The councils governing body are due to meet on Thursday and it is likely to be quite a bit of a circus due to recent events. However the meeting isn’t just about addressing Len Brown and the outcome of the EY report with one of the other items of business is an update on the on what is happening with Skypath, the proposed walking and cycling route across the Harbour Bridge. We are unlikely to see any major decisions being made about the project in the open session however in the closed session of the meeting the councillors are expected to decide whether the project should move on to the next stage of having more detailed discussions with the investors who will be funding the project.

Skypath Steps

Over recent months the group behind the project – the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Trust – have been refining the design which has seen them change the design to use lighter composite materials which will be similar to those used in the America’s Cup catamarans. That has seen the cost of the project increase by $500k to $33.5 million however that will likely be easily paid off through

  • it being a lighter structure
  • easier manufacturing and installation processes
  • a longer service life
  • less strengthening of the AHB being required
  • reduced whole of life maintenance costs.

And here is what the new design looks like.

New Skypath Design

To enable it to get to this stage the council have undertaken additional research into the project and the reports that go with the agenda item provide some more information such as improved patronage forecasts and more detailed financial modelling. The financial modelling is being discussed in the closed session however the patronage forecasts are available to see. The report notes that some gaps were identified in the previous forecasting that had been done for the project and so some more detailed analysis has been undertaken. The company that undertook this more detailed study noted in their report that their numbers are purposefully conservative meaning we should really be able to expect more people to use it. The patronage projections are below.

Skypath Projections

The report to the council says that all three of the local boards on each side of the harbour that are directly affected by the project are in support of the project. The biggest concerns about the project so far have come from the Northcote Residents Association, The St Marys Bay Residents Association and the Westhaven Marina Users Association. The report notes that the landings on either side of the bridge are being reworked to take into account the feedback the trust received a few months ago and the affected groups are now waiting on the outcome of Thursday’s decision before engaging again on the issues they have raised.

New Skypath Design inside

The project will link up the North Shore and give the residents there more options in how they get around the city. In my mind, this project is absolutely essential and should be really be at, or at least very near the top of our transport priority list.  In reality it should be being funded by AT/the Council/NZTA however it is prevented from doing so by our stupid funding regime which only allocates meagre budgets to be used for cycling rather than judging projects based on their merits. On Thursday it definitely needs to be approved to move to the next stage so to help it do that it would be great to drop an email to your local councillor telling them that you think it should be supported.

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  1. This is the most exciting transport project in Auckland prior to CRL. Crazy that it requires a toll while you get to drive over the bridge for free – but whatever gets it built.

    I am sure a more enlightened govt/council will simply buy it back in the future.

  2. Can I ask roughly when the skypath will be complete, all going well? And how much will the tolls be, and how long will it be tolled?

        1. My understanding was Commuter means HOP, Recreation means cash, Tourist gives you access to the observation decks.

      1. Thanks. How will they decide which category people fall into? I imagine commuters could get 10 trips, but still the categories look rather arbitrary

  3. Except for maybe the height of summer, it’ll be dam cold n windy up there. What will the fee be to go on it?

    1. Ignore that last question. Sorry to be a downer but I can’t see this being that popular. They’re trying to give it something like what the SHB has, but the AHB is not comparable IMO

      1. I walked it on a 25degree clear calm day, and it was still cold and windy I had to put a jacket on. I could only imagine what it’d be like on a windy day and auckland as that bridge is far more exposed and wind swept than the Sydney one.

        1. Erm, the Sydney path is up top and exposed to the elements, open on three sides. The Auckland one is under cover and only open on one side, which is partially enclosed. The experience will be a lot more civilised that the Sydney one where you walk between the motorway traffic and the barbed wire fence.

        2. And I have walked across the Golden Gate bridge on a bright sunny day. Mid-span the wind off the Pacific was strong, blustery and very, very cold. Even so, the paths on both sides were crowded with hundreds upon hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists.

          Don’t underestimate the attraction of a bridge, any bridge, that offers good views and a bracing stroll.

    2. It will be hugely popular. The ferries are already busting at the seams at peak time with cyclists and many would choose to cycle over the bridge. It will also be well used on the weekend by recreational cyclists, especially as it will be possible to cycle from Takapuna to the Wynyard Quarter. Tourists will flock to it, many are already confused that it isnt possible now to go on the AHB.

      It will be even better than the SHB cycle way as that actually has stairs on it and is still well used.

    1. I agree – I dont see the problem with a toll. It is cheaper than the ferry by quite a way, about half.

      As with the AHB, once it is paid off and reverts to the Council, it can be toll free.

  4. Concerning the St Mary’s Bay Association is speaking against this. I understood some much more sane residents showed at their AGM a few months ago and a reasonable compromise position was fought out? Or is the chair just ignoring this.

    1. The complementary SeaPath will link into major cycle routes including a cycle path all the way to Takapuna. There is also talk of a Northern Busway cycle path that it would link into.

    2. why do people think there are no connections at the north end? I used to catch the ferry to Northcote Point and Queen St is a delightful quiet ans smooth (concrete) road to cycle on,

      the Northcote tavern, Bridgeway movie theatre, the Engine Room restaurant (consistently in Metro’s top ten) and Sausolito cafe are all an easy walk from the Skypath landing; to steal a phrase from Game of Thrones, “you know nothing, S Walker”

      1. What he said. There isn’t a hell of a lot to walk to in Sydney either once you take out the eateries, the park and the transit station….

        I just did a quick check, surprisingly the walk from Circular Quay on Sydney’s downtown waterfront to Milsons Point train station on the north side of the bridge, is almost exactly the same as the walk from Wynyard to the Northcote Point ferry terminal: both 1.7km.

        1. Except the bridge is several hundred metres from circular quay. An equivalent would be a bridge from say queen street to devonport. I walked the SHB the other day and circular quay is a good 10-20min walk from where the bridge ends on the city end.

      2. Hey Steve, You’ll note that I used the word ‘walk’ rather than ‘cycle’. Also, you can’t actually be serious arguing that a cafe, a pub and a restaurant are sufficient enough to attract the likely 1000’s of walker’s that will be needed to pay for this thing. I think it will make a great/much needed cycling route, but you wont get hardly any walkers doing the length and back IMO. Probably just tourists and one-time locals walking to the half-way point and back.

        1. Which is why the user predictions / financial cases for COMMUTER users are like 95% cyclists, 5% pedestrians…

        2. And any entrepreneur with a bit of nous will be quick to set up a coffee cart or an ice-cream stall once it becomes apparent that there are people milling about the northern approaches after crossing the Skypath. When there is enough through traffic on foot then more permanent businesses will arrive offering services to take advantage of it.

          These things have a way of evolving naturally. Why be so negative? You can’t say it won’t work if it has never been tried.

    3. Where will Shore walkers leave their cars. Long hike from Torbay. Funny no cycles in the drawing – just walkers – no division between the two is shown either

      1. If the Northcote residents hadn’t scuppered a bus interchange at the end of Onewa Rd it would be a non point. Beware of unintended consequences.

  5. The sea path runs along the side of a busy motorway and is not a very pleasant route. At low tide and rush hour you struggle between the stench of traffic and the stench of fish. I do not see that popular with anyone.
    On the sky path it will be very noisy and wet and windy, as well as steep in parts. As someone who has done the Bungy I can tell you it’s incredibly noisy under the bridge and not somewhere you would want to use as a tourist.

    1. The noise on bridges doesnt seem to worry anyone on the many, many bridges worldwide that have cyclists crossing them.

      “The sea path runs along the side of a busy motorway and is not a very pleasant route” – You mean like the hugely popular NW Cycleway?

      “and the stench of fish” – Again, doesnt seem to worry any of the many cyclists who cycle along the causeway in Chch to Sumner. I think you underestimate the hardiness of cyclists and great enjoyment of cycling.

      As Patrick says below, these are all the kinds of negative statements made about Britomart and the Northern Busway and they have been huge successes. Auckland tends to overestimate vehicle traffic and underestimate PT and active mode use. A legacy of our extreme autodependency for the last 60 years and the propaganda campaign which has led to the assumption that Auckland is somehow inherently unsuited to those modes of travel, when in fact the opposite is true.

      1. I love how just yesterday people were complaining about roads, motorways and ramps and how they were the bane of human existance wity folk not wanting to seen near such things.

        Today however someone uses your same arguments to question the skypath and so you completely change your tone to say that your concerns of yesterday are not an issue at all.

        1. Sorry, who was saying people wanted to live next to the bridge, or live on the Skypath? The problem with the likes of the Dominion Rd flyover is the severance it creates, the disconnection of inhabitable spaces. Skypath is the opposite, adding in connections for people.

          If someone proposed a shared path along the Dom Rd flyover and Ian McKinnon Drive I’m sure we’d all be supportive of that too, for the same reason.

    2. That is an amazing route! I’ve lived on the Shore on and off for 25 years and still amazed every time I look out across the harbour to the city. It truely is one of the worlds greatest urban vistas. Saying that waterfront ride would be unpleasant because of the motorway is a bit like claiming no one wants to walk along Tamaki Drive because of the arterial road.

