Progress continues on the Harbour Bridge crossing, with the announcement today of an upcoming call for public feedback on how the path will touch down at each end, in Northcote Point and Westhaven. This is a great sign that the NZ Transport Agency is moving things along efficiently and productively, with quick, focused consultations.
Consultation on options for the landings will be open from 21 August to 4 September.
Feedback will help inform the Detailed Business Case, which is expected to go to the Transport Agency Board for approval later this year. Says the Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery, Andrew Thackwray:
“We know there is significant public support for us to get on and build the shared path as quickly as possible and we are grateful for the feedback that we’ve had so far. We have heard that people generally like the five-metre width of the path and feel that it provides safe connectivity for users.
We now want to share our work and get feedback on where the path will land and connect to the local walking and cycling networks in Westhaven and Northcote Point.”
To recap: NZTA’s preferred design was announced in May – a five-metre-wide path attached to the southbound side of the bridge, using the piers rather than clipping on to the clip-on. Two drop-in evenings in June gathered some initial public feedback. (You can read the results here.)
NZTA has been assessing options for the landings at Westhaven and Northcote Point, using technical investigations and earlier public feedback. They’re hoping to work with the consents already granted for the SkyPath design option – a logical move for efficiency’s sake.
The public will be invited to give feedback on three landing options:
- Option One: Consented ramps that are part of the original SkyPath design
- Option Two: Ramps that are specifically designed to connect with the new part of the path
- Option Three: Lift and stairs combination
According to the media release, “the outcome of the assessment work so far is an emerging design with ramps that is an enhanced version of the consented SkyPath design.” Says Andrew Thackwray: “These new ramps represent a safe, well designed and cost-effective way for all users of the path to access the path easily and safely while taking into account impacts on the local areas at each end.”
We assume the “emerging design” is Option Two. Assuming it’s do-able within the existing consent, at first glance that looks to be the Goldilocks option all round: specifically designed to tie in with the new 5m wide path, and obviously preferable to stairs and lifts.
Naturally, we’ll have questions about details like width, sightlines, gradient, and of course the potential for gently separating wheeled traffic from foot traffic. There’ll be further opportunities to dig into all that. For now, we’re pleased and excited to see work moving ahead so productively.
For pictures of the landing options and the feedback form, keep an eye on www.nzta.govt.nz/ahbpath as soon as consultation opens, 21 August through to 4 September.
1. Mark your calendars for the drop-in sessions:
Tuesday 20 August 3.45 – 5.45pm
Northcote War Memorial Hall
2 Rodney Street, Northcote Point
Tuesday 20 August 7 – 9pm
Glenfield Community Centre
Cnr Bentley Ave & Glenfield Rd, Glenfield
Thursday 22 August 5 – 7.30pm
Ponsonby Primary School Hall
44 Curran St, Herne Bay
2. Find out more about the project at www.nzta.govt.nz/ahbpath. If you’d like to talk to the project team or register interest in the AHB Shared Path project, you can email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org And for info about SeaPath, which will continue the connection into the North Shore, please visit www.nzta.govt.nz/seapath.
3. Stand by to add your voice to the feedback – let’s see another citywide green wave of “Yes, please, go for it!”