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Auckland’s Northern Pathway

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 11th, 2021 - 144 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, climate change, michael wood, science, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

Last week’s announcement of major changes to the New Zealand Upgrade program in my view was welcome.

Some major road projects were canned.  Mill Road in South Auckland was one of them.  A cost blow out from $1.3b to $3.5b was too much to bear.  In a refreshing development Transport Minister Michael Wood acknowledged that the project would also have increased CO2 output.  If we are going to get to carbon neutrality then these hard headed decisions will have to be made from now on.

Auckland’s northern pathway has attracted a lot of attention.

I am interested in feedback.

The project is expensive.  But it is cheaper than similar roading projects such as Mill Road and Penlink and it has this extraordinary benefit in that it will support carbon free transport.  If you applied a proper financial allowance for transport infrastructure that does not add to CO2 output I am pretty sure the project would shine.

The funds will not only build the bridge but also the cycleway to Constellation Drive.

And it should be remembered that these are the most expensive parts of the burgeoning North Shore cycleway and will do wonders for the rest of the cycleway which is much cheaper to construct.

I am conscious of the cost.  But long term I think this is a really good project.

As an alternative the suggestion that we close two lanes of the bridge I think has merit.  Lets do both.  Maybe the second project until the first project is completed.

To change Auckland’s sustainability and reach climate neutrality we are going to have to do something radical.  Existing efforts to continuously feed the insatiable desire of motorists to drive more is not working.

Hit me with your thoughts and change my view.

144 comments on “Auckland’s Northern Pathway ”

  1. Molly 1

    I've got a full day today, so won't be back till this evening to take part in the discussion, but since you asked so nicely… my 7am thought:

    1. The use of "shovel-ready projects" irritated me from it's inception. For the most part, these were pet projects that were being lobbied for that often had failed to meet the cost-benefit criteria. We have so many fundamental services that are poorly provided because of lack of resources – we should have started there.

    2. In terms of transition, the northern pathway is a "nice to have". It will also be a showpiece. Nice to haves are the icing on the cake, not instead of it. There are many more transition investments that will cater to more people – and help reduce carbon use.

    3. In terms of alternative transport systems, there are many places in Auckland where the service is inefficient, unreliable and relatively expensive to use. For lone commuters there are issues with security as well. Fix these first. Especially in areas of financial hardship and then consider making public transport for citizens free. That would both encourage the movement to public transport and reduce – for many – some of the financial stress they are under due to the rampant housing costs – not to mention the imposed regional fuel tax.

    4. And along the lines of the regional fuel tax. Whether it is being used to fund this or not, it doesn't promote a sense of egalitarianism for households in poorer neighbourhoods to be hit with the fuel tax for a fund alternative transport systems, and the first major project that is announced is this. A nice to have, but at what cost?

    5. I think a lot of the support comes from those who have a lot of discretionary spending in their own lives. If you are one of the many who live on a tight budget, and make decisions all the time about which bill to pay to get through to the next pay day, you already have a sense about how to base priorities.

    When the government is saying there is no money for nurses, but enough for this, the America's Cup, Rio Tinto, Amazon, they are not really saying there is no money – they are saying their priorities are not the health providers. When transport planning includes this, but not the fundamental and necessary task of looking at the whole Auckland region to improve public transport services and make it an affordable option. I think they are wrong.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      "When the government is saying there is no money for nurses, but enough for this"

      They never said that , the offers were considerable for those on lower scales (4.7% to 11%) less so for those – most of the union members- at the top of the scale around $80k with 3-4%. Other one offs are in addition to that

      Experienced mid-wives would be $83k to $133k

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Please take this to OM, thanks. This Post is about the Auckland’s Northern Pathway; it is (in) the title of the Post 😉

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1

          Sure , it seems to be a 'meme' about this project that cry comes up' what about the Nurses'….and misleading at that. If it wasnt raised It wouldnt be mentioned.

          • Incognito 1.1.1.1.1

            yes

          • Molly 1.1.1.1.2

            " When transport planning includes this, but not the fundamental and necessary task of looking at the whole Auckland region to improve public transport services and make it an affordable option. I think they are wrong."

            …and yet you ignore the rest of the post, including this to pretend it was only about nurses…

    • gsays 1.2

      Bravo Molly, well said.

      +1 from me, especially the investment in Public Transport.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    As an alternative the suggestion that we close two lanes of the bridge I think has merit. Lets do both.

    If you're serious about getting folk biking, having several possible routes is very desirable. Cycle only crossings ought to be much cheaper to construct or add to existing structures because they weigh so much less than conventional vehicles – we should take advantage of that feature, not just lump them together with other modes that need heavier and much more expensive crossings.

    I cannot speak to the cost of the northern pathway, except that a billion dollars is a lot of money. I hope we're not getting the Sochi syndrome.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      We know the Northwestern MW cycle way , which is 'flat riding' and has links right into city is 800 riders total on average day. And most motorway traffic isnt 'going to city' which has good public transport. To ride to say Penrose where factory workers are is out of the question.

    • Cricklewood 2.2

      Shutting lanes for cyclists etc is problematic, the increase in congestion is going to hurt in C02 emissions 20000 cars spending an extra 10min adds up quick… and I suspect you wont get enough cyclists to offset that.

      One the other hand adding more buses making the bus commute free and making a bridge lane an extension of the busway I could see working…

      Would I bet, see immediate reductions in emissions and ease conjestion as cbd bound workers etc flooded onto the buses

  3. JanM 3

    This proposed lane is also going to be open to pedestrians as I understand it and in my opinion should have been built into the bridge right from the beginning. It has always seemed wrong to me that the North Shore is effectivdly cut off to all except motorists

    [removed spurious character from e-mail address]

  4. Ad 4

    Totally support it.

    The inbuilt demand is similar to Grafton Gully cycleway. Which is now massive.

    NZTA is going to get slammed every way they move now. Time to raise the sights above targeting government agencies or proletariat v bourgeois infighting, and do more cycling networks not less.

    The fight for the climate is enjoined.

    • AB 4.1

      "Time to raise the sights above … proletariat v bourgeois infighting"

      Interesting how the cycleway has been a touchstone for inflaming this simmering rift. If the CC response is perceived to involve sacrificing the poorest first, we're all in trouble.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Don't worry as usual the remaining middle class will do the heavy lifting for achieving change, as they usually do this century, while the rest just jeer from the sidelines.

        • left for dead 4.1.1.1

          Ad..is that how your orthodoxy allows you to think ."from the sidelines.

          I'm sadden by those comments.

  5. '

    "As an alternative the suggestion that we close two lanes of the bridge I think has merit. Lets do both."

    MICKYSAVAGE

    Great idea, Micky S. One lane, for a bikeway. One lane, for a busway to handle the 21 thousand commuters displaced by the bikeway.

    (and to get them out of their cars, make it free. People love free stuff).

    Jenny how to get there

    11 June 2021 at 6:13 am

    I believe the Labour Government have seriously misread the public mood with the decision to build a seperate cycle and walking bridge over rhe Waitemata….

    Open mike 11/06/2021

    • My apologies Micky. I forgot to put the link in to Bryan Bruce's counter argument.

      Here it is;

      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/06/09/guest-blog-bryan-bruce-my-problem-with-the-auckland-bike-bridge/&lt&lt

      GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce; My problem with the Auckland bike bridge

      Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Bryan Bruce's opinion on this isn't worth shit, and he admits it when after claiming that the $700m cycling bridge should be killed off by making bus travel free, when he says of his own half-assed idea:

        "I know we are probably talking several $ Billion here , but someone needs to do the economic modelling of how much it costs our economy for the Auckland traffic to be largely grid locked for several hours a day."

        That's some catastrophic moron-type ignorance there.

        Bryan Bruce needs to wake up to some fucking reality about Auckland.

        It's always going to have traffic jams. It's an international-scale low density city and that's what they have and always will. Deal with it.