        1. SkyPath might be noisy (anyone got numbers? We should look into this, shouldn’t we?) and occasionally windy (although it’s sheltered and only exposed to NE storms, which are warm anyway) and steep (like Anzac Ave is steep?) — so we shouldn’t build it?!

          Frankly, the SH16 causeway path also lacks for enjoyability for the more sensitive souls (like myself). As a piece of infrastructure for a person on a bicycle it can be nasty — a 2m high chainlink fence is all that separates you from millions of tonnes of speeding metal in many places; it’s scruffy and cheaply built in others; it’s almost never clean; it passes on the wrong (ugly, factory) side of the motorway; and as for that prevailing westerly headwind on the way out of town… but by god I love that thing. Thanks to everyone involved in bothering to dream that one up — and thanks in advance for the SkyPath. It’s going to be huge.

      1. The clear noise barriers as used along St Mary’s Bay would work a dream. I walked the accessible parts of the SeaPath route on the weekend and it is amazing, traffic noise wasn’t too bad, and definitely no smell of fish. Would be an incredible bike ride.

  6. The track record of experts predicting uptake of new types of transport systems in Auckland show they consistently err on the low side. Britomart hit its projected 2021 ridership in 2011! They completely misunderstood the appeal of the Northern Busway. Given that this opens up a whole new route I see little reason to expect that they wont be just as inaccurate, and on the low side, as usual.

  7. How many times has any of you ever seen someone walking or cycling along the path at sulphur beach? We go there quite often as we use the boat sheds. I have never seen anyone walk the path. If it was so great you would think you would get lots of Aucklanders there to take photos of the city.
    As for noise on the Skypath. I guess we will have to wait and see but this design is underneath the road attached to a box girder. As someone who has been underneath the box girder for the Bungy I can tell you it was very loud and very exposed. Sounds a good plan for cyclists but I just do not see it as a tourism thing.

    1. I saw people using the Exmouth Rd footbridge taking photos just yesterday, and last time I used the police station underpass there were several other people doing the same.

    2. I regularly use the boat ramp at Sulphur Beach during the summer months and at weekends it is routine to see people jogging, strolling, walking their dogs along past the boatsheds.

      I don’t know where they are starting or ending their perambulations but that waterside path does indeed get much more use than you might think.

  8. Much as I like the idea, and I’m all for improving public transport and cycling facilities in Auckland, I’ve got a nagging suspicion this may be a bit of a red herring. Given there’s already a good ferry network that cyclists can easily use to travel from various points on the shore to the city I’m not quite sure I see the benefit of this apart from for those commuters where the bridge falls on a natural route for them. For many people it will be too much of a detour compared to the ferries.

    I’m not sold on the tourist angle either. It will be noisy, slightly out of the way, and frankly there’s loads of other ways to get a great view of Auckland in the open air, going out on a ferry among them. Sorry to say, the harbour bridge isn’t iconic to anyone living overseas, certainly not in the way the sydney harbour bridge is, so it doesn’t have that draw either. Whether or not distances are comparable, the sydney harbour bridge feels as if it is in the city, whereas our one feels like what it is, a motorway bridge away from the city centre. Sure, Northcote is nice, but it’s not really a tourist destination.

    I know we’ve got a history of underestimating patronage, but you’ve got to look at whether there are really good drivers for that future patronage, rather than just wishful thinking. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see that here.

      1. Nick, compare driving from devonport to the CBD against walking or cycling over the skypath from devonport to the CBD.

        I think you will find one of these options gets a vastly gtreater benefit in time savings by taking the ferry.

        1. Yes because the furthest point of the shore in travel distance with tge best and shortest ferry service is an absolutely relevant example. What about a trip such as Northcote town center to ponsonby, or highbury to pt chev?

          They are both manageable bike rides where tge ferry is a very poor alternative

        2. Precisely my point Richard, neither the bridge nor the ferries aren’t a complete answer for motorists, and nor are they a complete answer for cyclists. But at the moment cyclists only have the one option.

          1. A ferry isnt even a partical answer for motorists however, unless they change mode to a cyclist pedestrain bus or train user once they get to the other side.

          2. All drivers change mode to walking at some point, if only very briefly. For a driver headed downtown many would find making that change at the Devonport park n ride quite agreeable, yet many wouldn’t also.

          3. I think your definition of the term ‘many’ is in need of refinement if you use the word twice in one sentense for both tens of thousands and a few hundred.

            I think we can all agree that some folk while cycle over the new bridge just like some folk cycle from Auckland to Wellington, but to suggest the daily usage will be even a modest fraction of that of vehicle users is wild speculation at best.

            Of note: I’m in favour of the new crossing and think the coucil should just pay for it with rates using a 50/50 split from the NLTF.

    1. If ferries are the answer then why the habour bridge was built? There was a perfectly serviceable ferry service operating prior.

    2. For most tourists, the attraction would be the act of walking across the bridge itself, not visiting Northcote Point. They will do something once they get across, like walking around the neighbourhood (it is a nice neighbourhood) or buying an ice-cream but they won’t need some major attraction at Northcote Point to get them to do it. When I walked across the SHB the first time in Sydney, I did it to walk across the bridge, not to get to Sydney’s North Shore. In fact, I came pretty much straight back again when I got to the other side.

      1. Yes first time I walked Brooklyn Bridge I went halfway then returned to Manhattan. The bridge and the view from it was the point for me as a tourist. BTW that walkway is a boardwalk above traffic and therefore very noisy and exposed to the elements; much more extreme elements than we ever get in AKL.

      2. Bike the Bridge, SF round to Sausalito on a hire bike, ferry back.
        AHB to Takapuna and Devonport, ferry back.
        Northwestern to Hobsonville, ferry back.
        Tamaki Drive to St Heliers, Glendowie, Panmure, Half Moon Bay, ferry back.

        Yeah, we need a few more paths in key places, but you get the possibilities.

  9. I am struggling a bit with the patronage estimates being about 60% of the Sydney Harbour Bridge patronage in Year 1.

    The Sydney Harbour crossing is un-tolled, in a city with a 3x the population of Auckland.

    1. I’m struggling with the patronage in terms of operationally how it might work. 2.1 million in Yr 20 probably works out to ~10,000 per day on peak days. Better be sufficient width to cater for that flow of users (some moving fast, some sightseeing).

      1. That’s slightly more than the average in High St which has very narrow footpaths and all sorts of users. So no issue in terms of the footpath width.

          1. High Street footpath: 1.5m wide at most, filled with poles, bins and other obstacles.

            Skypath: 4m wide shared path, wider than the traffic lane on High St, twice the width of the old parts of Northwestern Cycleway.

          2. The NW cycleway isn’t getting anything like 10,000 people a day, though, and of the people who use it, fewer are pedestrians. It only gets about 800 pax/day at the busiest point.

            Skypath is still not quite wide enough to segregate pedestrians and cyclists, and there will be enough pedestrians that cyclists can’t just (safely) overtake. Hopefully if it’s a raging success, we’ll get a companion Skypath on the other side for bikes, and keep this one as pedestrian-only.

          3. 4m is the standard for a shared cycle and pedestrian facility, it is the same width as the new Grafton Gully Cycleway path through the university. Perhaps not perfect to cover all possible eventualities but certainly not inadequate.

            I’d love it if we get to the point where we could justify a dedicated cycle path on the western side too (assuming the eastern path with the view would be kept for pedestrians).

          4. Grafton Gully is also going to be mostly cyclists. Not a mix of commuter cyclists and tourists looking at the view. I take your point, but I do think it’s going to feel pretty cramped if the usage is what’s predicted.

          5. Not so, the upper sections of the Grafton Gully cycleway, at 3m, will be mostly cyclists. The 4m section in the university precinct is intentionally wider because they know a lot of students will walk on it at the same time.

            Sky path has two observation points where the cladding is open, these are wider and have extra room for people to stop and admire the view. From the above those sections look to be some 5 or 6m wide.

            You’ll also find that the busy peak for tourists will occur after the busy peak for commuters on weekdays, while on weekends the recreational users will be the majority.

          6. “Sky path has two observation points”

            About 6-7 observation points actually. One at each major pier, and likely some at the landings. The 2 observations platform scenario was for larger platforms in an earlier concept.

  10. Really excited by this project and I think will be a huge success in making Auckland a better place to live and work.

    Have mentioned this before, but cycling into town from areas like Takapuna/Milford/Forrest Hill, Northcote etc become much more viable with SkyPath (and linked up cycle paths).

    Right now, from my home in Milford, it only takes me a bit over 20 minutes to get to Devonport. Then (depending on Ferry times) have to queue, wait for a ferry and spend about time getting off and on the Ferry and waiting for the SeaBus to chug slowly across the harbour (20+ minutes). From the ferry terminal, there is only a bit over 10 minutes to zip along the waterfront through Wynyard quarter to work near Victoria park. For that I pay over $5 each way.

    With SkyPath, if the tolls were really $2 each way (which I think is way too cheap), then cycling to work or weekend events, is reduced significantly; I just get on the bike & just over half an hour door to door. Would be just as fast and cheaper than taking the car during peak times, given parking issues around work.

