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Public transport, to complement cycling?

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, June 17th, 2021 - 51 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, cycleway, public transport, Social issues, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

By Jenny How to get there

The other week the NZ Herald ran a large full page opinion piece by Simon Wilson calling for, a lane of the Harbour be turned into a bike-way. Complete with an artist’s impression of what it would look like.

Simon Wilson: It’s time to bike the Auckland Harbour Bridge – NZ Herald

Simon Wilson’s opinion piece was followed by a protest on the Bridge the following Sunday.

Even on a Sunday this caused major traffic “Chaos”. If the protest had been done during the working week. The Bridge would have been thrown into gridlock.

Short of building another harbour crossing, there is another way to get cyclists across the Bridge. Buses.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is an eight-lane motorway bridge over the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand…..

….About 170,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day (as of 2019), including more than 1,000 buses, which carry 38% of all people crossing during the morning peak.

Auckland Harbour Bridge – Wikipedia

Dividing 170,000 vehicles by eight lanes gives you 21,250 vehicles per lane.

Ignoring for a moment the 1,000 buses. Let’s be generous and say there is only one person per vehicle, ie 21,250 people.

Take one lane off the Harbour Bridge for a bike lane, 21,250 people still need to get across the bridge every day.

Let’s be generous again, and assume that, 4,000 of these commuters will switch to bicycles to cross the bridge, every day. (even in bad weather). That still leaves 17,250 extra cars to crowd into the remaining lanes.

How can it be done?

  • For argument’s sake, let’s assume that the bridge is already at full capacity.
  • 17,250 extra vehicles added to the remaining 7 lanes – grid lock.
  • Let’s bring the buses back into the equation.
  • Doubling the 1,000 buses a day, to 2,000 buses a day, will get 17,250 people across the bridge, with seats to spare.
  • Again assuming the bridge is already at full capacity.
  • An extra 1,000 buses added to the remaining 7 lanes – grid lock.

But how about this?; double the number of buses, and Instead of taking one, (or two lanes) for a bikeway, take one, (or two lanes) to extend the Northern Busway across the Harbour Bridge, and right into the city centre.

Many buses are already fitted with a cargo bay. To accommodate cyclists wanting to cross the harbour, buses with cargo bays for bikes and dedicated bike loading bus stops either side of the bridge. (Cyclists will be able to cross the Bridge while viewing the beauty of the harbour from the comfort of the bus, in all weathers, and without risking getting blown over the railing).

For convenience of use, and to sweeten the deal, and to get even more people out of their cars, make the Northern Busway fare free for its entire length.

(People love free stuff) Single payer, means people still pay through their rates and/or taxes, but the trade off for commuters is in the savings made in fuel and running costs, not to mention parking costs. Other external costs, pollution, climate change, traffic congestion, will also be less. A net gain for all of us.

38% of commuters already cross the Harbour Bridge during peak hour on the bus. Increase that to 50% (or more), will free up capacity on the remaining 6 lanes – grid lock avoided.

Much less vehicle traffic and congestion and air pollution in the inner city, will benefit cyclists and pedestrians, and the remaining drivers.

One more thing. Make those buses zero emission buses. We only have 33 Zero emission buses in Auckland now, however the council say they intend to make the whole bus fleet zero-emission within ‘a few years’.

INNER CITY AUCKLAND CITYLINK BUSES GO ELECTRIC

…..The e-buses will help reduce carbon emissions and enable Auckland to meet its climate change goals and ditch diesel and petrol public transport, [Mayor] Goff says.

Not only are the e-buses quieter, but they will also improve Auckland’s inner city air quality – especially in the Queen Street valley area, he says….

……On Sunday April 25, Lower Albert Street will re-open for North Shore buses. Some Central and West Auckland bus routes will also now use it to begin their journeys out of the city

Auckland Transport will now have 33 zero-emission buses deployed.

Inner city Auckland CityLink buses go electric | EV Talk (evsandbeyond.co.nz)

To recap:

Each lane of the Harbour Bridge takes 21,250 vehicles a day. If we take one lane away for a bikeway most of those 21,250 drivers displaced by the bike-way are not going to become cyclists. Instead they are going to be crowded back onto the remaining 7 lanes. Since the Bridge is at capacity during rush hour now, this can only result in longer travel times and more ol’ pollution. 

