A few of bike related things from recent days.

One

Lightpath turns one in just over a week (December 3rd) and in its first year has seen over 200,000 bike trips across its magenta surface. So the other day it was fantastic to hear that it had won the transport category of the World Architecture Festival, and it looks like it had some strong competition.

Te Ara I Whiti ©Patrick Reynolds 2016
Te Ara I Whiti ©Patrick Reynolds 2016

Awesome work from everyone who helped make this project a reality.

Two

Next, I’ve noticed of the last few years there has been almost no coverage from the paper of many of the important transport transformations that have been underway. They’ve ignored changes like the roll out of electric trains, cycleways and the new bus network. So it was interesting yesterday to see a paid article in Herald from the council about transport. The article focused primarily on cycleways but also mentioned PT near the end.

at-paid-herald-article-nov-11

I thought the more than a casual mention of paying people to cycle, even by employers, was an odd angle and certainly something I don’t think could even really be considered until after a more comprehensive network of safe protected cycleways have been rolled out. If we did start to move down that route though, we’d surely also want some way of expanding this to encourage kids to ride to school too.

Actually, a few quick back of the envelope calculations show it isn’t all that expensive either. According to Stats NZ, there are 210k people in Auckalnd between the ages of 10 and 19. If you could get an impressive 20% of them to ride an average of just 3km to school, then with around 190 school days a year it would only cost around $12 million annually. That’s peanuts compared to how much we spend on transport in Auckland as in the year to the end of June the NZTA and Auckland Transport combined spent over $1.4 billion on transport

I also thought the comment about keeping the number of cars arriving in Auckland constant but having additional growth taken up by other modes. While I’m not saying that even just maintaining the status quo is an easy thing to do, having that as a goal sounds remarkably unambitous. How different and more agressive would transport plans need to be if we set the goal of reducing car use, not just on a per capita basis but in real terms too.

Three

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority has decided that in 2017 they’ll extend the ban on cars up the summit of Maungawhau/Mt Eden to five more mountains across Auckland. These are:

  • Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill
  • Maungarei/Mt Wellington
  • Ōwairaka/Mt Albert
  • Puketāpapa/Mt Roskill
  • Takarunga/Mt Victoria

That will leave the mountains open for people on foot and bike, although they say automated barriers will allow those with limited mobility to drive up. One of the reasons given for this change is to improve safety for people who currently walk up the mountains and they say there has been an increasing number of near misses.

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82 comments

  1. Is there any update on when the pedestrianisation of the Domain will start and finish? This is what I’m actually looking forward to being closed off.

    1. I hope that never happens. The fools that promote that and the restriction of access to the mountain peaks have zero concern for the elderly or those who find access difficult. All simply selfish, self righteous actions

      1. Wrong: “automated barriers will allow those with limited mobility to drive up”

        For those with limited mobility, it’s probably better not to have to try and avoid endless vehicle comings and goings.

      2. I agree. I cycle up OTH all the time and I have never had any issues with cars. So yeah it seems now only able bodied people allowed up!

      3. Without reverting to hyperbole, closing off the Domain to traffic will make it difficult for a number of people using the park for recreation to actually get to.

        I’m also not sure how much safer these mountains are going to be at night now that no one can get up there, but those are the kind of issues consultation is meant to deal with. Bit of a bugger when there’s no accountability for these things though.

        1. Who will it make it harder for. Anyone able bodied can park in the thousands of pay and display car parks and walk. Anyone else can park in the domain with a better chance of finding somewhere to park.

      4. Exactly Ricardo. It will deter the elderly and anybody with small children. The might as well close the museum while they are at it or move it somewhere accessible. Maybe they don’t want families in Auckland or old people anymore.

        1. I’ve seen many families with small children climbing up Mt Eden with no problem.They are freely enjoying walking on the road which was once filled with cars zooming pass. Not they can safely walk without thinking about being hit by a car.

          Also, like Mt Eden, elders and disabled individuals can still access the museum circuit. Ban is only for private and tour vehicles.

