Waka Kotahi’s latest current hair-brained idea to enable bikes to be able to get across the harbour shows the organisation is still wedded to a car-first mentality and is still not fit for managing our transport system in the 21st century.
Stuff’s Todd Niall reported yesterday:
Plans for a dedicated cross-harbour ferry service for Auckland cyclists are being readied to go to Transport Minister Michael Wood.
The concept is a fleet of three dedicated Waitematā Harbour ferries, able to carry 40-100 passengers and their bikes on a fast turnaround, 15-minute crossing every 10 minutes in the peak period.
A Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency briefing paper, produced in February, envisaged 1800 cyclists a day by 2028.
The idea is being proposed as an alternative to accommodating walking and cycling on the Harbour Bridge.
It would need terminals at Wynyard Quarter on the city side and Sulphur Beach on the eastern side of the bridge approach at Northcote.
Auckland Transport (AT) is Waka Kotahi’s partner in the plan. In a paper to potential ferry operators, it sought feedback on whether the ferry should be a standalone service or run as part of other passenger routes.
“Modern, electric-powered ferries are considered advantageous. Operations are most likely to be from 6am to 12am daily, on a dedicated shuttle-based frequency,” it said.
We haven’t seen the details, but on the surface there are a number of problems with ferries as a solution, let alone as a proposed substitute for direct access via a lane on the bridge.
Ferries every 10 minutes at peak might sound good, and is better than any other ferry service we currently have, but it is not a pragmatic approach for people actually wanting to ride a bike. Bikes offer exercise, the freedom to travel when you want (including after midnight, and before 6am) and predictable travel times.
If you happen to just miss a ferry, or the ferry you planned to get on turns out to be full, that’s another 10 minutes of waiting time plus the 10-15 minute travel time across. Many people even on analogue bikes could easily cycle over the bridge itself twice in that time.
One detail that’s not reported on is the planned off-peak frequency. It could it drop to one ferry every 20 or every 30 minutes, which would make these issues even worse.
Then there’s the question of the hours of operation. You may assume that not that many people would be out cycling between 12am and 6am, and you’d be right on the numbers – but those can be among the most essential journeys. What happens if you’re a shift worker and wanting to stay healthy and not contribute to emissions – or, a bike is your most affordable form of transport?
Certainly the travel options available to shift workers, including in the health sector (take a look at the overflowing bike cages at our hospitals, which tell you this is a significant off-peak cycle journey) should be top of mind in all transport decisions.
Or what happens if you (or your kid) just bike to one side or other of the bridge for fun, for a night out – to catch a movie, support hospo, enjoy the arts, or catch up with friends – and you just miss the last ferry? (The quiet lanes of the bridge itself would look mighty tempting).
And while 6am sounds early to most of us, it doesn’t allow for the early birds who may have sports or gym or daycare drop-off or other commitments to take care of before starting their working day.
Ferries in Auckland have been particularly unreliable of late, mainly due to ‘operational constraints‘, also known as not having enough staff to operate them. In just the last few days resulted in services being cancelled and sometimes replaced by taxi’s and ubers to:
Birkenhead and Bayswater ferry service replacements
Due to operational constraints, the following Birkenhead & Bayswater ferry services will be replaced by Uber:
13:40 Auckland to Birkenhead
13:55 Birkenhead to Auckland
14:10 Auckland to Bayswater
14:25 Bayswater to Auckland pic.twitter.com/fwOxQnRpZI
— Auckland Transport Travel Alerts (@AT_TravelAlerts) February 22, 2022
These cancellations have even included users having to organise for themselves with ferry companies “if mobility enabled alternative transport is required“. I’ve got no idea what happens to the users of these services if they have their bikes with them as it’s not like buses or taxis are likely to accept them.
These kinds of issues on the bike ferry would only make the issues I mentioned earlier worse.
Even if the timetable and reliability weren’t an issue, then there’s the concerns around capacity.
The last few years, especially pre-covid, have seen our existing ferries heaving with bikes and resulting in some passengers being turned away due to there not being enough space.
At their suggested upper-limit of 100 passengers and with services every 10 minutes, that’s capacity for about 600 people per hour. Anecdotally and even in this COVID impacted world we’re currently in, routes like the NW could easily be approaching that kind of usage at peak times and almost certainly was pre-Covid.
That means this ferry idea could end up a catch-22 situation, if they’re not used enough then those who oppose cycling investment will slam the ferry as a waste of money and call for it to be scaled back or cut entirely. On the other hand, it could go the other way and cyclists will be angry that the ferries are full.
The one thing that is likely to have a big impact here is …..
A huge factor in the level of usage will depend on if we charge a fare for it or not and what that fare is. Essentially, if they plan to charge the normal inner harbour ferry fare of around $5.40 per trip it will almost certainly put a lot of people off using it, resulting in it being labelled a failure.
The alternative would be to have the fares low or even free but would then undermine other parts of the PT system, for example there would bound to be questions from other ferry users as to why this route has low/free fares when other routes don’t.
If it is free or cheap, there may also be capacity issues caused by non-bike users making use of the service and taking up space.
When talking about cost I should also mention that ferries tend to have much higher operational costs than other forms of public transport. Part of that is due to all the fuel they need to burn to move through the water, which will be removed by electrification of the fleet, but the high costs also come from needing multiple staff per ferry.
The solution here isn’t ferries but to reallocate a lane or two on the existing harbour bridge.
The problem with this solution is Waka Kotahi don’t want to do it. The Minister has asked them to conduct a trial but last week we saw they won’t even consider that, instead proposing only an expensive managed event.
Waka Kotahi NZTA is finding the time and money to plan a celebratory bike-ride over Auckland Harbour Bridge
The $700,000 event – scheduled for November – is in place of an actual trial of cycling and walking use, which was asked for by the Transport Minister.
The two east clip-on lanes will be opened to walkers and cyclists one Sunday morning for several hours.
Minister Michael Wood asked Waka Kotahi last year for a trial “over the quiet summer months or a long weekend if it can be done safely”, OIA documents reveal.
The agency responded with its celebratory event plan and stressed in internal documents that “this is not a trial that would set an expectation that further consideration will be given to providing live lane access”.
What is it with officials and events. This is like asking for a local road to be opened to people for a day officials go and organise bouncy castles and clowns etc. instead of just letting businesses and locals communities to organically make use of that space.
It is time for Waka Kotahi to have a Mode Shift filter run through it!
Starting at the top with the board!
It does not seem any better in terms of time or cost than parking the bike at akoranga and riding the bus over the bridge. Salt water on rough days will kill a push bike. Having a dedicated space on the bus might be a better solution or a bike trailer. One you could put your bike on.