Far better taking one lane for a busway across the Harbour Bridge, and as an incentive to get people out of their cars, make it fare free, The Northern busway has been a runaway success. 38% of commuters already cross the bridge on the bus. The buses are a proven way of getting thousands of commuters to leave their car at home. However the Northern busway suffers a bottle neck at the Harbour Bridge and can never meet its full potential until it is brought right across the Bridge and into the City.

Ideally two lanes will be needed for a busway, but with the lane moving technology one lane would suffice. Southwards in the morning Northwards in the afternoon.

The return journey made on the uncrowded side of the motorway.

To incentivise the 21,000 motorists displaced by the missing lane, not to add to the remaining 7 lanes, the Northern Busway must be made fare free for its entire length.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is an eight lane motorway, constructed solely for motor vehicle use only.

Like most motorways the Auckland Harbour Bridge doesn’t lend itself to being retrofitted for bikes and pedestrian traffic, The traditional answer has been to construct separate cycleways to the side. And this is being done on the Southern and Western motorways. But the Harbour Bridge presents a unique problem

There was a plan to build a sky-path for cyclists and pedestrians under or beside the main carriageway. But it proved to be a hugely complicated and expensive engineering project.

Taking a lane for a bikeway is not practical. The engineering nightmare that was the sky-path has been ditched. The new plan is for a new and separate bike and pedestrian harbour bridge to be built beside the existing harbour bridge. The price tag for this bridge is $785 million and the completion date is 5 years.

A fare free busway with an option for bicycle stowage is a far cheaper solution and can be implemented immediately. All of the infrastructure is already there.

On a personal note.
I recently took an intercity bus trip to the East Coast. At Gisbourne the bus was boarded by a number of cyclists who stowed their bikes in the copious luggage compartment for the journey to Taupo. At Taupo they got off the bus, took their bikes out, and continued their journey by bike..

It occurs to me that every bus should have these luggage compartments, for stowing bikes prams etc.

The government are considering giving one lane possibly even two lanes over to a bikeway as a temporary measure, until the new bike bridge is completed.

Instead of a three month trial of a bikeway. How about a Three Month Trial of a Fare Free Northern Busway all the way into the City. Who knows, we might find out, we won’t need any new bridge or tunnel harbour crossings with multi $billion dollar price tags.

Free public transport: Synchs in with environmentalism, reducing poverty & inequality. Demanding all cities have free public transport would help the poorest amongst us, demand more growth for public transport and take some of the stress out of our groaning roading system that can’t cope as it is. Major way to directly combat climate change.

Fare-Free New Zealand

51 comments on “Public transport, to complement cycling? ”

  1. lprent 1

    Many buses are already fitted with a cargo bay. To accommodate cyclists wanting to cross the harbour, buses with cargo bays for bikes and dedicated bike loading bus stops either side of the bridge.

    I suspect that there are some pretty basic issues with that. As someone who has loaded a bike on buses, trains and cars – it is never a simple task even for simple light bikes like racing bikes. Currently the intercity buses have a cargo bay that can get used by cycles. It is designed for luggage. Even a single bike chews up the space.

    This is the advice given by Intercity about taking a bike.

    Yes, bikes are allowed as checked luggage. Here's what you need to know:

    • Bicycles must be collapsed down (both wheels removed from the frame) with handlebars turned sideways and the chain covered. They should not exceed total dimensions (length + width + height) of 158cm (62inches). Bicycles presented in this fashion will be accepted for travel and counted as one of your two Checked Luggage entitlements.
    • Please contact us in advance of travel so we can inform the driver. This may make it easier for him/her to leave space for your bike, although we cannot guarantee carriage on any specific travel date or service.
    • There are some services that can't carry bikes for space reasons. Please check the Oversize Luggage page for a full list.
    • In the interest of other travellers’ luggage and driver safety, all bicycles must have the pedals removed and the chain covered.
    • The charge for bicycles that are not collapsed down is $10.00 per bike, per individual bus connection. This is payable to the driver.

    Needless to say this isn't going to suit commuter traffic. It'd be a operations nightmare to handle even a couple of bikes in storage compartments on any single bus.

    Bikes can be festooned on the bus. Or more realistically have parking spaces in a bus.

    Unlike this guy, I'm 62 and I have electric bike that weighs something like 50-60kgs. It is also awkward with the mirrors to keep track of the murderous car drivers and the saddlebags that I usually have on it with computer gear. Trying to lift my bike up on to rack is simply impossible. I’d break something – probably me.

