With consultation on the Northcote Safe Cycle Route under way, in the media spotlight, and drawing comments on social media, you might be forgiven for thinking this is an “us versus them” or “all or nothing” scenario.  Fortunately it’s not – this is just an issue requiring stakeholder feedback so the best compromise solution can be engineered, hopefully without political interference.

I had the opportunity to attend AT’s consultation session at the Northcote Library yesterday (Sat 9 Aug), and it was great to see the AT team out in force, with large maps explaining the proposed design.  There were a good number of people coming through to have a look, including Councillor George Wood, and Jonathan Coleman MP, who I’d had the chance to chat to a little earlier.  It was great to see them there, because both had expressed reservations about the design, but to their credit were anxious to talk to AT and to listen to feedback from residents.

Northcote Safe Cycle Route
Northcote Safe Cycle Route

And it’s here I was a little surprised.  While of course there were some Northcote Point residents concerned with the loss of on-street parking, a message coming through loud and clear from most residents was, “We don’t feel safe cycling at the moment.  If this cycle route goes in, it’ll be much easier for my family and me to get out on our bikes”.

And that’s exactly why AT have designed this route in the first place.  Not just as a commuter route for existing cyclists, but as a safe environment to encourage more local residents to get out on their bikes and travel around their neighbourhoods safely.

George and Jonathan are consummate politicians and are still guarded about wholesale endorsement or criticism.  They both know that safe cycling is good for their communities, but don’t want to alienate their conservative power base, some of whom will be disadvantaged by the loss of on-street parking, and some of whom don’t want to spend any money at all on “left-wing greenie” initiatives.  So I’m happy to give them a little more time to make an informed decision, once community consultation has taken its course.

Another surprising revelation was to learn that most Northcote Point residents aren’t hostile to SkyPath – in fact most are looking forward to it.  One local resident told me he figured it was running around 70% in favour of SkyPath, with even the Northcote Residents’ Association (NRA) coming around to the majority viewpoint.  This augurs well as the SkyPath team are currently submitting the resource consents.

So let’s have a look at the issues and how we can deal with them.

Communication

I’m picking up on feedback from Jonathan here, but he believes AT needs to:

  • Review it’s consultation process, and consider consulting for longer and in more depth.
    Of course this could just be a delaying tactic.  Based on the feedback received from the scheduled sessions and existing submission process, AT will be able to determine if extended consultation is required.
  • Identify how the Northcote Safe Cycle Route relates to and integrates with Skypath.
    This is difficult for AT to do.  SkyPath is not a done deal, and the consenting process is just starting.  I agree with AT when they state this design stands on its own merits, SkyPath or not.  But in my opinion, if/when SkyPath proceeds, the design of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route will be both adequate and necessary for SkyPath users to travel between the Bridge and Northcote/Birkenhead.  It just requires the additional design of the linkage between Queen St and the touchdown point.  It also resolves another key parking issue for SkyPath.  Why would SkyPath cyclists want to drive to Northcote Point and park there if they can instead cycle on a safe route?

Design

Picking up and responding on some of the concerns and suggestions from Northcote Point residents:

  • I’ll suffer hardship if I lose on-street parking
    Make a submission to AT so they can design a solution.  There’s a resident parking scheme on Queen St at Halls Beach where some residents don’t have any off-street parking.  AT may be able to extend this concept, or come up with another solution
  • There are so few Queen St cyclists south of Stafford Rd.  It’s already safe for cyclists.  Why do anything?  Why not “share with care” footpaths and keep the parking?
    It doesn’t feel safe for cyclists, which is why there are so few.  There is no cycle infrastructure at all, so cyclists have to mix it with the traffic, and this takes experience and confidence which novice cyclists lack.  In my experience on Queen St, cars pull out suddenly from parking, overtake too closely, and travel too fast when running late for the ferry.
    “Share with care” is a last resort design option where there is inadequate width and no other choice.  It makes life difficult for cyclists and pedestrians alike.  In the case of Queen St there is sufficient width for dedicated cycle paths if some on-street parking is removed.  AT surveys have shown that on-street parking is under-subscribed, so dedicated cycling infrastructure is clearly the best design option.  It also provides consistency with the design on the northern section of Queen St and further on to Lake Rd, another key design goal.

So this comes down to a simple engineering solution.  The current design is sound, but it should consider the needs of those residents who will suffer hardship through the loss of on-street parking.  This is not an insurmountable problem.

Unfortunately politics shouldn’t come into it, but it will.  And this is where we ask you, dear reader, for assistance.  If, like us, you think the Northcote Safe Cycle Route is a great idea, tell AT.  Tell George.  Tell Jonathan.  Then the engineers can get on with the job.

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Auckland Transport Cycle lanes Cycling safety General News Infrastructure
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81 responses to “Taking the politics out of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route

  1. Steve,
    I do not think your post is A Political at all – clearly you are very much pro the cycle route and the Selfishpath and you are using opinion not facts to support your cause.
    Fact 1: – Northcote point is a safe route to cycle – Auckland Transport officially class Queen Street as a ‘Quieter road – recommended by cyclists’ https://at.govt.nz/media/399608/northern-cycle-map.pdf
    Fact 2: – In the recent survey taken to determine the traffic demand for cycling Northcote Point had 7.5 cyclists average per week day and 5 on a saturday.
    Fact 3: – $4M is a hell of a lot of rate payers money to indulge less than 8 cyclists a day.
    Fact 4: – There is no safe transit from Lake Road to Queen Street as cyclists need to negotiate two very busy intersections on Onewa. To increase the turning phase on the traffic lights would create an unacceptable inconvenience to other road users including PT.
    Fact 5: – The removal of parking on Queen Street will adversely affect residents and businesses who already struggle for parking. It will also create more problems outside Northcote Primary.
    Fact 6: – The removal of parking in Queen Street will mean the Selfishpath will not have sufficient parking at anytime. At the moment the parking is not sufficient for peak times. This is based on the parking survey undertaken on behalf of the Selfishpath trust and the trusts own patronage projections. It is also based on the Selfishpath survey that asked the specific question of parking demand with or without parking permits.
    Fact 7: I am a local resident and can say in my opinion support for the Selfishpath is running at less than 10% – Is my opinion any less worthy to be quoted than the other residents figure?
    So in summary – The Northcote cycle route is not needed – not safe – not wanted.

    1. Cycle Action Auckland are cycle advocates, Phil. Our vision is that cycling is an attractive, safe and viable every-day choice for all our communities. That’s exactly what this route offers for Northcote residents.

      Your use of the word Selfishpath displays your prejudice, but happy to respond to your points:
      1. The southern part of Queen St is a quiet road. It can be ridden with confidence by an experienced cyclist, but novices and children would find it daunting as there is no protection

      2. Relates to 1 – if it’s not perceived as safe, it won’t be used by residents

      3. Remember this is a 5.2km route, part of the Auckland Cycle Network, stretching all the way to Smales Farm. The BCR is higher than many roading projects

      4. This is AT’s call when they come to do the detailed design. There are a number of techniques they can use to provide safe connectivity. It’s not a show-stopper.

      5. That’s what the submission process is for. Residents who are going to suffer hardship can advise their requirements, and AT can take this into account with the design.
      All schools have issues with parking, particularly at peak hour. This is one where AT will need to work closely with the school to design a safe solution for everyone, and work with the school to update their Travel Plan.