    Funny thing is that I think tolls are too low; would rather pay a little more and get a high quality design than $2 each way.

  11. Northern Busway Cyclepath linking to Skypath would be awesome – would open up cycling as a serious communter option for a huge chunk of the shore!

  12. Sydney has several important differences (using Sydney as that’s the one that seems to be compared) that Auckland has against it;
    1) Its FREE
    2) it’s flat. AHB will be a steep climb for most
    3) It connects 2 major CBD areas. AHB is out of the way on both sides.
    4) Its not as exposed. Even SHB gets cold on summer days.
    5) the traffic noise is less intense as the speed limit is 80
    6) lunar park and a train station on the north Sydney end

    I would love to see this project go ahead but it will sadly never get anywhere near the numbers projected

    1. 1) True
      2) The Sydney pedestrian crossing is not flat, there is a hell of a climb to get up to the bridge. One way or another you have to get up 35m, usually via a series of stairs. Arguably the even gradual climb from ground level in Auckland would be much easier for cyclists than getting up to the SHB cycleway.
      3) Perhaps an issue for casual walkers. Less of a concern for commuter cyclists who are riding through, and tourists who are there for the walk and views. In both cases it’s very easy to get back by PT (train or ferry)
      4) I don’t think you can claim one bridge is less exposed than the other. They are both fully exposed out over a harbour. However the Auckland path would be sheltered from rain and wind, being underneath the road deck.
      5) Speed limit on the AHB is also 80km/h. Skypath is below and offset from the traffic lanes, unlike Sydney where you are right next to them.
      6) Northcote Point pub, restaurants and cinemas on the northern end, Northcote Point ferry immediately next to the bridge landing.

  13. I think the Sydney one is quite hard to find. No big signs pointing you in the direction, and it Interesting thing about it being free is that there is no one with an incentive to promote it.
    For Auckland will be part of a major tourist attraction, which both the city and the company involved will be compelled to promote.
    Everyone knows about the Syndey paid bridge climb, and this seems to take publicity away from the free version.
    Sydney also lacks proper cycle access, with there being 52 stairs at the northern end on the cycle path.
    Overall I think we can do a lot better than Syndey with connecting walking/cycle paths north and south, with great way-finding and promotion.
    Combined with the Greenway route along the western side of the Devonport Peninsular this could become a major attraction for cyclists worldwide.

  14. Do the designers understand the effects of vibration, heat, and gravity on Carbon Fibre? It is all very good to add 500 mill to the project costs in order to try and solve a load issue (one of the many elephant in the room on this project) but carbon composites have a delamination problem with vibration and heat. You also have to be very carefull in which direction you lay the weave in order to guarantee strength.
    I am sure we can all say the company involved helped build AC class boats but those craft all had stressed life component controls. In other words after every race engineers went over all the components with great care to check for delamination or tears.
    I have owned many carbon fibre cars and while you may be able to stand on what looks like a flimsy front wing, if you apply even modest weight in the wrong directional force that wing will shatter like glass. I have seen carbon fibre body work go from rigid one moment to soft like wet paper the next just because it over heated from exhaust gases. I have seen expensive race cars being written off as they split from being hung on a wall.
    Now all this is bad on a race boat or a racing car, that is why parts get replaced on a regular basis. It won’t be as much fun hanging off the side of the harbour bridge when it starts to break up.

      1. We won’t know for sure until Von Ryan shares his thoughts on how he overheard a conversation in the pub about how a guy’s brother’s son once heard from his neighbour that the clip ons are about to fall off.

    1. Noted: don’t hang bridge on a wall or heat to 1000 degrees. Make sure composite engineers aren’t actually gib stoppers in disguise.

    2. >Do the designers understand the effects of vibration, heat, and gravity on Carbon Fibre?
      I would say yes, or at least better than somebody on the internet looking at lightweight parts on race boat or car and somehow thinking that the SkyPath will fall down.

      >Now all this is bad on a race boat or a racing car, that is why parts get replaced on a regular basis. It won’t be as much fun hanging off the side of the harbour bridge when it starts to break up.
      Yes, and I am sure flying in a 787 which also uses significant amounts of composites in construction would also be impossible as well.

      Composite bridges are not new and work:

      Just Google it rather than extrapolating from your own experience. Thinking that just because a lightweight carbon fibre part on a performance vehicle is fragile, so the bridge will be, is like saying that because a beer can is crushable in one hand, steel bridges will be weak.

  15. I’m not sure what the definition of the ‘Recreation’ category is but assuming it’s mum, dad and the kids going for a ride or people cycling for fitness, most of that activity occurs in the weekends. (not all, but most)

    At 534,000 per annum (Year 1), that is one hell of a lot of people using the bridge on Saturdays and Sundays. ~5000 per day. In.year.1.

    The numbers just don’t pass a sanity check for me. Do we know anything about this Angus and Associates and the methodology used ?

  16. Some of the opposition is expected of course. The opposition from the “exclusive” neighbourhoods of Northcote Point (the “Northcote” Residents’ Association is really the “Northcote Point” Residents’ Association – they actively ignore the views of the wider Northcote area) and St Mary’s Bay is NIMBY opposition plain and simple. They don’t want “common” people walking around “their” neighbourhoods. Westhaven’s opposition is just a cash grab attempt.

    But I can’t believe why anyone else would be opposed to this. Its not as if the ratepayers will be paying for it – it will be completely paid for by users in the end. The funding to build it is private also, so there is no risk to ratepayers. If the projected numbers don’t eventuate, it is those private funders who bear the cost. It is great that those private funders are interested in doing this, how could you possibly be opposed to that – unless you have some kind of irrational opposition to anything that is not a road?

    1. Good grief: how on earth can St Mary’s Bay residents credibly look or hear past 8-10 lanes of roiling motorway to find some dis benefit from this project?

      Fear of criminals slipping between these neighbourhoods? Are they concerned that fewer cars on the bridge will somehow upset the mellifluous tone of the traffic that they currently enjoy?

      Complaints from both groups are clearly frivolous.

    2. Where do you get your information? 75% underwritten by council according to skypath website.

      If those patronage numbers don’t eventuate, ratepayers will pay.

      1. Yes, it is true that the council has been asked to underwrite the least risky 75% of revenue (not profit) risk. But note this is revenue is based on very conservative patronage numbers (not those quoted above).

        So the only time ratepayers pay is if the skypath gets less than 75% of a conservative patronage level. For example (they aren’t letting us know the exact figures at this stage), if the agreed revenue level is $4m per annum, the council underwrites the bottom $3m. In the unlikely event that the skypath only makes only $2.8m in revenue, the council has to top uo $200k.

        The risk of the ratepayers ever having to stump up even a cent is very small. Instead, it is likely to be a source of extra revenue for the council (the council get a share of the profits above the agreed revenue level). All the arguing about patronage numbers above is really arguments about how much profit the skypath will make, rather than whether it will cost the ratepayers anything.

        1. Thanks for the clarification, if that is indeed what is agreed to, the risk to ratepayer is reduced (not no risk as you suggested though). The devil will be in the (as yet hidden to us) detail.

  17. Really, has anyone thought to model the carbon monoxide load during peak and non peak times. The global cities measurements show very dangerous levels where vehicles are stopped or moving slowly such as at traffic signals. As these deposits are heavier than air the funnel effective is going to take them right into the Skyway.Roads are for vehicles and parks are for people where absorption by the canopy biomass becomes the filter. Think about it.

    1. Yes i think they should have high fences around all the parks to keep those pesky people in and stop them walking out of the park and onto the streets. Streets should be the sole preserve of cars. Think about the lives this will save due to the elimination of car vs pedestrian accidents.

      Just look at motorways for instance, how many pedestrians die there?

    2. Solution to all that carbon monoxide might be for some people like me to stop using private motor-vehicles so much and ride a bicycle over the bridge!

      I rode into work today, and just over 45 minutes door-to-door, but nearly 20 minutes of that was waiting for the ferry (so many people delay the ferry by running at the gate minutes after it was due to leave).

      I just hope the whole Len Brown circus at the council meeting does not derail an obviously good idea like the SkyPath.

      One indication about how good an idea it is, is the frankly ludicrous sorts of complaints in opposition I see above; carbon fibre structures falling down, carbon monoxide vs too windy and cold, no one will use it/too many people will use it, and of course my favorite ‘rational reason’ to have another harbour crossing rather than SkyPath; hordes of people peeing in Northcote Point gardens….

    1. Makes as much sense as driving your kids to school because it’s unsafe for them to walk because there’s so many people driving their kids to school, eh?

  18. Lol about $800,000 figure. I will start charging for the use of the road outside my house next, on the basis that I rent a private property nearby.

    1. Sorry, that was to go onto Phil’s comment that SkyPath will have to pay 800k annually for use of a Council-owned road, to private people leasing berths from Council nearby.

  19. John’s point being carbon-monoxide poisoning? Yet you say the Skypath will be too windy?

    I ride over the bridge daily on a motorbike, and can’t say that despite moving slowly in peak hour traffic or even stopping at times, have not needed to put on the oxygen mask yet.

