Too many details are still missing in NZTA’s plans for the city end of the Northern Pathway, a walking and cycling path between Albany and central Auckland.
The section formerly known as SkyPath is closest to St Mary’s Bay and runs from Akoranga over the harbour bridge to Westhaven. The St Mary’s Bay Association and residents are keen to work with NZTA and Auckland Transport to ensure that Westhaven and adjoining streets in St Mary’s Bay are not overwhelmed by user facilities near the Westhaven on/off ramp.
The SMBA and a number of residents filed submissions on NZTA’s proposed plans last month. The SMBA submission is here.
SMBA supports, in principle, the concept of a pedestrian/cyclist connection between the Auckland isthmus and Northcote Point. However, we have long had concerns relating to the detail around how this connection will impact on the existing, over-loaded bridge. (NZTA shared some of our concerns about SkyPath, and this proposal for a Northern Pathway is its response).
SMBA has also been arguing for another central Auckland harbour crossing, which could both relieve the load on the harbour bridge (and consequent risk to Auckland of a bridge failure) and potentially free up capacity on the bridge for a suitable pedestrian/cyclist pathway.
We understand that NZTA largely accepted our arguments on this and has taken initial steps towards building a further harbour crossing (designating the route and appointing engineers to develop a detailed design).
Regrettably the present Northern Pathway proposal appears to have been developed in isolation from and without consideration of potential options offered by the 2nd central Auckland crossing.
For more information, including FAQs, on the Northern Pathway, see this NZTA site: www.nzta.govt.nz/Northern-Pathway