      6. SkyPath literature suggests Northcote Point parking will be protected by resident permits, and those SkyPath users wishing to park should do so in Takapuna or the CBD, from where they would walk, cycle or bus to SkyPath. The provision of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route will facilitate this approach.

      7. Your opinion is as valid as mine or anyone else’s, Phil. Make your opinion known as part of the consultation process, and the planners and engineers can combine all input to see the bigger picture.

      1. Steve,

        The Northcote Cycle path project does nothing to enhance the experience of cycling for Northcote residents and in fact is dangerous in many aspects of its design. The Round About at Lake/Raleigh crests a blind hill and the Onewa crossing is a cycle black spot. The other parts of the route are already officially safe. This is $4M wasted that is rate payers money better spent on cycle routes that are actually going to do some good. The Northcote plan and the St Marys bay project are nothing short of council spending to try and justify the bigger project they want – the Selfishpath. In the case of the Wynyard to Westhaven path that is 15M wasted replicating a cycle path that already exists on the other side of the motorway.
        If CAA were promoting safe responsible cycling they would not support either the Northcote or the Westhaven paths – prefering the budget to be spent were it is actually needed and they would not support the Selfishpath as according to some of your committee members and Austroads – it is not a safe design.

        1. All of Queen Street is a quiet road The Northern end is designated as “Route with space for cyclists, may be on busy roads” whilst the Southern end is designated as “Route on quieter roads recommended by cyclists” – How can you say that novices and children would find any of this daunting – especially the southern end that is ‘recommended by cyclists’ That is absurd!
        2. Once again – how can a route ‘recommended by cyclists’ not be perceived as safe? Do novice cyclists and children have an inherent distrust of other cyclists so as not to accept roads recommended by them? Absurd!
        3. The BCR is always higher for cycling than roads – that is just the way the economics work because it is cheaper to paint a line than construct a motorway – but if only 7 people are going to use the pathway I’d suggest the BCR is going to be very low. The BCR of encouraging everyone just to walk is the highest – zero financial outlay.
        4. There is no way to connect Lake Road to Queen Street that will be safe for cyclists, cost effective, and not cause huge traffic jams on a major arterial route. The design is done – there for all to see – and it does not work. It is absurd to pretend otherwise!
        5. Residents are the biggest investors in the area and local businesses provide employment and services. It is simply not acceptable that the many have to sacrifice for the few (To avoid doubt the many are the residents and people visiting the businesses and the few are the 7.5 cyclists). We do not want parking permits – we want our heritage area to remain as it is today – a pleasant quiet road safe for people to cycle, walk, and drive.
        The Selfishpath literature is propaganda designed to dupe Aucklanders into accepting a huge financial burden to rate payers guaranteeing the profits of a private enterprise investment. The actual data showing the true burden on parking is in the confidential report not available on the trusts website. Im happy to email it to you and show how there is not enough parking today to meet Selfishpath demand – based on projected patronage figures.
        7. We shall see how the residents opinions are expressed at the consent process and in the next local elections.

        1. This is a terrific report on the open day, many thanks, Steve.

          As Chair of Cycle Action I find it useful to hear from opponents like Phil. However it’s disappointing to see comments that use current cycling volumes as evidence that this facility is not needed. We know from AT’s professional surveys of 1,000 Aucklanders that 60% would like to cycle if there was safe infrastructure.

          I welcome this project as one of many needed across Auckland to create that safe cycling,improve quality of life and community connectivity, expand transport choice and address traffic congestion.

          Well done AT!

          1. Hi Barb,

            I am a keen cyclist – I mountain bike on average 100kms a week which involves a mixture of on and off road cycling. I have ridden bikes in many countries around the world and consider myself quite able to form an opinion on cycle safety.
            The issue with the Northcote cycle route is that it is primarily not needed as the roads it follows are wide and safe. In the case of Northcote point they are wide, safe, and very quiet. In fact AT designate the southern end of Queen Street as ‘Route on quieter roads recommended by cyclists’, the Southern end of Lake road (by the primary) as ‘Shared bus/cycle lane (transit)’ and the rest of the planed route as ‘Route with space for cyclists, may be on busy roads’. If AT already designate the route as being a mixture of space for cyclists, shared cycle lane, and recommended by cyclists it seems pretty obvious that AT already deem the route as safe. Given that the official AT feasibility report shows so little existing activity on the route (I took the numbers from the project feasibility report) then it is baffling to residents and rate payers on why the council want to spend $4M on this project.
            Now I can here you saying people are not using the route because it is not safe but also using facts from AT data base I can see that there has not been an accident in Queen Street involving a cyclist in the last 5 years. So AT know that the route is safe already.
            The safety issues with the proposed route would be at the Raleigh/Lake Round about which crests a blind spot and of course the transiting of Onewa Road. I can not see how the later can ever be made safe without becoming a huge and unacceptable burden to other road users as increasing the traffic light phase for cyclists would create unacceptable traffic delays on a main arterial route.
            So I challenge CAA to explain why a route that is designated safe by AT – has had no accidents in the last 5 years – can not link without transiting a busy intersection – and leads to no where is seen by you as a project needed to ‘create that safe cycling,improve quality of life and community connectivity, expand transport choice and address traffic congestion’

          2. Oh – and just to point out – The worst designated part of the existing cycle network on Northcote is designated the same as Carlton Gore road ‘Route with space for cyclists, may be on busy roads’- which as we all know – is CAA’s preferred safe route through Newmarket. If in doubt about who is grading the existing roads of Northcote as safe then let me refer you to AT’s website ‘Auckland Transport has a series of cycle maps that cover the Auckland region. Each of the roads on the maps have been ridden by a team of experienced cyclists and graded in terms of safety and whether it is a quiet or busy route.’

        2. BCRs are based on the expected number of users, not the existing numbers. And if encouraging walking really did cost nothing, then how come there isn’t more walking? Actually, providing a good walking environment (paths, crossings, etc) does cost money, but again it has very good safety & health benefits and thus usually a good BCR.
          I’m curious about this figure of 7-8 cyclists a day – was that based on a 24-hr count? Or just someone standing at a single location for a few hours? Not everyone rides the entire length of a cycle route and not everyone rides during peak hours. And has been mentioned, not everyone who wants to ride currently rides because of perceived street conditions. That includes the people who live and work in this area.

          1. The cycle count spanned a period from 7am – 6.30pm. Are you suggesting the great rush will be outside those hours?

            Zero Cycle accidents in the last 5 years on Northcote Point.

            $ 4’0000’000.00 – and you wonder why there are questions being raised.

        3. I find it ironic that you refer to the SkyPath as the Selfishpath Phil as it appears you are the selfish nimby that is trying as hard as possible to stop it, even though it is debatable that you actually currently live in NZ.

          1. Brent, As a long term resident of Northcote who pays significant rates every month and has invested millions into the area I am not a NIMBY – I am a concerned vested citizen who does not want my money wasted on projects that are not needed and not wanted. Please do everyone the courtesy of sticking to the facts and not trolling.

          2. I thought you were the very definition of a troll who possibly lives under a bridge Phil. Posting your one eyed views under various names, all because you don’t want cyclist’s riding past your precious house.