          1. Right Ben. You saw one therefore it works for eveybody. I once saw a person go into a hospital and found they were fine so clearly we can close all hospitals. Somebody got to eat dinner last night so we dont need foodbanks. Some people voted for Trump therefore everybody must want him. Did you ever stop to think about people with really little kids? Do you suppose they will lug them up? What about people in Auckland with limited time? These peaks have always been the goto place for visitors. It is just one more way of making Auckland more crap than it needs to be. But yay for the anti car numpties.

          2. I’m with you Ben, I get sick of hearing how necessary the car is, well it’s about time they learn to put one foot in-front of the other and get some exercise, so the car fraternity is inconvenienced, well suck it up us walkers and cyclists have to put up with all the crap coming out of their exhaust pipes.

          3. Thanks for your concern mfwic but it’s a bit misplaced. I have really little kids and tried to walk up one tree hill with my 2 year old last week. Unfortunately we had turn back before the summit because he kept getting frustrated as I had to pull him away from the road to make way for cars. I have back carrier, a front carrier a single buggy and a double buggy all of which are perfectly suitable for lugging my 1 year old and 2 year old up the hill when they get bored of walking. What puts me off is that they may run out in front of a car and get squashed and the fact the double buggy is too wide to fit past a car on the road section. Not sure how you get your very small kids up the hill but the barrier to getting mine up is definitely the fact that cars are allowed up there.
            PS not anti-car, when I didn’t have kids I quite liked the fact you could drive up if you were feeling lazy.

          4. Yep, regularly walk up ngaa maunga with my tamariki, can’t wait for the roads to be closed up so it is easier and safer for them. Maungawhau appears much busier now that vehicles have been banned.

  2. I can conform that in Belgium, schemes where employees receive an allowance for cycling to work already have been in place for a long while. In the bad old days only people arriving by car would receive a compensation for their cost of driving (in addition to being provided with a car park). More recently employers started giving people arriving by bicycle and on PT similar compensations.

    A similar back of the envelope calculation shows that someone who:
    – works 240 days per year (that’s a 5-day week with 4 weeks of holiday)
    – lives 5 km from work (and thus rides 10 km per working day)
    – receives $0.50 per km

    will receive a total of $1200 per year. I don’t think you can provide someone with a car park for that money.

  3. The ban on access to the mountain tops is wrong. No majority ever agreed to this. It is heavy handed action from unelected self promoted egotists and should be challenged. The feeble excuse of ‘ near misses’ does not ring true with anyone who visits these attractions. Drivers are very slow in these parks.

    1. “No majority ever agreed to this.”
      oh dear, so you want a referendum for every decision? That will reduce your rates bill won’t it!

    2. If there must be a ban then at least be equal across all modes. Ban bikes and skateboards as well. They are both more dangerous than any car I have come across on Mt Eden.

        1. If you really want all modes to be treated equal either bikes will start paying registrations and RUCs or all other modes will not either.
          I am not serious about registration and RUC charges on bikes but you were the one that mentioned all mode being treated the same.

          1. I think they worked out to be equitable the RUC charge on bikes would be 12c a year, while trucks would be $15,000 a year each… ill flip you two bucks to sort me out for the next decade or two eh?

      1. Equality for all modes? I think you’re forgetting to include people with strollers and people with legs. If you want equality why not ban all those too?

        Blocking the roads for private cars was not due to equality but rather aims for equity. Equity to help those mostly in need catch up to those who are less needy. Handing shares so everyones on the same playing field.

        Elderly and Disabled still have access to the summit via automatic bollard, while kids can ride around bikes or walk to the summit without being harassed by private motor vehicles. While those able bodied who have private cars can give way to those who will utilised the road much better.

        1. That may be the case if you consider the access to be the only issue at play, but the summits have been closing earlier in recent years before the vehicle ban, again no consultation on that either. This is the kind of autocratic decision making that ATEED is rightly flogged for, but when it’s the volcanoes and access, no one seems to care.

