Tag: auckland harbour bridge

SkyPath Update

Update on SkyPath

 

While away on holiday in Australia I had noticed that the SkyPath project had updated their website and posted a public notice meeting on the North Shore tomorrow night at 6pm (ouch as main rush hour is still happening at that time).

 

You can check the much more easier to read SkyPath website over at skypath.org.nz – with the public notice invitation below:

 

I am still pondering in making the trek to The Shore tomorrow as it means I have to leave Papakura at 4:30 to battle State Highway One traffic (fun – not)

However might be a good idea to trundle along to see where opinion is currently at

 

 

 

Feedback on Sky-Path

Sky-Path Asks for Feedback

 

In the previous post I had released the PDF presentation of the AHB Pathway Trust, Sky-Path project: “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH – (PART FOUR)

Again you can read the PDF below:

 

THE PDF OF THE SKY-PATH PROPOSAL FROM THE AHB PATHWAY TRUST

 

 

AHB Pathway Trust who are sparing heading Sky-Path have asked for feedback on the multi-million dollar project in which BR:AKL will assist. You can either leave comments below in the BR:AKL comment box, HOWEVER I and mostly the Trust would prefer you post your feedback in the channels I am posting below:

 

Contacts for Sky-Path:

Bevan Woodward, Project Director
AHB Pathway Trust
bevan@skypath.org.nz
Mobile: 021 122 6040

Kirsten Shouler
Project Coordinator
AHB Pathway Trust
kirstenn@skypath.org.nz

 

Contact Form:

Contact

 

Your View Forum:

Your Views – Tell us what you think

 

The FAQ List (Highly Recommended Reading)

FAQ

 

Get-Across Latest News Page (Sky-Path is located here)

Latest NEWS

 

 

Again Continue to watch this space as the Sky-Path situation continues to make its way through the Council processes.

AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH – (PART THREE)

To Fund and Build a Sky Path – Or Not

 

That is the (Multi) Million Dollar Question

 

Debate Now Spinning Its Wheels in the Mud?

 

 

I am now running exclusive commentary on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Sky-Path Project. You can find the commentary thus far as well as supporting links in my: “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH – (PART TWO),” “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH” and “TRANSPORT COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS” here at BR:AKL.

 

The commentary at the moment is mainly run through me consolidating debate threads that pop on Facebook and pasting them into the blog here. Not every one has or wants to use Facebook so I thought the consolidating via the blog would be a good neutral electronic medium for both sides of the debate to take in. Speaking of the debate it has been a bit lop-sided at the moment with the critics doing most of the debating and the proponents going to ground and remaining silent since Wednesday’s Transport Committee meeting. Not wise of the proponents to be doing that unless they really want Council’s Strategy and Finance Committee to ‘dead-duck” the project until long after the Local Government Elections at the end of the year.

Thus as always guest commentary from both sides of the Sky-Path debate is welcome here at BR:AKL and you can contact me at view.of.auckland@gmail.com along with your submission piece for consideration and posting – just remember The Rules of the Blog.

 

And so I present the next round of the debate – consolidated on the Auckland Sky-Path Facebook Debate:

