Our post on SkyPath’s Northern Connectors has generated a lot of comment and it’s great to see the support not just for SkyPath itself but endorsement of the need for multiple routes catering for many different user requirements.

Click to access full Google map

So let’s have a closer look at SeaPath – the generic name for the connector between SkyPath and southern Takapuna and the Devonport Peninsula marked in blue on the adjacent map.  As with any project, we’ll set out the requirements, then look at possible design alternatives, with a commentary on Forest & Bird’s NaturePath proposal.

There are two types of cyclists who will be attracted to SeaPath.  Firstly, tourists, visitors and recreational cyclists, bearing in mind there will be a number of pedestrians with similar requirements as well.  They’ll be looking for:

  • A protected route away from motorised traffic
  • Easy gradients
  • Spectacular scenery and points of interest
  • The opportunity to travel slowly, stop, look, linger and learn
  • Access off the path to local attractions such as Onepoto Basin and Tuff Crater
  • Access to paid public car parking at AUT, and public transport at the Esmonde Rd bus station
  • A safe and attractive connector through to southern Takapuna, and to Lake Rd/Green Route for a Devonport/Bayswater round trip.

Secondly, we need to consider commuter cyclists, and there will be many.  Any cycling commuters originating from the Eastern Bays will use SeaPath, likely via East Coast Rd, Forrest Hill Rd, Taharoto Rd and Fred Thomas Drive.  Those from the Devonport Peninsula will use Lake Rd.  The Esmonde Rd shared path will become much busier, requiring improvements as pointed out in the previous post.  So requirements for SeaPath here are:

  • A protected route away from motorised traffic
  • The ability to travel safely at high speeds (say a design speed of 30kph)
  • Large radius curves
  • Assured traction on a smooth surface, especially in adverse weather conditions
  • Minimal hold-ups caused by lack of priority at intersections, and milling pedestrians
  • A generally attractive route.

Then we need to consider our environmental and planning constraints, which in a nutshell are:

  • The availability of land for the path
  • Terrain which is hilly in places
  • The ecological sensitivity of the Shoal Bay foreshore, particularly with regard to the endangered dotterels

    NZ Dotterel
  • Integration with the long term plan to run a cycleway along side the Northern Motorway (not dissimilar to the North-Western cycleway).

So you can see the challenges faced by the design team.  Some requirements are in alignment, some complementary, while some are conflicting.  We don’t have the luxury of greenfields development, so clearly some compromises have to be made to meet all requirements as best we can within the environmental constraints.  Who said cycle design was just a matter of splashing a bit of paint on a road?

So let’s work it through:

  • The motorway corridor dominates the easy gradients in the vicinity, so we have to use the edges.  There really is no other feasible option.  That’s why NZTA is driving this design, and we (Cycle Action, AHB Pathway Trust, Forest & Bird, and any other stakeholders) are interested observers lobbing in suggestions and seeking engagement.  Auckland Transport has a peripheral role where SeaPath escapes the motorway corridor to connect with the existing street and cycle networks
  • The path needs to be wide to cater for high speed cyclists sharing with pedestrians.  A desirable width here would be 5m, particularly if there are railings, and you could reasonably expect there to be given the drop-offs into a mangrove estuary
  • The path needs to have build-outs or observation platforms at key scenic locations where recreational users, especially in groups,  can stop for photos, views and informative signboards without disrupting moving traffic
  • The other requirements and constraints are detailing – no less important, but they don’t drive the design like the initial bullets do
  • And of course there will be some budget constraints.

As mentioned in the previous post, NZTA haven’t yet shared their design with us.  We’ve heard rumours that it does propose to utilise some of the eastern side of the motorway corridor, but have no idea as to what extent, or whether it would encroach on ecologically sensitive areas.

NaturePath Map

Forest and Bird are sufficiently concerned about eastern encroachment that they’ve proposed an alternative route for SeaPath called NaturePath – a nature-friendly walking and cycling route linking Northcote Point with Akoranga Drive, and incorporating a board-walk and bridge over Tuff Crater.  Key aspects of the route are:

  • From the Harbour Bridge to Stafford Park
  • Across the mangroves on the western side of the motorway, underneath Onewa Rd to link up with the Wave Bridge near Onepoto Domain
  • Either up Sylvan Ave to Heath Rd, or along the western side of the motorway to Heath Reserve
  • Across the mangroves at Tuff Crater offset some distance to the west of the motorway
  • Via Warehouse Way to Esmonde Rd.

