The Second and Final stage of NZTA’s Northern Pathway (aka Skypath) ✨

In 2015 all of you helped us get 11,500 submissions on the Skypath! Now, we need everyone to champion safe walking and cycling link on the Northern Pathway by submitting this Sunday, 14 June. 

It is wonderful that Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is listening and aiming to see this Pathway as more than just a commuter link, but as a community resource. We emphasize that the Pathway’s success lies in its connectivity. The Pathway should be viewed as a tree trunk, which will only thrive if it has many branches. 

Pushing for safe, connected & future-proofed walking & cycling links like this one makes for an awesome Tāmaki Makaurau. You can submit on the second round of consultation on the Pathway here, but we have produced a quick submit form here but if you want to see the full detail of our submission points read more below!

 

Submission tips - full information on the Pathway here

  • Waka Kotahi needs to prioritize people’s safety across all modes.  Giving pedestrians and cyclists right of way, avoiding level crossings by investing in underpasses and bridges, making it obvious to drivers what is expected of them by using raised crossing tables and signalling is essential to the Pathway’s success, as is ensuring emergency and mobility vehicle access.
  • Demand safety and synergy. At many points, the Pathway will interact with major transport junctions, which can provide opportunities for people to switch between modes and go from passive to active commuting. For example, Northern Busway and Park & Ride stations should be linked to the Northern Pathway, with cycle paths lanes, footpaths, and bike storage and charging facilities provided. We recommend you check out Waka Kotahi’s interactive [map] and drop a pin and comment where you’d love to see these connections! 
  • As a Tiriti-led country, we want to emphasize the importance of consulting extensively with the local marae. We want Waka Kotahi to recognise the reality that climate change’s impacts are felt unevenly, particularly with indigenous peoples frequently bearing the brunt of its effects, so the Agency’s responses, such as the Northern Pathway, should engage, support, and be accessible to Māori. The Pathway’s delivery should honour the articles of Te Tiriti and embrace tikanga and mātauranga Māori.
  • Ecologically significant areas will be impacted. We have some key asks you may want to tautoko, or use to support your own ideas: 
    • We recommend that motorway space, rather than green spaces, is reallocated where needed. This honours indigenous values and whenua. 
    • Any encroachment requiring felling should be avoided. 
    • Tree roots should be protected where necessary (e.g. through using boardwalks). 
    • The Pathway should connect with or follow existing paths.

 

Recommendations for which side(s) of the road the Pathway should be on - full information on the Pathway here

  • A real strength of putting the Pathway on the motorway’s western side (our recommendation) between Akoranga Drive and Northcote Road is that it directly feeds into stage one of the Pathway (Aoranga to Westhaven) and allows strong connections to AUT, local green spaces, and sports centres. This also avoids infringing upon Barry’s Point Reserve or conflicting with the Akoranga bus station.
  • We recommend that between Northcote Road and Tristram Avenue, the Pathway is built on both the western and eastern sides. The Western side allows access to a major Shore employment centre (Wairau Valley), while the eastern side captures an education hub of schools (as well as Smales Farm and a hospital). Given the projected number of pedestrians and cyclists in this area, the one metre wide unprotected cycle lanes presently on Taharoto, Wairau, and Forrest Hill Roads are insufficient and unsafe. Construction on only one side would be a loss. If we are to encourage economic growth and cycling and walking here, one metre wide unprotected cycle lanes are wholly inadequate.
  • We recommend the Pathway be built on the eastern side from Tristram Avenue through Sunnynook Road to Constellation Drive. This would allow access to local schools, Sunnynook town centre, sports centres, parks, and bus stations.  
  • We implore NZTA to make the entire pathway at least three metres wide, and reallocate motorway space for this if necessary. 
  • To maximise safety, we ask that cycling and walking traffic is physically separated on the pathway (e.g. raising half of the pathway a little to mark its use for cyclists, installing decorative barriers). This is especially important on steeper sections where cyclists may be passing pedestrians at high speeds
  • The number of street-level crossings should be minimal so that cyclists/walkers do not need to wait at lights or interact with vehicle traffic. We suggest using tunnels and overpasses instead.  

NZTA have also create a cool interactive map for people to have their say - it will be great to see how the Northern Pathway can contribute to improving our communities!

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