    “The Skypath will be a miserable cold, wet, windy and toxic environment”
    Toxic? If so, maybe a few less toxic spewing vehicles should be encouraged. Pretty sure there will be more usage in summer than in winter, but people will still use it. Take a look at the numbers of people who pay very good money to run/cycle the bridge the rare mornings that sports events can use it.

    “It’s a stupid project being supported by selfish cyclists who were too arrogant to use the free ride service offered to them to cross the bridge a few years ago”

    supporters are selfish/arrogant? This coming from Phil?

    I support it as an Aucklander, as I think it helps connect the city and offers another tourist attraction for relatively little tax-payer/ratepayer input.

    Yes I will use it sometimes to cycle over and it gives me another option to get to work besides riding the motorbike or taking a bus.

    I was not aware of any free-ride service, (before my time?), but I do use Ferries like today, and can tell you that the SkyPath would be a better option.

    “The pathway is too narrow and too steep”
    Too narrow for the few people you claim will use it?
    How steep is it Phil? People can walk if they really can’t cycle up an incline that looks to be less that the East Coast Hills I ride regularly.

    “the ramps have major issues on both ends”
    Your garden I suppose?

    “and the project will have to pay $800k a year to the marina before it can use their land”

    By ‘their’ land, I think you mean my (as a rate-payers) land.
    Noticed there is a nice walk/cycleway already down around the Marina.

  20. So let me get this straight – Phil, who lives right under the motorway, every day, wants to protect us from the same poisoning he is constantly exposed to. How noble.

    1. I don’t live right underneath the bridge, my home is right on the cliff edge over the harbour. I have 200 degree unobstructed views of the city, harbour, and bays water. I can confirm the views are probably the best view of Auckland you can get, being private property they are not available to the public but i could send you a photo for your screen saver. I am a long way from the bridge itself, in fact i dont even hear it. I do own land that is under the bridge, that is why Skypath are not able to run its ramp over my land.. They know not even to bother asking.

      1. Give up Phil. You will lose on this. There are far more people in Auckland who want this than the few losers in Northcote Point who care for nothing but protecting your own patch. The bridge is public property, just because you live near it doesn’t give you the right to have your selfish wishes fulfilled over all the other Aucklanders.

        I’m sure you know all the details about this project. So you know that you are lying about the funding coming from the council. You know it is 100% private money. Your lies won’t convince anyone.

        1. This project is asking for underwriting from public funds. As underwriters the rate payers are totally exposed to costs not recovered. As a rate payer I object to my money being placed at risk in such a poorly conceived venture.
          As a local resident I object because I have every right to want my street to remain a quiet dead end road and not have the inconvienience of additional foot, cycle, and car traffic.
          Residents have all sorts of rights including the right to oppose planing permission. Get over it.

          1. You’ve got the right to oppose whatever you like, but I’m going to use my crystal ball here and predict that Skypath will get resource consent over your objections. If you lawyer up, the Environment Court will still let the project go ahead. All you’ll have accomplished is wasting loads of your own money, and further increasing the expense for ratepayers that you claim to be so worried about.

          2. You know that the underwriting risk is very small to non-existent. The lowest 75% of revenue risk on very conservative revenue projections is hardly “totally exposed”. The terms offered by the private backers of this project are extremely generous – a testament to how confident they are on this project (hardly poorly conceived). You are trying to misrepresent the risk here for your own selfish reasons. You do have the right to object but not the right to veto this over the wishes of a far greater number of Aucklanders (as you seem to expect you should have just because you live nearby).

          3. the irony of your argument are also breathtaking, which are in summary:
            1. It is a bad project because no one will use it (it won’t make any money)
            2. It is a bad project because too many people will use it (it clog up the roads)

  21. So to summarise that article:
    Westhaven Drive is a public road and the Westhaven association doesn’t have the ability to charge fees to use it.
    Moving on.

    1. Correction. Westhaven Drive is a private road. Owned by Waterfront Auckland, which is owned by Council. Moving on.

  22. You miss the point Star, the marina have a lease on the land Skypath want to use on the southern end… They can charge what they like to sub let it. Is that starting to get through to you yet?

    1. You miss point (intentionally) – Westhaven Marine isn’t private. It’s a Waterfront Auckland company.

      What the marina USERS feel about Skypath is important, and should be taken into account, but they have no legal ability to block it.

  23. My understanding is the Marina has a lease and that is why they want to charge a fee. If I’m wrong then lucky for Bevan… But where there is smoke there is usually fire.

  24. I stand corrected. The Marina is owned by Waterfront Auckland, part of the council, so who knows why they are asking for a fee. Maybe that part of the council is acting independently and wants the cash?

  25. I remember standing on the bridge during the auckland marathon in a moderate wind, I quickly got motion sickeness, that rickety old bridge bucks and sways like a 1980’s bendy bus
    Also What about muggers and the homeless
    Also what about if you need an ambulance?
    This is a really stupid Idea

    1. The muggers and the homeless will have to get past the hop card fare gates, the roving security patrols and the CCTV cameras. The path will be far more secure than your typical street,park, beach or just about anywhere else in Auckland.

      The answer to what if you need an ambulance on the bridge is exactly the same as if you need one in the middle of the domain, or on the northwestern cycleway, or in the middle of Sylvia Park mall, or at the end of long bay beach. You call an ambulance and the paramedics come and attend to you.

      I mean it’s not like we’re in uncharted territory here, every major urban bridge in the world has a pedestrian path on it? If it’s such a stupid idea you’d better get over to Sydney to tell them how stupid they’ve been, or New York or San Francisco for that matter…

  26. Wow – The naysayers really have got it badly. What a sad bunch they all are. I find it difficult to understand where these people come from. I paid good money to ride the bridge a few months ago, It was brilliant and Skypath will be brilliant also. It would give me the chance to put together a recreational ride from St Heliers through to Devenport and beyond. A big brother to the Penrose-Mangere Bridge-Ambury Foreshore ride. And that is one of my favourite rides in town. Foreshore rides are great rides and the Pakuranga foreshore ride and The Maeraitai – Beachlands ride are all great recreational rides that attract a lot of people why would the Skypath be any different

  27. 1. Its a financial risk to rate payers
    2. Its an inconvenience to local residents
    May I ask you a question? Given you are ‘Pete the south Aucklander’ I assume you will not be living close to the St Heliers – Devonport route you suggest you would like to take.Will you ride from South Auckland to your start point of the ride? Also, how are you getting back? Are you going to cycle the same route in reverse or take the Ferry from Devonport back to the city?

    1. I know you have been simultaneously going on about the financial risk as well as fears about large numbers of people in your street; which I believe are mutually exclusive risks.

      But what is the actual amount of financial risk vs benefits?

      Seems to me that if the project goes ahead and does not hit targeted numbers, then worst case AT inherit a $30m dollar structure for relatively little. From what I understand, the exposure to the public is limited to topping up income if numbers using the path are low. Worst case seems pretty reasonable to me.

      1. It is not just the 30 mil to build the ugly thing that mostly will only be used by a handful of selfish cyclists, it is the on going costs of running it. How long before the council gets tired of wasting money on security and just opens the thing up for all to use for free? I believe this is a scenario most of you expect and are hoping for. Once it is an open all hours non controlled facility then you can just imagine the unwelcome problems that brings to what has been for many years a quiet neighbourhood. This is not residents complaining about noise from the Speedway that was built years before you bought your property – this is like being told to accept a new speedway build. Its simply not acceptable to the residents.

        1. I will repeat my point. You go on about financial risk but can’t seem to quantify it.

          What is the actual amount of financial risk vs benefits?

          Your response includes ‘the 30 mil’ – which the council is not paying for.

          You claim it is only for a handful of cyclists – at the same time suggesting 4 metres is not wide enough and hordes of people will be rampaging around your neighborhood. These sorts of contradictions, make it very hard to take any objections seriously. Won’t matter how good a barrister/QC you employ is; these sorts of nonsense arguments will be thrown out of any environment court hearing.

          Finally, you raise another straw man argument about it becoming free and open bringing unnamed/imagined ‘unwelcome problems’. Presumable just like the street outside your house which is also open all hours without security.

          Ignoring all that, if usage was predicted to be that low, it won’t go ahead, but I think you know perfectly well it will be popular.

    2. 1. Everything the concil does is a financial risk to ratepayers. Do you go and moan about every line item on the annual plan like this. At least Skypath has part of the risk borne by the private sector, unlike just about everything else, and even if the full risk was borne by the council it still only represents some 1% of the annual budget. Nothing compared to most projects. What about the risk of the $14m carpark building in manukau that no one is using, campaigning against parking buildings are you? Indeed not, because you concerns of financial risk are just thinly veiled straw men hiding your selfish desire to stop people using public streets in you neighbourhood. Oh no, the public near your house, what an attack on your ego. Boo hoo.

      2. Nobody cares about you or your plight Phil, you have to realise that. Most people would view having such a spectacular piece of civic infrastructure near their house as an asset to themselves and their community. Talking about inconvenience to local residents won’t get you and sympathy or support as a result. It’s like claiming the holiday highway is an inconvenience to batch owners at Omaha, or that a second harbour crossing would be an inconvenience to residents of Takapuna. Very few people would agree with you.