        At the moment the North Shore of Auckland is the best served region in the entire country for public transport, with billions upon billions poured into it to get it to this point. Yet there's still car jams.

        North Shore already have one major mode choice, 8 lanes wide.

        They are also much more efficient with 3-in-a-car lanes in Onewa Road.

        They also have the most extensive network of ferries, to give them yet another mode choice subsidised up the wazoo per passenger. Which no one else in the country has to anywhere near the same level,

        They also have their own custom-built lane management system for peaks which exists nowhere else in the country.

        So there's every transport choice to get across the harbour, unless you are on foot or on a bicycle.

        And it took tens of billions over several decades to get there.

        This is what you get for looking for argument defence from bloggers who have no fucking idea what they are talking about.

        Cyclists have a reasonable expectation that their mode of transport will be made safe to cross the bridge with a specific bridge. Just like any other mode choice from the North Shore like the ferries and their ferry terminals, buses and their busways, and cars and their motorways, it costs a lot to build.

        Deal with it.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          Your comment Ad reinforces the need for what Bryan Bruce was calling for it seems. But only if it gets thought about as being an important concern, no more economic modelling and playing with numbers to make pretty graphs. There has been much talk and much doing, and much money spent.

          Now let's get onto higher car registration costs for large cars, to encourage smaller more efficient ones, more parking room, less congestion. And practically free buses for workers and students after paying a small charge for a monthly season ticket, with small charge for individuals. Also have numbers of road tolls so drivers get hit in the pocket with not a high toll, but multiple trips would build the cost. And people be chased for them, with the possibility of the car being confiscated for non-payers.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.1

            Students are already hugely discounted, and old people are already free outside of peak hours. And none of that has anything to do with a cycleway.

        • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.2

          It's always going to have traffic jams… Deal with it.

          Counsel of despair – the battle is lost before you begin.

          • Ad 5.1.1.2.1

            The battle to have no traffic jams in Auckland is certainly lost.

            Lost in about 1950.

        • Gabby 5.1.1.3

          What does 'deal with it' mean? Take a book?

          • Ad 5.1.1.3.1

            It means stop wishing all traffic congestion in Auckland away. Not going to happen.

        • Ad

          11 June 2021 at 10:41 am

          Bryan Bruce's opinion on this isn't worth shit….

          Charming

          Ad

          11 June 2021 at 10:41 am

          ……North Shore already have one major mode choice, 8 lanes wide.

          Now we are getting down to it.

          I couldn't think of a better exposure of the government’s motive for spending $785 million building a bike bridge. The bike bridge is all about preserving the 8 lanes wide motorway for cars.

          I feel like throwing up.

          The beauty of a buslane or even a bikelane on the existing bridge is that it will take lanes away from cars, while giving them an alternative way of getting across the bridge.

          Personally I think the two, buslane and bikelane, are complementary, the buses will free up the capacity to enable a lane to be made available for a bike lane. The benefit for all of us will be less private cars in the CBD and further afield.

          s

    • For some reason the link to Bryan Bruce's counter essay, no longer works.

      Here it is a again.

      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/06/09/guest-blog-bryan-bruce-my-problem-with-the-auckland-bike-bridge/

      • Going back to Bryan Bruce's post at the Daily Blog and reading the comment thread, Found this one, which I thought pertinent to the discussion.

        Andrew

        June 9, 2021 at 4:07 pm

        There’s a recently updated ferry terminal at Northcote point and a two year old, 16 million dollar cycle lane in Northcote.

        The ferries stopping at Northcote can and do accept bikes, and to anyone saying the ferry might not be able to accommodate all the additional bikes, then I suggest they ask the Council to put on more ferries.

        Ditto the Bayswater, Birkenhead and Devonport ferry services: They all accept bikes and always have.

        This dispute is not about crossing the harbour, it is about crossing the bridge.

  6. Adrian 6

    In The Netherlands there is a lot of cycling but not over great distances, except on the weekends for leisure, and Takapuna to Otahuhu or Penrose or even the CBD is a “great “ distance if you have others things you need to do with your time, get the kids to school, do the shopping, be a parent -teacher meetings. The bridge is bullshit, it is as mentioned in its justification “GREAT for tourism and as an attraction. But it’s watershed is probably no more than a very few kilometres of radius around the approaches, in other words the most expensive real estate in the country or even the world for that matter. Even then that is 6 to 8 kilometres of riding in one of the wettest, shittyest weather places I have ever lived and you are not going to get the inhabitants of those sort of properties hopping on a bike to climb a large hill in the wind and rain every bloody day. The proposal in the light of all of the other serious needs for funding such as homelessness, education demands and new hospitals and wage increases to stem the outflow of nurses and doctors. It is the biggest crock of shit proposal in ages. Maybe in a time when we do not have labour and material constraints it would be a good stimulus project but now is not the time.

    BTW, you do know it is supposed to be made out of concrete don’t you one of the largest CO2 contributors to GW .

    • Sabine 6.1

      In the Netherlands you have trains from Amsterdam to Hilversum, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Mastricht, Aapeldorn etc leaving literally every 5 – 10 min during peaktimes, and about every 20 min for the rest of the day.

      When Nike opened its European Headquarters in Hilversum in the late 90.s the Government added Train Stops to the schedule of the Amsterdam/ Hilversum line to accommodate the extra 900 odd people. And that was in 2000.

      And cycling up to 15 – 20 km to work if one lives on the country side is not uncommon. Heck its only 35 kms from Amsterdam to Hilversum. And i knew quite a few that cycled that daily, for sports.

    • Incognito 6.2

      The Dutch cycle in all weather, in all seasons, and the weather in Auckland is considerably better than over there. With e-bikes people’s range has increased heaps. But you’re correct that the Dutch don’t cycle long distances, on average, but they do it frequently, 267 times a year (2019).

    • JPWood 6.3

      Sorry Adrian you are wrong. I cycle to work everyday in Auckland, 18 km each way, rain or shine. It takes less time than a car, its cheaper and more enjoyable than commuting by any other mode (yes even when it is hosing down). I do it because of that economic and time incentive, and I am not dissuaded by the danger inherent in sharing, as I do for two-thirds of my journey, with motor vehicles, who carelessly have nearly killed me twice and at least once a week carelessly come close to injuring me. My firm belief is that many more people want to choose to have the option of cycling because it is the best option for them but are put off by that danger. I am not necessarily advocating for the bridge, I am advocating for some equity in sharing what is a public resource that we all contribute to in order to allow this.

  7. Ed1 7

    Return on capital should still have an impact. I don't know what the ROI was for Mill Road – either before or after the cost went from 1.3 to 3.5bn – is that recorded somewhere?

    Is it possible to only close one lane of the bridge and have a centre line for cyclists in both directions? (I appreciate that may also need a lane boundary to separate cars from bikes, and that lane may need to exclude trucks). Now is the time to try that while we still have some people able to work from home, if it makes other travel more difficult in the short term it is probably no different from a year of traffic growth; ideally the closure should be in spring to get a mid-weather measure . . .

    I like the idea of trying to encourage use of buses, perhaps particularly over the bridge; and while free buses would be good, would it be possible to code cards so that for example beneficiaries (and children of beneficiaries) could travel free, and Community card holders (and their children) travel at half-price. This would require particular coding and recording of costs, but with a good electronic system it should be doable. A monthly refund would be a reminder of travel cost savings . . .

    • Ed

      11 June 2021 at 10:28 am

      Return on capital should still have an impact. I don't know what the ROI was for Mill Road – either before or after the cost went from 1.3 to 3.5bn – is that recorded somewhere?…

      For the record; As a resident of Papakura and a frequent user of the Mill Rd./Redoubt Rd route. I am opposed to the Judith Colins gold plated expressway.
      As Collins is my local MP, I made an apointment with her to talk about this project.

      I asked her how about a decent bus service first?

      I mentioned that Clevedon, (where she resides) doesn't even have a bus service.