          As someone who works during the week, the only way I can get to and up a volcano during the week is by car. I don’t have hours in a lunch break for walking up and down it. If it was about damage to the cones, ban the huge buses and retain private vehicle access. Now with this ban, there’s pretty much no time I can get up mountains in parks that are in theory there for everyone’s use.

          1. Apparently we are not supposed to go there now. The cones are only for people who live close enough to walk or cycle to them. Why? Because an unelected committee said so. Welcome to the new world. When insiders get to make bad decisions like this one well no wonder people turn to Trump like figures to sort them out. Where is our Trump?

          2. Thats been one of the big problems, people rushing up (i.e driving faster than 10km/hr) to the top and even faster down. Making it unpleasant and unsafe for the rest of the public. If that was what you were doing to fit it into your lunch break, you are one of the reasons most vehicles are now banned.

      2. mfwic – bikes and skateboards may (and do) appear dangerous, but in reality, bikes and skateboards don’t kill other people. Cars (and thus their car drivers) do. Sure, there are some idiots on bikes and skateboards that shorten their own lives by the action they take, but really, honestly, deep down you really do know that cars are the problem, despite your protestations to the contrary…

      3. This is just not true. Nearly all transport related deaths are due to cars; typically a third trucks, the rest personal transport. There are almost no deaths at all related to bicycles. even in australia or the UK it is less than 1 a year. Both cyclists and pedestrians are overwhelmingly murdered by cars and trucks. 80%+ are the fault of the car or truck. The great majority of pedestrians were killed while on the sidewalk, by cars.

        Even when the cyclist is blamed for their own death, grrrrr, it is nearly always for minor errors of judgement. This is a massive asymmetry of who is killing who, that is consistent across time and countries.

        We should ban cars and trucks… every where.

          1. The movement of goods and people worked fine before the the car and long haul truck came along, the big locos of the 1950’s could move 900 tons freight, and that was before electrification.

            Banning cars from some beauty spots sounds a good start, and yes I am anti car, though I do have one, with no public transport we have no option and roads with trucks doing 70 km no footpath no cycle track it looks to me like the car and trucks have all the cards. I’d ban them all, and oh think of the air that would be clean to breath.

      4. It can be hard to guess what’s going to cause Mr Hyde to burst out from inside your often more thoughtful Mr Jekyll …soooo, going to vote for Mike Hosking at the next election?

        1. 🙂 Mr Hyde jumps out when I read something anti a particular mode rather than promoting a different mode. Or when I am totally bored and see a chance to throw a match at the discussion. (Because I am a traffic engineer I am bored quite a lot)

      5. Stupid post-truth stuff – formerly known as LYING.

        There hasn’t been a person killed in New Zealand by a cyclist for 10 years plus (based on NZTA’s CAS data). In the same time, drivers have literally killed hundreds per year.

        Youre just spreading lies and propaganda.

        1. Hows this for facts then. Not one person has been recorded as having been struck by a car on the road to the top of One Tree Hill in 20 years. That is the part they are going to close. A person has been hit in the lower carpark, the part that will still be open. One pedestrian has been struck by a cyclist and one by a person in a wheel chair. So given the data we clearly need to ban cars, wheel chairs and bikes from Cornwall Park and OTH (except on the top road).
          One person has been struck on the road on Mt Eden in 20 years and the police noted it was done intentionally. The car was used as a weapon.
          So I am convinced by your safety argument. Let’s ban cars and bikes.

          1. Not so fast, because:
            – the sample sizes are too small. It’s really hard to get sound conclusions from that few events.
            – those accidents may merely be the artefact of poor design (i.e. reserving a large part of the path for cars, and squeezing cyclists, wheelchairs and pedestrians onto a narrow footpath)

            I’m somewhat surprised by the safety argument as well, it’s (at least on One Tree Hill) more a thing of having too many cars for too few parking spots, creating a really unpleasant environment for anyone outside a car.