      You’ll need to get much more sophisticated in your arguments if you expect anybody to care. Claiming that you are rich and important and you deserve to have an exclusive community where the public are banned from the streets won’t win you any sympathisers. If you want to live a sheltered insular life try a lifestyle block out the back of kaukapapa, don’t live in the inner suburbs of the country’s largest city next to a motorway bridge and a public park.

  28. Nick,
    1.Trying to justify one bad project with others is foolish – even by your standards.
    2. Talking about inconvenience got the ramps re designed.
    3. I have a lawyer that gets paid to come up with the sophisticated arguments – why would I even think to represent myself when it comes to lodging the many objections that are heading towards this project.

    1. We’ll enjoy paying your lawyer to filibuster, I’m have no doubt you’ll manage to frustrate and delay the process. However you won’t stop it, because fundamentally nobody cares about your selfish objections, and the project has very high support by the public and all levels of government.

      1. ‘Selfish objections’…did you think it was selfish that the local residents complained that the original ramp design restricted access to peoples own homes???

        1. No, I think it is selfish that you are trying to stop the Skypath because you don’t want people in the neighbourhood you own a house in. That is very selfish, pathetic really.

          The ramp design is changed, yet you still moan, I figure nothing will stop you moaning, even when it is built and opened.

          1. The time you won’t hear Phil moaning, is when it is drowned out by the “moaning” of the wind blowing through the girders of the Harbour Bridge.near his house.

            And he probably is about to launch a lawsuit against NZTA for allowing wind noise to affect his property values.

  29. And on the subject of financial risk to rate payers lets consider the councils liability in the event of accident or death. Remember that there are plenty of expert opinion and reports recommending the min width for this type of shared pathway to be 5m (1m wider than Skypath) so Aucklands lawyers and OSH can have a filed day the first time a pedestrian gets hurt. Have a read of this paper on liability of a shared pathway on a bridge.

    1. Jesus, what a revalation! We’ll have to immediately close and rip up every cycleway, shared path and footpath in the city right now! Christ, none of them are 5m wide, not even the brand new ones NZTA are building. Think of the risk, damn, the whole lot will have to go. …and what about narrow roads, think of the car crash claims, have to stop them being used, it’s my civic duty. Better call my lawyer immediately.

        1. I am an expert Phil, what do you think I do for a living? Glad you place so much faith in expert authority, so why don’t you listen to us for a change.

          Are you seriously going to head off to court against NZTA and every territorial authority in New Zealand and try and establish a precedent that shared paths under 5m are a public danger for which they are liable, when the existing standard is 3m? Good luck with that, I’m sure that will really pay off for you.

          1. I am not saying I would do it. I am saying it is a liability that the Skypath Trust and therefore the council are exposed to. I think it will be easy to establish any accident on the Skypath between pedestrians and cyclists will be down to bad design. If you are the expert you promote yourself as you will know that shared path width depend on number of users, type of users, the terrain, and expected speeds. Personally, and until you actually say what you do, I will continue to assume you are some needy geek running a blog from your parents basement. No offence of course.

          2. just because you work for a living at a small consultant outfit it doesn’t mean you are an expert Nick. In my experience with the small companies they generally have their own special “philosophy / agenda” that gets peddled rather than the balanced approach that looks a bit wider.

          3. ” I think it will be easy to establish any accident on the Skypath between pedestrians and cyclists will be down to bad design”

            Andso what if it is, what are you or anyone going to do about it? sue somebody?

            Like to see that. The right to sue disappeared for everyone in NZ in 1974.

            “Until you actually say what you do, I will continue to assume you are some needy geek running a blog from your parents basement. No offence of course.”

            Funny you should say that, because I (and a lot of others here too I expect) have had that exact same impression of you for quite some time.

            Despite the big words about what you do or don’t own and have or have not done. We see no evidence presented just words, and more words..

            As a result I assume that you, like the rest of us are all conforming to the geek stereotype of living with our parents, Running a blog from the basement yada yada yada.

            In any case, doesn’t matter who Nick works for, if he has a piece of paper from a recognised institution that says he is an expert in his field, then he is.
            And if nothing else, Nick’s posts show that he does know what the f**k he is talking about. Even if you don’t.

            So have you got your piece of “institutional paper” too Phil? The one that says you have been “certified”?
            Or is that locked in a trunk somewhere in your parents basement, along with your manners, maturity and humility?

            No offence intended, of course.

          4. Jason assertions based on authority are less convincing than ones based on evidence and argument. Anyway if we take your line attacking the value of Nick’s qualifications then we of course have to ask what yours are in order to decide whether they trump Nick’s by some arbitrary metric. And of course you’re anonymous so really…..

            But then having said all that Nick has more post grad degrees in relevant fields from high rating institutions than most on this or other fora, and while the Ak of office of the practice he works for may be small it is a multinational firm so any ‘philosophy’ it may ‘peddle’ would have to be evidence based and tested….

            So let’s try to have evidence based arguments focused on the facts and issues and leave the name calling to others.

          5. hmmm…This blog is run by two low level analysts and a guy that takes pictures….hardly experts on transport me thinks.

          6. You know Phil,

            If you can’t the heat (or the Moderators), then get out of the Kitchen.

            So if you’re that offended why not take yourself down the road to some other blog (or why not start your own – from your parents basement)
            If you feel no one here is qualified enough to meet the level of your expectations.

            And while you’re at it, why not have a go at the folks at AT as well, I’m sure a much larger bunch of un(der)-qualified transport experts can be found there.

            And as Patrick said we don’t know your “certifications”, and he is too polite to ask, but I am sure we can well imagine what at least some of them might be…

    2. If it gets to that point then the justification will be there to have a separate facility on the western side of the bridge. Hoorayyyy.

    3. Hmm,
      Can’t think of the last time I saw a council (or anyone much) in court over someone getting hurt on council property or the roads.

      Must have been around 1975 or so I think – because when ACC came in on 1 April 1974 those sorts of liability cases disappeared in a puff of “no fault-ness”

      Suggest you get yourself and your lawyers to read up on **NZ** liability case law – especially since 1974 – to see how useless those overseas precedents you quote are in NZ thanks to ACC.

      As for OSH – well they are too busy dithering over prosecuting (or not) workplace safety accidents, such as those in Mines, Forests and other dangerous workplaces like ports to care much about prosecuting anyone over “too narrow” footpaths, walkways or roads.

      So before you lawyer up Phil, why don’t you grow up?

      Its getting pretty tiresome around here with you bitching and moaning about “my neighbourhood” and “your rights”.

      The rest us have rights too, not that you’d ever acknowledge that fact – you simply show by your words and actions that you just think your rights trump everyone else’s always.

      Got news for you – in the Environment courts, when you get there, you’ll find your “rights” you believe you have that trump everyone elses – will mean very little.

      If you know John Key or Joyce personally, and can perhaps persuade them to pass a law forbidding the SkyPath from ever setting foot in your neighbourhood, you might stop it..Until the next change of Gov’t.

      Otherwise, don’t be a dick all your life – take an hour off, reconsider your situation.

      Then come on board and drink the SkyPath “Koolaid”, then sit back and enjoy the view as its built in your neighbourhood.

  30. This will look good in court on behalf of the plaintiff vrs Council
    “. Consider the example of the busiest section of Hagley Park path, near
    the Armagh Street bridge. This path has around 2,000 cyclists and 900 pedestrians per day.
    Applying the standard traffic modelling heuristic that the peak hour flow is 10% of the daily
    flow gives 200 cyclists and 90 pedestrians per hour; this relates to the 2.5 m bike path and
    1.5 m footpath. From our professional experience and also as frequent users of this path, we
    suggest that the path’s current provision does not adequately cater for its demand and the
    design chart’s recommendation is more appropriate”

  31. As a working commuter I ride to the railway station, catch a train and ride to work, I ride home. On other days when I have too much to carry, I drive to the station and walk at the other end . Some times I car pool (work is a comfortable 50 min bike ride away). I train/ride 4 days per week. And sometimes I ride both ways. When Its just me and /or my wife I take the small red car. When the whole family are home we take the people mover. I don’t use the buses cos they don’t go any where I want to go but the train covers most things. When I go tramping I drive to the start of the track just like when I go cycling or MTB or Kayak. Sometimes my recreational ride at the weekend is a circuit from home but sometimes I go somewhere new and take the car. I am a flexible transport user who pays my share of taxes rates and fees. The sky path sounds like a great idea to me because its one more option to explore and I love exploring. When ever I go anywhere I think about the options and take the one that best suits me. Don’t label me because I am not any one label.

  32. Thanks Peter – so you are probably going to drive the small red car if its just you and the wife, or occasionally take the people mover if you bring the whanau – park at one end of the skypath and ride the loop. I would do the same if I were you, it would be a long ride if you had to cycle from South Auckland to the start of Skypath and then do a big loop as well. Parking might be a problem though.