What about loading and unloading times? How long would it take to get 100 people and their bikes on to a ferry and safely stowed, and then reverse the process at the other end? Even with clever design and proper bike racks (instead of the ‘all bikes leaning against each other’ used in the photos) this will take time, and could easily turn a 15 minute ferry ride into 30-45minutes from getting off your bike at one end to being able to ride away at the other end.
It also won’t suit hand trikes, normal trikes, cargo bikes, bakfiets, bikes with trailers etc. etc. because they likely won’t fit on the ferry, or on gangways.
Couldn’t cyclists remain on their bikes for the length of the crossing?
Health and safety. Imagine if that ferry had to be evacuted in a hurry, and everyones stacked in there on their bikes. It may not seem like a big deal to get off yer bike, but navigating through all those bikes to get to a passageway to get out, during the ensuring panic. Even if people on board were rational, the project manager has to assume they’re not.
“Couldn’t cyclists remain on their bikes for the length of the crossing”
Plus, the bikes could fit into a rack with the rear tyres on some rollers, The rollers would be connected to the propellor, and the “passengers” would remain on their bikes and pedal to provide the power. No need for an engine!
$5.40 for a ticket, $6.00 rebate for energy provided, and GHG offset
This is a solved problem. They seem to manage it very well in Amsterdam:
Its just a single deck, all flat, 70% open on each end. You stand beside your bike. Roll on, roll off just like a car ferry. They suit bikes, scooters, bakfiets, even those mini cars etc.
Theres no need to store every bike, get everyone inside into a seat. Its only few minutes across, and you’ve brought a seat with you, your bike.
Yes surely we can use these if we are going to have a ferry or is our harbour more susceptible to bigger waves making them not suitable?
Yeah that looks OK, if (as Grant says) the harbour is suitable.
Just all the other reasons not to do it then!
Awesome. Auckland could just purchase 28 of these ferries and connect them end to end, to form a pontoon bridge across the harbour
Why don’t the cyclists just ask Michael Wood for a $3billion bike tunnel. He would say “Yes of course you can have one”.
I cannot think of any real-world examples of undersea 3-5km tunnels for active modes. It certainly wouldn’t be as pleasant an environment to walk or cycle as a bridge.
Reallocating space on the bridge is possible for cheaper than the ferry solution, and gives cyclists/walkers the ability to cross the bridge without being subject to ferry schedules & delays – that liberating a lane is not being seriously considered by the pro-car establishment indicates how flawed NZ transport politics are.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel perhaps? Bye-laws do not permit cycling currently but people certainly do cycle through it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_foot_tunnel
370 metres long though – a Waitemata tunnel would in all likelihood be at least 1-2km long – longer still if they pair it with the AWHC tunnel which seems to be headed from Wynyard to Akoranga at this point.
I used to use that daily, it’s hardly ideal and most people use the DLR instead. Also Thames is a lot shallower then the harbour.
Because vast majority of people that want to bike to the shore, want to do on so the on the huge bridge. That saves everyone heaps of money and actually making biking these distances somewhat comparable to car use.
What about a bike bridge?
Electric bike ferries seem like a suitable compromise to me. Obviously there are people in Waka Kotahi who will never give an inch of their bridge to cycling and they can use safety as an excuse. The minister can’t go against their advise. I like the route it means less pedaling more boat and no uphill section even if Downhill would be fun. And the ferries will be electric which will be great. Go for it. Two dollars one way would be an appropriate fare.
It’s not a good compromise – as the article points, a 10-15 minute wait and the additional boarding/disembarking time could detract people from using the service; not to mention that you could cycle over the bridge quicker. There’s also the risk that this ends up being a minimum investment solution, and the ferries end up unreliable and less frequent.
I for one would rather walk across the Harbour Bridge than catch a ferry, if I were already at Northcote Point.
This is just the NZTA being biased towards cars and unwilling to give up any space for reducing traffic demand and encouraging mode shift. I believe the NZTA are wrong and should not be considered experts when it comes to public transport.
It is a good compromise stop whining you sound like a city centre restaurant owner.
*justified criticism, views shared by a large proportion of cyclists in Auckland
*gets called “whining” and insulted
sure, okay Royce.
This is not a good compromise. This spending more money to not get a meaningful connection. I can already take a ferry and bike to work, all of the issues with this will remain.
Keep up your whining and whinging and you will change the government and then you won’t get a ferry you certainly won’t get a bike lane on the bridge and you won’t get your precious light rail either.
Here’s a tip; it’s not a good idea to be so hostile and aggressive towards those advocating for a bike lane.
Blaming them for “causing National to get voted in then you won’t get any bike infrastructure” is basically gaslighting.
This attitude will not make anyone willing to listen to your side or your suggestions. That’s what happened with the heavy rail debate – the utter aggressiveness and bullying of Jon Reeves & co. reflects poorly on any pro-heavy rail advocates to this day. And across the wider world of politics, particularly between a moderate compromise Democrat establishment and an increasingly left-wing voter base in the US – merely accusing ones opponents of being unreasonable without evidence does nothing to attract them to your side, in fact it only widens the divide.
I urge you to read more closely the criticism of the “bike ferry” proposal – that it would cost more than reallocating a Harbour Bridge lane, that it would not attract as many cyclists, and that it would take longer to cross the harbour by ferry than by simply walking/biking across a bridge. Your failure to acknowledge these points and default straight to attacking us is not good discourse.
Here’s a general rule of thumb for you. It is always easier for minister to say no than it is for a minister to try and get a new project done. No matter that Waka Kotahi is meant to be independent all the minister needs to say is there is no money for that project. This is exactly what Labour did with the east west project. Be happy that you may get a bike ferry.
Exactly. No, I for one am not going to roll over and accept options that are both more expensive and less beneficial than the alternatives I support, only pursued to sate a car-biased establishment. This goes for a Waitemata active mode crossing, light rail, anything.
Royce’s comments are gaslighting, and I see this unhelpful attitude in other political quarters as well, and especially when directed at disabled people from those espousing the “bootstrap mentality”.
I think it’s very much a case of this or nothing at all. Personally I think this is a better option for all, especially those who RUN or WALK who often get missed out by the cycle crowd.
I can already take a ferry to work, it’s shit. It costs money, time and frequently is frustrating for a variety of reasons. This will always massively limit activity. It’s not a substitute for a bike lane.
Improving the existing ferry services with new ferries – and getting the Devonport ferry up to 10-minute frequencies and rapid transit standard – would be a better investment.
It sure would. Could even make it part of Fullers contract that they need to take bikes and/or have a bike discount factored into hop cards.
Instead we have the cars guys trying to figure out a boat for bikes by buring money.
Completely agree. Existing ferries at least offer a range of arrival/ departure points on the Shore. If they were more frequent and had actual space for bikes they would not be too bad. Existing ferries + new service as proposed seems to offer no advantage as far as I can see, with all the drawbacks mentioned.