      The Morning peak hour, traffic from Clevedon joining the Mill Road from the Right at the Alfriston roundabout in Takanini, causes traffic to backup down Mill Road to Cosgrove Road in Papakura.
      Collins told me that Clevedon doesn't need a bus service, as most people in Clevedon drive. I asked her, but what about people who don't drive? Collins told me that when her son used to go to school he went on the taxi van. And that worked fine.

      I also asked her if she intended to push her expressway all the way to Drury?

      She told me, "Yes, that is the intention"

      I asked her, "Won't that mean demolishing a lot of houses around the Manukau Road Red Hill part of town".

      "They are all renters down that way", she said.

      I said, "I am a renter".

      She said, nothing.

    • Hi Ed, Your query about the ROI on the Judith Collins Expressway raises a related question; What is the ROI on the standalone $785 million bike bridge across the Waitemata? – is that recorded somewhere?

      I would be interested to know.

      • georgecom 7.2.1

        that is a good question and one I wondered about, what will be the uptake. not as a nice weekend recreation ride but as an everyday commute for Aucklanders. If it's a handful of thousand people per day my simplistic mind is saying that's a poor use of money. if it is 10's of thousands per day then it would seem to be a very good return on investment. if every other transport issue in Auckland was resolved then having a 'fun bridge' for people to 'have a laugh and some fun' cycling and walking over might be nice to have. auckland transport issues are far from sorted so is the bridge a must have?

        Are all the cycle ways liking up more local parts of Auckland complete? the ones that link neigbourhoods to schools and shopping precincts etc? If not it seems to me there is the place to invest money, the no brainer. link your neighbourhoods and schools in a geographical area together. Once done start to think about across city links.

  8. Andre 8

    It's time to go back to the original Skypath proposal.

    The engineering and costing were done by entirely credible organisations, and the most recent costing just a few years ago after quite a few bells and whistles were added was around $70isnh million – call it $100 million after the inevitable cost increases on infrastructure.

    But every time it looked like the project was going to go ahead, it appears NZTA have added more and more onto it, blowing out the scope and cost. Whenever I've seen that behaviour in organisations in the past, it's come down to segments within that organisation being ideologically opposed to what is proposed (in NZTA's case, that would be providing cycling and walking across the bridge), so they attempt to kill the proposal by making it ridiculously expensive.

    Then suppose Skypath is built, and the wildest fantasy projections of numbers of users come true, and the as built Skypath is inadequate for the demand. That would be the time for the billion-dollar separate bridge. In the context of a spending a billion dollars for a project of very uncertain utility, spending $100 million on something that more than likely would actually meet the demand seems a worthwhile way to tackle the issue.

  9. mosa 9

    " A cost blow out from $1.3b to $3.5b was too much to bear "

    That is one hell of a blowout !

  10. Grumpy 10

    How about instead of blowing all that money on a cycleway we put it towards slotting a few more turbines into Manapouri, building s transmission link to the Waitaki and upgrading the Cook Strait DC Link

    • Sacha 10.1

      Electrifying all public transport is a great idea.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        AT is accelerating the full replacement of the entire bus fleet with electrics. So that's already happening – and it doesn't take away from funding a cycleway.

        • Sacha 10.1.1.1

          Agree that people can walk and chew gum. Putting Tiwai's current waste to a strong purpose (including rail) is the sort of ambition we are lacking.

  11. bwaghorn 11

    Maybe a toll of 50c a bike should be levied on the bridge, bikes pay no rucs so it wouldnt hurt if the contributed a little .

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Contribute a lot I think, to be fair to all. Bikers want to upturn the system for every other person moving in the country, and pay little and not be registered or licensed, and I suppose no ACC.

      • KJT 11.1.1

        I cycle heaps. And while I'm cycling my car, which I pay road user charges and ACC for is sitting in the garage. Not to mention my rates and taxes which also go towards roads, footpaths and the like. It is bollucks that bikes don't "pay their way". They save road wear and space over that done by cars.

        Your ire should be more properly directed at trucks. Their RUC's pay only a fraction of their costs, subsidised by the rest of us.

        Strange silence on here, about the billions spent on roads for trucks, which will be unused in the long term, as more energy efficient means of hauling freight take over.

        • greywarshark 11.1.1.1

          KJT Most of us pay similar taxes. And are making moves to cut consumption, go greener.

          If a bike bowls me over it is a hit and run if they don't stay and recompense me in some way. If a cyclist gets bowled, they will get nasty injuries and need a lot of treatment and care which ACC will have to take on and so they should. You have a car, do you pay extra because you bike or less because you bike? You are more likely to be hurt riding a bike. And some cyclists go as fast as a car, and on the footpath as well.

          It isn't okay for cyclists to put on a righteous crown. As I say they are changing everything, and have brought machines onto footpaths once the prerogative of pedestrians. It was good to see kids being safe but now we are supplanted by scooters, motorised scooters, skateboards some motorised, bikes motorised and not, often with boys or men who blithely shoot along fast, also buggies with old people taking no notice of anyone. It's not all bikes but bikes for one, are going to have to pay from when the kids are over 10 say.

          And you may have noticed that here a lot of us are very keen on rail. We know about trucks. Bikies can do the lobbying for them to get treated fairly and stuck with higher bills. You have all the energy and want to buck-pass.

          • Ad 11.1.1.1.1

            Cyclists want the infrastructure that will stop them being hit by cars.

            They've opened more lanes for that in K'Road, Quay Street and Tamaki Drive this month.

            Full lane separation from all other modes is safest – even for the tiny and shrinking minority who still walk on our footpaths – our least used transport asset by far.

            Lane separation is what will bring the accidents and ACC claims down.

            • Sacha 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Our streets need to be re-tooled so there are three separated zones for cars, bikes and scooters, and peds. No more optimistic painted lines. Only solid barriers will protect cars from denting themselves on peds and cyclists.

              Would however require repurposing the current free storage of private vehicles on public land along those streets, so there will be wailing.

              • Ad

                Sometimes, as in Franklin Road with some of the wealthier and entitled citizens you can come across, it is a bitter war requiring great fortitude by the client.

                Others, as in Glen Eden and New Lynn to Avondale, it's a fight on the inside to gain the funds – but no opposition in the community of note.

                Yet others like G.I. to downtown, it's not too hard really other than await your turn in the RLTP.

          • Incognito 11.1.1.1.2

            When a bicycle and a pedestrian collide they’ll both get hurt but are likely to live.

            When a bicycle or a pedestrian get hit by a car or truck, only one party is likely to get hurt badly and quite possibly fatally, the other one only ‘suffers’ material damage.

    • A toll of 50c a bike levied on the bridge?

      What is the proposed ROI end date of that?

      Wouldn't a more realistic levy, to achieve any sort of ROI, be $100 a bike?

      Or, is the proposal of a stand alone bike bridge across the Waitemata costing taxpayers $785 million completely ‘bonkers’?

      • bwaghorn 11.2.1

        I've been reliably informed by commenters here that 1000s a day will use it,so no time at all.

        To gray a couple cents per person can go to acc etc.

        It's for the planet after all.

      • Ad 11.2.2

        They went through that exercise for Skypath and it was rejected by both Auckland Council and NZTA.

        No one wants tolls on any mode, and there are no more than a handful across the entire country.

        Cycling generates near-zero wear and tear on roads so they should pay zero RUC.

        Unlike cars which pay at one level, and diesel vehicles which pay at another, and heavy trucks which cost the most when they impact roads.

        So the right people driving the right modes are paying the right amount of their impact on society, roughly.

        • bwaghorn 11.2.2.1

          So no portion of my rucs go towards mew roading infrastructure?

        • “No one wants tolls on any mode,….”
          Ad

          We toll people who get on buses, when single payer would be far more efficient and conveniant.

          Instead of being toll collectors as well as drivers, bus drivers would be public servants free to concentrate on one job, getting people from A and B safely and efficiently as possible,

          • Incognito 11.2.2.2.1

            A fare is not a toll.