    1. My Place to Britomart is a 60 min ride with a bunch, might take me an 1hr 15. I could take the train though with my bike, Or I might bring everybody and park at St Heliers or Wynyard or Devenport or Cheltenham or the ferry or Orewa or Westhaven. Sky Path just opens up so many opportunities even for some one who lives as far South as I do. I certainly wont be cluttering the local neighbourhood, from my place I can ride to Kaiaua, Awhitu, Naike, and Waikaretu and be in green fields riding in three minutes. Like I said its all about opportunities and exploring. The trains excite me, as does the congestion free network and the skypath fits in also. Te Ara Moana is a great idea also and I would love to see a coastal path right around Auckland and that would be really cool. Opportunities.

  33. Peter, the point is many people will park and ride on skypath – that will create huge parking problems for Northcote Point.

    1. And is easily fixed as it has been elsewhere in Auckland, by a residents parking scheme.
      Storm in teacup Phil.

    2. No it won’t. Phil, you tell us that it will only be used by a ‘handful of cyclists’.

      So no traffic problems then, according to you.

      I would however recommend 2 hours parking for visitors as with the St Mary bay area (with residents exempt), along with other mitigating solutions; seapath, integration with ferries or park n rides along the northern busway or parking in the city for people doing short recreational rides etc.

      But better to consider issues and how they might be resolved or reduced rather than trying to shutdown the project as it is looking to me that there is enough support for it to happen whether you like it or not.

      Would like to hear more from others in the NRA. Most be some who are looking forward to the Skypath?

  34. Grant, If you are going to use Skypath for a recreational ride (and the Skypath trust have listed recreational users as by far the highest group of patronage) then there is a very high chance that you will want to ‘park and ride’. Our friend Peter from South Auckland is a very good example of Skypaths targeted users. He is going to drive his family to a start point and park their people mover before cycling with the whanau over the path.
    Now Peter’s people carrier alone does not represent a problem but when 1 million people use the path for recreational use in the first year (source Auckland Transport and ATEED together with results of independent surveys as issued by AHB Pathway Trust 19 Feb 2013) parking does become a massive issue.
    Weekend Parking on Northcote Point suggests 150 spare car parking spaces available between 10am -3pm. After 4pm this drops to under 80 spaces. According to a report on parking commissioned by the Skypath Trust 40% of recreational users will come from the North Shore and of that group, between 40-70% will travel by car (low and high estimates). Clearly there are seasonal variations to patronage. Not many people will want to be up on the path when its cold and wet in winter or a north Easterly any time of the year so obviously there are low and high patronage days. Skypath used a seasonal factor multiplier of 2.
    So taking the research data into final scenarios it shows that the Northcote Point parking demand from Skypath for weekend use is: Low season 160 – 342 car parks and High Season 299 – 633 car parks. This means at best (a cold winters day with low car use) Skypath users demand will exceed parking capacity by 10 car parks. At worst (summer day with high car use) demand will exceed parking capacity by 483 cars. (source Auckland Harbour bridge Pathway Trust Transportation Assessment Report 3 May 2013)
    It should be noted that the Transportation assement report used a lower per annum forcaste of users than AT and ATEED’s first year projections. The transport report was based on only half the patronage.
    So anyone that thinks parking will not be a problem at Northcote Point (or SMB) is basing that opinion on data not consistent with the figures Skypath itself are using. Either the pathway has a parking problem or the patronage figures are over stated. Either way it is a project full of problems.

    1. For the millionth time though – its not a project with both those problems as they are mutually exclusive.

      Interesting that you use Peter the South Aucklander, who earlier said

      ” Or I might … park at St Heliers or Wynyard or Devenport or Cheltenham or the ferry or Orewa or Westhaven.”

      as an example of someone who will create parking problems in Northcote.

      Now unlike you I’m no expert in these matters, so what I can ought to be taken with a grain of salt, but I wonder aloud whether or not over subscription of parking in Northcote can be overcome by simply not providing parking? To quote you –

      “This means at best … Skypath users demand will exceed parking capacity by 10 car parks”

      Some might see that as evidence for demand, but surely no-one imagines that 10 extra cars will park in Northcote regardless of provision as your sentence seems to imply. Or is parking at Northcote point such an attractive proposition that no amount of supply regulation will curb it?

    2. I have already said that I am more likely to use the SkyPath as a commuting and longer weekend ride option, but only time I would park in the area would be when the wife and I drive to the Engine Room. Most MAML cyclists like me or Peter would find parking anywhere near the bridge pointless as we are wanting 20km+ rides. Would think even very average cyclists & kids would be more likely to park further away like Akaranga and take the Seapath for a pleasant fun ride.

      Love the way you quote the 1 million people using the path for recreational usage as fact but anyone can also see your comment above in response to this article, that you also claim only ‘a handful of selfish cyclists will use’. The contradictions speak volumes as the lack of a cogent argument. For the record, the figures from the Skypath site are more like 250 to 500k recreational users:

      I took a detour yesterday and rode around Princes street, Alma street and down to Sulphur Beach road. Had not realised that there was already parking under the bridge, nor how close queen street parking is. Most of the narrow side streets don’t seem to have much parking anyway, so think that along with the narrow streets themselves will, discourage people trying to park and ride.

      Can see that the pub will benefit from the project though; can see walkers stopping off there.

  35. Yes Counterpoint – Peter is a good example because he said he may park. I doubt anyone reading this blog thinks Peter will ever cycle from South Auckland with the kids all the way to Skypath and back. According to most of you, Aucklands roads are far too dangerous to cycle on anyway. That aside I used Skypaths own data to show there is a parking problem. The minimum parking estimates exceed the parking capacity of Northcote point. Are you suggesting that by not having adequate parking this will in fact discourage people like Peter using the Skypath? Are we finally getting o the point where you lot will admit you only want Skypath to be provided for commuter cyclists?

    1. It is still endlessly amusing that your final desperate complaint about a cycling and walking project is to riff at length about the negative externalities of car use….

    2. Isn’t supply of parking a rather self limiting problem? Person arrives in car, finds no park, parks further away or goes home? What’s the deal? It’s public land, not your property.

      1. Oh really. So residents should not have any say in a project that by teh projects own projections says will cause parking problems and inconvenience. Well on your narrow agenda the East-West Highway should go ahead. After the Govt buys the homes it demolishes they can say ‘Whats the deal? Its public land, not your property.
        What an idiot 🙁

        1. Yes Really Phil,
          No one says you as residents don’t have a right to a say.
          However, no-one here says that the level of say you think you and your fellow residents should have is valid.

          And what *is* being ignored by you is that your narrow needs are **far** outweighed by the rest of Auckland who also need to have a say in this as well.

          As to the judgement calls on balancing your specific needs with the wider publics need – well that is the councils job (or ultimately the Environment courts) during the public consultation phase, not you or your mates job to do.

          But the whole point you ignore is that under the RMA, anything is permitted pretty much as of right to occur – as long as it can be mitigated sufficiently.

          So, the obvious answer as we’ve said time and again, to mitigate your issue with parking is a residents parking scheme like SMB have already.
          Yes it will cost you money for permits and be a little inconvenient compared to now, but I think even you’d admit that the status quo is not going to remain forever.

          And once the Permit scheme in place, then it will be done and dusted.End of story as far as main RMA mitigation requirements go.

          Your “peace” and “privacy” will not count for very much under the RMA as this is all taking place on public/government owned land not your land,
          Right under an extreme noise generator – a noisy 8 lane motorway bridge called SH1.

          Which was there when you bought the house right? You knew what you were going to live next to.
          It didn’t just appear one night while you were looking the other way at the view did it?

          So you can’t really claim that your peace and quiet are going to be affected that much by a million (huffing and puffing) SkyPath users a year, while 50+ million vehicles a year thunder overhead?

    3. Phil says “Peter is a good example because he said he may park. I doubt anyone reading this blog thinks Peter will ever cycle from South Auckland with the kids all the way to Skypath and back”

      I really should be counting the logical fallacies in Phil’s replies.

      This one is classic straw man argument as of course Peter from South Auckland said no such thing. Peter said ‘…Or I might bring everybody and park at St Heliers or Wynyard or Devenport or Cheltenham or the ferry or Orewa or Westhaven’.

      Which has nothing to do with parking in Northcote Point, and in fact is a perfect example of why Phil doesn’t get it; if you have some connected up cycling infrastructure, then you can take your kids safely away from busy roads from say Wynyard quarter to Akaranga without daring to park in Phil’s ‘hood. Maybe Phil needs to support more cycle lanes and not less?

      Is there anybody besides Phil from Northcote point who has an opinion?

  36. “…Is there anybody besides Phil from Northcote point who has an opinion..?”

    I think he actually lives in the U.K. Anyway, I’ve given up feeding the troll.

  37. I wonder if you people are capable of independent thought. A previous response from people like Patrick to parking problems caused by Skypath is that it is a cycle/walking path – no one will be driving. So I show you Peter from South Auckland as a typical customer who is likely to park and ride and you still dont get it – how stupid are you? It does not matter if he parks and rides on Northcote point or St Helliers, the point is he will PARK AND RIDE.
    Skypaths own transport report shows parking is not adequate – how do you argue against there own data? You guys are laike talking to children 🙁

    1. Phil – Jan 3 2014 @ 2:16pm
      “the point is … that will create huge parking problems for Northcote Point.”

      Terrible. That would be all those cars that people drove to Northcote so they could use skypath right?