Another thing. I think it is safe to assume that Fullers are not the biggest bike fans. This new stupid bike boat could actually end up creating a situation where bikes get banned from the existing ferries. This would more likely if the bike boat is further subsidised.
@Jak – another argument for publicly-owned-&-operated ferries (& buses, & trains)?
Absolutely. Add it pile of other reason.
We’ve got AT Metro, time for AT Waka!
I wonder is this argument also applicable to the bridge crossing in general? if the rest of the network was improved enough, would it negate the need for a bike crossing at Northcote? At the end of the day bikes are a lot more spatially efficient and more easily moved around than cars, so as you raise maybe there are other options for practical access across the harbour which don’t involve heavy infrastructure?
If we’re talking about linking two parts of a network – Northcote to Westhaven – then anything is better than what we have now…a gap.
If we started off by putting in a small ride-on ride-off ferry for bikes (and any pedestrians that are interested) which goes back and forth directly under the bridge, surely it would make do until we can get a better connection up top?
What about a pedal ferry? They could all travel free if they pedal.
Great idea. Now how about we give those pedals some wheels, and put them on tarmac… preferably on the existing bridge that spans the lower Waitemata…
“Obviously there are people in Waka Kotahi who will never give an inch of their bridge to cycling and they can use safety as an excuse. The minister can’t go against their advise.”
The Minister most certainly can. And replace the Board until it has replaced the CEO until they have replaced managers not fit for the job in this century.
The pro-road status quo rears its ugly head again.
Someone should “suggest” getting rid of the harbour bridge entirely and replacing it with car ferries, since “that should suffice for demand and people won’t mind waiting at a wharf for a few minutes”
When tarmac-heads get mad at that, point out that if drivers want to drive their cars continuously from Point A to Point B, then so do cyclists.
It’s actually funny to consider how ‘practical’ a car ferry ‘proposal’ would be…
Let’s say they said, “we’re putting on a car ferry just at peak hour to take the extra demand for the traffic lanes, until congestion levels return to 2019 levels or below.”
They’d probably only have to put on a few services for the first couple of days. More as a symbolic gesture than anything. Because the traffic evaporation would ensure congestion drops quickly, and traffic volumes are low due to the pandemic anyway.
If Waka Kotahi were to put in the work to understand mode shift they would understand this about traffic evaporation. But officials quite openly accepted that they had not done the work to understand the mode shift that would happen from reallocating a lane.
This is going to get funnier before it finishes. Waka Kotahi’s position is indefensible and outrageously anti-change. The Minister has been let down yet again. Mind you… I think political leadership could’ve been bolder.
Who runs the country? Elected politicians, or unelected officials? Most staff who refuse to do what the boss says get fired, but not Waka Kotahi.
Plenty of Sir Humphreys at WK 😀
I think its a great idea. Take a lane off the bridge for cycling and replace it with a car ferry for cars.
In Plymouth (England) there is both a road bridge to Cornwall and a car ferry. The bridge and ferry have the same toll charges so both options are popular. The car ferry is far better for pedestrians and cyclists then the bridge is.
Good god, anything to avoid reallocating road space!
The thing is, this reallocation is going to happen eventually, so why flush a huge amount of money on ferries in the meantime? (when I say eventually, I mean that the current generation of blockers will retire and new blood moves in).
Waka Kotahi’s approach is maddening. They’re doing everything in their power to protect every lane of traffic on the bridge, no matter how expensive or impractical the alternative solutions. They estimated allocating one lane on either side of the bridge would cost approximately $10 million in capital costs. The cost of three ferries plus the terminals at Shelly Beach and Wynward Quarter must be coming close to, or exceeding that figure for a far inferior level of service.
The modelling done for Waka Kotahi showed that allocating a lane would have little impact on the AM peak traffic. They forecast delays increasing on the Southern Motorway, which ironically would lead to fewer traffic delays north of the bridge.
This feels like a situation where the Minister needs to step in and save Waka Kotahi from themselves.
Maybe what WK (and AT) need to demonstrate a clear roadmap (at regional, city and town levels) how they will (1) reduce km travelled by private cars and (2) achieve Zero Vision. It is frustrating to see a lot of talk, social media pots and TV ads, but nothing real on the ground.
Then the Minister and the media can hold them accountable publicly by publishing scores against their own KPI/targets. Otherwise we will still on this very topic 10 years from now!
I think suburbanites want to pretend that Vision Zero and reduced emissions can be achieved without changing their lifestyle. Easier to blame someone else (probably why the finger gets pointed at tourists for “terrible driving”) than to take a critical look at one’s 4-bedroom home and 3-car garage (especially if one is comfortable in that lifestyle).
I see the same thing echoed in how EVs and driverless cars are subtly pushed as the solve-all for traffic congestion & pollution, while media especially in NZ and the US seem far more critical of transit than roads.
The bridge was built because ferries were seen as inadequate a century ago (see https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19291203.2.85). Why go back to what wasn’t working well then?
You are displaying your ignorance the ferries worked fine back in the day especially since they were purpose designed for the job with proper berthing and gangway infrastructure. A bloody site better than the ferries in operation now.
” the ferries worked fine back in the day”
Cool, then let us demolish the bridge and go back to ferries. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Don’t lose sight of the outcome that by pushing the ferry angle, the rest on the cycling pathway up the shore gets built. Once that piece of infrastructure is complete and the useage is high, it will create a more compelling argument to complete a dedicated link across the harbour.
With the exception of a wharf at Northcote, going with the ferrys doesn’t bake in a significant a,mount of sunk cost, so alternatives like repurposing bridge lanes or a new bridge are still on the table.
This piece meal approach is kind of how we should be building infrastructure, little bits at a time for smaller numbers that gets sections into service quicker, an argument (I agree with) posted on here regulary for light rail etc
I agree re. making sure that the rest of the Northern Pathway still gets built.
I think the issue here is that reallocating a lane *now* would actually be much technically simple and less expensive than the ferry solution proposed – and more beneficial for cyclists.
” little bits at a time for smaller numbers that gets sections into service quicker,”
That would be reallocating a lane rather than spending 5 times more on ferries.
I think your argument would make sense if the option of reallocating lanes wasn’t superior in every way. The fact is, there’s absolutely no technical reason not to reallocate lanes. Resistance is only car dependent thinking.
And this will become clearer to more people as the details of what Waka Kotahi have looked at, and the assumptions they’ve made, are analysed and discussed.
What about a gondola? Peak capacity of approximately 2400/hr, ability to carry cyclists and foot passengers, shorter travel time, would become a tourist attraction in its own right, could have a terminal in the same places as the proposed ferry and even connect all the way through to Takapuna via a mid station.
What about just reallocating a lane on the harbour bridge? Surely that’s cheaper than a gondola.