            • Jenny how to get there 11.2.2.2.1.1

              Tomato, tom-mate-o. Po-taat-tos, potatos

              A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

              As one wag once said, I am not anti-semantic some of my best friends are words.

              Nit picking over words hasn't adressed the main point of my comment that single payer, which avoids all the overheads associated with collecting tolls/fares/fees/charges, (whatever you want to call them), is way more efficient, and conveniant and equitable way of paying for public services.

              • Incognito

                There is no toll. Even if there were a toll, PT users would avoid it. We do not toll people who get on buses, we call that a fare. I’d call your comment a strawman and conflating. Have you always had so many troubles with the English language and even simple daily life-words?

                • Hi Incognito,

                  Here is a daily life word for you "toll-booth"

                  The toll booth is a lived daily reality for millions of Americans for things which we in this country use single payer for, like libraries and museums. They even have turnstyles on their hospitals. (we haven’t got that here yet, though this sort of privatisation of some public services is starting to creep in here).

                  Single-payer is a daily lived reality for New Zealanders, maybe not a daily life word.

                  Single-payer, why is this such a hard concept to grasp?

                  Is it an ideological problem?

                  Is it too socialistic?

                  [Deleted a spurious “1” from user name]

    • Incognito 11.3

      I’m waiting for a fee rebate on new e-bikes to become a policy of the Green Party.

      • bwaghorn 11.3.1

        Fuck I hope so I want to do the rail trails ,but it ain't going to happen till I've got some lovely battery assistance.

      • …..a fee rebate on new e-bikes

        That is an outtoundingly good idea.

        When a twenty year old warrantable Toyota in good condition can be bought for the same price, as an new entry level E-bike, it is a big disincentive for lower income working people who need to get around to choose an E-bike over a car.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    All these brilliant ideas on how to get the bikes across the harbour when the solution is right here…

    I envisage some multi bike arrangements, say a dozen or so cyclists at a time, peddling their way over the water.

    Happy as, and PFDs optional.

  13. Herodotus 13

    Where is the analysis for how many people would use this on a daily/weekly/monthly even annual basis ?

    "If you applied a proper financial allowance for transport infrastructure that does not add to CO2 output I am pretty sure the project would shine." and "As an alternative the suggestion that we close two lanes of the bridge I think has merit. Lets do both." How will that aid those of us who live in Maunkau,Papakura, Drury fast developing areas. On what evidence do you make these comments on ?? or is it just blind support for a very unpopular government re-announcement of the $67m announcement/PROMISE for a skypath. If Twyford and Shaw can front up for a photo opportunity, they could have done the work to investigate if this was possible, the same that should have supported this announcement. but there hasn't been any.

    Public transport is extremely limited out in the forgotten parts of Auckland (try commuting for a sports practice, Saturday games, even work without a car) but don't worry we will look after areas where the Chardonnay socialists live.To many out there Auckland is not JUST isolated to a few rich self entitled areas.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/364754/skypath-across-auckland-harbour-bridge-to-get-67m-in-funding

    • Ad 13.1

      How they came up with the entire cycling programme for Auckland is outlined here, where GreaterAuckland bemoans how slow the implementation has been.

      https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2020/08/03/3-years-on-wheres-aucklands-cycling-revolution/

      A cycleway from the North Shore will not help you in Papakura, anymore than you would expect a brand new cycleway in South Auckland to affect gridlock in the CBD, so here's one under completion now in the south:

      https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/project-watch-the-southern-cycleway/

      54% of Aucklanders would consider cycling in the right conditions, and 230,000 Aucklanders live within 30 minute bike ride to the city.

      Tokyo gets more rain than us, but 14% of them generally use the bike. And 73% of Auckland streets have a slope less than 3% – and even less than that in South Auckland.

      31% of Aucklanders ride bikes at least monthly. Back in the 1970s, 20% of intermediate students took the bike to school, and now it's down to 3.9%. What changed is anxiety and safety.

      60% would cycle with better cycling infrastructure, with good reason because cyclists are involved in 10 times as many serious crashes as motorists.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        Those 230,000 who live close proximately to the CBD are well served relatively to most in regard to public transport. And governments (centrally and locally) are pushing the population further away from work, sports, medical care etc e.g. Silverdale, Drury, Pukekohe. And in sports, local clubs are being consolidated (rugby clubs in Auckland number wise have greatly diminished) and Auckland council are pushing for many sports clubs to centralised e.g. Papatoetoe, Pakuranga so that participates are living further away from their local clubs and the dependancy of cars to attend practices, games. You cannot expect primary/intermediate children to bike 5-8 kms to practice after school and then home ? What may work on a council whiteboard, or our good intentions filling out a survey is not the same as we face in real life and the solutions.

        Re use of bikes for school children – We have lunches provided due to financial hardships – If they cannot afford to cloth, feed how on earth is the cost of bikes part of the budget ?? So it is not only anxiety and safety as barriers.

        And FYI I am a little closer to town than Papakura 🤫

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          I would agree that those in the outer suburbs of Auckland are not as well served as the 230,000 in the ring about 10kms from the CBD.

          Plenty more would cycle to and from school if it were safer. AT does surveys on resistance to cycling, and safety both for the children and from the parents is the primary driver.

          Which is what they need dedicated cycleways for. And they are being built all around Auckland. Even in the south.

      • georgecom 13.1.2

        thanks. that suggests to me the money is best spent on suburban cycle lanes linking things locally. not an $800 million bridge over the harbour. a harbour crossing should come after those local networks are fully built. even more so, the money spent on a bridge over the harbour, if it was reallocated to suburbs, could it result in better quality cycle ways? for example, areas with wide footpaths being reconstructed for cycle paths physically separated from cars. narrowing roads but leaving wide under utilised footpaths smacks of a cheap ass solution, the budget version. use the footpaths better to get bokes actually off the road. if that costs more money to do it properly then tap into the $800 million cross harbour bridge.

  14. DukeEll 14

    Why not subsidise cyclists foc on all buses and ferries and trains in auckland. Encourage greater use between the non car sectors. Wouldn’t cost more than 70 mill a year and would encourage far greater take up of cycling and public transport.

    if a public civil works is announced, I normally double the price. So minimum 10.5 years for the same price, and up to 21 years. That’s value right there

    • Ad 14.1

      Cyclists get on trains already at no extra cost.

      Cyclists also already get on ferries just fine.

      And at the main North Shore busways where are cycle lockups with surveillance.

      So, silly idea trying to subsidise something that's free already.

      • DukeEll 14.1.1

        Sorry, it’s free to ride public transport if you cycled to the public transport? Or it’s free to ride a bike to public transport if you already own a bike?

        as usual, your obfuscation creates more questions than answers about your ability to understand a basic concept.

        • Ad 14.1.1.1

          "Why not subsidise cyclists foc on all buses and ferries and trains in auckland."

          Answer: because it is already free to do so. You pay the same to get onto a ferry or a train whether you have a bicycle or not.

          • DukeEll 14.1.1.1.1

            foc = free of charge.

            you should know that one ya cheap prick

            • Ad 14.1.1.1.1.1

              All old people over 65 get on for free anyway, so they get to come on with their bikes free already.

              Children and students already get a major discount already, so they come on with their bike access discounted already.

              Maybe there's a case for more discounted public travel for beneficiaries, so maybe there's scope for subsidising beneficiaries with bikes.

              But people who are working and of working age should pay the fare.

              I'm happy to pay my taxes for the explicit and implicit subsidies that they all get, but they shouldn't get on with a free ticket just because they are carrying a bike.

              • DukeEll

                But $785m minimum boondoggle is a great idea.

                marginal cost pricing? Cross subsidised utilisation? Entrenching acceptance of existing infrastructure to lessen the impact of new construction on our environment?

                way to go hombre, you’re as entitled as the no cyclists on roads bunch if you only want one option

                • Ad

                  Probably 2 people per train bring a bike on the western line.