      ” It does not matter if he parks and rides on Northcote point or St Helliers…”


      Consistency has never been your strong point, but this is embarrassing even by the standard that you have set. We now have an argument that says if skypath is built, people driving ANYWHERE to use it, including but not limited to St. Heliers, Wynard, Devonport, Cheltenham, Orewa or Westhaven, will cause problems for the residents of Northcote Point, apparently due to the fact that Northcote Point is, at best, 10 carparks short of some arbitrary minimum.

    2. “I wonder if you people are capable of independent thought”

      Yes we are, hence you will notice that different posters have different opinions on how the SkyPath will be used, how much it will be used etc. Does not make us wrong or contradictory, just a number of people capable of independent thought. That does not make the facts subjective however, so I for one try to stick with objective considerations.

      “A previous response from people like Patrick to parking problems caused by Skypath is that it is a cycle/walking path – no one will be driving.”

      I think that is another straw man argument. Patrick made a quip about walkers walking as an earlier response (and the Skypath is rather obviously a walking/cycling path), but I have seen no post that asserts that nobody will park and walk/ride. In fact (here goes another of your own goals) you point out above and below that SkyPath have taking parking into consideration.

      “So I show you Peter from South Auckland as a typical customer who is likely to park and ride and you still dont get it – how stupid are you? It does not matter if he parks and rides on Northcote point or St Helliers, the point is he will PARK AND RIDE.”

      I don’t think I am stupid. I can read. And it does matter where he parks and rides, no matter what you assert to the contrary

      I read what Peter from South Auckland said, and the point is that he will park and ride elsewhere and be of no concern to you personally. Though apparently to you, it does not matter if he parks in St Heliers; this somehow affects you how?

      A typical cyclist will do about 20km/h (closer to 30km/h for a more serious riders). Auckland harbour bridge is about 1km long. Putting aside ramp length etc, a cyclist will probably cross in ~5 minutes. Probably take most cyclists far longer to park and unload a bike from a car. For that reason alone, I can’t see a lot of people choosing to park and ride from Northcote Point, in particular if there is better parking elsewhere.

      Walkers/runners will probably be more likely to park and ride I guess, but then can more easily take buses.

      “Skypaths own transport report shows parking is not adequate – how do you argue against there own data? You guys are laike talking to children :(”

      Who is arguing against the data? Not that the data is particularly advanced at this stage; there is a lot of analysis to go re numbers of users.

      I suspect parking is ‘not adequate’ around most tourist facilities; I struggled to find a park around the museum the other day. I suspect however that even if we continued to turn Auckland into a giant car-park there will never be enough parks for all people to park where they want, when they want. We have to deal with parking demand sensibly by using pricing, restrictions and providing alternatives to always using a car. Not building anything that might attract people, is a bad solution.

      Maybe try some more positive mitigating ideas about providing facilities/signage at preferred endpoints such as Akaranga or Britomart?

      As others have pointed out, it is ironic that your primary supposed objection to a walking/cycling facility is not enough provision for cars!

      1. Not really worth bothering further with this non-issue but I think it is important to point out that the worst possible outcome from these complaints would be the provision of more parking at either end, as parking, or the possibility of parking, is the only possible cause of anyone driving to Northcote in order to use the Skypath. The best way to ensure that driving doesn’t increase as a result of this is to control what little parking already exists, which is easily done, as has been said many times above. And the best form of parking control is its absence or its limit. No one is advocating some odd sort of Active-mode park’n’ride… which is clearly oxymoronic.

        Driving is not a necessary prelude to walking, or cycling, or using transit. Sadly in our auto-dependent culture many believe that nothing can occur without driving first, including those that argue for parking buildings at transit stations despite all evidence that these do not increase patronage at all or at all well, and certainly not in proportion to the cost. Most recently AT spent $5.5million doubling the park’n’park facility at Albany to 1100 space, which lead to exactly zero new riders from this station. So in fact this was a $5.5m bid to get people off local buses and to drive to the station, or perhaps to no longer walk, cycle, or be dropped off there…what a disaster; an outrageous waste of ratepayers money. Especially as those parking spaces are free, unlike the bus ride there. Driving subsidy anyone?

        Control parking cleverly and driving habits can be shaped.

        1. So each new Park and Ride park in Albany cost $10,000 each?
          And AT got no more $ in the door or bums on seats from doing it, and in fact, its likely local bus operators probably lost revenue as a result as people now drive to the Park and Ride instead of using the local bus?

          Hmm, So tell me again, why is the Park and Ride parking there free? Should be a $5 per day minimum ‘all day’ parking rate rate at every Park and Ride in Auckland
          – and better yet, make that fee payable by using their HOP card to gain entry into the Park and Ride (with barrier arms) like any other parking building would.

          That way AT can then correlate who is using the Park and Ride with the trips they make by checking the parking and the bus trips, to see where those Park and Riders end up and better determine how to meet their needs.

          At $5 a day each Park will then return ~$1,100 PA to AT in parking fees, that will pay off the Albany Park and Ride extension in what 8 years (allowing for cost of money and collection costs). And then pay off the original one after that.

          Even better idea – make it $7.50 a day, and the $2.50 difference goes towards the SkyPath, that would return some $0.55 million PA from Albany Park and Ride alone (the largest one in Auckland) and over all Park and Rides would completely protect the council from ever having to fork over any rate payers money for SkyPath.

          Sounds like a win/win/win/win/win to me.

          1. They should charge as much as they can until occupancy drops to about 95% average on weekdays. There is no reason to give away subsidised parking when then lot is full, all that means is that you could charge at least something for it and the lot would still be full. You could definitely start at $1.80 (price of a single stage feeder bus) and see no change in occupancy, then wind it up from there till you hit the right point. (keep it free or lower on weekends, or after 3pm or whatever)

            Then use the revenue to fund more feeder services, and/or an integrated fares.

  38. So that is the crux of Phil’s opposition. If the Skypath is a success recreationally then they will likely have to introduce a residents parking scheme on the streets of Northcote point, and convert the large existing carpark under the bridge into timed and/or paid parking. I’m sure NZTA will be more than happy to get a return on their asset.

    Currently Phil gets a large, free and unlimited carpark on his doorstep provided courtesy of the Auckland taxpayer, a large subsidy to a very limited number of properties so they don’t have to provide for their own parking needs or manage their own parking usage. The freebie might become slightly less free and more accessible to the general public.

  39. Contrary to your opinion there is no large free carpark under the bridge at Northcote point. Currently the AHB authority park vehicles under the bridge near their office at 9 Princes Street.
    The fact remains that residents of all of Northcote point will soon get tired of all of these cars that the Skypath Trust assume will be arriving for Park and Ride driving around like musical chairs because at best there will be 10 parks too few (on a cold wet winters day) and at worst it will be 483. (all summer). This not only creates problems for parking but will also create congested streets and a lot of congestion at the Onewa/Queen traffic lights. Local business like the cinema and the Wharf will suffer as their own customers will have to fight for parking and all of this for a project you are trying to sell as a green initiative.
    Remember these are traffic projections based on Skypaths own report with Data supplied by AT and ATEED which has been audited. It seems rather dishonest that you supporters are happy to use data supplied by Skypath to justify the project but refuse to accept data from the same source when it points to problems with the project.
    So either Skypaths projections are overstated in which case it is a financial liability to rates payers or the projections are correct and it is a massive parking and traffic congestion problem to residents and businesses on Northcote Point. Clearly The same problems will be experienced on the Southern side as well.
    I often read here people asking where are the residents voices that are pro the project – maybe this is one godo reason why you can not find a local resident for Skypath.

    1. Oh yeah, all those extra visitors to Northcote Point will be a real tragedy for local businesses! Poor proprietors, suffering under the weight of more customers. I can see the headline in the business section already “Historic pub bankrupted by huge exposure to clientele”.

    2. I still don’t get it – surely if you are going to park and ride there needs to be somewhere to park, and seeing as there isn’t anywhere to park you would have no choice but to ride. Why, its as if there had been a proposal for some kind of cycling facility or something…

    3. The logical fallacies keep coming. Tempted to keep collecting Phil’s posts as a set of educational examples.

      Take this:

      “So either Skypaths projections are overstated in which case it is a financial liability to rates payers or the projections are correct and it is a massive parking and traffic congestion problem to residents and businesses on Northcote Point”.

      Notice that it has to be so unpopular as to be a financial liability (which Phil won’t quantify above), or so successful, (and with people choosing to park and walk despite insufficient parks) that there will be some sort of vehicle armageddon occur in Northcote point.

      The Excluded Middle logical fallacy.

      Why exclude the possibility that it might be moderately successful, make a small profit and have Northcote point busier, benefiting local business as well as local residents who choose to walk or pedal into town rather than have to deal with Onewa road congestion? Yes there will be more traffic in your street, but that is progress and has to be balanced against wider benefits to many. Your same NIMBY thinking would have stopped the theatre, the Warf, the Engine Room etc as all also bring in traffic.