    At least 2/3rds of the cyclist commuters that I see on my commutes have e-bikes. They simply aren't light. I'd imagine that anyone doing commutes will have e-bikes in the next few years. There are far more of them being sold than EVs.

    As you can see, having secure bike parking on a bus chews up space. Those displayed examples are piddly sporting bikes compared to a modern commuter e-bike.

    Most of those 1000 buses per day happen only at rush hours. Now imagine having 50 bikes waiting for the next bus at commuter time and more arriving. Unlike humans just carrying a briefcase or pack, it takes far more time to load (and unload) bikes. Rather than 5 minutes to swipe a 50 people on board a bus, it'd take more like 30 minutes to put 50 bikes on buses and secure then so they don't injure other bikes or other people. That just adds an hour to the commute for no practical usage.

    Basically if there were 4000 or even 1000 cyclists on a bus commuting daily on a bus shuttle, then you'd expect to see the Northern Busway (already heading close to capacity) grind to a halt. I'd expect to see massive disruptions to the orderly operation of the buses for walk-on passengers. The bus stations have limited space for buses to stop, limited room for expansion, and no real way to fill up with people loading and unloading bikes on to buses.

    Ideally two lanes will be needed for a busway, but with the lane moving technology one lane would suffice. Southwards in the morning Northwards in the afternoon.

    The return journey made on the uncrowded side of the motorway.

    A switch single lane doesn't really cut it either. It would have worked 20+ years ago.

    But the last time when I was last commuting from the CBD area to the North Shore in 2010 the buses were invariably full in the main commuter periods. That is because there is a lot of work from Birkenhead to Albany done by people who live on the other side of the bridge.

    These days there is no uncrowded side of the bridge in rush hours. Just one that is slight less congested than the other.

    There isn't enough parking around the North Shore business areas to park a car. The chances of getting 'parked' going over the bridge in the 'opposite' direction is nearly the same as it is going the other way. The buses in both directions are usually full, and the rush hours now last about 2.5-3 hours morning and evening. So the buses do multiple return trips.

    I used to commute counter to the traffic in the 90s. But that died as a technique somewhere towards the end of the 00s. The traffic flows directions have been evening out ever since. Now I only work where I can bike or bus to in a reasonable length of time. So my premium for working over the bridge now includes 2 hours of commute each day – ie more than the median income in NZ.

    • weka 1.1

      Roughly how many bikes per trip? Other sectors use bike trailers behind buses. The first bus in this link takes 54 riders and their bikes. Obviously there are logistical and engineering issues (redesign for ebikes) as well as expectation of behaviour change, but they don’t seem insurmountable.

      https://www.bike-express.co.uk/Corporate_Events

    • Jenny How to get there 1.2

      First off. Thanks for putting this post up.

      Since I first penned it. I have rethought several aspects.

      After agriculture, transport is New Zealand's greatest source of Greenhouse emissions.

      We need to restrict the use of the private (ICE) motor vehicle as much as possible.

      I am not in favour of congestion charges to restrict private car use, as this form of impost always falls hardest on those least able to afford it.

      I don't think another harbour crossing that leaves 8 lanes for ICE vehicles to pour across the harbour is the best use of our resources. And will do little to nothing for greenhouse emissions related to transport.

      Yes, I think taking one or two lanes away from cars on the Bridge is a good idea.

      I realise that this will create a lot of hardship for commuters in the short to medium term until things resettle into the new reality.

      But the climate crisis is so extreme that this short term pain may well be worth it.

      (Even if it only acts to stop us being held in total contempt by following generations).

      Global warming may have already passed irreversible tipping point | Climate News | Al Jazeera

      P.S. Thanks Lprent for your thoughtful contribution.

      • gsays 1.2.1

        No reckons from me, it all sounds great.

        One bit of advice I received was to not call anything free. Someone pays, instead: complimentary, gratis, no charge etc

        • Jenny How to get there 1.2.1.1

          Yes I have seen the word 'complimentary' used before in relation to fare free bus services. By past Manukau City Mayor Barry Curtis, who had voiced support for a fare free bus service trial in Manukau City.
          Curtis said he thought that complimentary buses could be used as feeders for the then proposed Manukau train station.

          Just as you say, gsays, nothing is free. Someone pays.

          It is my opinion that public services are run more efficiently and cheaply through single payer than user pays.