          3. That is not very nice Brent or very constructive. As a cyclist myself I can see how attitudes like that create animosity between road users.
            My points remain:
            1. The Northcote cycle path follows routes already designated by Auckland Transport cycle experts as either ‘recommended by cyclists’ or ‘wide enough for cycling’ and in the case of southern Lake Rd – a cycle lane already exists.
            2. In the last 5 years there have been no accidents involving cyclists on Queen Street Northcote.
            3. A recent survey by AT showed there was no demand for a cycle route – counting less than a dozen cyclists a day on the route.
            4. As the route is designated safe – has a record of being safe – is not used by cyclists despite being safe – is a waste of $4’000’000.00
            Your points are:
            1. I am a selfish Nimby
            2. You dont know where I live
            3. My house is expensive
            4. Trolls live under bridges.
            I don’t think you are adding much to the debate Brent 🙁

          4. Brent, I would like to respond to your comment below about cyclists riding past Phil’s “precious house”.

            I can’t speak for Phil, but my issue certainly isn’t with cyclists going past my house. It’s the the massive disruption to everyday lives of residents on Queen St by removal of parking that you don’t seem to appreciate. And for very little benefit to anyone else.

            As Phil points out there is no justification for a dedicated cycle path through a quiet residential area with no recorded accidents in recent times. It is not a main highway.

            The initiative is also supposed to increase pedestrian safety, which it DOES NOT. Quite the opposite. On the Northcote Point stretch, it will reduce safety by putting cyclists on the footpath with pedestrians for a stretch, past the local dairy. There are no safety benefits for pedestrians – but increased danger.

            Like Phil, I am a cyclist, and in an ideal world with unlimited funds and no competition for land use we would have a comprehensive network of dedicated off-road cycle paths throughout Auckland.

            Unfortunately, it’s not an ideal world, there is competition for land use, and as a resident of Northcote Point I think the residents’ needs for parking vastly outweigh the need for a dedicated cycle path.

            As a ratepayer, I also think the $4m could be better spent on other initiatives.

            Try and appreciate other people’s valid points of view, rather than simply deriding them because they don’t agree with you.

          5. Is this Phil posting under another name as he has been known to do?
            I haven’t commented on the merits of Northcote point plans or Phil’s arguments. I am “deriding” Phil because his true objection to the skypath is a total nimby one. I would have more respect for his arguments if he just came out and said that.

          6. This is the only CAA thread I have ever commented on. I post only under my own name. It is no surprise to me that my views are widely shared by the RESIDENTS of Northcote Point as we all would suffer the negative effects of the Northcote Cycle Path and the Selfishpath. Kiwi’s have a strange relationship to the word ‘NIMBY’ – it is seen as something derogatory and yet there are plenty of projects that local residents are quite entitled to object too. But if you must resort to name calling – because you can not debate the facts – then please refer to me as a ‘NIABY’ because both the Northcote Cycle route and the Selfishpath should not be built in anyone’s back yard!

          7. Brent, once again you show single-minded fervour without rational or fact-based argument. I agree that Phil’s use of the word “Selfishpath” isn’t helpful. Neither is you simply dismissing his views as being a “NIMBY”. Again you seem to lack empathy and appreciation of his views. Perhaps you could offer some facts to substantiate the need for this cycle path?

            I would also welcome a fact-based debate about the Skypath.

            To look at it at the most basic level, if it goes ahead and the predicted usage is accurate (or worse, conservative as suggested), then it will have a MASSIVE impact on a quiet neighbourhood. 5,000-20,000 users per day. Not sure how you would feel about that many additional people passing by your front doorstep? You might be less enthusiastic.

            The proposed cycle path and consequent removal of parking will exacerbate the parking issue given the additional demand by Skypath users. More impact on residents.

            If Skypath doesn’t meet the predicted usage, then it will be a burden to already stretched ratepayers, as the Council plans to underwrite this PRIVATE venture.

            And no, I am not Phil.

  2. Steve, you must have been at a different meeting? Or perhaps you suffer from selective hearing.

    I was at the meeting, and all I heard was residents concerns about the necessity and design of the cycle route, particularly in Queen St, and how it will impact the neighbourhood and their DAILY lives

    The design treats Queen St as if it’s an arterial route, which it’s clearly not.

    The proposal supposedly supports safer cycling AND WALKING, but in the Northcote Point section, there are no improvements for walkers – quite the opposite, it will be more hazardous.

    I am a keen cyclist myself, but question the value of a dedicated cycle path in a quiet residential area that will affect many residents daily in order to satisfy a very small minority’s needs.

    You might find you feel safer cycling if you take your blinkers off and consider everyone’s situation and point of view. Your single-mindedness and lack of empathy for affected parties does you a disservice.

    I also think your “statistics” around Skypath for residents and the NRA are both misleading and inaccurate. But don’t let facts get in the way of some good spin-doctoring.

  3. Perhaps the single most ridiculous thing about Cycle Action Auckland supporting the Northcote Cycle route is the fact that:

    ‘Cycle Action collaborated with Auckland Transport on the recent (2012) update & quality check of these maps – they show where cycle lanes and cycle paths go, and where wider or quiter streets make cycling easier.’

    So it is Cycle Action Auckland that already designated Queen Street as a ‘Route on quieter roads recommended by cyclists’ —– Talk about shooting fish 🙁

    1. Wow what a cool thing that SkyPath is on Max Whitehead’s video. The SkyPath looks like something that should have been included in the original bridge design.
      I’d guess that based on the way the Harbour Bridge quickly needed some extra lanes when it was first built that the SkyPath will need some extra lanes after it gets installed.

  4. Looking at the Angus & Associates Patronage report for Skypath – presented to the Auckland Council in June 2014 it is clear to see the effect on parking that Skypath would have. According to the report, every Saturday in the peak summer months there would be 1726 recreational trips per hour between 9am-12pm and 1788 recreational trips per hour between 12-3pm This is in year 1. In year 5 there would be 2817 and 2918 trips. Now looking at the parking report done for Skypath we know that 39% of recreational users and 23% of commuters surveyed said they intended to park close to the Skypath. Using the same formula to calculate traffic as Skypaths survey of 2.25 recreational users and 1.25 commuter users per car the parking demands are as follows:
    Cars requiring parking PER HOUR (recreational users)
    Year 1 Year 5
    9-12 = 299 = 488
    12-3 = 310 = 506
    3-4 = 256 = 418
    4-6 = 192 = 313
    In addition there are 167 commuter cars in year 1 and 330 commuter cars in year 5 that will be parked all day.
    On Northcote Point there are a total of 781 available car parks on the entire peninsular. On a weekend there are an average of 350 free spaces at anytime – reducing to 200 spaces after 3pm. That means the parking deficit every saturday in summer is as follows:
    Year 1 Year 5
    9-12 -116 -468
    12-3 -127 -486
    3-4 -223 -548
    4-6 -159 -443
    These figures are BEFORE any parking is removed for the Northcote safe cycle route.

    1. People will quickly stop trying to park in the area if they find there are few available parks — it is a very responsive system. Everyone knows parking is a touchy issue but is primarliy one about who has the rights to use a public space. Road space is public space and should be used by the public as they see best. Residents have no right to park outside their own properties and no right to prevent anyone else parking there. The way a landowner can ensure they have parking is to provide it on the property, they own as many is Auckland chose to (and many are forced to by minimum parking requirements).