                  Auckland's bicycling count comes from 26 permanent counters across the main routes. AT reports them to Council every quarter.

                  You get a really good sense of the latent demand from measures taken during Level 4 lockdown when there were very few cars on the road.

                  https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/the-big-backyard-bike-count-report-local-revolutions-in-lockdown/

                  In Auckland with decreased risk from cars in levels 4 and 3, 15.8% traveled by bike.

                  Put the roads back into the unsafe situation they are in, and cycling plummets again. They will stay unsafe until more separated cycleways are built. You can see the proportion of expenditure here:

                  https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2020/10/06/64669/

                  And you can certainly see the difference that the key moves around Don MkKinnon Drive have made to the Sh16 count, here:

                  https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2019/08/15/what-winter-cycling-slump/

                  For each new cycling lane built, cycling shoots up.

                  30 minutes into town from Te Atatu by bike, 50 by bus or 45 by car.

                  By end of this year it will be town from New Lynn 40 minutes by bike, 40 by train, 50 by bus, 50 by car. Only the bike is free.

                  By 2022 it will be 30 minutes from Glen Innes into town by bike, 20 by train, 50 by car. Only one will be free.

                  Once the bridge is built, Takapuna to town will be 30 minutes by bike, 20 by bus, 40 by car.

                  These choices are good things to pay taxes for.

                  • DukeEll

                    Utilising existing infrastructure in a better manner. I agree.

                    building a vanity bridge… I don’t. Not when ferry, bus and train patronage is low per capita and could very easily be encouraged to be higher “by carrying a bike” for a free ride. Let’s encourage better behaviour with what we have

                    https://www.greenmatters.com/p/rome-metro-stations-plastic-bottles-recycling

                    not build a vanity project

                    • Ad

                      By that 'vanity', all Auckland's single mode bridges are vanities. That definition of course would make every bridge in Auckland's motorway network a vanity project. Each one of them cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

                      NZTA agrees with this cruel vanity, which is why they are ensuring that there are separate bridges being built multiple times right across their SH1, SH16, and SH20 networks, from the vanity of SH20 Mangere Bridge, to the vanity of Massey SH16 bridges, to the big one they've just installed two months ago near Karaka, bridge upon vanity bridge, keeping cyclists safe and fast across their network as far as the eye can see.

                      And for the demonstrable cycling volume that is pent up as we've seen in SH16's cycleway, that same definition of vanity applies to the North Shore now for this generation …. indeed as their vanity demanded when they built that Auckland Harbour Bridge just for cars alone nearly 7 decades ago.

                    • DukeEll []

                      So continue the vanity and waste because that’s how it is and always has been?

                      cool man.

                    • Ad

                      Precisely the opposite. Generate more bridges, enabling more modes, and more choices to citizens. The era of the car's monopolisation of every corridor will be stopped.

                    • DukeEll []

                      All those car ferries and car buses and car trains. Poor cyclists feeling Monopolised by the lack of options to cross a body of water…..

                  • Molly

                    I sincerely think the name of the blog is a misnomer. Inner Auckland Mostly would be more reflective.

                    I think the quality of their posts are good, but they are dominated by the perspective and demographics of the authors. Greater Auckland does not reflect the demographics and lived experiences of a large number (perhaps majority) of Aucklanders.

                    It would be good if that was recognised AND then considered when equity in services and projects throughout the region were pursued.

                    As Ad mentioned above, the North shore has had a wealth of transport investment in recent years… surely they can wait until other areas reach that point before they get more.

  15. A new road bridge with a cycle lane across the Rangitata would be nice or the Ashburton river, means those keen cyclists could bike up to the Lakes and Snowfields. Would save being cut off from the rest of the Mainland which has happened twice in 12 months. On second thoughts no bike lane as we like to keep our special camping and fishing spots secret so we will just have to harden up and miss out as usual. Better to have the upgrade of the rail bridge across the Temuka River which is a wooden trestle bridge.

    • Ad 16.1

      DukeEII will instead declaim to the hundreds rushing safely by in their purposive lycra that they hand in plastic bottles at the train station expecting something for free. I say good luck to you sir, good luck.

      • DukeEll 16.1.1

        Why stop at auckland harbour for your personal bridging pleasure?

        Stuart island is only acceding by boat and plane. That needs an expensive bridge just for you.

        waiheke? While you’re at it please.

        i didn’t realise cyclists were too precious to share the existing methods.

        • Incognito 16.1.1.1

          Cook Strait already has PT, of sorts.

          • DukeEll 16.1.1.1.1

            By Ad’s reasoning then the only solution is a cycle bridge with a narrow path for pedestrians and other lower forms of life

            • Incognito 16.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s utter bollocks and a deliberate misinterpretation of Ad’s reasoning here on TS; you’re spreading disinformation about a TS Author. Please don’t do this again and please stick to decent but robust arguments that don’t attack and undermine the person, thanks.

              • Sacha

                Reckon e must be talking about the card game..

                Why stop at auckland harbour for your personal bridging pleasure?

                Stuart island is only acceding by boat and plane. That needs an expensive bridge just for you.

              • DukeEll

                It’s a deliberate misinterpretation to satirise Ad’s devotion to a cycle bridge, over all other methods of using public transport in conjunction with cycling that I have proposed.

                I don’t cry to my fellow humans against boondoggles to defend my hypothesis or the satirical inflation of the support against them.

                [Ad is supporting it, which doesn’t mean he’s “devoted” to it. By your admission, your insults (i.e. “ya cheap prick”) and misinterpretations of Ad’s comments are deliberate and continuing, even in this latest comment of yours. You don’t get to ‘win’ an argument this way here. Pull your head in and lift your game or buzz off – Incognito]

                • Incognito

                  See my Moderation note @ 7:35 pm.

                  • DukeEll

                    Interesting.

                    Ads comments are supportive of ads position and belief. What you consider consistent could also be read as singularly dogmatic.

                    mine could too.

                    therefore some humour wouldn’t be wasted.

    • Molly 16.3

      This cycle path has taken years.

      It essentially connects residential areas to other residential areas alongside the motorway. It is already well used.

      It will be interesting to see how it is used, I suspect it will be mainly recreational walkers and cyclists.

      If so, then as an alternative to getting people out of private vehicles for work, school and required trips it will be a poor transition project.

      It needs to be linked to other routes to be effective in that way.

      Poor public transport services getting improved will be an investment inclimate change mitigation. Providing a new recreational community asset, not so much.

      • Sacha 16.3.1

        I agree the real value is in the shorter local routes than connect up neighbourhoods. However NZTA builds the longer roading spines and cycling gets tacked on to those projects – shows up how backwards AT has been that the rest is still missing.

  16. RedBaronCV 17

    Public money needs to be spent effectively and I for one would like to see a great deal more analysis for cycle spending – otherwise it is just an amalgam of pious hopes(increased usage) allied to expensive vanity projects.

    I also have real issues about:

    the extent to which this is being driven by a very limited demographic by age and sex. males 20-45 seem to be who demanding and getting this. I struggle to see any demands by a similar demographic group of women getting anything so easily from the public purse in either the short term or the long term. Are the decision makers operating from inherent bias or in their own bubble? The money needs to benefit all users. I really don't see much in the way of hard justification from the bike crowd.

    Cycling if it had just been invented is unlikely to be seen as the solution to transport woes and OSH would have been appalled by it being practised on roads.

    We would simply never have built most of the major arterial routes and the harbour bridge "ahem" without cars needing them. That would have been seen as major overkill. So is cycling advocacy just a selfish grab at this network which was never designed for low speed usage?

    So the next point is – do we try to make the "old historical road network " more user friendly for lower speed traffic. Here in Wellington there are a good number of the old roads and lane ways to and from places that exist still, would take lower speed traffic, may need some linkages and would leave major arterial routes for buses, heavy vehicles and rationed private vehicles.

    There is a reason cars supplanted bikes originally – people liked them so much more.