    • Jenny How to get there 1.3

      lprent

      17 June 2021 at 7:24 am

      …..As someone who has loaded a bike on buses, trains and cars – it is never a simple task even for simple light bikes like racing bikes….

      I can fully believe your problems with getting bikes onto public transport, having witnessed it myself.
      Coincidently, yesterday I had to catch the train to Papakura from Pamure after driving my 86 year old father's car to his mechanic in Morrin Rd, to replace a faulty alternator. (Yes, he still drives).

      On the return journey, the train was pretty full, at Otahuhu a cyclist in full racing kit brought his racing bike onto our passenger carriage. His bike may have been litght weight but it still took up a lot of room. Without room to move past the seats, and seated passengers, he and his bike stood in the doorway partially obstructing both doors. The cyclist was approached by the guard. I was too far back to hear the full conversation between them, but it appeared affable. What I did hear was the cyclist agreeing to move his vehicle to another carriage.
      At the next stop he got off. I couldn't see where he went, but I presume that he reboarded the train at one of the low loading carriages that most of the commuter trains have for cyclists, where the floor level is set between the bogies level with with platforms and where the seats are set against the wall, and fold out of the way to make room for bikes, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams etc.

      (Cyclists on the trains in South Auckland are usually dressed in battered work clothes with a workaday bike, the bike and train are their way to commute to their factory job).

      Did I mention that yesterday it had been raining. (along with cars, a perennial enemy of cyclists).

      Let me say here, that I admire all the heroic cycle commuters and one day hope to join them.
      ,
      ,

  2. Noel 2

    Relative in Aussie got a job as a light rail guard. Cyclists bitching about insufficient racks was a daily occurance. Said to one cyclist moaner "you got on at X where do intend to get off" which by relatives calculation was 4kms. Made my day he said.

    • lprent 2.1

      by relatives calculation was 4kms

      Easier to ride – that is about 10 minutes max. Provided you can avoid hill, parked cars with their arbitrary door opening and cars driven so as to drive you into them.

      Getting a bike secured on a bus and then getting off is close to the same time.

  3. GreenBus 3

    What about some purpose built "bike buses"? Nothing but cyclists and there machines with easy loading access/ramps. Using existing lanes so no need to lose 1 or 2 and gridlock traffic. Like a ferry service. No passengers just riders and bikes.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    At least until a bike crossing is available, buses are a logical option. A pair of purpose built shuttle buses giving pedestrians and cyclists a free trip across the bridge, one in each direction, might go a fair way to supporting cycling and pedestrian options until the TA's glacial bureaucracy provides something better. Purpose built, a bus could accommodate about a dozen bikes, with up to twenty passengers (some standing). Other vehicles would be needed for wheelchairs & baby strollers – but the engineering is pretty light – something NZ is good at.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Looks great – though might be modified somewhat for speed and ease of loading/unloading.

        Ideally, it ought to handle recumbent bikes too – they have advantages over moderate to long distance, as well as Ebikes of one kind or another.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Yep. Definitely would need to be designed for the Auckland situation, and I’m assuming there wouldn’t be 50 bikes per trip in the immediate future so plenty of space to transport all the different things.

        • gsays 4.1.1.2

          While we are at it, space and design for mobility scooters/walkers.

          • Jenny How to get there 4.1.1.2.1

            gsays

            17 June 2021 at 10:35 am

            While we are at it, space and design for mobility scooters/walkers.

            I spoke to one of my friends who went on the bike protest with her bike and crossed the bridge. I asked her was there anyone on the protest on a mobility scooter. She said, "No. But good idea. Maybe next time"

  5. Ad 5

    “For convenience of use, and to sweeten the deal, and to get even more people out of their cars, make the Northern Busway fare free for its entire length.” Making public transport free just for North Shore citizens is the most inequitable proposal I have ever heard in transport.

    "At Gisbourne [sic] the bus was boarded by a number of cyclists who stowed their bikes in the copious luggage compartment for the journey to Taupo. At Taupo they got off the bus, took their bikes out, and continued their journey by bike." Two random holidaymakers blissing out near Taupo, versus a daily Auckland rush-hour, is as useful as comparing a 1 gallon butter churn with a laden Fonterra milk tanker.

    “38% of commuters already cross the Harbour Bridge during peak hour on the bus. Increase that to 50% (or more), will free up capacity on the remaining 6 lanes – grid lock avoided.” No; huge new subdivisions being built north of the harbour bridge are driving vehicle demand far into the future. Demand across the bridge grinds up slowly only because the dedicated busway has pulled greater percentages out of cars.