All this “alternate mode suggestion” seems to be a way to avoid the necessity of reducing road space for cars (and thus reducing traffic demand) and increasing provision to enable people to walk and cycle.
It would be cheaper, those gondoliers charge a fortune for a short boat ride and they keep breaking into song all the time, it’s really annoying.
I looked into a Gondola. It is practical and would cost $100-200m. Personally I’m skeptical about the level of demand.
Just going across the harbour seems to be the best option. Going to Takapuna/CBD etc is probably not worth it since the slow speed (20km/h) is worse than anything else if the terrain is good.
I also looked at a Aotea-University-Parnell line.
Reallocating a lane would still be the least expensive option for the interim (<$20 million I believe) and arguably the best at inducing demand from those who want to seamlessly cross the Waitemata without having to get on and off a bus, ferry, or gondola.
If there is a role for gondolas in Auckland's transit network I think bridging the divide created by SH16 in the inner west suburbs would be one to look at, e.g. Newton-Eden Terrace, Grey Lynn-Kingsland
I think the crossings of SH16 are so short that a bridge actually makes more sense. For Gondolas you typically want very steep gradients or long water crossing with boat passage required.
Other options for gondolas would be Point England to Half Moon Bay, Otahuhu-Highbrook, Te Atatu North-West Harbour, Beach Haven-Greenhithe-Hobsonville Point. Rosebank-Te Atatu South.
Fair point – plus if light rail/metro goes along the SH16 corridor a bridge would probably be better for accessing any stations than a gondola station.
If we are thinking outside the box, what about David Slack’s travelator from Devonport to Mechanics Bay. About 1 Km. Might almost be competitive with some proposals.
It would be competetive with the $600m bridge, except that it would have to go even higher to allow port access.
I thought that the prosal was for it to go underwater.
I think Sailor Boy means cost?
I din’t realise that the proposal was a tunnel, but the idea that a tunnel will be cheaper than a bridge is pretty laughable.
I think the optimal solution at this point would be an active mode + mass transit bridge, Onewa Interchange-Wynyard Quarter – as advocated for by GreaterAuckland.
If construction started now it could be built to take the Northern Busway, then upgraded to either light rail or light metro when needed. Whatever CC2M option is chosen would need to be designed with the bridge crossing in mind, linking in at Wynyard Quarter.
Either light rail or light metro would be able to handle a 4-5% gradient similar to or slightly less than the current Harbour Bridge.
*clarification, as a long-term solution. Reallocate a lane on the current Harbour Bridge now, absolutely. Maybe even keep it once the new active mode/mass transit bridge were finished, or make them bus lanes/EV lanes in the long-run.
But I don’t think a walk/cycle lane on the harbour bridge alone would be the optimal long-term solution for active mode crossing of the Waitemata; not unless more substantial upgrades were made for that purpose.
Waka Kotahi is stuck in their thinking in mid-20th century. Neither the bike ferry nor a tunnel for bikes are good options. Reallocation of the existing space is logical and the least expensive option. And wouldn’t less traffic on the Bridge actually help Waka Kotahi’s budget because of decreased wear and tear?
I also don’t understand why the executive team would go against the wishes of the minister who is ultimately their boss.
My opinion is that there is no real solution for getting lots of bikes across the harbour apart from a new bridge that includes cycle lanes.
Re-allocation of lanes on the existing bridge will never happen and this ferry idea isn’t going to work. It would probably be better to have a “bike bus” running from Onewa Rd to Victoria Park.
Of course a new dedicated crossing is going to be years away and is likely to be a tunnel. But perhaps the North Shore to City light rail will have a dedicated carriage for bikes.
I have just attended the AT Board meeting. AT was bemoaning that they have not been included in any discussion about cross harbour transport. Surely it’s absolutely bizarre that an organisation tasked with transporting Aucklander’s around the city has been excluded from that conversation.
With the great success of an event to open the bridge for active modes, how long before there is a deluge of one written questions, OIA and parliamentary questions requesting the long term reallocation start to move the needle on this issue.
I’m thinking of ways to word multiple questions, so that the same stock answer can’t be used now.
Ridiculous. It would actually be easier for Waka Kotahi to allow cyclists to go over the bridge in waves protected by an attenuator than this solution.
The attenuator could slow down / prior to the cycle on-ramp to allow the people on -bikes to enter the bridge safely
-slowly drive behind them protecting them from traffic behind
-turn around and do the same thing the other way.
Limited infrastruture, no lane closures, no need for new ferries and piers.
If there are no people on bikes wanting to come on the bridge then the attenuator just drives over at normal speed and doesn’t hold up traffic. System only kicks in if demand is there.
So when, “due to a serious crash… expect delays” people on bikes will first have to wait for the attenuator to finish both directions of its journey before being able to start. Drivers will possibly be affected in just one direction, but people on bikes will be affected by the traffic whichever way they’re going, because the attenuator has to use both directions.
Bikes are space efficient. People using them need to reap the benefits from this space efficiency. That means, not having to put up with the traffic problems that driving causes. Biking is about reliable times, and about being able to avoid the traffic jams.
The attenuator doesn’t do that. So, no. Let’s not consider that.
Not a serious suggestion, it would probably have a bigger impact on bridge traffic than taking a lane. Just put out there as a facetious option which is still less ridiculous than the ferry suggestion. Space on the bridge is what is required.
Oh, I fell for it. Thanks for explaining. Lol.
1800 cyclists a day. Where did the figure came from? They should be look at 10-100 time the number if the cycling become the new normal.
A bridge over here would really stimulate bigger bike numbers in the city I’m sure.
What a crowd of moaning complaining individuals obviously most bike riders would appreciate a ferry then continue on their way at the other end. The bridge was never originally designed to only carry cars but had tram and walking infrastructure incorperated, but thanks to interferring politicians and various motor car lobbyists of the day it ended up being an inferior design .It cannot take bikes or pedesterians it’s not engineered for it putting the clip ons to the original structure pushed it to the designed limits,traffic volumes now would cause chaos if a lane was handed over to bikes and pedesterians. Just get over youselves and be thankful for a purpose designed fleet of ferries for your bike till they put a tunnel or another bridge across or then use a lane on present bridge for bikes and pedesterians,talk about behaving like a group of spoiled entitiled brats.
“What a crowd of moaning complaining individuals obviously most car drivers would appreciate a ferry then continue on their way at the other end. Just get over youselves and be thankful for a purpose designed fleet of ferries for your car ,talk about behaving like a group of spoiled entitiled brats.”
There, applied your mentality to cars
Actually there would most likely be car drivers in places like Devonport or Birkenhead that would appreciate a car/passenger ferry service,they do operate in other more enlightened cites around the world alongside cross harbour bridges and tunnels not a stupid idea at all for Auckland frankly.
Take cars out of the equation and that what transit advocates in Auckland are calling for.