  • Sky Path proposal: The issues that require further work before any decision can be made on the proposal.
    • Nigel James Turnbull Nice but hardly a priority?
    • Luke Christensen SMBA being totally mischievous in every regard, what a bunch of red herrings. For example re Westhaven Boardwalk http://www.waterfrontauckland.co.nz/Waterfront-Auckland/Pages/NewsPage.aspx?ID=40
    • Lesley Opie Eh? You mean the cyclists exit into residential streets not the inner city? This will be no good at all. Just a waste of money. I thought the whole point of this structure was to exit into the city centre. If I lived in St Mary’s Bay I would be concerned. A lot of the serious cyclists are crazy on their bikes, noisy and speed without concern for pedestrians. Seen and heard them round my way in the Northboro Reserve Green cycleway. The St Mary’s Bay residents are going to be woken up at all hours of the night and early morning. Probably the Northcote residents too.
    • Sharon Stewart One of the SKYPATH presentation papers – I will find and attach so you can read for yourself said that from an operational health and safety perspective, probably no more than 1,000 users are wanted on the Pathway at any on time “However this allows for a conservative throughput of 5000 people per hour which is more than sufficient to make the project doable, he says. The number of Pathway users will be controlled by the barrier gates with a counting device and overseen by on site security personnel and CCTV cameras.
    • Sharon Stewart So a bike is 2 m long approx. Lets do the sums. They say 5000 could cross within an hour that would be a lot of cyclists 10 k long in one direction without gaps with possibly walkers does anyone really believe that is physically possible within an hour without major problems especially in peak hours. It would be worse than this because most people will be going the same direction if they can’t do this the business plan has FAILED already. What is the effect going to be on traffic with suddenly 5000 bikes appearing on the road with cars/trucks etc….? It sounds like a DREAM so the bridge is approx. thousand metres Long. Can someone tell me how they will get them across safely???
    • Sharon Stewart Another question that needs to be answered Lesley – How are they going to keep the structure clean from sea spray? How often will they need to clean it? (THE GLASS) How much will this cost? How are they going to keep the structure clean from exhaust emissions as the structure will no doubt get very dirty from the bridge being used daily with car/trucks etc…??? These are questions that need to be asked. The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a life line for those that live on the North Shore to get across to the CBD side.
    • Sharon Stewart Who will be responsible for the on-going maintenance and cleaning of the structure inside and out? Will all this come out of RATES? How many times have we be told this wouldn’t happen? How many times have we been told that these sort of projects will not cost the rate payer 1 cent.????
    • Sharon Stewart How much will the CCTV cost including staff? How many staff will have to be on duty? Really Looking forward to the business plan. ARE YOU????
    • Sharon Stewart Have they thought of the Cyclist coming off the bridge at peak traffic time – Morning and Afternoon peak traffic and mingling with the traffic on or at the bridge approaches etc? HOW WILL THIS BE MANAGED????
    • Sharon Stewart PARKING OF CARS – that want to do the bride crossing will also be a problem. Will the council have to buy more land for carparks next to the bride for all these potential users? They can’t all bike to the bridge if they have to get to the bridge by motorway – can they???
    • Sharon Stewart In one of the reports that I will attach – Barbara Cuthbert from Cycle Action Network says the Council is be asked to be a MINOR – guarantor, putting forward $3 million towards the project. WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT FOLLOW????? She says a further $29 million is being put up by the NZ Super Fund. WHAT. Cuthbert says New Zealand Transport Agency is also backing the project, provided it proceeds on the basis of being a tolled facility. ?????
      Sharon Stewart Millie Liang – I like your comment the other morning on the subject – When I asked will this become a huge burden on the Auckland Ratepayers???? Your answer – It’s going to be another white elephant just like that Manukau Central car park building nearly empty all the time with 100’s of lights burning up ratepayers money 24/7, even on weekends when the building is all locked up … I no body in the council has the common sense to ensure a simple thing like a motion sensor in the lighting system,,, then how much collective brain power and common sense do the Councillors have…. Councillors need to remember they were elected to run the city and I would have their necks on the chopping block not some highly paid cco exec or manager. MILLIE we all better to take not. Your comments on the sensor good one.
      • Lesley Opie How on earth did the NZ Super Fund get involved? Crazy!
    • Millie Liang  I recall the promoters are saying 65% of Aucklanders support this project. If so, how come less than 12,000 have made the effort to support them on their web site….. so where they going to find 5,000 an hr to use it 365 days a yr…. 

      note they state on web site Council get the privilege to own it after 20yrs….. and they got a 50yr guarantee for the structure, which is fantastic negotiating……

      BUT HOLD ON…The clipons have been stated as only having 15-20 yrs max left in them…… AND WHOS GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR THE SKY PATH TO BE DEMOLISHED…
      http://getacross.org.nz/

      getacross.org.nz

      February 11 2013 Auckland Council’sRead more…
    • George Wood Good work Sharon. We need to get our meeting w/ Doug McKay expedited.
    • Millie Liang Remaining life in clipons 15-20yrs is what I understand from the below..(about second comment down on web page.
      ………………………………………..
      Jon C
      August 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      @Andrew No they’re not. Leigh Hooper told the gathering the bridge was said to have 15-20 more years life so the pathway would be fine for then although they would be built to stand another 50 years.
      ………………………………………..
      http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2011/08/21/harbour-bridge-cycle-pathway-design-unveiled/

      www.aktnz.co.nz

      The Auckland Harbour Bridge cycle pathway design was unveiled this afternoon.
    • Ben Ross As usual I am consolidating all the Facebook comments (not everyone has FB but everyone can read a blog) into my Ben Ross : Auckland blog such as thehttps://voakl.net/2013/02/15/auckland-harbour-bridge-sky-path-part-two/ post yesterday which proponents and critics liked as it was a one stop shop for reading, then commenting, then flinging emails to Councillors (INCOMING >_<)