      Note also that the AT Cycle maps that you refer to hold no official weight, they are simply maps that suggest some of the better cycle routes. Just because one route is better than another, it doesn’t mean that either is safe or dangerous.

  5. David – according to the Angus & Associates report a significant number of people surveyed said they would still park and ride even if parking was restricted.
    Assuming you were right – and we overlook the costs of policing the Northcote peninsular against arseholes that are parked illegally – how on earth are all the projected users going to get to Skypath? Please do not pretend that everyone will cycle or walk because the Angus report shows that not to be the case. In the absence of parking on Northcote point Skypath users would look to park and ride from the nearest point of free parking. Shifting the burden from Queen Street to Lake Road or Maritime Trc is not the answer. Not building the project is the answer.
    Trying to argue that these people would use public transport to arrive at the landing points is laughable. There simply is not the buses available to carry the 7000 peak summer saturday users. The buses that are available to Northcote Point (2 a day) do not have facilities to carry bikes.
    Lets assume that demand was so high that someone would build the buses to carry the people to Skypath. Now lets assume that of the 1726 users per hour between 9-12am half would cycle/walk to the landing point and so only 863 require public transport. Now lets be generous and assume you can get 20 users on each bus and leave enough room for 20 bikes. That would be 43 buses every hour – almost one per minute!!!!
    You are on cloud cuckoo land if you think the traffic lights at Queen st and Onewa road can handle that. Also with a bus of 20 people unloading every 100 minutes there is going to be a very big bus parking area needed…. where is that going to fit in???
    Just face it – Skypath – based on its own projected patronage and the Angus report just does not stack up. It is a doomed project from start to finish.

    As for the cycle maps – Let me remind you – Cycle Action Auckland helped AT designate the maps. As for safety – let the facts speak not the emotion – ZERO – NIL – NADA accidents on Northcote Point involving cyclists in the last 5 years….how can that be described as dangerous and in need of a seperated cycle path??

    1. Phil, correct me if I am wrong but you are arguing that the skypath should not be built because it would be too popular. My response is that a popular attraction is great and any parking problems can easily be handled with pricing.

      I know about the cycle maps. I have made suggestions about them myself to the predecessor of AT. But those mas carry no official weight and the presence or absence of any route on that map does not mean that the route is safe or dangerous.

    2. I should also add that the skypath is first and foremost a transport facility. I’ll use it regularly to get to and from the shore as I’m sure many others will. So much the better that it will be an appealing place for a leisurely walk or bike ride.

  6. David,

    I am saying the Skypath should not be built for many reasons. A few (but not all) as follows:
    1. It is an intrusive structure that will be an unacceptable inconvenience to local residents.
    2. It will create a parking and traffic problem that the area is unable to cope with.
    3. The design is not meet the safety standards used in Australia and NZ for cycle and pedestrian paths.
    4. It is a private enterprise project being underwritten by rate payers – not just for the build and operational costs but guaranteeing revenues based on its own projected patronage.
    5. It is an unnecessary transport link soon to be redundant from the AWHC.

    1. THanks for clarifying your position. I disagree on every point except maybe 4, but this has been forced on the project as the standard transport funding agencies refuse to provide decent cycle links so an alternative needed to be found for this important connection.

      1. Hi David,

        I respect your right to have your own opinions that may or may not agree with mine. In order to explain my position further and perhaps change your mind I will expand:
        1. The structure is intrusive to the residents at the southern end of Princes Street. It will create noise and light pollution as well as require street re-alignment. There is talk of local residents having to pass through a fenced barrier to access our own homes – Surely it is hard to argue that this is not intrusive and inconvenient.
        2. The parking problem is documented above. Surveys have been done and the simple facts are that according to respondents – people will park and ride and there is not enough car parking available to cope. The only way it will not be a parking and traffic nightmare is if the patronage figures are overstated – in which case it is a bigger financial nightmare for the rate payers because we (thanks to the council) guarantee the income based on the trusts patronage figures.
        3. The design doesnt meet the safety standards used in Aust and NZ – We adhere to ‘Austroads’ for road and path design. Skypath is too narrow for the patronage. That is a fact which you can research to verify.
        4. The rate payers should not be underwriting private enterprise projects. The Govt’s position seems to be that in a few years AWHC will make Skypath redundant so why waste money on it now. Also they are probably recalling when the AHBA were giving free shuttle trips to cyclists and had to stop after a month because no one bothered to use it.
        5. It will become redundant when we have AWHC – how long that takes is subjective as it depends on politics more than anything else. I am sure we agree on that point.
        Regards,
        Phil

        1. My response to Phil’s comments are
          1) I agree that a new structure, although smaller than the harbour bridge, may initally appear intrusive. Talk is just that – let’s see how the SkyPath consent applciation addresses this so-called barrier issue.
          2)Parking could easily remain in the scheme (I see cars slow on arterial roads which have roadside parking e.g. Lake Road, at the Belmont shops). Making Queen Street one way south from Stafford and Princes St one way north to Staffrord may help resolve the share of reduced parking.
          3) I doubt Ausroads considered anything as innovative as SkyPath – given the cycle paths in downtown Auckland I think that road and traffic engineers love the solidity and embedded energy of concrete and asphalt and don’t consider aestheitcs.
          4) The proposal appears to share the risk of a flop between private and public investorss. I would be happy to put money into the business, and Phil may have millions to invest if he considers that the proposal will bring many people to the area who wish to enjoy its charm.
          5. Why wait another 60-70 years for the AWHC – the Skypath proposal is closer to reality than the vapour promises of either the AWHC or the original harbour bridge.

  7. On the maps – please consider the following which I quote from Cycle Action Aucklands own website (the one you are reading this on)
    “Auckland Transport – Cycle Maps

    Use these maps (scroll down to “Free Auckland cycle maps” though!) when you plan a ride in Auckland.

    Cycle Action collaborated with Auckland Transport on the recent (2012) update & quality check of these maps – they show where cycle lanes and cycle paths go, and where wider or quiter streets make cycling easier. The newest edition also clarifies which cycle facilities are shared bus lanes and which aren’t (as we know that many cyclists don’t like riding with buses”

    I would say that CAA endorse the maps — Meanwhile the Auckland Transport website has this to say about the maps:
    “Cycle & walkway maps
    Auckland has a number of off-road cycle and walkways that are perfect for a recreational ride or run, or for a more leisurely scenic commute.”

    Sounds very much to me like these maps carry a lot of weight!

  8. None of which contradicts what I said. These are suggested routes, sometimes best of a bad bunch sometimes good quality cycle routes.

  9. Phile, other cycleways/walkways in Auckland don’t have parking and don’t have problems so why is Northcote Point any different?I find it strange that you don’t want bikes riding past your house but you live under/beside a motorway with all the rubbish and noise from cars,trucks and buses pouring down on you.Phile get a life

  10. Marty,

    I am basing my Data on surveys done for Auckland Transport and the Skypath Trust. If you do not believe the impact then you do not believe the data Skypath Trust are using to justify the project. So – according to Skypath – it will be different!
    I do not live under the motorway and I do not get rubbish and noise from the cars, trucks and buses. I live in one of the few heritage areas of Auckland and wish to continue to do so without the huge inconvenience Skypath would be. Residents have rights Marty.

