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Walking and cycling study completed

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A study into options for improving pedestrian and cycle access across the Waitemata Harbour has been completed and regional partners - the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council, North Shore City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority - are considering six shortlisted options.

A study into options for improving pedestrian and cycle access across the Waitemata Harbour has been completed and regional partners - the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council, North Shore City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority - are considering six shortlisted options.

All of the shortlisted options involve providing dedicated cycle and pedestrian facilities on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.  Key issues the study investigated included whether vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists would be able to use the bridge safely, what modifications would be necessary, estimating how many people would walk and cycle, and how much it would cost.

A key conclusion of the investigation was that it is safer to separate pedestrians and cyclists  on steep gradients like the bridge, and so all of the shortlisted options consist of a two-way pedestrian facility on the east side of the bridge (for panoramic city views) and a two-way cyclist facility on the west side.

Key findings

Cycle demand - Cycle demand on the Auckland Harbour Bridge (2008) is estimated to range between 450 and 1,600 cyclists per weekday. This range is consistent with international and local experience on other cycle facilities.

Pedestrian demand - Potential demand is strongly influenced by the length of the crossing (2km excluding the approaches to the bridge), distance to the CBD, gradient, weather and land use at either end.  An average of around 300 trips per weekday is estimated, with the potential for demand to rise significantly for special events.

Shortlisted options - the six shortlisted options range from not widening the existing clip-ons and narrowing the existing lanes (at a cost of around $24m), to widening both clip-ons by 1.2 metres at a cost in the region of $43m, with incremental width (and cost) variations in between.

Connections - southern end of the bridge
The pedestrian facility on the east (city side) of the bridge could connect via a ramp to Westhaven Drive and Shelly Beach Road giving access to Ponsonby and the CBD.

The cyclist facility on the west side could connect to Curran Street via a ramp, providing cyclist connections to Westhaven Drive, Shelly Beach Road and points beyond.

Connections - northern end of the bridge
There are various connection options for the northern end of the bridge.  For example, the pedestrian facility (on the east side) could connect into Princes Street or Sulphur Point.  On the western side, the cycling facility could stay on the bridge until reaching ground level before connecting to Tennyson Street in Northcote Point.

Further enhanced pedestrian and cyclist connections are possible (at an additional cost).

Relationship with future additional Waitemata Harbour crossing

The walking and cycling feasibility investigation follows a study earlier this year into an additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing, envisaging the suburban electric rail network and State Highway 1 extending beneath the seabed in tunnels to connect the North Shore with the Auckland CBD and beyond.

Under such a scenario – likely to be some years away – walking and cycling facilities are recommended to be accommodated on the existing harbour bridge, as tunnels are not suitable environments for pedestrians or cyclists.  With the expected reduction in traffic if vehicles are rerouted through tunnels, space on the bridge could be reallocated to walking and cycling facilities.

Relationship with current bridge strengthening works

The NZ Transport Agency is currently strengthening the bridge’s box girders (clip-ons).  This work is required regardless of any decisions made about walking and cycling provision and must be completed before further modifications could be made to the bridge.

The next step is for the partners to consider the outcomes of the study within their own organisations.  This is expected to occur at various meetings throughout September.

Download a diagram of the shortlist options (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Contact information:

Miriam McNicol
Core Communications
Telephone: 09 307 3937
Mobile: 021 677 214
Email: miriamm@corecom.co.nz

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