      voakl.net

      To Fund and Build a Sky Path – Or Not   That is the (Multi) Million Dollar Quest…See More
    • Ben Ross George and Sharon when is Sky Path likely to end up in Strategy and Finance for a decision?
    • Sharon Stewart When we are told we will make sure your made aware Ben and all those interested.
    • Millie Liang I mustn’t be thinking straight…
      1. ratepayers get the privilege of owning the sky path after 20yrs.
      2. Leigh Hooper tells people at opening bridge (I presume clip-ons) only good for 15-20yrs.
      3. rate payers get the privilege of get ownership and demolishing it at same time…. 
      4. 5,000 people using it an hr 365 days a yr but they will only allow 1,000 hr 365 days a yr.

      I got to be missing something… nobody can be that stupid to be conned that easy… it got to be me that’s stupid surely ?
    • George Wood This needs to be done in a thorough manner Benjamin Ross. Auckland Council have a huge responsibility here. Northcote residents want a lot of answers and I propose taking their concerns to heart.
      Millie Liang Ben Ross on one post an engineer when finding out how much it was all going to cost did a few calculations and what the $/Lm rate was left me with the impression it was far cheaper $/Lm to go on Sir R. Bransons plane ride into outer space… Will try and find it later today but shore it was on a councillors page.
      • Lesley Opie We who do not live in Northcote also want answers.
    • Ben Ross My comments are getting lost in transit again (Thanks FB and Telstra Clear).
      George I am aware Sky Path needs a major line by line review of the project – however as I said yesterday:
      Well then if that is the case Millie, the Skypath people are going to find a fast rejection from Strat and Finance just as AT did rather quickly with trying to get a half baked application for money reallocation in regards to the Manukau North Link duplication – although AT are going to be stupid enough to try again next month (insert Tui Ad here if I get a speaking slot) 

      It belongs in Strat and Finance no matter where they are with the progress for two reasons:
      1) To get the financial officers to run over this with a red pen and ruler
      2) So Strat and Finance can pass the rejecting resolution which is binding and tell Skypath one of several things: it will be deferred in any solid decision until your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, it will be rejected outright regardless until we get a new council at the end of the year, it will be rejected and sent back to AT (please don’t do that one) for more reports

      That proposal got stuck in the Transport Committee for over two hours leaving me fuming on the time-wasting exercise that was when Skypath did not belong there at that point in time.

      Least it is now in Strat and Finance where the answer is simple: Half bake it like AT did last week with Manukau and it is rejected – pure and simple. Just don’t take two and a half hours to reach that conclusion please

      By the looks of it, Sky Path will be up before Strat and Finance hopefully in April (better not be next month) for consideration.

      Councillors have three options on that day: Pass the resolution, Reject the resolution, or spend over two and half hours spinning their wheels in the mud going no where and annoying the city to no great edge. For the sake of it, if Councillors can not get the information in 30 minutes on Sky Path at Strat and Finance then REJECT THE PROPOSAL – simple

      Either that or I start charging $80/hour for advocacy and efficiency services 
    • Millie Liang George, I realise you and the other good Councillors like SharonDickCameron and future AT CEO nominee Mr Benjamin Ross are busy sorting out other matters of concern to rate payers, I just can’t figure out how the promoters got so far with pushing it through council… Like I said previously if it was a half completed resource consent or bank loan proposal they would have been spun round at the counter that fast and shown where the exit first…..How come with all the experts/consultants/ pr machine/mayoral announcement/slick promo & video,,, how could they get it so wrong…

      I’ve may have possibly floated some big kites to get traction but never in my wildest dreams something like this based on the info I have been provided or researched and found on the internet…