More frequent ferries across the Harbour. A new harbour crossing for mass transit and walking + cycling within 15 years (but in the interim, making space on the present harbour bridge for a walk/cycle lane and bus lanes).
“Enlightened” cities follow the evidence and reduce the need for cars.
“bike lobby blog… echo chamber” … that pretty much invalidates your comment. Straight-up accusations with no evidence to back them aren’t a good look, and it certainly doesn’t make it seem like you’re looking for a fair evidence-based discussion.
“I don’t dispute a bike/pedestrian link is needed but not at the guaranteed wrath of 95 % of commuters by taking lanes on the bridge!”
So force everyone to drive? More ebikes were imported into the country last year than the entire EV car fleet, biking is growing. Having this as a dead link is holding things back.
They tried to build a bike bridge, the car drivers screamed bloody murder at the cost, so it got canned. NZTA are now wasting money on a boat that they have already ruled out.
A lane needs to be liberated now.
Last time it was “car haters”. Meh.
“traffic volumes now would cause chaos if a lane was handed over to bikes and pedesterians.”
No, they wouldn’t.
Even Waka Kotahi’s analysis shows they wouldn’t.
Heidi, can you link to that analysis please?
I’ve got a link to a tweet of the basics: https://twitter.com/CriticalMassAKL/status/1494761505362898947
Some of it is in here. https://fyi.org.nz/request/17997-auckland-harbour-bridge-active-modes-decision
Heidi, and most of the discussion assumes the status quo. But will cars always be the preferred means of transport, or will we use them much less frequently? At the current spot price of carbon, about $85, the ETS tax on petrol should be 25c/litre rather than 9 cents. Or if we reach the European spot price the ETS tax would be about 47 cents. Such increases would comfortably push the price of petrol well over $3 per litre.
Such increases may cause vkt to drop substantially freeing up space on the existing bridge.
I have read a few times that the minimum price of carbon to accurately capture the external costs is $200 per tonne, so that works out to about $1.10 per litre. I.e, the carbon emissions of petrol is currently subsidised to the tune of $1 per litre.
Sailor Boy, interesting. With NZ’s current plans that we achieve 50% of our emissions targets by purchasing carbon credits offshore it will be fascinating to see whether those who choose low emissions options are keen to pay for the high polluters, transport amongst that.
Doesn’t sound like too bad an idea in itself if it was regular, only ~$2 a trip, good span of hours, but is not a substitute for some lanes of the bridge or a active mode only bridge crossing.
The events sound like fun, but wow, let’s just have a lane or two of the bridge please.
This. There should be both an active mode harbour crossing for people to seamlessly walk/cycle across, AND better provision for bikes on the existing ferry routes.
Utterly ridiculous idea, I’m a shiftworker and ill often cycle when there is no public transport available to/from work at 2am.
Dont let Link know….
Seems like prime time to hold another Liberate the Lane rally whenever this “event” is being held…
I’m torn about this, we often encountered ferries in whilst touring in Europe and it didn’t disrupt our flow at all. They were typically small open drive on, drive off vessels with a single ferryman and it was all pretty straight forward… Although obviously not as convenient as a bridge.
For that to work here I think the length of the trip would need to be kept as short as possible, thus would need to go from the Northcote point wharf to somewhere at Westhaven. If a new wharf is needed city side it could easily double as a viewing platform… I will never commute to the north shore myself, but I would probably use this as a pleasure trip if exploring the city with friends/family.
So there’s enough demand for a bike ferry in isolation but not for a triangular route between Bayswater, Sulfur Pt and Wynyard? Because that might be a win-win all round if we’re just accepting crappy cycling outcomes by default – might as well get something out of it.
Thats a good point…As soon as the connection is separate to the existing bridge, then it becomes possible to look into other options. ie, if you were going to put in a new ferry across the harbour to serve existing population centres and natural bike commuting routes, where would it be?
Does anyone really know what the demand is going to be though? My guess is that it will probably be more or less than what gets allowed for… 🙂
Fascinating discussion. Wish a similar discussion was held on the idea of a train from Hamilton to Auckland. People who claim to be objective turn out to not be when the proposal does not fit their bias. Timetable, costs, reliability, all important dimensions. So if the proposal being considered was a 24-hour ferry, all the timetable issues would go away and the proposal would be more acceptable? Ditto if it was a larger ferry in the proposal? “We are not debating what you are, we are just negotiating the price.” How many times a day, and how much money for that train?
An underlying issue here is the acceptability of changing the use of a lane on the bridge. The people with actual decision-making power in the civil service have spent their lives focused on ways to add capacity, and defend capacity. They would have to be a particular type of spot-changing leopard to easily transition to accepting an idea that would reduce capacity.
And a point: the exec at WK do not have the Minister of Transport as a boss. There is (thankfully) separation between the political and civil-service arms of government.
It is pretty cynical to think that WK exec would recommend in favour of (what they probably think is a hare brained idea of) reducing car capacity on the AHB just because they think it is what the Minister wants.
They should provide an unbiased and proper evaluation of the idea. Then the Minister could make a political decision about whether to do it.
Hopefully the ferry idea is being contemplated along with their unbiased advice regarding repurposing a lane.
A repurposed lane would send the first clear message that the government means what it says on climate change. But it would have to be a political decision because it would reduce vehicle capacity on the bridge. It would be made for many non-transport reasons. In my view a very good idea.
Consistent with this idea would be a complete restructure of WK because if you could take away capacity on AHB, why would you be spending money on expanding capacity on any road in the entire country? There would be entire departments at WK who’s continued employment would be at risk in such a situation. What was it they said about people not understanding a thing if understanding it would put their employment at risk?
“They should provide an unbiased and proper evaluation of the idea. ”
Completely agree that Waka Kotahi should be strongly advocating for lane reallocation.
FYI, this blog has held an almost identical discussion on Te Huia. The blog and commenters overwhelmingly called for more frequent service, over a larger span of time to avoid the exact same issues that were pointed out in this post.
I agree political direction is needed. The problem is that the politicians should have quality advice to base their decisions on.
“The people with actual decision-making power in the civil service have spent their lives focused on ways to add capacity, and defend capacity. They would have to be a particular type of spot-changing leopard to easily transition to accepting an idea that would reduce capacity… A repurposed lane would send the first clear message that the government means what it says on climate change. But it would have to be a political decision because it would reduce vehicle capacity on the bridge. It would be made for many non-transport reasons. In my view a very good idea.”
It would also be made for many transport reasons. Reducing vehicle capacity on the bridge would improve the transport networks across the city. Best practice transport planning has not been to “add capacity” for decades. It’s ideology. And while you can point at political direction to try to explain that ideology, it’s only true to a point. The officials should have been advising the politicians against adding capacity.