    1. Phile you didnt answer my question, other cycleways/walkways in Auckland don’t have parking and don’t have problems so why is Northcote Point any different?….Whats the problem with bikes in a Heritage Area do they damage the enviroment or remove Heritage ?Yes residents have rights, so do 1.2 million other Auckland rate payers .If the Skypath isnt landing at your front door its not inconveniencing you so whats your problem .If you are so proud of our Heritage in Northcote why dont you want other people to come to the point to see it ? This time could you answer the simple questions Mr Moore ….yes I know how you are

      1. Martye,

        1. Skypaths own traffic survey and patronage figures tell us that the project will create a significant parking deficit. Either this is going to create a huge problem or the figures are wrong and the project doesnt stack up economically – take your pick but in either case it means Skypath should not be built.

        2. It’s not about the bikes – its about the people that want to park and ride and Im using Skypaths data as the basis for predicting the problem.

        3. Auckland unfortunately doesnt have 1.2 Million rate payers – although you might think it does the way Red Len spends our money. If you asked the 30% of Auckland who are rate payers if they thought the council should fund a private enterprise project you would find the majority would answer NO.

        Questions answered Martye?

        1. Not funding. Underwriting. And even then only partially, and only on the amount of any losses.

          1. Bryce,

            Do you understand how underwriting works?

            The underwriter agrees to make good any shortfall between the agreed costs and returns. Usually you would expect the underwriter to guarantee the build cost but in Skypaths case – the underwriter is guaranteeing the income based on Skypaths own projections. Morrisons PIP Fund do not care if no one uses the path because they get a substantial guaranteed income… You wait till Aucklands rate payers here about that!
            So – you are completely wrong. It is not ‘partial’ and it is not contained to ‘losses’.

        2. I think you will find that the guys from skypath say park in town and the walk or ride the skypath you were at the meeting when Beven stressed that point .you still havent answed the first question…. other cycleways/walkways in Auckland don’t have parking and don’t have problems so why is Northcote Point any different? so pissing around and answer it .

          1. Marty,

            It does not matter one dot what Bevan said. The survey of Aucklanders tells us the percentage that will park and ride.
            Surely you understand that the results of the survey answer your question.
            facts dam facts and statistics – not emotion!

          2. And still you haven’t answered the question: other cycleways/walkways in Auckland don’t have parking and don’t have problems so why is Northcote Point any different? A simple answer will do
            so why is Northcote Point any different? Is that clear enough for you Phil?

  11. I managed to get to the meeting on Monday night after work (just).
    There is a lot of misunderstood information in amongst the residents. It seems that many believe (or have been led to believe?) that all parking is being removed on Queen St. Obviously when you look at Auckland Transport’s drawings this is quite incorrect.
    There is widespread fear that businesses will be negatively affected and will close. The Northcote Tavern was used as an example. Apart from the roughly 30 on street parking spots that patrons can use, on King St, the tavern has its own carpark. Loosing 5 spaces from out front doesn’t add up to financial failure in my opinion.
    There have also been a lot of comments about heritage houses and no off street parking. A quick browse of Google Maps and I couldn’t find a single property that doesn’t already have off street parking.

    If at the end of the day, Northcote Point residents do not want the cycle lanes along Queen St, then I believe Auckland Transport should just drop that part of the project and focus on the section north of Onewa Road. This is where the main schools are and, if combined with some area treatments using 30km/h streets and protected lanes then the benefits could be huge.

    As for traffic volumes in Northcote Point, and the 4 hr+ traffic jam that the NRA somehow managed to work out, if Skypath is successful (which we know it will of course),
    perhaps now is an opportune time to mention that Northcote residents opposed a bus interchange at the bottom of Onewa Road (as part of the busway design). It was subsequently not built. A scenario where locals and tourists alike could have walked/cycled to this interchange and incorporate bike hire operations (much as happens with the Golden Gate Bridge in SF) then many of the concerns about parking and gridlock would have been appeased.
    Luckily, after having done a bit more reading, the existing Onewa interchange design does not preclude building the missing busway interchange.
    On a related note, after hearing speakers at the meeting, I don’t think Auckland Transport have done themselves any favours with their consultation efforts.

  12. Bryce,

    I wonder what motivated you to attend the meeting that was organised for the residents of Northcote Point. I understand you live in West Auckland and do not commute to the shore by cycle. I also understand you have no property or other investments on Northcote Point – so why the interest?

    Addressing your points:
    I do not think anyone misunderstands the level of parking being removed. I think you will find the financial barrier to living on Northcote Point pretty much guarantees a minimum level of intelligence that is able to read and understand the proposal from AT. It is not just the parking issues but also the change of access at the Queen Street/Onewa Road interchange that will cause huge problems for residents.

    Designing/commenting on a proposal based on google is a serious worry. If you understood the area you would know that there are a significant number of properties on Queen Street with no off street or single off street parking. This is an area of affluence (which Skypath is about to discover) and many homes have more than one car per household. Now you may argue (correctly) that home ownership does not come with a right to street parking but it is entirely reasonable for residents anywhere in NZ to expect to be able to park outside their homes.

    I agree with you that AT should drop the cycle lanes on Queen street. They should drop them on Lake Road as well. I would spend the money on improving cycling on Northcote Road where it is busy and where it is an east/west transit route for the shore. Arguing for a cycle route on Lake and Northcote point is stupid as by Cycle Action Aucklands own website – they are safe wide roads. Queen Street does not need a speed reduction or any other ‘treatments’ – the fact is there have been ZERO accidents involving cyclists anywhere on Northcote Point in the last 5 years!

    Traffic volumes will become a nightmare if Skypath is built – if we use the patronage figures provided by the Skypath Trust. Let me remind you of the FACTS AND FIGURES:
    Cars requiring parking PER HOUR (recreational users)
    Year 1 Year 5
    9-12 = 299 = 488
    12-3 = 310 = 506
    3-4 = 256 = 418
    4-6 = 192 = 313
    In addition there are 167 commuter cars in year 1 and 330 commuter cars in year 5 that will be parked all day.
    On Northcote Point there are a total of 781 available car parks on the entire peninsular. On a weekend there are an average of 350 free spaces at anytime – reducing to 200 spaces after 3pm. That means the parking deficit every saturday in summer is as follows:
    Year 1 Year 5
    9-12 -116 -468
    12-3 -127 -486
    3-4 -223 -548
    4-6 -159 -443

    If you want to say that everyone that said they would be using cars will switch to PT then you are looking at a significant number of buses to move people to and from Skypath – 43 buses an hour! Of course there will be a traffic nightmare.

    I get that you are pro Skypath Bryce – why wouldnt you be? You live miles away and will probably never use it. Your only problem will be your rates that have to pay for the thing.

    I wouldn’t make too many comparisons between Auckland and San Francisco if I were you Bryce. They had 34 cycling accidents on the Bridge in one year.Commuter cyclists in San Francisco blame the rental bikers for the high accident rates. They have since reduced speeds and made it illegal to use electric bikes on the Golden gate… and that is a dead flat bridge! Parking in Sausalito is a real pain as well – especially in the summer months.

