Bike Auckland commissioned SmartSense Ltd to investigate the feasibility of liberating a lane on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for active mobility – walking, cycling and other personal mobility options. Spoiler alert – it absolutely can be done safely, without a significant impact on motor traffic.
Richard Young from Smart Sense has over four decades of experience in the delivery of major infrastructure around the world. He previously led the delivery of a major expressway project for Waka Kotahi. He has broad technical knowledge of highways and infrastructure, and master’s degrees in both geotechnics and business. He brings pragmatic real-world experience and commercial rigour to deliver evidence-based analysis.
As a Chartered Civil Engineer, Richard is committed to provide trusted impartial advice to decision makers on how to build more sustainable, resilient infrastructure. With climate change and other unprecedented challenges facing society Richard is committed to work with the best and brightest engineering minds to find innovative solutions to those challenges.
Bike Auckland commissioned SmartSense Ltd to investigate the feasibility of liberating a lane on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for active mobility – walking, cycling and other personal mobility options. The resulting report concludes that:
- There is existing capacity on the Harbour Bridge to support a lane permanently being used for active modes without significantly impacting on motor traffic
- A safe design would include:
- A shared path for active modes located on the most easterly clip-on lane. The east side provides for better protection from wind (predominantly Westerlies), easy access on and off the bridge, and stunning views of the harbour and city
- An anti-climb barrier along the eastern edge of the bridge for suicide prevention, as has been effective on comparable bridges overseas
- The use of free-standing HV2 Steel/Concrete composite barriers with mesh fence between the shared path and the motor traffic. This is a relatively lightweight barrier which Waka Kotahi have already approved the use of in Aotearoa NZ
- Potential for a 4 metre shared path width which is within the Austroads guidance for gradient (5%) and width with the expected usage
- Potential for a 60km/h speed limit for the motor-traffic in the lane adjacent to the shared path for additional safety
- Potential for dampers to be placed between the bridge and the clip-on (to prevent movement caused when a significant number of pedestrians march across at the same time)
● Based on data from Waka Kotahi, weather conditions on the bridge appear suitable for walking and cycling for 98% of the year. The shared path would be affected by adverse weather conditions approximately 3 – 7 days per year, similar to other road users.
Smartsense Ltd. estimates that access for walking and cycling across the Auckland Harbour
Bridge could be delivered within 8 months for under 30 million dollars.
Bike Auckland notes that this could be rapidly delivered and affordable, and is a crucial
equitable solution for transport choice in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Not included in Waka Kotahi’s assessment are the following benefits;
★ Empowers people to choose climate-friendly travel resulting in emissions reductions
★ More transport choice for people who don’t drive
★ Saves people money
★ Creates a more resilient transport system
★ Delivers greater health and wellbeing from active travel
★ Greater independence, especially for children
★ Culturally significant crossing
★ Fun to cross and with great views!
★ A tourist attraction!
★ Potential to relieve congestion across the transport network as people switch to walking,
cycling, and public transport