      Maybe they consultants/promoters haven’t released some info on the basis of confidentially or commercially sensitive…. I don’t think that excuse “commercially sensitive” would stack up because I don’t think anyone else wants the job and in any case it is often an advantage to reveal all the cards because anyone else interested would have to come in with a lower tender.
      • Lesley Opie “I just can’t figure out how the promoters got so far with pushing it through council… “. It is who you know Millie – not what you know – or whoever makes the loudest noise. There are some in AKLD Council and in the Local Boards who are personally pushing this Skypath dressed up to look as if there is massive local board and ratepayer support.
      • Ben Ross Dont worry Lesley that so called Ratepayer support is near non existent and the Local Boards in the affected areas are blowing smoke up people’s noses – which will come back to bite them later (probably in the elections). It is of note while the Local Boards are singing and dancing the two concerned Ward Councillors which happen to be George Wood and Mike Lee are certainly not dancing to that tune – at all..
    • Millie Liang It’s an absolute disgrace Ben, that it took the council more than 10 min to flick through all the fluff and get to the nuts and bolts and have your answer. If people can do it on $5-$200 million property developments whey can’t Councillors. They are in charge of a multi $ billion dollar business paying huge salaries to people and it appears like the council is being run like some benevolent society or home of compassion, while hundred’s of lights continue to glow 24/7 at the Manukau Central Car Park building which is no doubt locked up as usual on weekends.. Anyone one know what the power bill is per day,, or does anyone really car as there are still some rate payers left in this city..
      • Ben Ross Might go LGOIMA the running costs of that building although I might get stone-walled on Commercial Sensitivity grounds
      • Ben Ross Already offered my now paid services to “assist” councillors get through things in a more “efficient” manner. In other words I am going to start charging by the 6 minute block for advocacy and efficiency services
    • Lesley Opie Most of the Aucklanders asked about whether they want a Skypath would not have known the detail and all the extra costs associated with this proposal. Where are all these cyclists coming from. Hardly ever see a cyclist using the cycle lanes down Lake Rd where I live – maybe more in the weekends for recreational use. In the end this Skypath is going to be used mainly by recreational cyclists. Council and ratepayers should not be part of the Skypath equation. Seems those who make the loudest noise get what they want. If Barbara Cuthbert and her cycling friends want to travel the harbour bridge then they can pay for the Skypath and the ongoing maintenance costs. Don’t talk to me about seaspray Sharon Stewart. We are more sheltered than the harbour bridge as we are exposed only to the south west. The glass on this Sky path will need to be cleaned every few days at the least. Makes me laugh about these consultants. The new Northboro Pipeline bridge over the mangroves is being held up because they suddenly found out they can’t put heavy machinery that will build the bridge on the O’Neills side of the bridge because under the existing narrow footpath that leads to where the new pipe bridge is to be built is the main sewer pipe from Devonport. A special temporary bridge is now having to be built over this area heavy machinery. The cost of this pipe bridge is getting more expensive George Wood. The consultants hadn’t thought about the fact that having a sloping footpath leading to the new wider bridge will mean that cyclist will speed over the new bridge. Guess it won’t be until a pedestrian gets hurt that this problem will be addressed. If our councillors took 10 mins to decide to give the green light to this Skypath – then they do not deserve to be stewards of our money
    • Luke Christensen many more people would use the Lake Road cycle lanes if they went somewhere, ie the CBD! The biggest issue I see if parking/congestion at the Northcote End. Although presume walkway would end next to Ferry Terminal where there are many parks, and neighbours used to ferry traffic. As for St Mary’s Bay have no idea what the issues are, will link to the Westhaven Boardwalk that Councillors should be aware of, so no issues there. This will be a fantastic tourist attraction for Auckland, at a tiny fraction of the cruise ship terminals, and could see a great link where people take Ferry to Northcote, and cycle or walk back again.
    • Lesley Opie Luke – I saw very few cyclists use the Lake Rd cycle lanes today between 10:00am and 12:00pm when I went out. A bunch of recreational cyclists (about 6) were using the cycle lane then when they got past New World (going towards the city direction) they decided to leave the cycle lane and break into the traffic and ride in the middle lane going through to Takapuna. They didn’t want to stay in the cycle lane on the left hand side and then cross at the lights at the Esmonde Rd intersection to go to Takapuna. They should be fined for not using the available cycle lane.

    • Millie Liang For those interested here are a couple of comments from Sharon Stewart facebook page who brought this to my attention first.

      Just a thought Sharon, Ben, George, Ken. I’m just working on a scoping and feasibility report for a development that will either go to market via a private offer to high net worth individuals or by way of syndication to the general public… If the Sky path is going to be financially viable with say 1,000-5,000 people using it per hr say paying $2 each I would have thought the promoters would have simply put and Investment Statement & Prospectus together, retained share options for their effort in putting it together and gone to the open market like any other private enterprise would. Then they could keep all the profits/management fees etc… Just simply treat the air rights license etc as say a typical ground lease agreement. Then the promoters are in the drivers seat and can lease off signage rights,cafe, gift booth, naming rights on seats in viewing areas, collect the money from viewing binoculars etc etc.


