As part of Bike Auckland’s ongoing mahi to help make Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s transport options more sustainable, accessible and connected, we asked for the release of the Waka Kotahi reports from November and December 2021 which revealed Waka Kotahi are planning 4-5 Bridge crossing events this year. Read on to find out Bike Auckland’s position on this:
Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing events are only useful if a permanent and safe bridge crossing solution exists for walking, scooting, wheeling and biking. This will provide more Aucklanders with alternative transportation options, create a more accessible city and help Auckland to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction target.
Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi have dedicated funding in their annual budgets for the improvement and promotion of biking and walking within Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Bike Auckland sees the priority use of this funding as improving the safety for cyclists through, development of safer infrastructure sooner, and the completion of the Auckland Cycling Network.
Biking events offer an important opportunity to engage and inspire the community to take action and get active. A series of 4-5 hour bridge crossing events will provide the public with opportunities to experience crossing the Harbour Bridge by walking or cycling, but it offers no benefit to thousands of commuters who want a permanent solution.
In context, the proposed bridge events only account for a small portion of the overall cycling and walking development budget that Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi oversee each year. Again, Bike Auckland sees it is paramount that focus is maintained on building safer cycling infrastructure sooner. This will provide more Aucklanders with alternative transportation options, create a more accessible city and help Auckland to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction target.
‘A viable option for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the harbour bridge must be found if Auckland is to complete a connected cycle network and achieve our emissions reduction ambitions’, says Bike Auckland Chair Tony Mitchell. Bike Auckland continues to advocate for a proof of concept trial through dedicating a single lane on the bridge for biking and walking, which will enable a conclusive study can be undertaken. The usage data for the Harbour Bridge shows that this trial can be undertaken with minimal impact to congestion.