    There are already spaces on NEX buses for prams and bicycles. With that already-existing choice, people prefer to take their bikes on ferries from North Shore's multiple ferry sites.

    Your 'whattabout-ism' is so strong I wonder if you work for NZTA.

    • Alice Tectonite 5.1

      "There are already spaces on NEX buses for prams and bicycles."

      Taking your bike on the bus

      Bikes are not permitted on any of Auckland's bus services, unless it's a folding bike.

      Auckland Transport

      Might have something to do with the 'choice' to use ferries

      [changed user name to the approved version]

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Agree could well do.

        As LPrent mentions above, lifting a bike onto a bus – even a kneeling one – is a task for the fit alone.

    • JO 5.2

      . . .bikes on ferries from North Shore's multiple ferry sites.

      Yes, and if we can build roll-on, roll-off car and train ferries we can build wheel-on wheel-off bike barges (Take a WOWO to your WorkOut!), no need to take apart or lift the bike, multiple angle parks on board, every hour (the electric units from Upper Hutt to Wellington run about every half hour till after 12am, it can be done), minimum fares. Just imagine that flotilla lit up with pennants flying for a harbour festival. . .

      https://www.locaboat.com/en/barges-history-afloat/

      In an age when we are all thinking about ways to save our planet, barge transport offers one of the best ways of moving bulk quantities of merchandise from one place to another. Official estimates have shown that barges consume one and a half times less energy than trains and five times less than road transport. Not only that, but a single barge can transport the equivalent of fifty lorryloads and almost the same number of railway truckloads.

    • Jenny How to get there 5.3

      Hi Ad,

      lprent, has already pointed out the shortfalls and difficulties of loading bicycles onto public transport.

      I thought Weka's suggestion, with accompanying link, was exquisite. Who knew that such things existed? If implemented, Weka's suggestion would obviously be much cheaper than a dedicated stand alone bridge.

      But as you point out, there are already other options for cyclists to cross the Harbour.

      But that is not what this is about. Cyclists and pedestrians don't want to just get across the harbour, they want to get across the harbour, on the Harbour Bridge.

      I can sympathise with this desire., How many times have I crossed the Auckland Harbour bridge behind the wheel of a car wishing I could lift my eyes away to admire the glorious view, instead of having to fixate on the road ahead.

      How about this.

      To scratch that itch.

      One, (or two), lanes of the motorway on the Auckland Harbour Bridge be given over to a busway during the week and to bicycles and pedestrians on the weekend.

      What do you think?

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Since NZTA have already been directed by the Minister to consider a lane for cycling over the bridge, the obvious follow-on to this will be dedicated busway lanes over the bridge: pressure is building fast for this since bus volumes will increase with the extension of dedicated busway through Albany late this year I believe.

        It is now highly likely that NZTA will pull away one bridge lane at least for non-car traffic.

        • Jenny How to get there 5.3.1.1


          “It is now highly likely that NZTA will pull away one bridge lane at least for non-car traffic.
          Ad

          '
          This great news.laugh

          I just hope the Minister can stick to his guns.

          Knowing Michael Wood personally I know his heart is in the right place, but we are all only human. The political pressure on Michael and his ministry not to follow through on his direction to 'consider' taking one lane away from automobile traffic will be immense.

          The usual suspects, the oil companies, the automotive industry, the AA, the roading lobby, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, and last but not least, the Nats, will do everything within their power to make sure this never happens.

          The first thing they will try to do is whip up public sentiment against it.

          (the Radio Talkback battle is already, all but lost).

          Against this propaganda onslaught a fare free public transport option across the bridge which puts money in people’s pockets to get them out of their cars, is an admittedly populist policy that would act keep the average commuter on side.

        • Jenny how to get there 5.3.1.2

          “It is now highly likely that NZTA will pull away one bridge lane at least for non-car traffic.
          Ad

          Yes, but only on Sundays.

          The government would continue to look at options for interim use of existing harbour bridge lanes for cycling and walking, such as cycling access on Sundays, Wood said.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300323635/auckland-harbour-bridge-cycle-rally-arrested-cyclist-says-access-to-bridge-needed-to-modernise-city?rm=a

          A bit disapointing, as this will do nothing to reduce car use, or congestion or pollution or greenhouse emissions. This is far less than could be hoped for.