    I think the challenge for the cycling lobby is to generate cost effective ideas around their pathways not to simply grab at expensive highly engineered infrastructure that is overkill for actual bike riding.

    • Incognito 17.1

      Do you think that spending public money on addiction services is spent effectively?

      Do you think that spending public money on sports and leisure centres (incl. swimming pools and sports fields) is spent effectively?

      Do you think that spending public money on parks and (coastal) walkways is spent effectively?

      • RedBaronCV 17.1.1

        Umm "whataboutism?" Most of those for starters cover much wider demographics. And some probably not – but that is not an excuse for not running cost benefit on new spending.and my point about blokes looking after blokes still stands which doubtless includes some of the lesser quality older spending.

        But hey if it's such a good spend I'd expect to see instant response with the figures.

        • Incognito 17.1.1.1

          No, you’re missing the point. Do these spendings have benefits, do they have positive impact? What is the demographic of CC? How do we wean people off their fossil fuel and car addiction?

          So far, the ‘debate’ has been so narrow and focussed on single-issue pet projects/topics. It needs to be seen in and as a much bigger picture. And then there is the neo-liberal amateur armchair economists who demand a business case and ROI analysis. Some smart Alec even suggested tolls on the bridge, a RUC, for cyclists, FFS. Maybe DOC should manage this and charge concession fees.

          • RedBaronCV 17.1.1.1.1

            No I don't believe that I "missed the point". The discussion was cycleways then suddenly all these other public spends appeared as a distraction and they need to be justified? Maybe they have benefits maybe they don't and yes I am aware that there are climate issues and you will note that I mentioned car usage rationing.

            But the amounts being committed to the cycling spend are huge for a limited demographic- the sort of money that builds large hospitals- so would it not be greener to catch the bus? Or are we looking at blokes who are too posh to catch a bus and are raiding the public purse for themselves in a way that I would struggle too see ever being available to a group of women whatever their needs either transport or otherwise?

            • Molly 17.1.1.1.1.1

              +1

            • Incognito 17.1.1.1.1.2

              Only reductionist simpletons criticise a cycleway or bridge in isolation.

              It is part of an infrastructure network that currently has gaps and bridges to literally nowhere.

              It is also part of the overall transport system where priorities have to be set and choices to be made. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean either-or scenarios and decisions but preferable both-and ones (thinking of Dennis).

              It is about sharing public space and infrastructure with different users and giving them safe and viable options (HT to JPWood). This initiative is also part of an attempt to shift the public mind-set away from mindless use of fossil fuels and cars. Walking & cycling is good for everyone, young & old, male & female even if it is for leisure mostly, initially; cycle use in the Netherlands is a balanced mix too.

              Public opinion is changing rapidly on CC and it will change on walking & cycling too. But this won’t happen by itself and somebody has to take the lead, e.g. Government, and build a groundswell.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/444498/big-shift-in-public-opinion-over-climate-urgency-from-govt-survey

              Clearly, we’re not confined to a “limited demographic”, that’s just small-minded thinking. This is not about “blokes [in lycra] who are too posh to catch a bus” and who are “raiding the public purse” for their own vanity project, that’s just disingenuous prejudice and sexist spin.

              From your comments so far, and the second paragraph in particular, I fail to see that you grasp these points and I’m trying to pry open your eyes 😉

              • RedBaronCV

                Cycling is used by about 13000 out of 300,000 in Christchurch, 2000 out of 120,000 in Wellington and I can't see Auckland as being any better. If it was I'm sure it would be shouted from the rooftops in every blog. Even if these numbers trebled they are still small compared to walking and using a bus. The spend per head is over $100k in Wellington. The bridge in Auckland will only serve people within about a 10k radius on either end.

                Using health benefits is a distraction – digging the garden and running for the bus is a cost free exercise for other taxpayers and ratepayers. Why should they subsidise this as exercise? And despite linking to flat countries such as the Netherlands the demographic actually on the roads here is males of a certain age.

                Yes I know that there is climate change coming.The link covers everyone's concerns not a justification for cycling itself. It's not cheap so we need really high quality public spending to cope with this. Wishful thinking and pious hopes about the number of people who will end up cycling is not the way to cope with this. Sure put a some money into it but not the industrial quantities that are being proposed. My transport preference would actually be veering towards buses only for limited periods of time on the major arterial bus routes. And spending this much on cycling cuts off other more viable options to use this money on other proposals that cover wider demographics.

                Lastly please cut the personal insults. As I have said before abusing is losing and I see no real hard refuting of the points I have made except some general feel good statements about cycling. I'd expect a cycling case to be more robust than that.

                And I see nothing wrong with having a different opinion on how to spend money greening transport – rather than throwing all these amounts at cycling.

                • Incognito

                  I have no idea what these figures mean and where they come from. Are they the number of inhabitants in each city?

                  Yup, cycling numbers are relatively small and some seem to want to keep it that way, for some reason. No matter what. Must be an ideological issue.

                  The bridge in Auckland will only serve people within about a 10k radius on either end.

                  How do you work that? What do you mean by “serve”? How many people are you talking about? In any case, you won’t have the numbers because you don’t want this to succeed. Others won’t have the numbers because they don’t yet exist. Moreover, the premise is a narrow view of the whole concept and how it connects to the wider network and efforts to get people moving and out of their cars.

                  https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/maps-rides/

                  You still view this as a single isolated decision and you’re taking a hard-line economical and dogmatic utilitarian ruler over it that will doom it from the outset.

                  Using health benefits is a distraction – digging the garden and running for the bus is a cost free exercise for other taxpayers and ratepayers. Why should they subsidise this as exercise?

                  Disingenuous argument. Health benefits are important benefits nonetheless, not sole drivers. Your reductionist bias is shining through again. PT is subsidised. Public swimming pools are subsidised. Sports fields are subsidised. Do you want to stop ratepayers’ and taxpayers’ subsidies and leave it to ‘the market’?

                  And despite linking to flat countries such as the Netherlands the demographic actually on the roads here is males of a certain age.

                  Missing the point again, the Netherlands is an example of how things can be different, not the same, but different here in NZ too. You’re working hard to keep your preferred demographic of “males of a certain age”. Why is that, if I may ask?

                  The bridge is for both cycling and walking. Buses are a good option for those who don’t want or can’t cycle but they don’t cater for the leisure segment. Using PT for commuting requires a change of attitudes and behaviours (habits) and so does walking & cycling across a bridge, but they are apples and oranges. AFAIK, in the Netherlands they don’t have these kinds of inane either-or discussions when it comes to town or traffic planning. This is the kind of mind-shift I was talking about.

                  Lastly please cut the personal insults. As I have said before abusing is losing and I see no real hard refuting of the points I have made except some general feel good statements about cycling. I'd expect a cycling case to be more robust than that.

                  I call it as I see it, a spade is a spade. It may be confronting for you but I wasn’t trying to refute the few points you made, I was trying to make you see a bigger overall picture, expanding it. You obviously are not ready or not willing at this time, so I won’t waste any more effort on you. To fob off this thread as “feel good statements” just underscores that you continue to miss the wider points.

                  And I see nothing wrong with having a different opinion on how to spend money greening transport – rather than throwing all these amounts at cycling.

                  Here I agree with you 100%. It is fine and expected to have different opinions on this matter. As I tried to convey, it is not just about greening transport but more about changing minds. A multi-pronged approach is required and will be most effective, IMO.

                  Let’s build that bridge; a small bridge for Auckland but a big step for Aotearoa-New Zealand.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    The points I have made based on figures are

                    1. Cycling is used by only a very small part of the existing populations of the major cities. Even if this trebles it is still small.

                    2. There may be incidental health benefits as there are with a lot of activities. These benefits need to be measured against other recreational health benefits paid for from the public purse – not used to justify expensive projects. It's far from clear whether you support this bridge as a leisure activity or as a means of commuting.

