Wasn’t last Sunday’s weather amazing! Add to gorgeous weather the chance to learn more about our next big new cycleway, and you’ll find me in top form. I spent the afternoon doing a walkover of the route of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive cycleway which will see sod turning for Stage 1 (Merton Rd to St Johns Rd) in late March – early April next year!
Tim Duguid is leading this project for us – he’s one of the new crop of fabulously talented and energetic people who agreed to join Cycle Action’s Committee at our AGM in September. They are already powering Cycle Action to new levels of delivery that is a huge delight to me and our Deputy Chair, Paul Shortland.
Tim lives in Meadowbank, has kids at Selwyn College and runs parts of the new cycleway route regularly. His local knowledge and impressive professional and personal skills make him ideal for this project. I also had the company of Jane Admore, (our highly effective membership secretary) and local resident / new Committee star, Kirsten Shouler, who comes to us after 5 years of sterling work on Sky Path.
We began our walkover at the Glen Innes Station so we could check out the underpass connecting the Glen Innes shopping centre to the Station and Felton Matthew Ave. We then went up the road to enter the NZTA’s land leased as horse paddocks behind houses in Felton Matthew Ave, walking up to the impressive panoramic views of St Johns Rd, where Stage 1 of the project ends.
Stage 2 begins after a new safer cycling crossing at St John’s Rd, and passes down the Purewa Valley to the cemetary and on to pass the Meadowbank Train Station. We reached this section using a green space beside Selwyn College. En route we passed the rail corridor, native bush and stream areas that will be a highlight of the future pathway, and lookouts with spectacular views over Orakei Basin, Hobson Bay and beyond to the Sky Tower and buildings of the Central City forming a tantilising backdrop.
Photo below – Looking north over Meadowbank Train station beside the Purewa Stream arm of the Orakei inlet, the Orakei Rd road bridge and the central city skyline.
We were intrigued to see parts of the historic St John’s bridal path and the a good shingled path built and maintained by a keen group of local residents. Stages 3 and 4 of will take the cycleway over a widened Orakei boardwalk and a new boardwalk to be built across Hobson Bay to connect to Tamaki Drive.
There are some tricky parts to the route – but it’s obvious it will become a high profile, treasured regional and local connecter for walking and cycling that will be feature in Auckland tourist brochures as one of the ‘must do’ highlights of visits to the City. Mayor Len – listen up and take note, projects like this give cities real mana on the international stage and are pure gold in creating civic pride and ownership with residents.
We are pleased to be working with AT and NZTA’s the joint project teams, and to be assisted by AT’s highly efficient and always helpful stakeholder manager. It’s also great to have other key stakeholders on board, Ken Baguely from the Orakei Local Board and Ngarimu Blair from the Ngati Whatua Trust Board, a major landowner and tangata whenua for the area.
A public open day is coming up very soon. Read our next blog later today!