SkyPath WesternWe chatted yesterday with Bevan Woodward, SkyPath’s project director, and our conversation also drifted into the various groups that still resist the project. We can’t discuss all we talked about (especially as some of the opponents aren’t as public about it as others), but it’s good to hear that they are also collecting new supporters – particularly important when the project is still being required to provide study after study on top of all the work (and voluminous reports) that has been done already.

So it was good to hear that Russell McVeagh – one of the most prestigious NZ law firms – has agreed to provide pro-bono legal assistance to review & advise the project (they are Resource Management Act specialists, so highly useful to have them on board). Also, the Ministry of the Environment has just agreed to provide $193,000 to fund some further studies – and access design – that had been requested. Read SkyPath’s press release here:

Today’s announcement by Ministry for the Environment of $193,000 funding for SkyPath is a real boost says project director, Bevan Woodward.

“We greatly appreciate the Government’s support for the SkyPath project. For a long time our goal has been regarded as unachievable by some, but now SkyPath is increasingly seen as the smart transport solution that makes perfect sense.

“SkyPath is an exemplar project that demonstrates how we can tick all the boxes; environmentally, socially and economically. Aucklanders want safe and convenient alternatives to the private motor car. Sustainable transport in its various forms is clearly the way of the future. It’s more affordable than motorway building, less harmful to our environment and makes our city a more enjoyable place to be.

Mr Woodward says “The Ministry of the Environment’s funding of $193,000 means we can get on with design work of SkyPath’s access ramps in consultation with key stakeholders, research the consent requirements, advance the engineering details and prepare funding arrangements for construction and operation.

“This grant gives us extra confidence in the SkyPath project and will enable us to take an agreement for the next stage of work to Auckland Council’s Strategy & Finance Committee in August 2013.”

“Hence we are very grateful for the pro bono assistance SkyPath is receiving from KPMG and Russell McVeagh via Hikurangi Foundation’s Compass Network. Their expert guidance is enabling us to prepare the funding and delivery arrangements for SkyPath that will need to be considered by Auckland Council.”

“Our aim is to the obtain resource consent in 2014 and start construction of SkyPath late next year.”

SkyPath HurdlingSounds great. We should applaud Bevan and his team, because the work they are doing to get us all a walk & cycleway is like combining an ironman long-distance race with a hurdling competition.

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12 responses to “Harbour bridge cycleway getting some new supporters

  1. This project was top of Mayor Brown’s list of cycling goals for this electoral term. I am amazed that so little leadership is evident in Auckland Council and Auckland Transport’s apparent inability or unwillingness to give it the small push needed to get it over the line. NZTA have come up trumps, as have the private and Govt related sectors.
    Can I be cheeky and suggest we ask the Anglican Cathedral team the secret in pushing a project in the back door and over the line. They managed a $3m Council grant in the space of days. All this project needs is Council underwriting (not even a grant)!!!

    1. I think Len is more concerned with building high rises and over populating auckland to get more rates than working out how to move the people we have now around!

      1. Do you mean he’s more interested in working out ways to manage the growth that will occur whether we try and ignore it or accept it will happen. Not planning for the future doesn’t mean it won’t come.

  2. As a local resident I object to Skypath based on the following.

    1. Skypath has been promoted as a zero cost to taxpayer project and yet here it is sucking up $193’000 from the Ministry of Environment. If the Skypath is a financial failure I as a taxpayer (like many of you) will have to pay for this thing. This is a FACT as the project is underwritten by the Govt.