We think NaturePath has a lot of merit, and it’s certainly worthy of NZTA analysis and comparison with their own nascent design.  We do have some comments on NaturePath though, that may have a bearing on its feasibility:

  • Care will need to be taken to ensure there is sufficient clearance under Onewa Rd, particularly with king tides and storm surges
  • The linkage in the vicinity of the Onewa Rd Wave Bridge is likely to be tricky, with some tight radius turns
  • The Sylvan Ave/Heath Rd/Heath Reserve section is very steep, and it would force many novice cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes.  It is essential that at least the cycle path section sneak around the bluff adjacent to the Onewa Rd northbound on-ramp.  There certainly wouldn’t be 5m available here, suggesting that the path be split and pedestrians take the Sylvan/Heath section before meeting up again in Heath Reserve
  • There may be scope for the path to run parallel to the Esmonde Rd off-ramp rather than winding its way through some steeper gradients to get to Esmonde Rd via Warehouse Way
  • The graphics accompanying the NaturePath proposal suggest a relatively narrow path with no railings.

    NaturePath Mockup

So NaturePath doesn’t fully tick all the design boxes, but so long as the gradients are kept reasonable it could certainly be an acceptable compromise.  And of course it gets a big tick from the dotterels.

Needless to say, we’d like to receive your views in the comments section, which will be visible to the NZTA design team.  And again keep your comments on-point.  We’re not discussing whether or not SkyPath/SeaPath should proceed at all – we’re assuming they will, and are seeking your input about the best design for the SeaPath component.

In due course NZTA will share their design with us.  As soon as it’s in the public domain, rest assured we’ll let you know.

Cycle lanes Cycling safety General News Government Infrastructure NZTA Skypath
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47 responses to “SeaPath? NaturePath?

  1. It is great to see these proposals and I look forward to more cycle paths and pedestrian paths becoming reality.

    I’d like to note also that I would like to see them include a lot of shade on the paths from trees – I think that this makes life much more pleasant.

  2. There are 14 lanes at the toll plaza and they are worried about a 5m cycleway?

    I appreciate that Forest and Bird obviously have a different set of interests but they could have at least thought about the obvious issues for cyclists.

    1. F&B has definitely thought of cyclists. Many of us are cyclists. Our proposal has been put together by volunteers and is most definitely a concept plan which needs proper work up. Steve’s points are all valid. Splitting cyclists off along the motorway edge makes sense and has been CAAs preference all along. There is alot of merit in separating cycling and pedestrians where possible as well. Keep the feedback coming.

    2. A number of cyclists have been aware of the NaturePath proposal for a while and have given feedback. We believe that this route ranks up there with the Green Route on the Devonport peninsula (as it will be when the missing links are completed). We support cyclist access along the dotted line between the cliff and the motorway – particularly to avoid steep inclines. Steve has covered the issues for the average cyclist – and none of them appear to be showstoppers. The photos on the WalkBikeRide website shows the headroom under the Onewa Road Bridge emerging from the arch where the homeless man used to sleep. There was no sign of storm surges reaching there last time I looked. Agreed that the only way round a tight turn to get on and off the wave bridge would be to double up with another bridge. We face much, much worse than this currently cycling through the Onewa Road/Lake Road intersection.

      1. “We support cyclist access along the dotted line between the cliff and the motorway – particularly to avoid steep inclines”

        This would be noisy there due to motorway traffic, but if a similar solution to that used in St Marys Bay was put in place (Glass sound proof barriers attached to the concrete barriers) then the noise would be much reduced making it very pleasant area to cycle beside. Would almost be like St Marys Bay cycleway in its outlook and feel too.

        I personally prefer to come out nearer Esmonde road off-ramp due to gradients though than the Warehouse Way option. And got to link from Esmonde Road to the Devonport peninsula as well to complete the circle.

        Lets see what NZTA come up with.

  3. I’m happy for an option that has less env impact to go forward.

    I get the impression that the nature path will be a slower route for commuters heading to the skypath because of the gradient, more turns and 2 boardwalks but I like the idea of passing under Onewa Rd and having a much nicer environment commuting to work.

    If it connects up to a future northern cycleway and esmonde rd connector then it’ll be an interesting section.

    I have to say there is a certain attraction to cycling along next to the motorway. Perhaps it’s the speed you can get up to if the infrastructure supports it. I love whizzing past bumper to bumper traffic and being congestion free and ‘in your face’ it will promote cycling to all that see it.