          2. Good point Roland. We will need to address parking. Given that people will still go to the cones but can’t drive up there will be two impacts. First many more will need to park at the bottom so we need new and bigger parking areas. Second, because they have to walk up and are on the hill for longer then then parking areas will need to be even larger than the total number of spaces available now. I suggest we introduce parking minimums for volcanic cones as a way to deal with these adverse effects.

  4. Good way of thinking outside the box to get a desired outcome. Other incentives used in the UK included being able to get a tax free loan from your employer to buy a bicycle, and paying it off from your pay before you are taxed on income, or being able to get a full years season pass (for the train etc assuming that’s how you commute) paid by your employer which gets the discounted rate for being bought in advance. you then pay that off monthly through your salary instead of buying a monthly pass yourself at the ticket office each month at a higher price. This would work really well on predictable routes – i.e. you always commute daily from Papakura on the train, or on the Waiheke Ferry. User gets cheaper priced travel, operator gets predictable income. win/win

    1. Even better than loans, we could really do things properly, and go the Japanese route of having employers pay for commute passes as an employee perk.
      In Japan, if you work full-time (or some part-time jobs) employers will pay for a ‘teiki-ken’ unlimited pass on your train route from your home to work. This is a natural part of the business culture and factored into the cost of employing people. It’s a given for full-time workers.

      The great thing about it from the employee’s perspective, apart from free travel to work, is free travel on the same route on nights and weekends as well. So if you commute in the same direction as you want to go out on the weekend on (which many people do), your train fare to town is paid too. Gold.

      As Auckland moves away from its auto-centricism, we need to look at the (often large) indirect costs and subsidies provided to drivers. Where employee car parks are provided, giving staff the choice of a car park or a commute pass would be a significant improvement.
      I believe that the IRD looked at taxing staff carparking a couple of years ago but put eventually it in the too-hard basket. What could the Council and AT do to get things moving?

      1. AHAH Council and AT will do nothing. I work for a CCO and carparks in the city are used as bribes, as prizes for the most servile employees and of course status symbol. Have you noticed the council runs a carpark right in the middle of the city, behind bledisloe building?

  5. Closing off the summits has absolutely ZERO to do with safety. Instead it is almost entirely to do with ridiculous cultural sensitivities since the “maunga” are sacred (due to being closer to the gods and all that jazz). Next iwi will want to ban anyone from even walking to the summits (at least until they work out a way of making money from it).
    There has been no public consultation on this (as is often the case when they know that the public will oppose it).
    Quite frankly it is discrimination against elderly/disabled/ill/families with infants and is just another bureaucratic measure to make Auckland a less attractive place for tourists to visit. More people are bound to break bones slipping over than will ever be seriously injured by a slow moving car on these narrow roads.
    There are plenty of ways of walking up these hills so depriving people of vehicle access is ridiculous.
    One claim is that cars are damaging the volcanoes. That premise is so ridiculous it doesn’t even warrant a response!

    1. Have you ever visited Mt Eden after the ban? It hasnt decreased in popularity. It remains very popular. You see kids roaming freely being kids without the fear of cars who races up and down Mt Eden before. Also, there are parkings mid-way for lazy individuals like yourself who cant be bother walking few metres uphill. It literally take you 1-2 minutes of walking from that carpark before you reached the cone.

      For the elderly and disabled, they can still access the summit. They did not built a wall, they built automatic bollards so vehicles of elderly and disabled can get through. Please have facts and know what your talking about before commenting. Your just embarrassing yourself.

      Also, Mt Eden and many Auckland Cones are jointly owned by collectives of Auckland Iwi and Auckland Council. It is not solely owned by the crown or the council.

      1. I’ve been up Mt Eden many times over the winter/spring months and the number of people up the mountain has plummeted during nights.

        I haven’t seen anyone over 50 up there and it’s become downright scary to be on the mountain after dark. It’s not safe and it’s only a mater of time before someone is attacked. Those that do head up there climb all over the mountain, causing far more damage than what a car did.