          Cyclists get their wish to cycle the bridge and enjoy the ambiance and the views. While BAU is not bothered one little bit.
          .
          The battle has been won, but the war has been lost.

          • Jenny how to get there 5.3.1.2.1

            This is why humanity will fall into the pit

            • Jenny how to get there 5.3.1.2.1.1

              I know what our political leaders will say.

              "The political pressure on us, was just too great. We couldn't justify taking one lane of the Harbour Bridge away from the car traffic."

              To the politicians, I would say: "You can justify it."

              "Just as you did for the covid crisis,. Make your case. Argue your corner. Take a stand. State, that the climate crisis demands it."
              "After all arguing your case is the bread and butter of polticians"
              "Screw up your courage"
              "On the debating floor, raise your voice, get passionate".
              "Just as you did for the covid crisis, point to overseas examples; The increasing and worsening weather disasters, the terrible floods and droughts, the increasing and more deadly wild fires.
              (mention the southland floods).
              "Something must be done. We are going to make a start, we can no longer afford or justify having eight lanes of motorway traffic in the heart of our biggest city. The climate crisis demands it.

              Challenge your opponents to defend their position. (They can't)

              Win over the public.

              No more motorways, It is imperative that we make room on our transport network for low emissions public transport, cycling and pathways.

              Finally; There is no such thing as half a revolution.

              The cycle/pedestrian bridge doesn’t address climate change, it is a poor compromise to keep the car lobby and the cycling community both happy.

              If the projected cost of the Northern Pathway cycle bridge blows past $1 billion, (which is quite possible), our opponents will use it to beat us around the head with it. And this administration will be finished.

        • Jenny how to get there 5.3.1.3

          "I’m on your side when times get rought and friends just can’t be found…"

    • Stuart Munro 5.4

      Fact is, we have good reason to support a transition from cars to bikes. Part of the equation in making bikes desirable, which must outweigh the convenience of cars, is reduced waiting times, and not getting clipped every time you choose to cross the harbour. That cars are not, yet pedestrians and cyclists are, is an anomaly overdue for correction.

      • gsays 5.4.1

        Great observation, Stuart.

      • Stuart Munro

        17 June 2021 at 2:01 pm

        …..getting clipped every time you choose to cross the harbour. That cars are not [charged], yet pedestrians and cyclists are, is an anomaly overdue for correction.

        gsays

        17 June 2021 at 6:22 pm

        Great observation, Stuart.

        Cyclists and pedestrians and bus users have to pay a fare to get across the harbour, but people in cars don't.

        Yes, this is a ‘great observation’.

        In the age of climate change we need to be incentivising people to cycle and walk, and take public transport.

        Ferries, buses, trains, are providing a public service, they relieve congestion on our roads, they reduce pollution, and CO2 emissions, (especially if they are electrified. PT lends itself to electrification at a speed, and a cost, that the private car fleet could never match, or catch up with.)

        People on bikes who are also reducing pollution and congestion are also indirectly providing a public service.

        The very least we could do is to give free passage to anyone who brings a bike onto the ferry.

        [Deleted a spurious “1” from user name]

  6. Herodotus 6

    What your analysis IMO fails to take into account. Only 1 flow would be effected by a lane closure. In the afternoon the bridge is configured 3south-5 lanes north bound.so if you closed a south bound lane then the 2 lanes and approached would have to carry requirements would increase by 50%. The north bound traffic would be uneffected. Merging of traffic into 2 lanes south would increase the stacking of traffic and increase travel times.

    With the bridge requiring safety measures as lane protection for the cyclists/walkers and the bridge rails would need to improved to protect people from falling off the bridge, as it currently is about 1m in height and has a horizonital mid rail that is easily to climb(should this lane be also for walkers). From my observation the trial would have to be on the west side as that has the most immediate ramps either side of the bridge. But these Ramps are very narrow in width and I cannot see how they could me modified to accomodate walker/cyclists as well and still be safe.

    • Herodotus

      17 June 2021 at 3:12 p

      …..if you closed a south bound lane then the 2 lanes and approached would have to carry requirements would increase by 50%. The north bound traffic would be uneffected. Merging of traffic into 2 lanes south would increase the stacking of traffic and increase travel times.

