Westhaven

Northcote Cycleway

Connecting to Skypath and providing more connections to locals, this year Auckland Transport proposed a series of walking and cycling upgrades to roads in around Northcote.

Northcote Safecycle Overview

Unfortunately it seems to have met stiff resistance from locals fearful of losing carparks (despite most having off street parking) and the latest comments in the AT board papers suggest AT is scaling back the design. Some of that resistance and scaremongering has been driven by George Wood who put out this comical video.

Dominion Rd Parallel Routes

A big bone of contention in recent years has been plans to improve cycling around the Dominion Rd corridor. This was especially the case a few years ago when Auckland Transport decided not to put cycle lanes on Dominion Rd and instead focus on a series of back street connections. This year those local road upgrades got underway.

2357_Dominion Rd Cycle lane map_10.04.14 GF

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path

This year we learned that the NZTA and AT were planning to push ahead with another major off road cycleway in the form of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path which will follow the rail line between those two locations. The urgency of this route is partly being pushed by the NZTA who want use the existing designation originally intended for the eastern motorway before it expires. Work should start next year.

Sections of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path 1

Nelson St Cycleway

Sometimes a project manages to catch on and move ahead much faster than normal and that is especially the case with the proposal to use the old Nelson St off ramp to provide a connection to an upgraded Nelson St. The NZTA and AT picked up the idea and seem to be moving ahead with construction due to start next year. The image below shows the proposal for Nelson St.

Nelson St cycleway

City Centre Priority Routes

Along with Nelson St we also learned about a number of other priority routes in the city centre that re being explored that when complete will provide a backbone of protected routes around and through the city centre. These include

  • North-South Cycle route (Nelson St)
  • Beaumont St/Westhaven Dr Cycleway
  • Quay St Cycleway
  • East West Route
  • K Rd Cycleway
  • Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway

CBD Cycling priority routes

O’Connell St

O’Connell St was completed this year and is undoubtedly the best shared space so far thanks to it’s narrower space and heritage buildings. It’s worth remembering that this outcome was far from certain a few years ago when AT said it was too narrow for a shared space and proposed to retain a defined road but without any parking that would have slowed vehicles down. While it is the best street more does need to be done to remind drivers what shared spaces are as a few treat it like a race track, especially courier drivers.

OC5

 

Federal St

This should have been an addition to Auckland’s shared space network however unfortunately it’s poor design and multiple vehicle access needs mean there are still far too many vehicles on the street, many of which travel too fast scaring most pedestrians to the edges.

What have I missed?

More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path

Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four stages (down from five initially). The stages are shown below and previously section 2 was two separate stages.

Sections of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path 1

AT say the project features are

  • The path will be around four metres wide and constructed mostly in concrete. Timber boardwalks will be used for short water crossings such as Orakei Basin and concrete for longer structures such as the proposed Hobson Bay crossing.
  • The path will be safe and convenient for use by people on foot or on bike.
  • Good lighting will extend hours of access, particularly during winter months.
  • The route’s geography is hilly in places, but the design of the path will keep gradients as low as possible.
  • The path design will link into local communities and the project will identify future links that could be built at a later date.
  • The path will connect communities with public transport along the route.

 

AT have put out this video showing the route.

And here are the

I think the thing that surprised me the most was that the path will travel down the northern side of the railway line till around Purewa Cemetery before crossing over to the southern side. I had previously thought they would squeeze it in on the southern side. Being on the northern side might in future open up the opportunity for some of the areas on the northern side of the tracks to have access to Meadowbank station which would be useful, although it might also increase calls from the local board to have another station in the vicinity.

I also wonder what the longer term plans are for the section of land between the path and the railway line south of St Johns Rd. We know it’s now not going to be used for an Eastern Motorway.

And here are a couple of images of what the path may look like.

Eastern Path Section 1

Eastern Path Section 2 - 2

Eastern Path Section 2 - 1

Eastern Path Section 4

My biggest concern with the path is that there won’t be enough done to build cycle facilities on roads that lead to/from the path. That includes both in the eastern suburbs and of course Tamaki Dr. Overall though I think the path will be very popular and busy with people walking and on bikes, especially across Hobson bay on a nice day.

Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr Cycleway moving ahead

Cycle Action Auckland have revealed that a cycleway between Glen Innes and Tamaki Dr is being brought forward by a collaboration between Auckland Transport and the NZTA and the first stages could be under construction in just a few months.

The details we have at this stage were revealed in a presentation delivered to the CAA just over a week ago. You can read the presentation here although most of the details are below.

Auckland Transport have split their proposed Auckland Cycling Network into three categories. this project forms part of the metro network.

  •  METRO – provide segregation from traffic along shared paths, off road routes and protected cycle lanes
  • CONNECTOR – are not fully segregated routes and are the more traditional cycle lanes marked by painted lines
  • FEEDER – can be a mixture of segregation, shared paths and on-road routes but are located on quiet neighbourhood streets and where there are low traffic speeds. These routes link residential streets, parks and community facilities including schools. The Feeder network also aligns with Local Board Greenway proposals

This project forms part of the highest level metro network (which seems to have a big whole through the middle of the isthmus)

Glen Inness to Tamaki Dr - Metro network

The cycleway will connect to the three train stations along the route, Glen Innes, Meadowbank and Orakei. It will also have connections into the surrounding suburbs which could make it really useful for expanding the reach of those train stations. It will also link into the work being built as part of AMETI.

The agencies suggest that initial demand is only about 300 people per day however that it would grow to 900 per day in the future. To me that seems fairly light and I suspect it will end up being much more than this as like Skypath I see it as having much more transformational impacts than what the models often suggest.

The project has been broken up into 5 sections and is expected to be built over 3-4 years though an integrated project instead of the 6-7 years it would have taken if they used a more traditional approach. The sections are

  • Section 1 (Mechanics Bay to Orakei Point) – 3 to 4 years
  • Section 2 (Orakei Point to Meadowbank Station) – 2 years
  • Section 3 (Orakei Point to Purewa Cemetery) – 3 years
  • Section 4 (Purewa Cemetery to St Johns Road) – 3 years
  • Section 5 (ST Johns Road to Glen Innes) – 2 years

Glen Inness to Tamaki Dr - Sections

Interestingly it appears that sections 4 and 5 will use some of the land that was held aside for the canned Eastern Motorway.

The current timeline they are working to is:

  • July – stakeholder engagement
  • July – consenting and procurement strategy
  • November – lodge planning applications
  • End 2014 – targeted to have contractor on board
  • Early 2015 – commence construction (section 5)

This should be a fantastic project so it’s great to see it moving forward and doing so quickly. Well done to all involved.