    My preference would be for a wider, higher speed route.

  4. This isn’t serious, right? Seriously. A flat, straight, cycle path that runs right next to a great big motorway is under threat on the grounds of ecological disturbance.

    The big environmental picture isn’t SeaPath v NaturePath, it’s getting people out of (fossil fuel-powered) cars. Has anyone told the dotterels about climate change?

    NaturePath doesn’t even pretend to be a commuting route.

    Make SeaPath dog-free.. or even pedestrian-free if necessary.

    People come up with all kinds of reason to stop flat, straight cycle paths. Remember the Orakei Basin shags that were going to be scared off by the boardwalk?

    1. Yes, this is totally serious. Naturepath is a concept drawn up by Forest & Bird to head off any more development in Shoal Bay, which has very high ecological values. It is for discussion and investigation. There are options on the western side which are more cycle friendly. While Climate Change is a big issue what this means for a seaward path is that it would need to be built high to deal with sea level rise. We have only 2000 NZ dotterel left in NZ and we have a duty to protect them from human interference. They nest all along the eastern side of the motorway, not just on the the shell banks.

  5. There is room for seapath beside the bus lane,it is flat from Esmonde rd to the bridge it bypasses nothcote point so wont upset the Heritage of Northcote point,the nearest house is 8 lanes away on the other side of the motorway and you dont have to cross over or under any roads.As for the birds there on a shell bank 50 meters across the swamp ,they held up the moterway rebuild for 18 months…… they are well out of the way from cars, people , cats and dogs ,have a look on google earth you can see how far away they are -big white nests raised above the high tide mark .There is even a foot bridge over the moterway (with ramps no stairs )so people can get to the other side of the motorway from the Heath reserve at the bottom end of Exmouth rd nothcote, come on just build it its a no brainer .As for the nature trail boardwalk build it as well so they can walk all the way around tuff crater with no bikes wizzing past them and upsetting the bird and the bees

    1. This is exactly what Naturepath is aiming to prevent. Bringing a cycle/walking path into Shoal Bay will encroach further on an area of very high ecological value and bring in humans and dogs. This will impact significantly on wildlife there. Shoal Bay has a “Site of Special Wildlife Significance” classification and is a feeding ground and breeding area to many species of shorebirds. The endangered NZ dotterel of which there are only 2000 left in the world breeds along the eastern edge of the motorway, not just on the shell banks you refer to. This is why any cycle and walking options must be on the western side of the motorway. We can find a solution that works for cyclists and walkers and protects our special wildlife.

      1. Richard I do concur 100% with the desire and need to protect the NZ Dotterel population from being impacted by changes. And an adjacent 8 lane motorway is a very effective barrier to a lot of the usual predator suspects from impacting them – ignoring any sea-borne ones.

        But I do note the obvious fact there is a footbridge over the motorway easily accessible by humans and dogs and other pests from Heath Avenue reserve.

        So, while the eastern side of the approach road is somewhat protected it is not fully protected.

        I personally believe the best way to protect these populations is to elevate their presence in the public’s mind and encourage a sense of pride and ownership i ntheir well-being, not just hope that they will be left alone and ignored. And I know that humans are the biggest “predator risk” to these birds survival – not just directly but by the indirect activities they bring (like dogs, possums and other predators) to an area.

        With that in mind I’d suggest we go for the “gold plated” option here and build a proper cycle path and walkway along that side, fully isolated from the water by a Concrete barrier with a 6 foot high glass barrier wall like what exists in St Marys bay now – this will prevent anyone encroaching to the area where the dotterels are now without extreme behaviour that is.

        And of course this process doesn’t come disruption free so needs to be done outside of breeding season and be done so that the breeding pairs can return to their nests afterwards – if needed the same approach taken during the extension of the bridge approach ways should be put in place.

        Once that is done, then you have a world class tourist attraction equal to the SkyPath that allows people to see and watch wildlife in its own habitat not locked away in some aviary in a Zoo. Real life wildlife, in-situ.

        Doing that makes the conservation message that much more powerful – don’t you agree?

        Yes it will cost more, but it seems to me that is the only long term option to ensure the survival of this species – is to make the public really care about them in away that they can’t or won’t when they are simply some birds out too sea somewhere.

        And yes climate change will impact the design here, but we don’t need to do more than build to the same level as the existing roadway. As once the sea impacts that, then you are going to have NZTA pulling strings to have that sorted.

