Now, picking up where that left off and continuing 7km further north comes… *cue fanfare*… Section 2: Akoranga to Constellation.
When we look for projects to ungap the map, they don’t get much bigger than this one: 7km of pathway to bridge the gap between Akoranga Drive (where Section 1 ends) and Constellation Drive, where it will connect to the Northern Corridor Improvements reaching towards Albany.
Once all sections have been built, we’ll have a continuous pathway from Oteha Valley Road in Albany to Westhaven on the city side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It will be epic.
Note: This section is at an early stage, so the consultation is high-level – no pretty pictures of bridges or detailed cross-sections. At this stage, Waka Kotahi is really looking for your general feedback on what you like about certain routes, what you don’t, where you see opportunities and where you see issues.
Scroll down for our feedback suggestions.
Feedback closes Sunday 14 June!
Click here to give your feedback via an interactive map, or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
What we like
- This pathway bridges a significant gap in the cycle network, providing an arterial connection from Albany to the city, and connecting to educational hubs, shopping, and industry as well as where people live.
- Running the path parallel to the Northern Busway offers great public transport options for people looking for ways to connect and extend their journeys.
- The current thinking is that this will be a continuous, grade-separated path (i.e. underpasses and overbridges mean you won’t have to interact with traffic), thus continuing the good work in the latest plans for the Westhaven to Akoranga section.
- Current plans have this project going full steam ahead as a priority for Auckland.
What else to speak up for
Stakeholder sessions have already highlighted many of these requirements – but as always, if we want to ensure a feature or connection is included, it’s crucial to speak up in support. Ask Waka Kotahi to:
- Include east-west connections, providing access to and from the path throughout its length – including at busway stations, the hospital, Northcote Town Centre, Takapuna and Wairau Valley.
- Continue the 4-metre path width from the Seapath section, and widen the path further at busy locations, e.g.near Smales Farm/Northcote Road.
- Ensure that where roads cross the path (including Sunset and Northcote Roads), this is done with grade separation, i.e. underpasses or overbridges, to ensure safety and convenience for people using the path.
- Integrate this section tightly and efficiently with Sections 1 and 3, including grade separation for safety through the interchanges at Constellation Drive and Esmonde Road.
- Regardless of which side of the motorway Section 2 is constructed on, make sure the path has east-west crossings at both Esmonde Road and Constellation Drive that are of a good width (4 metres) and grade-separated for safety.
A bit more context
If you have local knowledge, by all means speak up for important local connections. A lot of discussion has already highlighted the importance of the east-west links and has identified opportunities to connect to arts and sports facilities, schools, AUT’s Akoranga campus, local marae, North Shore Hospital and various communities along the route.
Those who took part in the recent Phase 1 – Westhaven to Akoranga consultation will remember that the Akoranga end of the path finished at Akoranga Drive with a toucan crossing (one with lines for pedestrians and bikes). This was based on not knowing which side of the motorway this project will be on, will it be on the western side with Phase 1 or the eastern side with Phase 3?
We say: regardless of which side of the motorway the project is on, it’s vital that there is tight integration between all three sections that doesn’t require at-grade crossings; and the crossings at Esmonde Road and Constellation Drive must be improved to create access to the path and between communities.
Lastly, no project of this scale comes without a challenge. Just before the Northcote Road overbridge is Smiths Bush Reserve. This much loved spot contains some of the last remaining original bush from the area. Naturally, it is desirable to protect and preserve as much of Smiths Bush as possible. Before any path is put in, an environmental impact study will be undertaken and we expect a compromise will be reached.
As always, we’re keen to hear your thoughts – but we’re even keener for you to share them with the Waka Kotahi team, so they can get cracking with the plan.
Remember, feedback closes Sunday 14 June. Go for it!