Every instruction the politicians have given about access and safety over the years required NZTA and its forerunners to start reducing road capacity in order to reduce vkt. And the instructions since the 2018 GPS about reducing emissions and about mode shift have been quite overt. But NZTA have ignored them.
Yes, the leopard had to change its spots. That’s what they were instructed to do.
I would beg to differ. They were not told to change their spots. They were asked to deliver an outcome without the political direction that was needed. The directions were (intentionally?) obscure, to do things that went against every grain of their being. Why we do not reduce vkt is easy to see: the politicians see it as suicide to make the political decisions, the civil servants see it as suicide (or just impossible) to make the decisions without clear political leadership.
There’s a broader context, though: Codes of professional conduct.
These are slightly different for each profession, but the gist is pretty much the same. If they are followed in good faith, they require both following best practice and speaking out when decisions would place people or the environment at risk of harm.
So even well before 2018 – and overtly from then on – any clash between a political direction to add or retain capacity, and the GPS 2018’s strategic priorities of “safety, access, value-for-money and environmental outcomes” should have triggered a professional response.
Waka Kotahi’s leadership, the senior levels under them, the Ministry of Transport’s leadership, the senior levels under them, and in fact anyone but a new graduate in either organisation, should have spoken out. To their managers. To the politicians. Repeatedly.
That’s not happened. Now, you say it would be “suicide” for these officials to have tried to push too hard. Now, I know that’s a common word to use, but we shouldn’t. It is quite literally not suicide, which of course means death. It’s an inappropriate word to use, given people are dying due to the transport system, and our children’s and grandchildren’s generations will see more climate- related death due to transport decisions being made today.
No official should commit suicide to get a better transport system in its true sense. But every official should stand up for the people who will otherwise die – and that might require upsetting one’s career. When lives are at stake, that is ethical.
You might say that’ll never happen, and I’m being unrealistic. But I think what the situation is is this:
The transport sector is out on a limb. It has a serious culture problem, and officials are not acting professionally. For people to think such an egregiously off-track sector shouldn’t transform via people taking some career risks is actually weird.
The sector has to wake up to itself, and change. Advise the politicians correctly.
Seems an adequate interim solution to me. Ferries work in many parts of Europe, even for crossing a river. A ferry may be not as convenient as a bridge, but is a good interim option. At some time a good pedestrian / bike crossing needs to be built. This proposal also ensures that part of the infrastructure will be there once it happens. There will probably be some opposition to transitioning from ferry to bridge at that time, because some folks will miss their ferry ride then.
If it is an interim solution, then it should be lane reallocation, which is far cheaper.
Why not introduce bicycle carrying buses on the northern busway instead? For a fraction of the cost you would substantially increase viable end-to-end trips for a large area of the north shore. A ferry with good cycling connections to nowhere seems like an expensive proposition that is doomed to fail.
+1, it would be so much easier to modify the double deckers to accommodate bikes. Just remove a few seats and enforce a maximum number of bikes.
‘Extremely dangerous’: Police say they will stop anti-mandate protesters from walking over Harbour Bridge”
Who would have guessed that Destiny Church and Brian the Ap – God for only 10%, would stand alongside Bike Auckland to claim the bridge?
Op-ed writers will be so torn – should lane liberators be prosecuted for treason for their bike-promoting views, or do they deserve a fair hearing of their entirely reasonable requests to end the mandate / expose the deep state / end our current political system in favour of angry tribal anarchy?
Hey this is cool – it seems that we can now put forward any idea and get it seriously looked at.
My plan is for like a chairlift type of affair like they have at the Rotovagas Luge.
I think it would hopefully be light enough to be suspended below the bridge.
it would be a cable running a loop across the Harbour with a separated chair turn around system at each end (more like the gondola system up and down at the luge)
You would ride up to a waiting platform attach your bike to a cradle device that would attach to your chair. The chair would swing round on the separate mechanism and grab your bike’s cradle as you jump onto the seat.
For safety you would need a three point harness more like a Rainbows End rides or annoying people would mess with the system by climbing out half way across – admit it you probably have a friend who be that kind of person). The harness would buckle up then the seat and bike cradle would reattach to the main cable which would whizz across at solid pace until it joins the turning mechanism on the far side. The cradle with the bike in it would slide off to the side, your harness unbuckles you hop off the seat and go grab your bike.
Like a chair lift you would probably need a person or two at each end but that would be less staff than a ferry. It could probably run for a much longer period each day than the ferry and would be able to be used by people without bikes as well. Heck we could surely even come up with a system that worked with wheel chairs and prams too.
Sure its a crazy idea but it feels like it could be a lot of fun and other people got away with suggesting a stand alone bridge and now a ferry so I’m happy to throw this idea into the mix. 😉
Why is a stand-alone bridge (particularly one better designed to carry pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit in the form of buses and/or light rail) a “crazy” idea comparable to a cross-harbour chairlift, in your opinion?
Genuinely interested to know why some people keep on making suggestions that would not enable people to seamlessly cross the Waitemata by walking or biking.
Matty B the bridge came across as a poor idea because it was a lot of expense for just the two active modes when what would seem more useful would be a bridge for the active modes and PT.
I see my chairlift fantasy as being something you would ride or walk up to use and exit pretty seamlessly.
The “lot of expense” of course pales beside the current expenditure on roads, and the public would have understood this if a responsible national conversation about the value of active mode infrastructure was being facilitated. The Minister should have illustrated a vision of a full walking and cycling network throughout Auckland, and the importance of that cross harbour bridge in these full networks.
And if Waka Kotahi was to do some genuine work on vkt reduction and on getting light rail onto the existing bridge – which is absolutely possible – then it would become clear that the active modes bridge would save us huge amounts of money.
Last century the ARA/ARC had a ,mini van with trailer that left Victoria Park and went to Northcote for carrying bikes and their riders so why don’t they do this again , or take a number of the front seats out of a number old buses and do it that way ? , and say leave every 15minutes as that could be cheaper than building dedicated ferries .
Reallocating a lane on the harbour bridge and protecting it with a concrete barrier would still be the cheapest option, and the most beneficial for inducing pedestrian/cyclist demand.
If I’m correct, the reason the ARA cycle-van-shuttle service didn’t last was because cyclists found having to get off their bike and onto another mode of transit a hassle and would rather ride from Point A to Point B continously
Car drivers would kick up a huge fuss if they were expected to drive onto a truck-&-trailer or a ferry just to get across the harbour.
Doesn’t mean that better bike provision on board other bus routes and existing ferry services isn’t a good thing, but I don’t believe it either option is a good enough replacement for an actual active mode crossing where the opportunity is present.
idea quite ridiculous. Ferry has been tried b4 and whilst patronage was ok for day or so it dwindled and service was canned.cyclists need to stop wasting time on their dumb suggestions and shame on Woods for wasting more tax payers money
Cyclists did not suggest a ferry or a $700M cycle bridge. Most cyclists I’ve seen have been pushing for liberating a lane on the existing harbour bridge – quickly and cheaply done, studied to have practically zero affect on traffic, only held back because of pro-road biases inherent in the NZTA
Worth checking out https://commuter.waka.app/ to see how many short trips are currently being undertaken by car from one side of the bridge to another. Provide a lane on the bridge for walking/riding and reduce that number. Simple and cheaper.