        And surely the second harbour crossing is the biggest single threat to these nests? And therefore anything we can do now to delay that second harbour crossing is a good thing right – and the *best* outcome longer term?

        1. do you really want a 6 foot high barrier between the motorway and Shoal Bay. One of the high points of travelling along there is the view out to Shoal Bay and the city.
          Yes, there is a foot bridge, rarely used and nowhere to go on the eastern side.
          The motorway floods already with a king tide.
          There are good options for an excellent cycleway on the western side of the motorway.
          Yes, a harbour tunnel as drawn would be disastrous for the natural values of Shoal Bay

          1. Richard a preditor proof fence can be lower with a kick back at the top as it stands there is nothing to protect the birds from the motorway traffic or cats and dogs walking over the foot bridge and getting to the nests, as for king tides they dont stop commuters on the NW cycleway ,but you could alway rise the ground level to counter the tides.I’m not against a western is cycleway just putting another point of view forward which is more direct, Esmonde onto cycleway and over to town no roads to cross lights to wait for , bridges and underpasses to build so it would be cheaper to build (nzta /at would like that)also the birds get protection that they dont have now .The Westeren side would be less direct, Cross Esmond rd to shared path cross Fred Thomas dr cross rd to bus station rd cross motorway off ramp cross Akoranga dr to Warehouse way to the walk/cycle way ride to Onewa rd cross Sylvan ave go under Onewa rd on new under pass ride over swamp on new causeway ride the streets of Northcote point to get to the tunnel under the motorway to join seapath .The Western route would be longer, slower, less safe (crossing all those roads and using ped crossings )not easy to join to when some time in the future they put a cycleway beside the bus lane ,an to top it off you have home owners who may get upset about all the people rideing /walking in to their Heritage area that would also drive the costs up and slow down the start date.

          2. With the Eastern route you would have cash left over to build the Nature Path so we could walk around Tuff crater …or do you need the western cycleway/walk to go by Tuff crater so F&B can get funding from NZTA/AT to get the walkway around Tuff crater? Are the Birds which have lived around that area with no worries or harm comming to them just giving F&B a leaver to get funding from a new source which has not been open to them (NZTA/AT)?

          3. I’d prefer motorists kept their eyes on the road in front of them, rather than gazing at the scenery beside them.

        2. Some good points there. But I wonder why people assume that the east side of the motorway is the more direct route. It is arguably the more direct route for commuters from Takapuna/Belmont to the City. But how would cyclists cross the motorway from an east side cycleway to reach the Wairau Valley the Wairau Valley?

          1. Hi WalkBikeRideKaipatik
            Commuters from the bays come down Barrys Point rd/Ferd Thomas dr to join it at Esmonde rd and commuters from Glenfield Hillcrest Northcote could join it at Exmouth rd and over the bridge that is already there ! Going north to the Wairau Vally is easy from the cycleway, up Fred Thomas dr onto Taharoto rd(bike lane) onto Wairau rd, commuters from Birkenhead/Birkdale would just use Northcote point I hope that would work out ok for you , -East side cycleway will cost less no matter how you look at it and it is shorter which is a win for all.

          2. Hi Marty

            Looking at map, it is hard to see that an east side route is much shorter than the west side for commuters other than those from Hauraki Corner/Belmont.

            As far as cost is concerned, are you assuming that the cycleway would be on reclaimed land the whole distance with just bridges over the stream mouths?

            The last NZTA sketch I saw was a some distance from the shore – which would be much more expensive than a west side route – where less than half the distance would require piles across mangroves/wetland.

            The plans shown in Luke C’s article http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/07/29/environmental-effects-of-an-additional-waitemata-harbour-crossing/#comments? indicate considerable reclamation on the east side of the motorway. As Loraxus said on 29 July, “Can you see NZTA spending money on a route along Sulphur Bay right in the path of their future tunnel works?”

            An SHA is planned for Northcote Central – this will bring say 3000 residents into the area. Reducing congestion at the Akoranga, Northcote and Onewa on-ramps will rely on a high proportion of new residents walking, cycling and using PT.

            The NaturePath proposal could be done over the next 2 years as part of a comprehensive approach towards making the area walking and cycling friendly.

            PS The Exmouth Road overbridge has been suggested by NZTA as a link from an east-side cycleway to Northcote central. This is puzzling. Would cyclists accept a similar overbridge from Fred Thomas Drive to an east-side cycleway?