    2. If Skypaths own predictions of patronage are correct then I will have 5000 cyclists/tourists a day descend on what is now a very quiet street. In the weekend the projection is up to 10’000 and the facility is to run 24 hours a day on weekends and up till midnight during the week. It is a FACT that 5000 people can not tread as quietly as 0, especially any that decide to walk home on a friday night after 6 hours in the pub.
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/west/noisy-cyclists-bragging-about-bedroom-antics-drive-southside-residents-to-petition-for-keep-quiet-signs/story-fn8m0u4y-1226621073134

    3. As a local resident I am concerned that in any given demo graph of society there are good and bad. Of the estimated 5000 users a day it is impossible to not believe a percentage of these people will cause great annoyance to residents. Annoyance could be (but not limited too); dropping litter, making unreasonable noise, damaging property (public and private), theft. It is a FACT that on average 4% of the western population suffer from antisocial personality disorder. It is a Fact that NZ along with United States, Colombia, France, Ukraine have the highest rates. However even if we just use the average that would still be 200 people a day with APD. A full list of APD traits would include: Sense of entitlement; Unremorseful; Apathetic to others; Unconscionable behaviour; Blameful of others; Manipulative and conning; Affectively cold; Disparate understanding; Socially irresponsible; Disregardful of obligations; Nonconforming to norms; Irresponsible.

    4. As a resident I am concerned about the effects of Park and cycle users clogging up the roads and taking up all available parking facilities. Park and Ride is a popular option already for North Shore commuters to the CBD. It is a FACT that the Northern Busway provides 550 P+R spaces in Albany and a further 370 in Constellation drive. These were not provided for without demand. It is a FACT that parking costs in the CBD are expensive. A monthly parking ticket costs $270.25/month so $13.50 per day (20 working days before anyone challenges the math). Skypath users will be able to cross for $4.00 a day creating an incentive of $190.00 a month to park and ride from Northcote where there is free parking. It is entirely illogical and disingenuous to suggest this will not happen. An A zone monthly bus pass costs $140.00 so someone that takes the bus to work could save $330.00 a month through park and cycle. I am sure a saving of $330 a month is not going to be lost on any of the people currently occupying the 920 car parking spaces in Albany and Constellation.

    5. Not only are there worries about park and cycle. It is very likely that any tourists will expect to be bused to and from the Northern end of Skypath. Tourists may walk the 5kms from the CBD (where the hotels are) to Northcote point but they will not want to do another 5km return journey. It is a FACT that Skypath are in discussion with Fullers about this with some of the tourists making the return journey by ferry. My concern is that the tourists will want to wait for the scheduled crossing (apparently the timetable is not convenient for cyclists so why would it be for tourists?) and so there will be tourist coaches parking up waiting for passengers. Quite how they can fit in with residents cars and park and cycle users is anyone guess but it is wrong to assume this will not happen. I know you people love to compare Skypath with The Goldengate bridge in SFO so here is an article giving FACTS about parking problems for park and cycle tourists http://www.ourgoldengate.com/parking-at-the-golden-gate-bridge.html

    1. “…you people…” – I had to laugh.

      Great submission, though. Lots of facts to support your view, and good to hear from a horse’s mouth about the concerns some people have about the project.

      I especially liked the bit where you talk about “Sense of entitlement; Unremorseful; Apathetic to others; Unconscionable behaviour; Blameful of others; Manipulative and conning; Affectively cold; Disparate understanding; Socially irresponsible; Disregardful of obligations; Nonconforming to norms; Irresponsible…”

      Would you consider proving you don’t have disparate understanding about the value of this project, nor a sense of entitlement about where you live, nor an apathy to others in your immediate and wider communities, (etc), by noting any facts about the direct and opportunity costs to your country of -not- supporting a project like SkyPath?

      Including, but (by far) not limited to: improved balance of trade through increased tourism income; reduced costs of public health due to improvements in general health through getting more people moving instead of sitting in their cars (http://hin.com/blog/2013/06/11/infographic-the-cost-of-sitting/) ; reduced vehicle movements leading to lower emissions (passing near your house by the sounds of things); more valid expenditure of taxpayer money on community enhancements or any other pet project, thanks to reduced vehicular traffic no longer requiring yet more roads to be built or repaired…?

      Also, assuming you’re right and this is a disaster waiting to happen, what else could we do instead? Or is it only doing nothing that you’re keen on?