        This decision was made by an unelected board with zero consultation. It should be seen for what it is – a disgrace.

        1. Oh noes, where will teenagers go to hotbox the car now? Sure feels empty without those woodstock cans rolling around the Mt Eden summit/carpark.

          1. As a professional who enjoyed spending time on the mountains (for their geological value) and for the view, this is an incredibly narrow-minded statement. On any given night there’d be amatuer photographers, stargazers, people who were just enjoying a night out, etc. If you aren’t damaging the mountain by walking all over it or committing a crime, who are you to judge peoples’ reasons for wanting to be there?

            Basically now the mountains can only be enjoyed in the daytime safely and by those who aren’t tethered to a desk during working hours. In this regard, the Maunga authority has failed to preserve access for ALL Aucklanders.

          2. Calm down, that was very tongue in cheek! The carpark at Mt Eden is about 200m from the summit, you can still drive up there to you’re heart’s content at any time of day or night… you just can’t park right on top of the summit.

            Sorry, I don’t buy the argument that having to walk for four minutes from a carpark halfway up the mountain is unsafe but being able to park in a carpark right on top is.

    2. I thought the issue was the sheer number of people queueing up for the few parking spots on the summit. I once drove my car up the summit of One Tree Hill. I had guests, and walking up wasn’t an option. You’re just waiting in line until someone else leaves and frees up a parking spot. It took ages. Evidently the old pattern of a hundred cars trying to park on the few dozen parking spots on the summit doesn’t work. That line of waiting cars is also not going to make it any more pleasant for other people on the Mount.

      There’s a few practical issues which need sorting out, like what to do if you have a visitor who is disabled or otherwise unfit to walk up to the summit. For strollers and small kids, it’s a bit of work to push a stroller 90 metres up, but I’d still prefer it to wedging my car in that queue for an hour.

    1. Martyn is mostly right though. It is a complex issue, but cycling is white middle-class privilege and is increasing in popularity among that very group. This is coming from someone who grew up in South Auckland. Generally speaking cycling is for the people with the discretionary income(and time) to invest into cycling. The bike shops are targeting that very group of people with crazy expensive bikes. In South Auckland children mostly walk to school, because their parents are working shifts and only have one car or no car. With big families the car(usually a van) is a necessity being cheaper than using PT to move the family around. Having a bike is a luxury given that many children go to school without breakfast or lunch. I know that many children have their bikes stolen because I lost several bikes that way growing up. So they don’t ride them to school. It is just a fact of life. So some kids do have bikes, but they abandon them soon enough when they leave school at 17 to help earn money for their family, which usually requires a car. Cycle lanes are great, but they are being delivered by middle-class white people, for middle-class white people and they aren’t going to help much with the poverty issue when your job is on the other side of town. Cycling is white middle-class privilege, but I really do hope it changes over time.

      As for closing car access to various summits. It is just another authoritarian decree without consultation of the general public. Happens all the time. On the other hand, I actually support the governing of the land being returned to various maori tribes as part of waitangi grievance compensation. They got screwed over and it is only right we redress the balance in some minor way.

      That photo of the light path is great though!

      1. Well I think you have touched on the point the Mr Bradbury failed to understand. Expanding the cycle network isn’t about creating lanes for the people who already cycle (be they rich white privileged or whatever), its about creating lanes for people who don’t currently cycle, whether they are school children, workers, young, old, rich, poor, whatever.

        Yes some of they spots around like K Rd are gentrifying, but that is perhaps incidental to the fact that K Rd is a crucial network link for accessing the city centre and the nearby areas with a lot of activity, jobs and demand. K Rd is the best way to cycle from Grey Lynn to a K Rd cafe sure, but it’s also the best route to ride from Morningside to a shift at the hospital, for example.