      2. We built a motorwayin 1959, made it wider, put a bus way in and the birds are still there,we had a toxic rubbish dunp in Barrys Point rd ,we have run off from the streets and houses all around Shoal bay and the birds are still there.When they put the NW motorway in it made a lagoon behind Waterview /Rosebank road with all the crap from the factorys going into the water this made an area the fish could breed in it didnt drive them away more came, then the birds came now on the other side of the NW motorway theres a wetland reserve. If man had not built the motorway we wouldn’t have a top breeding ground for fish and birds that we have now .A cycleway is the lest inpact infrasturture you could build with the cleanest vehicals on it ,we would be on the cycleway to get from A to B not stopping and crossing 50+ meters of water and mud to bother some birds .your worried about dogs not being on leads, if I were you I would be more worried about cats that kill more birds than dogs ever would .Birds are smarter than you think. we built them nests and some used them but others nested in the open on the grass in front of the Warehouse HQ .Yes the bird need to be looked after to a point but so do people. What would you like a cycle way along the forshore or the second harbour crossing tunnel rising up out of shoal bay ? yes it would be shoal bay because its the only place near to the motorway that there would be enough room for it and it wont cost people there homes etc .Eastern side of the motorway is flatter ,shorter ,safer and cheaper place for a cycleway and it will not upset the Heritage of Northcote point.

        1. Hi Marty,
          Don’t disagree with your comments, but heres some food for thought.

          While we did all those things to Shoal Bay from mid 1950’s on, did you consider for a moment what the size of the bird population there (and elsewhere in NZ) would be now if all that hadn’t happened? A lot bigger than it is now I’m sure.

          So yes, there are still there today, but I think we’d all agree its most likely in spite of those changes and dangers – not because of them.

          And the biggest danger to their ongoing survival is not dogs or cats or if they nest near Warehouse Way not in the bay or whatever.

          No the biggest single danger to them is sheer indifference to them and their plight by people of Auckland and also NZ.

          Not just you and me but lots of different folks, from the NZTA planners who want to put the second harbour crossing through their current home to everyone else who wants to save the fluffy penguins or whatever.

          So yep, lets do a proper job for once – for the birds and for the cyclists and pedestrians, and lets hope that long will these all co-exist.

          Because without people becoming less indifferent to them, their existence is only temporary.

          I’m no doting Dotterel fan, probably never seen one (I’m sure I’ve heard it on the radio though at 7am – thanks to Radio NZ), but wouldn’t know one from Adam if I saw one, but they are NZ’s own indigenous species, not a sub-set with lots of “spares” of them elsewhere, and there are only a few thousand left, so yes lets do something positive to enhance their survival here and make the public care about them – and not just not do bugger all and hope its enough.

          1. Here’s a idea that would keep all happy and safe, a Preditor Proof Fence! you may even see a Dotterel as you ride to town on the cycleway with a Preditor Proof Fence,it will also be harder for the birds to stray onto the motorway WIN WIN

  6. I agree with the comments here, any path for commuter cyclists needs to be:

    – Direct
    – Easy gradient
    – Smooth surface
    – Avoid intersections(hold ups)
    – Continuous

    Compromise and it becomes impracticable for commuting.

    I would suggest avoiding board walks if possible for any commuter route.

    Board walks in my experience are an uneven surface that can be slippery when wet. Not ideal for faster commuter cycling, ok for walking or recreational cycling.

    Follow the western side of the motorway if this protects the ecology of the area. If necessary perhaps bring the path further west after Exmouth rd if this is a sensitive area.

    Definitely 5 metre+ width would be ideal if a shared path.