      Hello H. How are you. Thanks for your contribution.
      To avoid south bound lane 50% increase in carry requirements, stacking of traffic and increased travel times, PT and bike use would have to compensate by more than 50%

      Bikes alone can't do it. Only free public transport has ever achieved this sort of dramatic uptake in use.

      "In Dunkirk, the percentage of people using the bus had fallen below 5%, one of the lowest rates in Europe. It was necessary to create a phychological shock at the height of the challenge to successfully change the uses."
      Patrice Vergriete, Mayor of Dunkirk

      At 7.8% Auckland PT use is not that much higher than Dunkirk, before the introduction of single-payer public transport.

      Free public transport in Dunkirk, one year later

      By Michiel Modijefsky / Updated: 10 Oct 2019

      Following the introduction of free public transport and improved services in September 2018, passenger numbers have increased dramatically in the French Urban Community of Dunkirk. Moreover, it has made a significant contribution to reducing private car use, a recent study concludes.

      In September 2018, the Urban Community of Dunkirk launched a new transport network which had been completely redesigned and improved with the added benefit of being free for both residents and visitors. A new study(link is external) on the experience finds that bus use has increased by 65% during the week and by 125% during the weekend eight months after introduction.

      https://www.eltis.org/in-brief/news/free-public-transport-dunkirk-one-year-later

      I mean, Wow!

      At this rate of uptake of PT use, we probably wouldn't need a second harbour road crossing. The estimated costs, depending on options, $1-2 billion, $10 billion, possibly 'ballooning' to $18 billion

      [Deleted a spurious “1” from user name]

    • I haven't seen anyone write, 'But what about the cost?'

      A fare-free public transport system across the whole region would be cheaper than what is being proposed just for North Shore crossing infrastructure.

      According to Mayor Phil Goff, the huge sums being talked about are "eye watering".

      The cost of a single-payer fare-free service on the Northern Busway and across the Harbour Bridge would be minisucle by comparison. Who knows, if it takes off, it might free up space for a dedicated bikeway.

      The huge sums and first details of the new business case have emerged in an agenda for an upcoming meeting of Auckland Council’s planning committee…..

      ….Linking Takapuna and the central city with a tunnel, at least 6km long, will cost $5 billion.

      An additional $3 billion would be required to extend it further north to Albany, according to the business case.

      It estimates the cost of an in-line road bridge expanding the capacity of the existing bridge at $1-$2 billion.

      That figure balloons to $10 billion if a road tunnel is built instead, linking the city centre and Esmonde Rd with additional motorway lanes to Constellation Dr.

      …..Operating and maintaining the new connections would cost $100-$130 million each year, mostly spent on managing the tunnels.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300148597/auckland-harbour-crossing-planners-want-5b-rail-tunnel-a-decade-before-any-new-road-link

      P.S. And before anyone accuses me of cheery picking, the Northern Busway upgrade will cost between $500m and $600m. But this public investment in the expansion of the Northern Busway, which has already started, will be never be able to achieve its full capacity or meet its full potential if it still meets a bottleneck at the Harbour Bridge. The Northern Busway needs to be brought across the bridge.

      And it needs to be fare free to compensate all the commuters forced out of their cars by the removal of one, or two lanes.

      [Deleted a spurious “1” from user name]

  7. DukeEll 7

    Make Jenny a regular author.

    Makes complete sense to have an integrated system for all road users

    This race to the top of whose transport is better makes any sensible conversation impossible.

    Public transport / cycling / personal vehicles should not have the ability to believe their need is greater and more virtuous, better for the economy, health, climate, grand kids, lycra tailors or mag wheel makers.

    If i cycle down lake road to devonport from takapuna and take the ferry to town, my trip is going to be economically more viable, healthier and more direct, using less carbon as everything is existing. If it's free it's a heavy incentive to get to the densest employment region in Auckland from one of the least dense residential areas.

    It might even encourage more car users to get jealous while sitting on the one lane POS that is lake road to investigate why so many more cyclists each day head the other way.

    Same for drury and pukekohe and swanson.

    • Jenny How to get there 7.1

      yes

    • DukeEll

      17 June 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Make Jenny a regular author….

      Thanks Duke for the lovely compliment.

      But I don't think that is ever going to happen.

      In an amusing aside, and at the risk of being banned totally for mentioning it. I must be the only Guest Author in the history of The Standard whose comments on their own post are moderated.

      Jenny how to get there

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      18 June 2021 at 12:39 pm

      I haven't seen anyone write, 'But what about the cost?'