        I’m not sure where this idea that K Rd is full of poor underprivileged drivers who can’t be put out for a cycle lane either. It’s not, it’s quite empty outside of the peak, and at peak it is full of rich white single occupant commuters driving to office jobs in the CBD, or indeed driving to some Ponsonby gluten free yoga clinic or whatever. What exactly is the argument here? How is shuffling the parking along for cycle lanes some sort of “attack on the poor by wealthy socialites”? If anything it is helping the wealthy whities get off the road which makes less traffic for everyone else.

        That said I don’t agree that cycle lanes are being delivered just for middle class white people, and that they wouldn’t be useful when your job is across town. In my neighbourhood of Kelston (I’m the whitest guy on the block FYI, and I’m only half Pakeha) we are getting cycle lanes feeding into New Lynn, and a new cycleway from New Lynn through to Avondale and Waterview. That will be super useful for anyone in my area who works in a Lynmall shop, or a Portage Rd warehouse, or a panelbeaters in the avondale industrial park, or whatever. It’s not especially useful for me to get downtown but actually I could do it in a little less than an hour with hardly going on street at all once it is done. Maybe I will give that a crack sometime.

          1. Not sure yet, they only consulted on the concept a few months ago so are hopefully using that information to design the network.

        1. I think on a higher level, living close enough to work to cycle is a privilege for the upper classes. If you look at AT’s cycling programme map [1], I don’t see a lot of red anywhere close to places where even the middle class can afford to live.

          Ari is also right about bike shops. I know from experience that a few years ago, it was almost impossible to find what we Belgians call “a bicycle”. You have expensive “amsterdam-style” bicycles (and whatever other fancy names they have), expensive road bikes (the ones used by MAMILs), and mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are the cheapest, but they’re also relatively heavy which is a disadvantage in the hilly terrain in Auckland.

          Another reason why bicycling will still be a white middle-class affair for a while is that there’s not a lot of second-hand bicycles around yet. The idea of cycling here is too new to have any “filtering” yet. You can buy a car for less money than either an electric bike or a cargo bike over here. The car will be expensive to run but doesn’t require as much money up-front.

          [1] https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/cycling-and-walking-programme/ , note that some of the black lines are actually bus lanes

      2. I don’t buy the line that cycling is intrinsically a middle class privilege at all. Look at places where cycling mode share is 20%+. That can’t happen unless people from all parts of the community ride. So it is certainly not a middle class privilege there. In fact, you only need to look as far as Christchurch to see a counter-argument that riding a bike isn’t a middle class privilege.

        And in defence of bike shops, I just looked at the web site of a New Zeeland chain bicycle shop and saw 20–30 commuter/cruiser styles of bike on sale for about the same cost as registration and third party insurance for a car for one year. That is without considering repairs, fuel, and depreciation for the vehicle. A transport system that locks people out of society if they don’t have a car is the epitome of middle class privilege.

        By all means debate where and how cycling funds should be allocated but attacking cycling infrastructure over much broader serious issues such as not being able to afford breakfast or housing does sound a bit like casting around for arguments to confirm prior biases.

    2. “…Meanwhile, a Polynesian person from South Auckland tears Martyn Bradbury a new one…”

      I like The Spinoff. But for crying out loud, The Spinoff is a middle class focussed, urban and pay-to-publish website for white people and its success as a breath of fresh air is more a commentary on the awful state of the corporate media in NZ than it is of anything else. The Spinoff might be cool with the kids, but it is still well off white people talking to well off white people about things that concern well off white people. They wouldn’t have a clue about anything that happens south of Greenlane. But they’ll always be hipster enough to find a cameo cream to counter a fairly common sense observation. Having said that, while Bradbury is on the money with his observation that the current push for cycling is largely driven by middle class white privilege that doesn’t mean that cycling per se is a bad thing to develop, especially as if you are poor often your first encounters with the law are due to being an unlicenced/unwarranted/unregistered road user, and studies show that a) poor brown people are disproportionately targeted in police crack downs and b) those first encounters with the law lead to much higher risk of more offending later on. So we do need alternative forms of transport have to be developed to stop using what looks to a lot of brown New Zealanders like a Pakeha police state persecuting them. And that means we do need make sure we stop spending cycleway money on cycleways that just benefit middle class white commuters, and spend a lot more on the abysmal cycling infrastructure of south Auckland.