  7. Hi WalkBikeRideKaipatik
    At the moment any commmuter from north of Takapuna use Lake rd to Devonport/Bayswater ferry they would use Esmonde rd or Fred Thomas dr to get to the cycleway on the east side ,no bridge is needed at FT dr becaus there is traffic lights there already and that road is not moterway till the start of the on ramps. You dont have to reclaime much land at all why not do like they are doing at Westhaven now in the few places that the land is to narrow or not there .You missed my point abut getting to the start of nature path it is a safety point you have to cross Esmond, fred thomas, bus station, and an motorway, off ramp then Akoranga dr,do all cars stop at red lights? also from Fred Thomas dr you are going out of your way by about 1km before you turn the go toward the city when you could be half way to the bridge with out any climbs or desents (wet board walks desending at any speed can be interesting and not in a good way )east is shorter time and distance .SHA is planned for Northcote Central – this will bring say 3000 residents into the area. bets are that for every house there will be a carparking spot and you wont get Aucklanders out of there cars till the roads are full and rush hour last for hours.They will drive and park at bus stations becase theres parking there because theres no small cheap/free feeder buses going to the stations also not all the people that will live in the new area will be able to get to the places of work by PT /bike so there will be more cars in the area than now making it less safe to get to the nature path from the east.
    The NaturePath proposal could be done over the next 2 years.That long the walkway/cycleway at westhaven has taken 1/4 of that time and its almost finished the eastern side wouldn’t need that much Piling .
    The Exmouth Road overbridge has been suggested by NZTA as a link from an east-side cycleway to Northcote central. This is puzzling.Why its common sence to use a bridge thats already there .Just a thought we do get a nature path and we want to got to Northcote central we could go up Emouth rd ,or we could ride around Tuff crater to Mc Breen then onto Exmouth or ride further to Arahia st then Duxberry or all the way around to St Peter st ,The quickest way would be up Exmouth st Time and Distance ,not farting around Tuff crater looking out for people with ear buds in walking there dog on an unsealed path what commuters need is – Direct
    – Easy gradient
    – Smooth surface
    – Avoid intersections(hold ups)
    – Continuous
    none of the above boxes are ticked with nature path
    The lack of any comment from F&B make me think I may have hit the spot with my comment …or do you need the western cycleway/walk to go by Tuff crater so F&B can get funding from NZTA/AT to get the walkway around Tuff crater? Are the Birds which have lived around that area with no worries or harm comming to them just giving F&B a leaver to get funding from a new source which has not been open to them (NZTA/AT)? By the way its dam good maketing .
    One other point When the Bridge was built the beaches had to be reinststed this didn’t happen ,and just last year this topic came up again and seapath was going to be the way to get to them …..Eastern Cycleway will keep the People on Northcote Point happy and the Heritage of the area wont be bamaged by bikes and walkers …….isn’t it now time for Phile to chime in with how great an Eastern cycleway would be for the people of the Point

    1. It is great having all this feedback to the Naturepath concept. That is what it is – a concept plan.

      I understand that cyclists want a direct and level route. I too use a bike! Forest & Bird is determined to keep unnecessary development out of Shoal Bay for landscape and ecological reasons already articulated. I accept that not everyone appreciates nature and is more than happy to build, fill in and destroy forest and nesting sites of rare birds in the name of economic development or “progress”. WWF released a report this week saying that we have already destroyed 50% of the wildlife on this planet in the last 40 years. Is it not time to reverse this?

      One route cyclists may prefer is to take the cycle way next to the Akoranga off ramp northbound and run it along the motorway to Onewa. Personally I prefer to split cycle and walking paths where possible.
      F&B do not want any funding. The residents of Tuff Crater have been asking for a Tuff Crater loop for years and Naturepath ticks this box. We have spent about $200k on restoration and about $90k on track upgrades at Tuff Crater in the last 5 years, all managed by volunteers. We do not see ourselves as builders of bridges or boardwalks at Tuff Crater. Our interest as “the voice for nature” is to protect the valuable natural treasures we have as best we can. We need innovative thinking to protect Shoal Bay from further degradation.

      1. Hi Richard could you give us a link to the state of Dotterels numbers and breeding at the different nest sites, so far its just not stacking up. Why have dogs/people become a problem that we have to worry about the birds well being/decline now, and there has been nothing in the local press about them for years?Why have they not been fenced? I would have been all over the press if it was such a problem with there numbers .Any western cycleway will have safety problems as I have stated before.Could you tell us all what kind of eco disaster would happen with a project with such a small and light foot print on the earth/water that it crosses over ?

        1. NZ dotterel nest and their young survive along the eastern side of the motorway. Like many vulnerable shore birds they do not stand a chance on the northern and eastern sides of Shoal Bay due to human, dog and predator disturbance. The motorway acts as a predator fence. and there is an active predator control program along the motorway edge funded by the motorway alliance as part of the busway consent. The birds are not in decline. Their numbers NZ wide are slowly improving due to intensive management of their nesting sites with predator control. Their numbers still put them in the endangered category. The “eco disaster” re you refer to is the danger of losing this important breeding site and the incremental filling in of more of Shoal Bay.