      A fare-free public transport system across the whole region would be cheaper than what is being proposed just for North Shore crossing infrastructure.

      According to Mayor Phil Goff, the huge sums being talked about are "eye watering"…..

      Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

      [Deleted a spurious “1” from user name]

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        Not all moderation is equal. There’s automated and there’s manual moderation. Ten comments of yours over the last 2 days triggered Auto-Moderation because of a typo. Often, this is nothing to worry about and certainly not the stuff of ban nightmares.

        This is how it works. Any approved commenter (AKA “user”) can make a typo in their username and/or e-mail address. To the systems this shows up as a new user. To approve/release this comment requires manual intervention by a Moderator. It is not the stuff of ban nightmares either unless the culprit fails to correct it and it becomes a pain. One mistyped username is the Blacklist because Moderators had enough of that particular commenter not paying attention to the automated messages generated by system to warn them and not paying attention to the many messages from Moderators to get their attention. FYI, this commenter is free to comment here under their approved username and continues to do so.

        HTH

        • Thank you again, for taking the time to help me get a proper handle on this.

          Hopefully, I won't be making the same mistake too much in future.

          I have no idea, how that spurious 1 got there.

          And hadn’t even noticed it.

          • Incognito 7.2.1.1.1

            The spurious “1” is still there, even in this comment, but I deleted it, again, and released your comment. 12 times now; I didn’t want this to become embarrassing.

            Each time it happens, you’ll get this message:

            Your comment is awaiting moderation.

            It means something went wrong and triggered Auto-Moderation.

            • weka 7.2.1.1.1.1

              how long as that message been appearing? I've never seen it before. Just tested it, and see it stays only as long as the page isn't refreshed.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    Lovely ideas Jenny and the bike trailer Weka. Now if you two were in a meeting any minute now some bloke would repeat all this at which point it would be seen as a great idea lets do it and give him a raise. Apparently this is a well known phenomena.

    And the best thing about this is that you can trial it in stages meaning that you may never have to go the full free fare road.

    Like put in a rush hour only bus lane in the peak hours and see how much this upped bus travellers as they get there a little quicker and bus density on the bridge increases. If you don't get a big enough increase then maybe make the fares cheaper with the bridge section free, still not enough use some other financial measures. And best of all apart from a few pots of paint and maybe some different coloured signal lights it's could be pretty much cost freeeeee!!!!

    Given the Minister of Transport is probably coping a fair bit of flack I can see changes coming. Or he has done one of the better "bait and switch" policies for quite some time – getting everyone to support public mass transport. Hat tip.

    Lets face it aggressive middle aged males in those areas that are going to bike regardless of any greater common good probably don't vote labour. Sorry Lprent.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    And isn't interesting how a spirited discussion aka as crowd sourcing has highlighted issues and interest groups that current decisions have failed to take into account at any level and thanks to Jenny who has made a great synthesis producing a pretty viable and definitely much more cost efficient solution.

  10. Foreign Waka 10

    It is somewhat astounding that one can see in this forum more ideas to the how and ideas that could make up a blue print then comes from the office of the ministers, their advisors and hanger-on's, city council. This illustrious group should give up a large portion of income to contribute to any project that is a sensible solution because their constituency have taken the job into their own hands.

  11. '

    Don't throw those old buses away.

    “The ultimate recycling”,
    Jay Leno

  12. '

    OK, so this is the final list.

    Free passage on the ferries for cyclists,
    Busway buses converted to electric drive chain.
    Two lanes on the Eastern side of the Habour Bridge to bring the busway into the city.
    Fare-Free to compensate drivers forced out of their cars by the busway.
    Buses return to the main carriageway during low peak times, holidays, week ends.
    For those who want the experience of crossing the bridge on foot or bike and to admire the magnificent views of the harbour and city, busway converts to a bike and pedestrian crossing on the weekend.
    No concrete poured, Hundreds of tons of emissions and $billions of dollars saved

    Have I got everything?

    Is there anything else?

  13. KJT 13

    I find the alternatives proposed here as "cheaper" than a cycle pedestrian bridge rather comic.

    Ferries, buses, floating bike propelled barges are all many times more expensive than a cycle pedestrian bridge over the total usage and time in the life of a bridge.

    When you consider the bridge will be usable for up to a century, and the number of bus, car and ferry trips, all of which are more expensive long term and more energy intensive than a bridge. The bridge is cheap

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