    So – in summary – using Skypaths own data and using data from Cycle Action Auckland and AT – Cycling Northcote is already safe – the only thing likely to make it dangerous is the Skypath!

  13. 1) I live in Orewa now. 2) It’s much closer than London 3) I take an interest for those who are intimidated by the likes of the NRA and don’t like to speak up or the youth who don’t have a say in what the NRA thinks is important. By the way, I was approached by someone at the meeting who thought all the parking was going.

  14. I dont live in London. I have two residences – one in Rural oxfordshire on a 3000 acre estate and the other in Auckland on Northcote Point. I spend my time between the two – avoiding winter. Of course I pay significant rates and I was born and raised in Northcote – that is why I know a lot more about the parking on Queen street than what can be learnt from Google.
    If you went to the meeting to stand up for the people intimidated by the NRA or youth – why didn’t you have a say? I can not believe you were there because you intend to commute from Orewa to the Northcote Ferry – especially with your builders kit.
    As for the one person you spoke to that thought all the parking was going – Im glad you could set the record straight. However I am sure you noted – as I did – that the vast majority of people present – of which the vast majority were actual locals who would be affected – were very much against the proposed cycle route.
    Of course – Happy to discuss the facts and figures with you – namely:
    1. The cycle route follows a path that mostly is on roads already recommended by CAA and AT as safe.
    2. There have been Zero accidents involving cyclists on Northcote Point in the last 5 years – so it is statistically safe.
    3. The traffic survey (BY AT) showed less than a dozen cyclists using the route – which is recommended and is statistically safe – demonstrating that there is no demand for it.

    1. And I have walked around Northcote but Google gives a different, complementary view.

      1. I mostly went there to listen. And I witnessed a local get told to ‘shut up’ and ‘get on your bike’ when he was asking questions. Good questions.

  15. I don’t know how the road was graded by CAA or AT but my personal opinion is that it does not come close to an acceptable standard that an organisation such as CROW would recommend. The AUSTROADS standards are a mish mash of various standards and are not what you would call ‘best practice’ in a global sense.

  16. If you want to know how the roads were graded then you only have to navigate the CAA website you are now using!

    Austroads are the guidlines used in Australia and NZ for the design and build of roads, footpaths, and cycle facilities – You may personally not like them but hey – its what the Governments of two 1st world countries adhere too. However – if we look at other countries – The UK as one example say that shared road facility is good on roads of 30mph (50kph) for roads up to 900 vehicles per hour. In the recent AT survey Queen streets trafic flow per hour peaked at 580 and averaged around 350…. THIS IS REAL DATA!

    1. Hey Phil,
      AUSTROADS is designed for arterial type motorways and roads, it doesn’t work well in a shared space environment, those were never properly considered. And while AUSTROADs may be the standard we use now, it wasn’t always so, nor will ever be so. Things change, rules change.

      re: “low traffic flows” not requiring seperate cycle facilities.

      Did you not think that AT is doing what you ask here, and considering the impact of all those park and riders – who you insist will drive to and therefore use the roads in and around Northcote point while doing so – regardless of whether parking is there or not – so any current traffic numbers you quote are obviously pure bunkum by your own estimates if that is true?

      So in that case AT are merely doing all of Auckland a favour and thinking ahead of the curve for a bit and planning accordingly.

      If you don’t agree with them doing that then you also can’t argue about the hordes of Park n Riders you say you know are coming to Northcote as in that case its simply a phantom menace.

      You can’t have it both ways – you can’t argue its a “safe country road, so leave it alone” then argue “the masses are coming, and we have to be prepared”.

      It would pay to remember that no matter how much in rates you pay or how many properties you own, you still do NOT own, or control the use of the public spaces on the road reserve.

      All those residents and business owners who “expect” to always have on street parks, or Resident permits handed out should realise its a privilege not a right to these.

      AT have said that use of public road space for private parking is the lowest priority activity in the usage hierarchy, and that this (or any use) can be overridden by other higher priority requirements.

      I am sure that AT will do their best to accommodate those with genuine off street parking issues – and it may not be a park right outside the house. But I also think AT don’t have a duty to those who have manufactured the problem themselves by say, converting previously available off-street parking into other uses – expecting the public to provide the parking they decided they did not need in perpetuity.

      Which means yes some residents here and elsewhere in Auckland may have to accept changes to existing usage patterns of the road space as AT rolls out changes – but thats a fact of life, and the evidence for that fact is as obvious now, as it was when the bridge was rammed through the place 60 years ago.

      I doubt there are many (if any) residents or business owners on Northcote Point now, who were living there prior to the current bridge being planned and built, and anyone else has arrived after the fact and has to accept the lay of the land as they find it. While also accepting that just because its like that now, doesn’t mean it always was, or will always be so.

      I look forward to cycling to the SkyPath and using the cycleway in the process in the not too distant future – without I point out – needing to use the non-existent Park N Ride facilities on Northcote point. And while doing that I will also only be frequenting businesses there who have a more enlightened 21st century approach to sharing of the public road space with all users.

      1. Hi Greg,

        Ill answer the points you raise one by one:

        1. Austroads are the guidelines we use now. It doesnt matter what was used in the past or may be used in the future – It is the here and now we are talking and right here – right now – Skypath does not meet Austroads standards.

        2. According to the Kaipatiki local board the Northcote Cycle Route is a stand alone project and not tied to Skypath. Accordingly I am discussing this on the basis of it being a project seperate to Skypath – which has yet to pass resource consent. Again – lets deal with the here and now!

        3. If you insist on linking the Northcote Cycle Route to Skypath you will find that the removal of parking for the cycle route down Queen Street makes parking for all the Skypathers even more impossible. Remember based on year one patronage Northcote Point is already short over a hundred car park spaces BEFORE any are removed for the cycle route. As you say – you cant have it both ways so an argument for the Northcote Cycle Route is a nail in the coffin of Skypath.

        4. You are quite correct that rate payers do not own the road outside there gates but they do have a reasonable expectation to be able to live in an environment they bought into – not a traffic jam caused by the intrusion of a PRIVATE ENTERPRISE venture. I think you will find that many planing applications have failed on the basis that the negative impact on local residents and businesses was an unfair burden.

        5. I note that you would prefer to cycle to the Skypath – should it ever be built – but facts are facts and 39% of recreational users and 23% of commuters intend to park and ride – These are statistics taken from Skypaths own survey!

        6. As you say – you can not have it both ways – either the patronage figures are correct and there will be a parking nightmare for Northcote Point or the Patronage figures are grossly overstated and Skypath doesnt stack up financially – take your pick – it is one or the other.

        1. Phil, isn’t a parking deficit self limiting? People turn up, find no parks, and go away, resolving not to bother in future. It’s like Queen st in the city. People know you won’t get a park, which reduces the amount of traffic.

      1. Sure Bryce – let me do your research for you 🙂

        It was Queen Street between Stafford and Belle Vue. That was the AT traffic Survey they did for this project so please do not try and make some argument why the data isnt relevant. It is also the busier end of Queen St – I point that out as you not being a local wont know this.
        Phil

        1. Firstly, I used to live at Kauri Point so I do indeed have some knowledge of the area so don’t be so presumptuous.

          Secondly, as you no doubt know, Hinemoa, Maritime and Queen St are highly used by ‘rat runners’ from Birkenhead and beyond. This is what gives that end of Queen St such a high traffic count. Hence my question (and you supplied the data so I figured you had it at your fingertips). How much nicer would Northcote be without all those ‘rat runners’?