    2. Hi Marty

      Thanks for your responses.
      I agree that the shared bikeway from Akoranga across to Esmonde Road is badly disrupted by all the side streets. It needs major improvements.
      I take your point about cyclists being able to cycle with the traffic from Barrys Point Rd or Fred Thomas.

      As someone who rides from Birkenhead to Takapuna I don’t entirely share your view about the Exmouth Road situation or about the NaturePath route necessarily being dangerous (apart from the shared path from Akoranga to Esmonde). That would depend on the detailed design.

      It is to be hoped that NZTA and SkyPath will plan the cycling routes around Northcote with an overall strategy in mind – not just thinking of the route from the bridge to Takapuna.

      I’ll be interested in people’s comments on “Can you see NZTA spending money on a route along Sulphur Bay right in the path of their future tunnel works?”

      I’d be happy to meet on site to talk about the finer points.

      With regards to the SHA in Northcote Central, my understanding is that the local board and local people are already thinking about how to maximise the use of PT and alternative transport.

      Regards WBRK

      1. Spent some time today working out how long each route is Nature Path 4.3km Eastern cycleway 2.7km Fred Thomas to the eastern end of the tunnel under the motorway.Now which would cost more?
        The NZTA tunnel would exit near Essmonde rd not at Sulpher Bay and would be away off shore at that point

  8. Thanks. Now can you measure the route from the western side of the Akoranga off ramp, along the dotted line west of the motorway please?
    NZTA is working on options and looking at ecological and feasability of several options.

  9. Hi Richard I did the numbers for the dotted line it came out at 3.5km it’s shorter than the other western route but it still has 6 roads to cross (safety problems), still longer than the eastern 2.7km route.With the dotted line route there are a few problems to overcome.Starting at the Esmond/Akoranga offramp,Earthworks to the bank at the side of the offramp would have to be cut back and retained at lest 8m from side of road plus 300m of armco barriers from 100 m north of the foot bridge to the foot bridge needs armco barrier ,after the bridge we have a nice wide area but lacking another 100m of barrier,after the sign gantry another 50m of armco is needed,then we come to a retaining wall that needs to be removed about 30m long and more earthworks to make room for cycleway and reinstate wall, from the wall back to the Onewa onramp we need 400m of armco ,as we go beside the onramp trees will have to be removed/cut back ,last problem is the house right by the onramp their garden may be in the way ,next problem is when we get to the roads of Northcote Point I know they dont own the roads but fuss the residents have made about all the bikes/walkers going past there houses and how it would upset the Heritage of the area (funny that the motorway dosen’t upset the Heritage of the area )this will cost alot of time and money as they try all the ways possible to stop the walk/cycleway .Crossing the swamps are not a problem, we have to do it with both routes east or west .Eastern route has armco all the way ,the few places we have to cross water are well away from nesting sites .One thing to note is now NZTA/AT have shown us they can do top quality cycleways/walkways like Grafton gully & North Western cycleway rebuild why should we settle for anything less it must be – Direct
    – Easy gradient
    – Smooth surface
    – Avoid intersections(hold ups)
    – Continuous & Safe to use day and night wet or fine
    If NZTA see the comments here they will see the Eastern route is the one to use cost less away from houses safer for all to use less earthworks no problems with residents groups and there is a way to get to the western is should you want to which is already there .Could you tell me how I can find out about the other opitons maybe a link to there site with maps etc .

  10. Why is the mock-up showing curves on the hill section? What is it curving around? If one is cycling up hill, one needs a fairly straight path, not the curved path shown.

  11. The uphill curve sectiom goes up to The Warehouse Way (road ). If it’s a wooden board walk it will be an interesting ride up or down on a wet day at any speed .

    1. Repeat- this is a concept plan.

      The original eastern path was promoted by Reset Urban Design. The latest incarnation I have seen at NZTA but we have been asked not to share it. NZTA will be assessing routes east and west considering all factors including ecological. F&B’s role is to be a voice for nature. Naturepath is presented as a talking point for nature friendly alternatives.

    1. I do not work for NZTA. I am the chair of Forest & Bird, North Shore branch and work in an entirely voluntary capacity to help safeguard our dwindling natural assets. Naturepath is a concept plan developed by our branch. We have met with NZTA re this so that is how I have seen sketches of another route.