It is such a good interactive map.
The simplest, most cost-effective, most beneficial way forward should be first to reallocate a lane on the harbour bridge for walking and cycling ASAP.
Then after that, plan and build a combined active mode+mass transit bridge from Wynyard Quarter to Sulphur Beach within this decade – basically revisit the cycle bridge but add mass transit to it. It would be a cheaper AWHC than any tunnel option, with more benefits (I fear that a AWHC tunnel, even if it doesn’t incorporate a motorway, will not have any active mode prevision)
Prior to light rail being built the mass transit provision would be for the Northern Busway, creating continuous bus ROW from Wynyard Quarter to Albany with a new station at Onewa Rd. Either spare space could be designed on the bridge to lay tracks, enabling both rail and bus rapid transit provision after the 2030s, or the new bridge busway could be designed for easy conversion to rail.
Assuming a gradient of around 5% (1:20) , either light rail or light metro should be able to cross the bridge A-OK.
Yes need that transit/active mode only bridge ASAP.
+100 to Matt’s proposal.
Sell the lane reallocation as an interim solution until we can build a new bridge.
And then see if we can’t keep it permanent afterwards? If car traffic can cope fine with 6 or 7 lanes over the bridge I see no reason to go back up to 8 lanes – even if that means 2 closely-spaced active mode crossings of the Waitemata (nothing to complain about, surely!)
Alternately, if technically feasible – add bus lanes to the Harbour bridge once light rail is laid over the new bridge.
*correction/clarification, reallocate the walk/cycle lanes to bus lanes once the active mode/mass transit bridge is complete or has light rail laid across it?
So the Harbour Bridge is windy and sort of sucks and I wouldn’t really suggest using it when there’s a working active mode bridge for something like walking and cycling, simply from a safety POV. If there’s a better alternative, use that.
However, should those lanes go back to general traffic? Probably not IMO. If the busway is going to connect to a LRT/Active mode bridge like it should, then it’s time to look at a better, direct connection for the Highbury/Birkenhead. Keep the bus lanes and open up the inner Western North Shore for development by forcing absurd levels of bus service through it and over the bridge.
I agree, Buttwizard.
That sounds good – so basically fulfilling the CFN 2.0’s vision of an ‘Inner Shore’ bus rapid transit line?
Taking a bike on a ferry once or twice is fine but if you commute everyday, in about 6 months your bike would be completely rusted unless you hosed it down each end everyday. Or they would need bikes housed in fully enclosed areas to protect from sea spray which would mean it would take ages to get bikes on and off.
Given that Waka Kotahi is thrashing around looking for an alternative idea, any idea it would seem, to not allow non motorised use of their precious bridge, here’s an idea that surely would appeal to them.
Starting with their ferry option but rather than the bigger version that they are suggesting how about ones that are designed for up to 4 bikes that you can peddle across.
As someone who would use the ferries, I actually think its a pretty good idea if executed well. Its not as good as skypath, but Ill take what I can get at this point.
A ferry for bikes works really well in Amsterdam. Everyone should give it a chance. You’ll love it. It’s great for pedestrians too. I know I am looking forward to it.
Since you guys keep opposing every single Harbour Bridge cycling idea NZTA come up with (other than the most radically unsafe one), try not to complain when NZTA kill this idea for not having public support. You will have got what you wanted, again.
Ad, I’ve pointed you towards the support Greater Auckland gave to the active modes bridge before. https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2021/06/16/supporting-the-vision-for-walking-and-cycling/
Here are some excerpts:
“So where does a new active bridge across the Waitemata Harbour fit into the rebuilding of our active networks?
“First, it is simply part of the mitigation required. The city failed its people when it opened up a new part of the city to live in – the North Shore – without giving them a walking and cycling connection. This lack of access needs repair.
“Secondly, in the five years until it is completed, we need to be building the networks that will connect to it. Fanshawe St and Northcote need immediate attention, of course. But also, extensively, the networks throughout the whole city need building quickly.
“Thirdly, the transport budget should be split between repairing these networks for active travel, and on public transport. Indeed, leveraging the renewals budget to make streets safer for walking and cycling was a recommendation of the Safety Review of Auckland Transport. Resistance to investing in the Northern Pathway bridge “because other parts of the network need the funding” is based on a miserly assumption that walking and cycling should continue to get only 3, 4 or 5% of the transport budget. The UN has recommended a minimum of 20%, but Auckland will need more than this – and this money can achieve a lot if roads are properly reallocated and no project is undertaken without active travel as a focus.”
There’s a time for taking incremental wins. And there’s a time for calling out the bullshit and trying to get the Minister to understand that he’s receiving bad advice. When it comes to this ferry proposal – and the history of Waka Kotahi’s decision-making about options for the active modes bridge and reallocating lanes – that if we got around to posting about all the poor advice the Minister has been given, it would take about 6 or 8 posts to get through it all.
I am thinking what if the ferries where ro ro for bikes no seats you just wheel your bike on and into lanes with bars to lean your bike on and for you to hold onto. At the other end you just wheel your bike off. Just need a floating pontoon at each end of the journey to allow for level boarding via a ramp. It’s a blank canvas I am sure our marine engineers could come up with a suitable vessel and loading facilities.
Here is the solution. The bikes go inside the bus.
Ferries ! – This months talking point. NZTA’s arrogance, and our ministers, mayors inability to resolve the simple act of putting a footpath on a bridge.
Liberate the lane’s simple request would have solved todays multihour bridge shutdown for pedestrians, and following disruptions.
This is just this months version of a conversation GA has been having for a decade.
The Real But Much Less Glamorous Solution That Benefits all Auckland Cyclists:
Gosh in all the spin about cycling, innovation, climate emissions reduction etc officials bureaucrats, politicians and campaigners seem to have lost sight of the real world; both its limitations and the solutions it still offers us. a) The AHB is straining to meet traffic demand after decades of failure by politicians to invest in greater capacity for the harbour crossing. Reducing its traffic capacity will have very serious, maybe catastrophic network implications. WK know this. b) Aside from the high cost and vulnerability of ferry services this investment would only benefit a small group of North Shore and CBD cyclists. How about an investment that gets cyclists across the harbour but also benefits Auckland cyclists citywide? That would be investment in modified bike buses that run up and down SH1 and also loop the NW, city and North Shore. This would be tuppence compared to the figures being thrown at possible new bridges. And it would allow cyclists anywhere to connect to the motorway and get to any other part of Auckland. Family outings from Otara to Orewa, or work commutes from Glenfield to Ellerslie would be possible with the combination of motorway bike buses and better local cycle infrastructure. It seems so obvious, perhaps it just isn’t glamorous enough?