          1. Northcote Point is a dead end peninsular – people that buy there do so in the knowledge that there will be traffic delays exiting onto Onewa in peak periods. What the residents do not accept Bryce – and never will do – is making the traffic worse by introducing cycle paths that are not needed (Northcote cycle route) or Private Enterprise projects (Skypath) that make the traffic worse. I am sure you appreciate that.
            I am all for projects that will enhance the area – neither of these will do that.

          2. Skypath aside, how will the Northcote cycle route add traffic? Other than people on bikes?

  17. They want to change the controlled intersection at Queen/Onewa which will make it harder/slower for cars to traverse – backing peak hour traffic up Queen Street and Lake Rd even further. There is also talk of removing the ability to turn left from Queen to Onewa.

    1. Rather than removing left turn, it’s more likely to just be the left slip lane that will be removed with a standard left turn lane introduced.

  18. There’s plenty of passionate talk here, but do you think we can come up with some alternatives / compromises / solutions here rather than argue our own points many times over and getting nowhere?
    Both sides of the argument have valid points – cycling should be encouraged and local residents (& businesses) are stakeholders in any decision affecting their street so their views need to be given genuine consideration & accommodated.
    Cyclists want a cycle route and Queen Street/Northcote Point residents want to maintain the Points special cul-de-sac ambience and appeal.
    Cycling is a transport mode and Queen street is a residential street and these two aren’t mixing. Lets keep residential streets “residential” and cycle routes alongside “arterial routes” – its the mixing them that is causing the issue here – and that’s the cause of most of the concern & uproar with both skypath and the proposed cycle route. So lets separate residential cul de sacs from arterial (cycle) traffic routes.
    Why are we not discussing building a CYCLE-ONLY path alongside the motorway from the skypath landing zone, all the way past Sulphur beach along Shoal Bay waterfront around to Esmode Road …and eventually beyond – both North alongside the bus-lane and also into Takapuna. Along this route could be local access points such as Tennyson Road (tunnel already there); adjacent to The Warehouse Offices to Akoranga Drive(bridge already there) etc. The more access points there are to this pathway, the lower the volume of traffic (cycle and any corresponding car parking etc) will be on any one single point (ie you won’t be channeling ALL of the North Shore’s cycle traffic through Queen Street like a funnel). You wouldn’t have to force cyclists, travelling from north of Lake Road to climb up the steep Lake Road hill and cross Onewa Road, they could travel down Akoranga /the Warehouse Way and join the flat waterfront cyclepath from there. (Just think how many cyclists you could attract, and what reductions in traffic jams you could achieve if people could cycle direct from Takapuna, along the waterfront to the skypath , without going around the houses up Lake Road (Northcote), over Onewa Road; and likewise from other access points to this pathway etc.)

    Lets spend the $4m cyclway budget on this waterfront pathway (& connections) and stop channeling cyclists over busy / dangerous intersections (like Onewa Road) and into residential streets which will have their livelihoods impacted by loss of parking and corresponding likely demise of the highly desirable local business (e.g. Engine Room, Bridgeway etc) which desperately rely on this parking.
    There is a half-hearted ‘Sea-path’ suggestion on the Skypath website, which incorporate a tiny section of the suggestion above but it simply doesn’t go far enough to enable a compromise between cycling enthusiasts and local residents. Waterfront Auckland & NZTA’s northern cycleway have this waterfront cyclway as a goal (I believe) so why not get this right up there on the agenda now? “Cost “I guess …which is just what some of the critics are saying –is this project being done on the cheap which is why both cyclists and residents are being put in this win-lose situation.
    Maybe we should also be looking at other ‘safe road’ alternatives (such as lower speed limits if the issue here is that some streets are genuinely dangerous, or speed bumps, islands etc) rather than disadvantaging so many others with a bespoke cycleway.
    We really cant make a decision about skypath in isolation, or the cycleway in isolation, as an integrated plan is required that looks at both these & the total picture & impact of each element.
    We need to ensure any plan respects the heritage status / local residents & businesses, the many visitors who currently enjoy these area’s attractions and ensure we add to /maintain these rather than destroying them.
    For the record I was virtually brought up on a bike, want my kids to do the same (safely) and I live on Queen Street. I love cycling but I (like many others in Northcote and all over Auckland) love Queen street – so lets have a plan that delivers to both these.
    Am I on a different planet to think we can have a win-win here for both local residents/businesses and cycling?

    1. Hi Jez,

      I proposed something similar – no interest shown by Skypath Trust – you can read it on facebook at this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/1467636793485664/

      To be honest – your idea would be perfect for the solution if AT could free up a lane on the bridge. Best solution is therefore to wait a few more years for the AWHC and then everyone gets to be satisfied.

      This is how the Skypath – Northcote Cycle route and CBD connection could be built without the huge costs and inconvenience to residents.
      Starting in Taharoto Rd Takapuna the path could head West down Dominion Street. It is a quiet street so no need for a cycle lane. AT would then need to build a bridge over the Northern motorway to connect to College Road. This route Would be good for students as it would run through land owned by AT. No need to compulsory purchase. The route could then travel east along College Road – past Hato Petera college on what is a much quieter road than Northcote Road or lake Road. It would pass close to Northcote Intermediate as it passed behind the shopping center.
      Then it turns left into Deuxberry Rd – another quiet street before crossing Exmouth to connect to the existing cycle path through Onepoto Domain. (Skypath could have a hop card/kiosk on-site in the domain) – Parking already exists for pick up/drop off.
      Exiting the domain AT need to dig an underpass to cross Onewa Road and a causway across the mangrove swamp to connect at Stafford Park.
      The path then continues on the Western side of the bridge along Sulphur beach road where it connects to the Bridge on the Western (upper harbour side). It initially runs attached at road level to avoid interference with ground clearance in Princes Street before dropping to its designed clip on position and crosses the harbour attached to the Western side.
      The landing point on the city side is Curren street where it can be connected to the existing cycle/pedestrian path besides the motorway and crosses Jacobs ladder. It then connects towards the city via Baumont and Gaunt Streets.
      So the cost is limited to building a connection over the Northern Motorway in Takapuna and underpass below Onewa Rd and a path across the mangroves. That could be done for less than the 19M being spent on the Northcote Cycle Route and the Westhaven connection. It also avoids ruining Northcote Point or crossing Onewa at the busiest intersection. Of course the Skypath doesnt get the same outer harbour view but according to the Pro Pathers it is about connectivity and a transport link.

    2. I’ve done quite a bit of thinking on this. I think the proposed ‘Seapath’ is a starter and then use East – West routes to link to it rather than North -South as per the proposal. Then add a mix of cycle lanes/paths and 30km/h residential zones around schools and the like, based on this http://www.biketeatatu.org.nz/our-proposal/ I’m working on a graphic.

    3. A cycle route that goes near houses and businesses is much better than a cycle route that runs between the motorway and the sea. Cycle routes are for people to travel where they need to, not just for leisure riders.