                    3. The bridge is clearly not going to be used regularly by the inhabitants of Christchurch, Wellington or any other town. The main users are going to be people who live within cycle distance – that would be 10k-25k say. So that limits the pool of potential users out of the whole NZ population even further. Road observations to date support the demographic I have observed. Prove me wrong if you disagree.

                    4. If this is part of a wider network then we are looking at even bigger costs for the lot? and somehow people will think this is wonderful and use it because it is so expensive? Somehow I think winning hearts and minds (or changing attitudes) is not going to be helped by massively expensive projects with few users limited to a geographically small distinct area. A more subtle expansion with better demonstrated benefits might be the way to go.

                    5. "reductionist simpleton" "small minded thinking" and "prying your eyes open" are personal comments not a push back or a factual support of your position on the bridge. But I always console myself with the thought that those who cannot support a position with clear facts and measurements (it will change people's attitudes is an opinion not a fact) tend to play the man and not the ball

                    Like you though I am over this. I can't see any factual basis for this being good spending now and vague future hopes don't cut it with me.

                    • Sacha

                      There is no time to "demonstrate benefits" project by project, as seen through the trials of Low traffic Neighbourhoods so far. We need a big ongoing national campaign to shift public understanding about transport options and climate action. And get on with building supporting infrastructure for that, at scale and right away.

                      If your cycling numbers come from Stats NZ surveys they will only be measuring commuters, not the other 95% of bike users – most of them young who would benefit from safe cycling infrastructure in their neighbourhood.

                      Personally I would rather the extra money be spent on those local networks but that's not what is on the table yet here. NZTA only controls motorway corridors.

                      Tourism infrastructure gets its own favourable treatment and funding priority.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      Umm so we should just spend huge amounts of money without demonstrating benefits? Cyclists are courting a huge backlash by wanting only their favoured form of transport and seeing it as the transport golden bullet. Without checking out other options and their benefits how does anybody know this? And since most of the proposals are on major commuter routes then sure it is cycling commuters we should measure not recreational because that can take place off road in the local park at no extra cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.

                      Yes climate change is here it's real and we need to do plenty about it but there is a huge range of measures, enshrining decent work from home rules, soft ad campaigns to cut the number of trips to the grocery store , buses, limiting cars on major arterial routes at certain peak times (just no cars not a charging regime) and on and on. Any money discussion needs to use a lot of alternatives.

                      Frankly I've been very disappointed in the response from the cycling advocates – there has been very little fact based advocacy – just "everybody is going to need to ride a cycle". They may prefer to drive a golf cart of course. At this point this advocacy seems to be hardening attitudes against cyclists.

                    • Incognito []

                      Bridge is intended for walking & cycling.

                    • Incognito
                      1. No source links given. Figures pulled out of fluffy orifice, obviously.
                      2. Binary strawman. Bridge supports leisure, commuting, tourism, and bragging rights and secures walking & cycling if a tunnel eventuates.
                      3. No source links given for “road observations”, but supported by personal observations. More stuff made from fluff. Shifts onus on somebody else. Cannot agree to disagree but has to settle a score.
                      4. Ignorant and doubtful of wider network that already exists. Ignores large investments already made. Network covers large area of the country, not “a geographically small distinct area”.
                      5. Projecting.

                      I can't see any factual basis for this being good spending now and vague future hopes don't cut it with me.

                      Wilfully blind and deaf. Demands high burden of proof and leans towards absolutism in demands of certainties that nobody can realistically provide. Argues from a biased position with a clear agenda to obstruct bridge.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      I have actually linked the figures in other comments. I have seen little linkage or even quoted numbers in return. Do they exist?

                      The post is about the bridge No 3. It's expensive and caters to people in a limited area.

                      Wedded to a pet project and blind to the concerns of the other members of the community that are expected to fund it. Green washing the project. Overspending on vanity projects when the money could be put into the bus public transport network instead.

                      Maybe my spend is greener than yours?

  17. These are probably luxury homes and the owners are probably going to get good prices for them from the government.

    But demolishing houses in a housing crisis for, – wait for it – a cycling bridge?

    It just seems wrong.

    Just another thing to add to everything else wrong with this proposal

    These are probably heritage houses, howabout this; if the government have already aquired them, instead of demolishing we turn some of them into respite houses or a women's refuge. And make one lane on the Harbour Bridge for bikes. Now that would be kindness.

    Crown to buy and demolish harbour front homes worth $23m to build Auckland's new cycling bridge

    Caroline Williams 15:38, Jun 11 2021

    Last week, transport minister Michael Wood confirmed new plans for anew stand-alone bridge for cyclistsand pedestrians to cross the harbour, with construction expected to take five years, starting mid-2022

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300329550/crown-to-buy-and-demolish-harbourfront-homes-worth-23m-to-build-aucklands-new-cycling-bridge.

    • Graeme 18.1

      The various highway administration bodies have been trying to get their mitts on those properties since the AHB was first proposed. Skypath is just the current 'opportunity for purchase'

    • Incognito 18.2

      So much ignorance on display here again; it appears you didn’t read your own link!? I’m getting sick of your comments and I feel like throwing up every time you concern-troll here, which is (too) often.

      Let’s unpack your ignorant comment, if that’s even possible.

      These are probably luxury homes and the owners are probably going to get good prices for them from the government.

      But the homes – worth an average of $3.3m each – still have to go.

      But demolishing houses in a housing crisis for, – wait for it – a cycling bridge?

      Seven harbourfront homes worth an estimated $23.4m are to be bought and demolished by the Government to make way for Auckland’s new $785m cycling and walking bridge.

      Nice of you though to draw a connection to the housing crisis, which is a strawman, obviously.

      It just seems wrong.

      Just another thing to add to everything else wrong with this proposal

      No, not everything else is wrong with this proposal. You’re blinded by your bias.

      … if the government have already aquired [sic] them, instead of demolishing we turn some of them into respite houses or a women's refuge.

      The Public Works Act 1981 gives the Crown power to acquire land needed for road works.

      Why not use them to house Somali orphans instead? Why not grab everything that you consider to be wrong in the world and pit it against one measly little cycling & walking bridge?

      She said the sale of her villa to Waka Kotahi was finalised in October last year.

      Kitchenman has until January before she needs to move out, but is yet to find a house to meet her needs.

      I’m sure they’ll find a nice motel somewhere to house the homeless-to-be while they’re on the waiting list for suitable housing. Alternatively, they can sleep in their car or under a bridge; $3.3 million buys you nothing in NZ, as we all know.

      There’s plenty more useful and informative stuff in the link unlike your misleading cherry-picked biased concern trolling.

      • Hi Incognito,

        I hope you don't mind if I unpick your unpacking,

        "So much ignorance on dispaly here again"

        Incognito

        Whether I am ignorant, or not, is a subjective assessment.

        I feel that I am not as ignorant as you claim;

        Here are some facts I know

        I know that wherever it has been trialed, free public transport has been a runaway success in lifting public transport use.

        I know that public transport has the ability to move tens of thousands of commuters over the Auckland Harbour Bridge every day.

        I know that 38% of commuters already use public transport to cross the Bridge.

        I know that 21,000 cars per lane (approx.) cross the Bridge every working day.

        I know that the best estimate of bike usage over the proposed bridge is measured in thousands, not tens of thousands.

        I know that a bike lane on the carriage way, by itself, will not be an adequate replacement for 21,000 drivers and their passengers displaced by it.

        I know the bike lane and bike bridge will not be useable in all weathers. On those days commuting cyclists will still need to get to work adding to the congestion.

        I know the Skypath is not a goer.

        I know concrete is a major greenhouse gas emitter.

        I know the proposed bike bridge has been costed at $785 million

        I know the bike bridge, (unlike a bike lane), will leave a full 8 lanes of the Harbour Bridge to the full throttled full uninteruppted use of cars**.

        I know that even biking enthusiasts have expressed their opposition to this bridge.***

        These are the facts I know.

        (Feel free to challenge any one of them)

        "I’m getting sick of your comments and I feel like throwing up every time you concern-troll here, which is (too) often."

