There has been a lot of misinformation about the NRA’s position on Skypath. Because of the negative effects that aspects of the initial proposal would have had on Northcote Point, the Association lodged a formal objection to it in the Environment Court. That did not signify opposition to pedestrian and cycling access across the harbour, but was necessary in order to mount a challenge to details of the initial proposal. Another post explains why we later had to withdraw from the appeal procedure. Our action to that stage, however, did make other parties look more closely at the inadequate detail of the initial proposal and some key parties withdrew.
The ball is now in NZTA’s court, because the Transport Authority owns the Bridge and motorway, and has to finalise safe, well-engineered plans for both Skypath and Seapath, so Auckland Council and Government’s recent policy to proceed can be implemented.
NRA’s position on Skypath 2018
The Northcote Residents Association is not opposed to Skypath, but to two aspects of the current plan. One is the safety and engineering issues which are now the responsibility of NZTA. The other is that Northcote Point just does not have enough room for the infrastructure required for the northern terminus to be here, certainly with projected usage numbers – Skypath must continue seamlessly into the planned Seapath.
Many Northcote residents want to have pedestrian and cycle access across the harbour. They do however object to the prospect of streams of people with inadequate toilet and parking facilities in the very limited space under the bridge at the end of Princes Street. There is no suitable bus access or parking for tourists. The northern landing must be down on the flat near the old tollbooth area, perhaps with lift/elevator access at the end of Princes Street as exists at Akoranga, to cope with smaller numbers.
Northcote has already seen some very poor design by Auckland Transport of the extremely expensive and little-used Northcote Safe Cycle Path. Some of the Northcote Residents Association’s concerns were listened to and the design for Queen Street from Onewa Road to the Bridgeway Theatre was modified satisfactorily. The design from the theatre to the southern end of Queen Street, however, is most unsatisfactory but we are now stuck with it. It is quite dangerous for cyclists to use the designated cycle path because of exposure to opening car doors and narrow access, often partially blocked, beside each anti-speed hump. Bike Auckland has the same opinion. For this very good reason we are extremely anxious about and suspicious of any aspects of the Skypath/Seapath link for which details are not yet very public.