      The summit ban is an excellent example of the undemocratic, technocratic white middle class group think that runs this city and that is what Bradbury rails against. A kowtow to the Tangata Whenua that doesn’t cost much cos of liberal white guilt, and impose a ban where the exceptions carry the assumption that everyone who is unable to walk up can afford a decent car, and can negotiate the process of getting the bollards lowered. A summit ban is only justified if a) population pressure is imposing unacceptable damage to the summit (One tree Hill and Mt. Eden obviously needed car bans) and an alternative form of public transport is put in place like a shuttle bus, or even a cable car. Remember, these are public places and imposing barriers that exclude any members of the public is unjust. But the thing is, I have seen no widely published justification for closing vehicle access to the other summits. Just a bunch of council technocrats ruling by decree – are they arrogantly making sure we are taking another step along the road to our own Trumpland?

      P.S. To poster “Exile” above – I have walked up Mt. Eden most days (with exceptions for being overseas) for fifteen years now. It is a wonderful experience, the city recedes to a murmur, the Tuis take over and all only a few km from the Sky Tower. I danced a little jig in the middle of the road the first time the road was finally closed to cars. I am sure One Tree Hill will be the same. Let’s hear the argument for the others, and not just “because cars are evil”.

  6. I have often walked to the summit of Maungakiekie. There are two main options: One is a steep, narrow, muddy, and barely-formed overland route, which is mainly suitable for mountain goats. The other is the road, which is narrow and features a skinny to non-existent footpath, and a lot of cars going up and down, making for a less-than-sublime experience for anybody not in a car.

    Sometime in recent months, I went for a walk in Cornwall Park and discovered that the summit road was closed off to traffic. I then walked up the road to the summit, able to use the entire width of the road without fear of being squashed by cars. Lots of other people were doing the same, evidently enjoying the freedom, and it was rather wonderful – it was quiet, peaceful, and stress-free. People could wander as slowly or speedily as they wished, stopping to yarn or take in the view from any point on the road, without getting in anyone’s way. There was no traffic jam at the top, just people. I could hear birds instead of car engines. It was great. Consequently, I welcome the closure of the summit road to general traffic. It makes for a much more pleasant experience. Provision is being made to allow the incapacitated to still drive up, so I really don’t see what the problem is.

    1. Cool. So will it be safe to walk up at night? I can assure you that having fewer cars up there means fewer people in general.

  7. I saw the AT advertisement in the Herald yesterday. I stopped reading after the first paragraph. There are 800 more cars every week so they are building cycle lanes. That is like going to the doctor because you have a lung infection but the doctor just gives you an immunisation against tropical diseases just in case you travel there.

    1. I would put it another way – building more roads to ease congestion is like getting a longer belt to solve an overweight problem.

    2. Seriously? You’re getting a bit sloppy there mfwic. Here is the analogy for you, you go to the doctor because you have arterial congestion (of the heart that is) because you eat eight more cheeseburgers every week. Doctor says instead of eating more and more cheeseburgers, you should try swapping some of the cheeseburgers for a salad, and maybe skipping one or two of them all together.

      Well, who knows. Maybe your doctor would do nothing about the escalating cheeseburger problem and give you a triple bypass to create some more capacity around your existing blocked arteries. But I imagine that would be a very expensive bit of surgery, and probably only delay the problem by a year or two.

  8. It feels like some that comment here does it purely out of ideological reasons and anything anti car is brilliant no matter how the process is handled and how we together as a society share our spaces. Should we really ban cars from every cone? Shouldn’t we compromise and allow one or two cones, those not thats suitable to pedestrians to be driven up on while we leave others more suitable to be public spaces carefree?