        Incognito.

        As far as I am aware it is not against the site rules to make (too) many comments on a post.

        Micky S. The author of this post has challenged us to change his mind.

        "Hit me with your thoughts and change my view"
        MICKYSAVAGE

        I have been 'hitting' Micky with my thoughts to change his view, just as he wanted us to.

        I am truly sorry that you "feel like throwing up.every time" I make a comment on this issue.

        I hope my comments are not making making others feel ill as well*

        *(I accept that it is possible that others, like you, slowly dawning to the realisation that they may have made a terrible mistake are also feeling ill..For that I apologise. I hope you all feel better soon. Withdrawing your support for this three quarter $billion polluting and wasteful bike bridge might make you feel better.)
        .

        "But the homes – worth an average of $3.3m each – still have to go"
        Incognito

        Why?

        Why do these homes have to go?

        Just because you say they have to?

        These houses won't 'have to go' if we have a bike lane on the motorway instead of a bike bridge beside it.

        These are herititage homes they are part of the Auckland scene, celebratedi in fine ink prints you can buy in every art shop in the city.. Though I have never aspired to live in one, I often admire them every time I cross the bridge, demolishing them would be an act of cultural vandalism. I also notice that you don't mention the destruction of all the pohutokawa and other mature trees that these houses have on their lawns. Viewing these old houses stuck out of time and the trees around them, quirkily perched between the Harbour Bridge and the cliff face, make me smile, making that hard slow drive across the bridge during rush hour just a little bit more pleasant. I am grateful to the original builders of the Auckland Harbour bridge that they left them there for us to admire and enjoy .

        And you want to trash all that, for what?

        For a piece of brutalist architecture which will do nothing to enhance the unique beauty of this crossing and its approaches?

        And all this so that cars can retain full use of all eight lanes of the motorway?

        "No, noteverything elseis wrong with this proposal."

        Incognito

        I am glad that you admit that there are at least some things wrong with this proposal

        "You’re blinded by your bias."
        Incognito

        We all have bias's

        I admit to being biased against climate change.

        I have a bias against a proposal that will continue to channel eight lanes of motorway traffic into the City.

        I have a bias against a proposal that leaves a choke point on the Northern Busway.

        "The Public Works Act 1981 gives the Crown power to acquire land needed for road works.

        Why not use them to house Somali orphans instead?"

        Incognito

        I know you are being facetious in making light of the suffering of Somali orphans.

        But why not?

        Why, if the government has already taken possesion of these houses, why couldn't they be used as a refugee transition and resettlement centre for refugees?

        Nothing would say that we welcome you to New Zealand more than being hosted in some of the most pretty and iconic scenic houses in the City.until they are permanently settled. It would certainly be a step up from the present Refugee Resettlement Centre in Mangere.

        In the meantime they could be used for MIQ facilities for rich people prepared to pay a premium.

        "Why not grab everything that you consider to be wrong in the world and pit it against one measly little cycling & walking bridge?"Incognito

        I do what I can where I can, climate change is one of the things I consider is wrong with the world.
        In my opinion the cycle bridge, by preserving car use on the bridge at full capacity, by its construction will make climate change worse.

        Also it is my opinion the officially named Northern Pathway which is to be built alongside the existing Harbour Bridge could hardly be described as, 'one measly little cycling and walkiing bridge'. This is a mega construction project that will take 5 years to complete. One year longer than it took to construct the original Auckland Harbour Bridge.

        You wouldn't describe the Auckland Harbour Bridge, which took four years to build and is New Zealand's largest bridge, one measly little road bridge. Would you?

        Engineering New Zealand

        Originally constructed between 1955 and 1959, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is New Zealands largest bridge and the one with the largest span.

        https://www.engineeringnz.org/programmes/heritage/heritage-records/auckland-harbour-bridge/#

        The cycle bridge will share the same 'largest span' of any bridge in New Zealand with the Auckland Harbour Bridge, this can hardly be described as measly. By the same token is the S785 million price tag for this mega cycle bridge measly?.

        "I’m sure they’ll find a nice motel somewhere to house the homeless-to-be while they’re on the waiting list for suitable housing. Alternatively, they can sleep in their car or under a bridge; $3.3 million buys you nothing in NZ, as we all know."

        Incognito

        Makeing light of the plight of the homeless just as you have made light of the plight of orphans in war torn Somalia to make a point?

        **(To keep an eight lane motorway over the Habour Bridge in my opinion is the true purpose of the bike bridge, instead of the bike lane, The continued favouring of motorways over public transport and/or cycling is the single biggest reason, why the bike bridge should be opposed, that is if we are concerned about climate change, which I am). Incognito how about this, instead of telling us how sick my comments make you feel, why don't you tell us why you think the bike bridge is such a good idea.

    • Ad 18.3

      Very small number compared to any motorway since 1959.

      The owners have been given a multi-million-dollar windfall to get on with their lives beyond the shadow of the bridge.

  18. Sacha 19

    Trends. https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2021/06/02/the-rise-of-the-urban-light-truck-what-to-do-about-it/

    A kind of rapid ‘massification’ of our passenger vehicle fleet is occurring. Eight out of 10 new passenger vehicles are now light trucks (SUVs or double cab utes). Ten years ago none of the best-selling vehicles were in this category.

    • Ad 19.1

      Sure going to be fun upgrading the fleet of all our builders and tradespeople.

    • greywarshark 19.2

      Interesting info in Sacha's link and one is while SUV type vehicle drivers think they are safer, they have stats of killing or injuring twice as high as a car, Toyota Corolla.

      What data we have available to us in Aotearoa confirms the US experience that these vehicles are neither safer nor remotely greener. The shift to larger passenger vehicles has largely wiped out the gains in fuel efficiency we have made in Aotearoa in the last 20 years. Our number one seller since 2015, the Ford Ranger, produces nearly twice the CO2 emissions of the Toyota Corolla (formerly number one).

      Research also shows that New Zealand drivers generally have a poor understanding of the risks of SUVs, with a tendency to employ “naïve physics heuristics” that position ‘bigger [a]s better’ and safe. Yet the mass and height of light trucks, as well as their square accessorised front ends, present increased safety risks to pedestrians and other vehicle users, as well as unique safety risks to light truck drivers themselves.

      What do about it?

      We propose four strategies to reduce the use of light trucks as urban passenger vehicles. ….

      Good ideas.

      • Sacha 19.3.1

        Could buy two e-bikes with that.

      • Andre 19.3.2

        Well, the Road User Charge for EVs issue needs to get sorted out before I spring for an EV. As it stands right now, just the RUC for an EV will cost more next year than the petrol for a small hybrid on a per km basis. Let alone paying for the electricity to charge the EV.

        But assuming the RUC issue gets resolved with EVs paying a reasonable per km cost, say 3 cents per km or so, then I'd be holding out to see whether the BYD EA1 actually gets released here. I don't for a second believe the ridiculous performance and range claims in the article, nevertheless BYD are a solid reputable company with solid reliable battery chops and a lot of experience building electric buses and trucks. Apparently the EA1 is expected to use LFP batteries – no cobalt or nickel, much lower fire risk, longer lifetime, more easily recycled … just not quite the ultimate high performance of other chemistries.

  19. An interesting letter in yesterday's Herald

    Bikes on bridge

    An interim solution for bikes.crossing the harbour bridge is to have a fleet of elecric people movers with capacity for say 10 passengers, and towing a trailer with hooks for 10 bikes.

    There could be pick up points at Pt. Erin Baths on the Auckland side, and stafford Rd on the North Shore side.

    To make it (partially) self funded passengers could tag on and tag off using the Hop card. This would be an inexpensive way to gauge the demand for this service. It would also be available during strong winds when cycling over the bridge would not be possible.

    Alan Warren, Taupo

    New Zealand Herald. Letters
    Monday June 14, 2021

    An eminently sensible suggestion, on how to gauge the need to spend $785 million on a specialist stand alone bridge.

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