1. How do “bike buses” compare to the Liberate The Lane proposal – which I believe is somewhere between $700,000 and $40 million for a permanent reallocation of 1 harbour bridge clipon lane for pedestrians & cyclists + safety barriers + connection to pathways at either end? I suspect, as this article points out with “bike ferries”, that the long term OPEX of “bike buses” could be greater than just reallocating a lane.
2. Does this take into account that the closest North Shore busway station to the AHB is Akoranga? A limited number of existing stops and/or routes would make it difficult for people to access these “bike buses”
3. Is this an option that has been consulted with the cycling community – the people it most concerns?
I do not believe this is a question of “glamour”, more that cyclists & pedestrians would prefer to walk directly across the bridge instead of transferring onto & off of a bus or ferry, if enabled to do so. Similar schemes have failed in the past for this very reason, if I am correct.
The low cost of reallocating a lane would leave plenty of funds available for improving cycling infrastructure across Auckland, compared to the $785 million standalone bridge proposal. Work from that project could then go towards an active mode + mass transit bridge for AWHC, from Wynyard Quarter to Onewa Interchange. A bridge would in all likelihood be significantly less expensive than a $5+ billion dollar AWHC tunnel, and would eventually replace the walk/cycle lane on the current AHB which could then be reallocated again to a bus lane, for example.
Not that ferries and buses in Auckland shouldn’t have better provision for bikes – but that is not an adequate substitute for what pedestrians and cyclists are calling for – reallocating a AHB lane *now*.
Thanks for the comment Adrian
Did you read the NZTA traffic modelling reports regarding AHB capacity?
I’ll address the suggestion that more car capacity is needed.
Investment in more lanes across the harbour itself would only be a small part of a larger infrastructure spend to realise that capacity boost (lane additions up to constellation, and south to at least greenlane, bowling housing along arterials and on ramps for more lanes). All that for a couple thousand more peak trips per hour is extremely inefficient. The ultra low BCR (<0.2) of any new road crossing proposal basically sums all that up, it would likely be the worst infrastructure "investment" that NZ would ever make. Without the ancillary spending NZTA models that traffic would get worse overall with more harbour crossing lanes.
Theres a reason that they haven't built another harbour crossing for all this time. Every study in decades has come back with it being an extremely negative investment.
Traffic trip demand is not some inevitable march either. We don't need to cater to meet driving demand that we create through cost lowering. (cost as in time taken, distance, as well as fuel and vehicle costs). We can manage demand through price increases, or through improving its competition. Traffic is also self capping, like we see with the bridge. As congestion increases, the cost increases and growth stops as alternative transport becomes the better option.
I entirely refute that your statement: Reducing its traffic capacity will have very serious, maybe catastrophic network implications. WK know this
NZTA’s models show lowering bridge capacity would make traffic better, especially on the north shore. The often told about tales of “gridlock”, and “catastrophic network implications” just don’t come true once change has settled in.
Here is a twitter message with a clip from the NZTA’s report : https://twitter.com/CriticalMassAKL/status/1494761505362898947
Hi Adrian. We’d love to see you reading and commenting here. The more the LB’s can come up to speed on transport and urban planning, the better, so welcome.
What people on bikes actually want is safe and direct cycling infrastructure. Buses to take bikes are nice-to-haves – worthwhile if there’s a good reason not to put in the basics – safe cycle lanes. But there is no good reason not to invest in safe cycle lanes on all our main streets. Doing so would save us millions of dollars in the renewals budget, the public health budget, congestion-related expenses, carbon credits, vehicle and fuel purchase costs, and much, much more.
As for the Auckland Harbour Bridge, it’s not “straining to meet traffic demand”. It’s been seeing lower traffic volumes each year for each of the last 5 or 6 years I think. We’re very lucky further traffic capacity hasn’t been added over the harbour or that would be filled up or filling up too.
Adding traffic capacity to the bridge would add vehicle traffic to the network on both sides of the bridge, increasing congestion and reducing efficiency. Travel times would actually increase.
“Reducing its traffic capacity will have very serious, maybe catastrophic network implications.” No, reducing traffic capacity would create traffic evaporation, improving the driving networks throughout the city. Using that space to create walking and cycling connections would further provide resilience and create network improvements for active travel. This would mean many trips throughout the networks could be done actively – eg people going on after work to do their errands by bike before heading home. And e-bikes are transforming the way people think about transport, using them for many more types of trips.
Exactly, why can’t she be more neutral just like you, “vehicles enhance our lives”
Perhaps you get deleted because you keep on coming back with multiple names in contravention with the conditions of participation.
Nah, in case you haven’t noticed Mr Concern Troll, Heidi’s “opinions” are robustly backed up by evidence.
Reduced demand/road diets work in practice all around the world to reduce car volumes AND congestion. Reallocating road lanes to walking/cycling on other bridges in Vancouver & New York has been a success. And the NZTA’s own studies show that 1 fewer lane for cars on the AHB would have practically zero change in congestion.
“The AHB is straining to meet traffic demand”
Thanks to the Northern Busway, the amount of private vehicles crossing the bridge at peak hours has barely increased in over a decade. Maybe you mean in relation to PT?
“Reducing its traffic capacity will have very serious, maybe catastrophic network implications.”
When the struts were damaged in 2020 we lost 50% capacity on the bridge in the blink of an eye. And it largely stayed that way for months. But of course, people adapted and we coped just fine. They took buses and ferries, the worked from home when they could, they deferred to outside of peak and they put off discretionary trips. And that was without 3 lanes.
Liberating one lane would have an immaterial impact in a post covid world where there just isnt the same peak-hour use on the bridge. And peak hours is just 30% of a 6am-12am period when mist people cross it.
The only thing WK knows is that a trial would validate what we learnt in 2020 – that cars will use that space purely because we provide it, not because they need it – and thats why they wont do a trial. They would be exposed for holding back on road reallocation.
They are an emperor with no clothes.
I forgot to mention that people also took that other harbour crossing, the Upper Harbour Highway
Ferries? This is as wack as having a lane on the bridge fir pedestrians.
The bridge has been closed or restricted multiple times due to weather recently.
A simple and affordable solution is putting racks on the front of buses like most other cities and some rural services do. This could be rolled out in weeks and allow people all over to use existing PT to get where they need or at least a lot closer to then cycle the rest.
Why do people need to have glory projects for every simple thing?
I cycle, I get the ferry, I drive over the bridge. I don’t want nor need to cycle it.
I also don’t want a ferry trying to get through a the yachts that sail off westhaven most days of the week.