      Thanks!

      – Greg

    2. Wow what a nimbi you are! I also live in a suburb where the sky path will be and cannot wait! This will not only help make Auckland a world class city but help ease the congestion that we all love to complain about.

      Your estimates of people using the Sky Path are ridiculous as well you know. I regularly use the North Western Cycle way and even in busy periods it would not see a tenth of our number.

      Given that there is nothing to do in Northcote Point, I can hardly see people coming in to your suburb in droves and parking their cars and throwing rubbish around.

      People on bikes are also tax payers and will also be paying for this in addition to the money they will pay to use it.

      Tourists who use the sky path would not be the kind of tourists that would expect to be bussed back to the city.

      I think you need to really think about your objections because they are not based on FACT but on your sense of entitlment and concern about any loss of value in your property or life.

      S

  3. I like this part of Phils rant : especially any that decide to walk home on a friday night after 6 hours in the pub.He must get out a little more, because around the corner from his house there is a PUB on the corner of Queen st and King st with a big carpark behind it that feeds out onto a very narrow st called Princes st Having spent time in that pub in my younger years I know that it goes off big time .So from what you said you would rather have drunks driving cars around your narrow streets chucking cans and bottles out of there cars than a drunk trying to walk home.Thinking about it you would be sober after walking 5km from the city to shore .One more thing Phil get your FACTS right Skypath are now working on Seapath so the skypath will miss you sleepy little area with the great pub and carry on to points north of you. I dont get mad with people like you ,I feel sorry for them, only seeing the negative and downside side of life.

  4. The numbers come from Skypaths own projections. In fact if the numbers dont add up then Auckland will just be left with an expensive white elephant to pay for.
    Skypath say there will be no car parking available to Skypath users but does not mean users will not expect to park. The traffic study report commisioned by Skypath states: ‘On one hand,SkyPath intends to encourage users to not use cars at all as part oftheir SkyPath journey, it being a facility intended to encourage active transport modes.On the other hand,the argument could be made that many Aucklanders currently remain car?focused, and many
    would visit a recreational facility by car, despite the level of encouragement to the contrary, and especially if they can (or think they can) find free parking’.
    The report found a total of 342 available kerbside car parking spaces in Northcote Point South of which local demand during expected Skypath use varied from 150-250 spaces. That means between 92 and 192 space capacity for Skypath. The report then estimates users will require between 124-450 spaces on weekdays and 160-633 spaces on weekends. So in the most optimistic scenario Skypath would take a significant percentage of the spare capacity of spaces. In the worst case scenario you would have 483 more cars than spaces available to park! If we take averages Skypath will create a shortfall of 287 spaces on a weekday and a shortfall of 396 spaces on the weekend. SKYPATHS OWN REPORT IS TELLING THEM THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE PARKING PROBLEM.
    Apart from the parking mess can you imagine what the residents of Queen Street North will think of adding all these cars to Northcote Point. As it is the traffic lights create a build up of cars all the way to the cinema in peak times. The CO2 Skypath will add to the area makes this far from a Green initiative.
    Enough FACTS for you?

    1. The same report also says that there are various ways to PREVENT that parking impact, Phil. Such as resident’s parking schemes that discourage or prevent SkyPath users from parking there. Please tell the whole story.

    2. Stop shouting, Phil. We can see you’re upset, but you’re alienating people who might be able to help. What would you like to change? How can we make this better? Because it’s not going to go away.

  5. Phil got to the Skypath website and read about Seapath all you fears about skypath will be over, no parking problems no drunks walking past you house etc them you can put all your energy into getting drunk drivers off your narrow streets or do they all walk to that pub on the point ?I find it rich that you play the CO2 green card when you live under a bridge with 100,000s of cars trucks and buses driving overhead 24/7/365 pouring out co2 and other gases.

  6. I would ignore any post from Phil, he is posting very one eyed nimby comments wherever he can, and appears to be immune to any logic that disagrees with his view point.

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