      ” Clearly The same problems will be experienced on the Southern side as many”
      Not clear to me at all. The southern end does not have the same narrow suburban street’s, (and those in St Mary bay already have parking restrictions). I would think that many people would start a Skypath recreational walk from the Wynyard quarter. Cyclists probably further away; I noticed tourists hiring bikes near Queens warf the other day, and a cycle across the bridge and back, (maybe with a quick drink in Northcote) might be popular.

      “I often read here people asking where are the residents voices that are pro the project – maybe this is one godo reason why you can not find a local resident for Skypath”

      No, I don’t see anybody here asking for residents who are pro the project. I asked if there was anybody else from Northcote Point with an opinion for our against, as yours seems to be a lone voice. I would be interested in hearing from others who are against from wherever as they might have some more rational objections than just ‘NIMBY’.

      Hearing the support when I talk to people (including a group of runners who want to meet at a pub in the viaduct and run the bridge and back as part of a circuit), Phil will struggle to stop the Skypath at this rate if car parking is his main concern.

  40. Wow this blog is really toxic with anyone to post a discussion point abused by the moderators. IF there is time for them outside of public abuse to talk, not about the health benefits of cycling, not about the features of the suburb we call Northcote, but instead please about the SkyPath design itself. Given that the details of the design available are very limited, (like those of the research of potential usage), I am interested in how engineers would tackle the design of vibration dampening for the threefold concerns:
    1. Minimising vibrations from SkyPath’s users to prevent vibrations, (particulary in high use times like initial popularity, )
    2. Minimising vibrations from wind resistance and turbulence across the surfaces (see Engineering fluid mechanics for basics of vibration causes by passing fluids
    3. Minimising existing bridge vibrations passing to the SkyPath for a more enjoyable and safer experience.
    Now since Beca is the consultation group that Auckland Transport work closely with should I approach them to investigate the actual functional design features or might anyone left on this site have an appreciation of engineering design and calculated estimates, (including those for preventing cyclic failure of members). Since this is a transport blog after all, some basics of infrastructure development could be assumed.

    1. If you are a mech engineer, then you should be well aware of the solutions to these issues; the engineers engaged in the final design of the SkyPath will no doubt be very aware.

      >1. Minimising vibrations from SkyPath’s users to prevent vibrations, (particulary in high use times like initial popularity, )
      There will be toll gates (I presume with swipe on/off HOP card) so putting restrictions in place for maximum numbers seems like a very straight forward process compared with open access pedestrian bridges There are plenty of cycle/walking ways being constructed worldwide.
      >2. Minimising vibrations from wind resistance and turbulence across the surfaces (see Engineering fluid mechanics for basics of vibration causes by passing fluids
      >3. Minimising existing bridge vibrations passing to the SkyPath for a more enjoyable and safer experience.

      As posted above, composite bridges are not new and work:

      I would agree that damping the attachments to the existing bridge would be a very important element, but I believe the vibrations of the existing bridge have been extensively studied, so attachment of composite lane slung under the bridge might have a beneficial strengthening and stiffing effect if designed well.

      >Since this is a transport blog after all, some basics of infrastructure development could be assumed.
      Sure, but design is an incremental process; I would assume that investment in analysis of structural models would only come after approval process closer to time of tender. Whoever wins the design and/or construction tender may also perform substitutions, so I would say that if you knew the basics of infrastructure development, then you would know that the design is probably (I personally have no involvement with the SkyPath promoters) nowhere close to finalised.

      1. Having walked in and under/next to the bridge clip-ons during traffic (there’s an existing catwalk on the inside, opposite side from where SkyPath is to go), I can say that vibration – worst mostly that from heavier trucks – is certainly noticeable, but not to a degree as to make things unsteady for a walking / cycling user.

      2. Thank you for the response. From your reply I can acertain aside from suggesting adding dampers, (generally considered an essential component), you had not provided references to vibration management for bridges. The references provided on carbon fibre bridges do not mention vibration management in heavy used bridge/footpath infrastructure, nor do they address attachment to existing bridges.

        A bit confusing. Was there a specific relationship study of the material during vibration that you intended to provide? I do not believe I was doubting the materials used were capable as structural elements in engineering, (composite design is quite common, although not usually used as commercial airplane exteriors as suggested by an above moderator). I am interested in the vibration management for the unique requirements we have here. It could be a real engineering attraction if designed well, (the converse would just be expensive much like the millenium bridge refit).

        More structural stability was recently installed by Beca
        Ut-tKWSBo01 however even a small number of people can cause significant vibrations on footbridges if they were walking at relatively the same space across and given the overall mass of the footbridge is intended to be lighter to many counterparts it would be more susceptable to vibrate
        20bridges.pdf. Where even have many reports measuring significant vibrations due to people walking across the main bridge however this would not relate to the smaller clipon attached footpath.

        In the case of the positioning of the SkyPath the turbulent vortices that cause vibration generally are prevented by utilising different design shapes to break up the flow of wind across
        the body. In the images of the path provided they have a varied exterior shape. Knowing which is the most recent design would be helpful as it would affect the formation of vortices and hence how to go about creating a model estimate.

        The report
        SkyPath-Business-Plan.pdf suggests specific limitations in the capacity of the footbridge and hints at further research, design and estimations however the details for which are left out of this report and are poorly referenced. Having a copy of any of the reports to retrieve the current
        specifications e.g. of limitations of pedestrian loading on the clipons (suggested by the report as 5kPa pressure?) would be useful in further design calculations. As the main design and materials are already specified as mentioned in this report the tendering process is generally for subcontractor implementations of the engineering design. Otherwise it would be silly to propose an non-researched, potentially unfeasible bridge and then require tenders to build it and this is not the case here.

        1. I’m pretty sure the engineers.employed by BMW Oracle, who are doing the carbon design, have some ideas about what they are doing. Did anyone notice that 72ft cat’ up on some tiny foils doing crazy speeds, under all kinds of loads and vibration? I feel certain that they will have done site visits and spoken to NZTA’s engineers about bridge related issues.

          1. I am not trying to pick a fight here Bryce but have you ever had anything to do with Carbon Fibre? It tends to be very tough in the direction you want the strength and very weak anywhere else. As an example I sometimes get people to stand on the front wing of my race car. People that weigh 100kgs are shocked that they can put their full weight on the end of the wing and it wont break. That is because it is designed to withstand 500kgs of downforce. Now if they walked to the side of the same wing and gave it a kick it would shatter.
            I agree that the people at BMW Oracle and ETNZ are very clever – this is why after every race in San Francisco there was a short break where loads of engineers boarded the boats and went over everything carefully looking for stress fractures. It is also why in motor racing every part gets liffed. A typical F1 team will go through 3 chassis per driver each year without allowing for crash damage.
            Sorry – but as I have said before – bolting a carbon fibre structure to a metal bridge that itself is clipped to another older bridge must raise issues of vibration – twist – and tear. I suspect as Mech points out, that much more work is needed on the design of Skypath before any more public money is spent on it.

          2. Besides, to date next to no public money has been spent on this, and that’s only of the major problems in Auckland. Money flows freely to widen and build new roads, everything else is starved, or in the case of Skypath not even funded to begin with.

    1. I suppose that no one here is a mechanical engineer with experience in bridge design and is familiar enough with the proposal to comment. We know about as much, or as little rather, about the structure as Mech does. Might I suggest you talk to the Skypath people directly, maybe contact the engineers that designed the thing?

      1. Why would any self-respecting engineer get into a technical debate with an individual (I use the term loosely) who resorts to creating a bunch of alter-egos and then forgets which of his characters said what? I have a grudging respect for competent trolling but this is woeful.

        Mech Eng (sic) should be advised that mechanical engineers seldom design bridges.

    2. ‘Skypaths great defenders’? These are (largely anonymous) comments on the Auckland Transport Blog, not an adversarial enquiry, but I guess some trolling goes on with any forum.

      Not sure is there is any specific question that mech is asking, (and showing a youtube video of the Millenium bridge from ~15 years ago before it was fixed is disingenuous), but somewhat obviously they are asking the wrong people at the wrong time. The people would be the Skypath trust engineering consultants. The time would be when detailed design work is taking or has taken place. Why would the Skypath trust invest in finalising detailed civil/structure design when they are not even at consent phase? I have done some work with FEA of structures, and you don’t do that work until other high level design work is complete and funding is in place.

      Not really sure what mech is getting at. That despite hundreds of composite bridges being built and used over many years, somehow engineers involved with the Skypath and those signing off from various regulatory bodies will forget about vibration or wind/rain? BTW – the Millenium bridge is over 300m in length, is designed to support 5000 people, and Wikipedia says “after a period of testing, the bridge was successfully re-opened on 22 February 2002. The bridge has not been subject to significant vibration since”.

      1. and the Millennium bridge is a steel/aluminium standalone suspension bridge, not a composite clip on.

        Are we suggesting that we should stop building any more bridges, of any type, anywhere in the world, because some random bridge in the UK built 15 years ago had issues with lateral vibrations? All bridge builders are obviously eternally incompetent since this incident

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