      1. I absolutely agree however, in this instance a passionate (obstinate?) group of locals at Northcote Point may cause the entire project to be cancelled or deferred. Bypass Northcote Point and the project gets easier as there are good numbers of supporters, so I’ve been advised, for the rest of the route.

        1. Looking forward to seeing your graphic Bryce – will be interesting to look at your solution for connecting Skypath to seapath.

        2. I can’t see any reason to defer the whole project. For example removing section 4 would still ensure that cyclists have been carried safely across Onewa Road and well past the larger residential area south of Onewa Road and beyond the motorway exit of Stafford Street.
          This means that if you are heading for the Birkenhead Ferry you are still protected on Queen Street until you have turned off Queen Street to head to the ferry. It also means that school pupils can still cross Onewa Road from Queen Street to get closer to school.
          And section 4 could be built after Environment Court hearings approving the SkyPath development.

          1. Another busy meeting with the local residents tonight. I cant see this cycle path being done with quite a few local politicians needing to brush up their CVs.

        3. I don;t think spending loads of money on an alternative is wise — if opposition is so stubborn, just leave that bit out and do it later as the demand becomes more apparent. Section 4 is already the safest and quietest part of the route (Phil: note that that these terms are relative).

          1. It all depends on what the actual goals of the project are. Is this project designed to enable kids to ride to school? People to ride to locals shops? Commuters to Northcote Point ferry? To me, it feels very much like a commuter route. Perhaps we would be better off starting with improving local riding conditions around the schools?

          2. I’d say it would operate both as a local and commuter route. Queen St is the main access road for this part of Auckland, provides the main access to the ferry and will provide the main access to the Skypath. Building a new route by the motorway would be expensive, environmentally damaging and have much lower utility.

            Sure, if losing a few car parks is too politically difficult jettison the route from the point back to Bartley St in favour of some traffic calming but to start talking about building a whole other piece of infrastructure misses the way bikes work.

  19. SEPARATING THE FACT FROM THE FICTION:

    In the nicest possible way – without wishing to offend anyone – I feel the need to explain a few things because some of you are not getting it.

    Northcote Cycle Route.
    Fact 1: Auckland Transport and Cycle Action Auckland already designate Queen Street Northcote as a ‘Route on quieter roads recommended by cyclists’. Both AT and CAA make a fuss of mentioning the cycle maps as recommended routes on their websites.
    Fact 2: There have been no cycling accidents anywhere on Northcote Point in the last 5 years.
    Fact 3: The recent AT traffic survey showed less than a dozen cyclists using the route on Lake or Queen Street.
    Fact 4: Traffic volumes on Queen street are well below the recommended level where a cycle lane is required.
    Fact 5: Kaipatiki local board and AT say the route is a stand alone project not connected (no pun intended) to Skypath.
    So – looking at the facts there is no justification for spending money on a cycle route through Northcote point. NONE AT ALL.

    SKYPATH.
    Fact 1: Skypaths own traffic survey (paid for from rate payers funds) shows exact percentages of users that want to park and ride from Northcote point.
    Fact 2: Skypaths own patronage figures shows exact numbers of users broken down to days, seasons, and times.
    Fact 3: By using mathematics and the data available from the traffic survey and the patronage figures we can see how much demand for parking Skypath will generate in year 1 and year 5.
    Fact 4: Northcote Point has a finite and fixed number of parking spaces.
    Fact 5: By using mathematics we can subtract the known parking demand from the known parking spaces AND ARRIVE AT A MASSIVE DEFICIT.
    Fact 6: If there is not a parking problem it can only be because the Patronage figures are wrong – and as Aucklands rate payers are underwriting the project based on these patronage figures any parking relief would come at a huge punitive cost to rate payers.
    THESE ARE FACTS – not emotion – not lies – not propaganda – FACTS!
    Please do yourself the favour of reading all the data available to you – it will make for a more informed discussion.

  20. Can someone please close this thread? It is going in circles and a waste of time.

    1. Personally, I think it’s quite a good forum for this debate. Much better than the meeting last week. Sometimes, compromise is the best option.

  21. Disclosure first – I live in Birkenhead and I am a commuter by bike. Everyday I cycle southbound up Lake Road to Onewa Road, cross Onewa with the traffic and then cycle up Onewa to home. (I used to cycle down Onewa and then northbound up Lake to College but the sole driver idiots trying to cheat in the T3 lane were starting to scare me). I want to see more cycling infrastructure but Lake Road (in either direction) is flawed. I am a fit cyclist and those hills are a b*******, so much so, the total cycle way is unlikely to get much patronage (but individual sections are likely to be more popular). The discussion around spending money on the Seapath and having numerous connectors from the west should be explored further. Linking to the existing cycling infrastructure on Esmonde and Lake Road (Takapuna) will provide solutions for commuters like myself but also recreational cyclists who would then see the best of Auckland. It would also remove Northcote Pt residents from the equation; seemingly a powerful group of people if they were able to stop the bus interchange from being built.

    1. A good point Von – I remember cycling up lake road when I was in the target school age. Even for a fit kid who played a lot of sports – cycling up Lake to Onewa was a ball ache.
      The solution through Onepoto does remove the steepest hills and would be a much nicer ride. The connection to any Skypath would be a challenge to overcome as the existing design passes through property.

  22. Agree Von – a main cycle ‘arterial route’ along the waterfront from Esmonde to skypath with many local access points is a win-win-win-win ( commuters, residents, recreational cyclists / tourism & car commuters – as it will relieve commuter traffic). Apart from anything else it will make the business case of achieving the daily usage of sky path far more likely if its more accessible by opening up a direct link to takapuna and adjacent suburbs. Surely cyclists would prefer a direct flat (cycle only) route to sky path than the current northcote cycle path plan of an indirect route, along busy routes and up steep hills (lake rd to Onewa). By all means, link this frequently to residential streets along the route, but keeping the main arterial route separate from a major car arterial route ( and away from a residential street that can’t cope with the funnel effect – Queen street) is preferable?

    1. To me, the linking of the Skypath to the wider North Shore via something like Seapath is a no brainer but I also appreciate it will take money, imagination, belief and a certain amount of engineering! Look across the Tasman to the Bronte to Coogee walkway and you see a feat of engineering (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V1u0W7mmIRc/UC3ReX2nAaI/AAAAAAAACzU/k7liJctiaMQ/s1600/BondiBronte_walk.jpg)(hopefully the link to the picture works) but which is so popular it often features in ‘Best of Sydney’ discussion. It brings people to the area and it creates jobs (see how the cafes at Bronte flourish because of it). Aim big.

  23. Skypath might be able to utilise some land below the houses on the point to run the connection – would require quite a bit of engineering though because it would have to be hidden from the homes above and soundproofed so that it cant be heard, on that basis I would enter discussions about leasing access across my land. Wouldnt imagine it would be cheap as you would need to pass through 4 properties.

    1. Not necessarily, the skypath could be built to continue to run to Sulpher Beach, there is then the existing path that runs to Tennyson underpass, build a Seapath to connect with Northern Busway, widen the Busway, putting in physical barrier between bikes and buses. This would give you exit to Tennyson, exit to Onewa, exit to Esmonde. As for the path needing soundproofing, mmm, yeah, those bikes and their riders, can’t believe the amount of noise they make.

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