      1. How much damage could be done to Shoal bay driving in piles like they have done over in westhaven? not much .A walk/cycleway beside a dirty noisey motorway would be another barrier between Man kind and the birds,also it is safer for people to use and you wont upset residents groups building it .Wouldn’t F&B like a walk way around Tuff crater without bikes flying past morning and night and all day in the weekends, when all the rec riders would use it, and they WILL COME from all over Auckland and further afield ,It would quickly be promoted as a route north for Cycle Tourist which are a growing number in NZ and may even become part of the Great NZ Cycle Trail.There WILL be large numbers using it so be careful of what you ask for. Cycling IS a growing mode of transport as it’s get harder and slower to get around by car…..are you ready for a 6m sealed path running by Tuff crater full of people ?

        1. There are pros and cons to each option. The least environmentally damaging is the western side option as it does not further infill Shoal Bay or interfere with endangered wildlife.
          We prefer the term wetlands to swamps!

          1. I don’t want infill of Shoal Bay just piles to build the cycle/walkway on when theres not enough land which would not interfere with endangered wildlife. Go over to Westhaven and take a good look at how there building the walk/cycle way around the shore line, zero impact on the environment.So what is the different between a walk/cycleway over the swamp on the western side and a walk/cycleway over the swamp on the eastern side ? both next to zero impact on the enviroment .The western side will endanger humans with all the road crossings .I have yet to see any birds nesting up beside the motorway they wont because there nests would get washed away so why not put a walk/cycleway there ? You have not answered the question .are you ready for a 6m sealed path running by Tuff crater full of 100s of people ?

  12. Hi Marty
    Could you publish a copy of your calculations showing where the routes you are measuring go please?

    1. Hi WalkBikeRideKaipatiki
      The route stars at the top of Akoranga off ramp follows the dotted line then over Sylvan rd under Onewa rd over swamp to Stafford rd ,Nelson ave,Alfred st,Tennyson st then tunnel to the other side of the motorway

  13. Just because you have not seen birds nesting there does not mean they are not. The whole area along the motorway edge has been monitored closely by ecologists for many years. The endangered NZ dotterel and other shore birds nest there. Fact.
    If there is to be a cycleway and we see that as desirable and inevitable then we would prefer it on the western side. Simple as that. There are environmental downsides to both options. The least damaging is the western route.

  14. Funny how they were able to make room for a bus lane without any problem with the birds and there was no media beat up by F&B well not in the local paper, why didn’t F&B or your ecologists stop the Bus Lane? So the birds nest are there, could you let us all know the where abouts of the nest sites.And still You have not answered the question .are you ready for a 6m sealed path running by Tuff crater full of 100s of people ?

  15. Where were you when the bus lane went in? There was a major stoush between those who believe that the environment needs protecting and those who are happy to destroy our natural heritage.
    I do not have all the details on nesting sites and success rates and do not want to share what I have as it is incomplete.
    As I said, a path on the western side is preferred. That answers the question.

  16. “There was a major stoush between those who believe that the environment needs protecting and those who are happy to destroy our natural heritage”this statment is classic emotional eco BS .It took 18 months to get the bus lane in becaues of the birds but it did go in.They didnt want to destroy the natural heritage they talked and work through the problems waited for the time to be right built nest sites etc,a cycle/walkway on piles would be another barrier to protect the birds it would also let more people see the birds which they miss out on wizzing past in their car’s, more people see the birds ,birds will have higher profile that’s a win for you and the birds. (By the way theres two birds in a nest out on the shell bank today )In your vision for Tuff Crater the first line says “We want to return Tuff Crater to its NATURAL STATE”and you want a walkway through there ?How can it be back in a natrual state when you want to build a walkway,quote “We want to create an all weather track around the crater.This involvess extending the existing track and building a boardwalk across the estury”.(As I said, a path on the western side is preferred ……and it just happpens that theres a plan to put a walkway/cycleway on the east side of the motorway so you hijack the idea play the eco card and get NZTA to pay for it because you know that the eco card puts the fear of god up the council/NZTA.)Shouldn’t you be removing the walking track to bring it back to its Natural state ? So its ok to put the birds safety over that of people, when the first commuter rider or walker gets hit by a car due to a unsafe route which F&B are pushing for, your ok with that becase the birds are safe. tell that to the families that have a love one in hospital or are dead and yes it will happen .Now lets hear from some other people and find out if they want a long winded round about route that has 6 high traffic volume roads to cross or a flat short route with one high traffic volume road to cross with lights.

  17. There is a nasty tone developing to some of these comments. I am shutting comments down.

Comments are closed.