    The case of MT Eden is a curious one.
    Have most of you that have opinions really walked up Mt Eden?
    Is it really so nice and brilliant? Couldn’t we have done a little bit more before we restricted vehicle access and was Mt Eden really the right cone to start the ban on?
    I’ve walked up Mt Eden, something I believe most that comment here hasn’t.
    I cant say that the walk to Mt Eden is nice in anyway. For those walking up (and the majority will walk not take their bikes since it is rather steep) the paths are poorly designed, there is a shortage of benches, baskets and basic amenities that you’d expect at one of our cities most revered and special locations. Add on that cars still come and well I think it is a giant failed opportunity that only serves as a warning of what we should not do.
    One tree hill on the other side is perfect for a walk and Mt Victoria, well most walk up without considering pathways anyway. Thats places where we should have started with this reform.

    For change to succeed, process implementation needs to be consultative, professional and done with respect to all stakeholders (thats all Aucklanders). in this case I really don’t think it has been. This process will just breed more dissent and frustrations among those who feel left out. While the goal is nice the way to go about reaching it seems to have been poorly thought out.

    Now when we talk cars and public space, the first place to ban them should be inside public parks.
    Its crazy that we have cars in parks such as Cornwall, The domain and a few other less well known ones. Crazy. These parks all have great parking opportunities close by, they offer good access to public transport and they are an ideal place to bring children and pets. Its a place to jog, to picnic and to enjoy the beauty of parklands. Here there should not be a single car, there is no need to drive inside a park and the majority of people can actually walk 300 meters should they want to visit a special landmark.

    1. Mt Eden was my local, and I still venture there regularly. This is by far the best volcanic cone accessible without a ferry ride and overnight stay in Auckland, and that is for one reason…the view. The crater is just a added benefit of feeling like you are on a true volcano, not just a hill.

      It is the cars that ruined the environment, leaving no room for benches etc on the walk up.

      And for bikes…I see more bikes going up and down here than I do on other volcanoes, although in places a lot of people are pushing rather than riding them up. I believe it is the perfect volcanic cone to protect, it is also one that is most visited by tourists, due to the view of course.

      1. Well yes, that exactly, The walk up Mt Eden used to be quite arduous, largely because of the the choice between an narrow shitty footpath wedged in next to the road or going cross country on the grass and scoria.

        But now the road is available to all walkers and cyclists, who can use this without having to dodge cars. It makes an excellent walking and cycling route.

  9. I don’t support the ban on vehicles going up the mountains. A lot of people simply want to go for a quick look with family and then bugger off – especially visitors from overseas. They don’t have time or the appropriate clothing to march up the mountain and work up a sweat. There are others who simply go up there on their lunch breaks to take in the views before buggering off. I am not a big fan of cars most of the time but this decision seems incredibly short-sighted. I don’t mind walking up or running up when I have the time but I also like to drive up to have lunch. One of the joys of living in Auckland is to go up the mountains. You could go up rain, hail or shine. Now, the able-bodied will need to devote a lot of time to go up the mountain (the lunch time crowd will be excluded) and unless they enjoy getting rained on, it will be highly unlikely that they would go up when it is raining. Family groups consist of able-bodied, elderly, young kids, and toddlers. You’ll have a situation where half the family group go up in cars and the other half trekking it up. I’ve never seen a car go at a ridiculous speed up or down the mountain simply because it is almost impossible to do so. Cars are usually going very slowly and everyone knows the etiquette to give due consideration to walkers and runners.

    1. So from the mid car-park its approximately a 10min walk at the average walking speed of 5km/hr (which is rather slow walking for most kiwi’s), you don’t need to follow road direction when walking so that is taking the direct route. To drive its a 8min drive from the same starting point. That’s assuming no traffic at the top of course. So 2min is going to make a huge difference to your lunch break!

      1. There is no “mid carpark” at Mt Wellington and that’s the mountain I mostly frequent. It is a very steep climb and it doesn’t take 5 minutes to get up there. More like 20 minutes for the unfit and 30 minutes for the very unfit. Mt Roskill has a lower carpark just down a bit from the summit so that would be fine if cars aren’t banned from there. As does Mt Albert from memory.

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