      If the numbers stack up I can’t see why anyone would go cap in hand and lobby Councillors to achieve the same result.
      Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

      Ken Shock Precisely !
      Like · Reply · 3 hours ago

      Millie …. just look at the model used by promoters of Hampton Downs whereby they took a bare paddock and created what it is today and selling it off with enough fat in it for a investor to take it to the next level. Surely Tony Roberts and Chris Watson aren’t any smarter than the sky path promoters in executing there well thought out and costed proposal and it wouldn’t cost much to take to market if their was a lawyer/accountant amongst their ranks.
      Like · Reply · 2 hours ago

 

 

And that is round two for the day. The consolidations will continue to happen on this important project until it either passes or gets rejected by the Strategy and Finance Committee (whenever that is)

 

As I said guest commentary is welcome and you can submit your guest submissions for consideration at view.of.auckland@gmail.com

 

Next round of consolidation will be done on Monday or Tuesday.

 

BR:AKL

Consolidating Debate Threads

For Your Easy Consumption

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH – (Part Two)

To Fund and Build a Sky Path – Or Not

 

That is the (Multi) Million Dollar Question

 

And The Debate Continues

 

I have been running commentary of recent on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Sky-Path Project. You can find the commentary thus far as well as supporting links in my “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH” and “TRANSPORT COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS” post here at BR:AKL.

 

Since those two posts a nice long debate has cropped up on Facebook amongst those that would be in opposition to the Sky-Path proposal as it currently stands. As in my previous commentary the Sky-Path proposal passed through the Council Transport Committee and is now before the Strategy and Finance Committee either next month or in April. From there; Councillors and Council Financial Officers can and will go over this proposal with a very fine tooth comb before the Councillors either “support” Sky-Path or “reject-it” on any one of numerous grounds including deferment (which I my current position).

 

The following paste dump from Facebook will illustrate the oppositional hurdles Sky-Path have to face if they do not want a Rejection-Dead Ducking from the Strategy and Finance Committee:

From Councillor Sharon Stewart (Howick Ward) – oh and heads up it is a long one:

  • Auckland Harbour Bridge cycle pathway design launched – Auckland – AKT

    http://www.aktnz.co.nz

    The Auckland Harbour Bridge cycle pathway design was unveiled this afternoon.
    • Sharon Stewart How are they going to keep the structure clean from sea spray? How often will they need to clean it? (THE GLASS) How much will this cost? How are they going to keep the structure clean from exhaust emissions as the structure will no doubt get very dirty from the bridge being used daily with cars/trucks etc…. ??? These are all questions that need to be asked.
    • Sharon Stewart Who will be responsible for the on-going maintenance and cleaning of the structure inside and out? Will all this come out of RATES? How many CCTV cameras will they need to cover the length of the bridge – in case a problem occurs in the middle – accident or even gang fight?
    • Sharon Stewart IS THIS A Fairytale?
    • Sharon Stewart How much will the CCTV cost including staff? How many staff will have to be on duty? Looking forward to the business plan.
    • Sharon Stewart Just thought of another question – air conditioning – has this been factored in. Cost etc… Remember all the bad air up above exhaust fumes.
    • Ken Shock Here is a question – why do motorists have to pay for roading with fuel taxes and rego fees – but bicycles get a ‘free ride’ ?? Why no rego ## on bicycles so that they can be busted when they break traffic laws – I see them do it frequently. I say user fees are the answer to maint. of bike facilities !
    • Millie Liang Hi Ken and Sharon. Totally agree with everything you both say…To me the Councillors are being played for fools.
      The promoters of this scheme are quoting this expert and that consultant says it viable…”cause it’s commercially viable on paper other wise these experts won’t be consultants for the council for very long. 
      I have evaluated hundreds of business plans, marketing plans, property development forecasts over the years and not one of them have ever stated the project isn’t going to make a fortune..

      People that say just “trust the experts” are simply away with the fairies and need to have a brain scan….

      Question. how are they going to keep walkers and bike riders separated or from being distracted by the view and killing each other ?…… Are under 10yr old kids meant to be kept on a leash ?. Where’s the Councils Q & A link on their web site or are ratepayers meant to be compliant stupid fools also. 

      And like Ken says and I’ve asked elsewhere before..How come motorists have to pay for rego’s warrants and cyclists don’t have to…both use the roads…
    • Sharon Stewart Exactly Millie – Do you not think Cyclists going up and down in two different directions along with walkers is a recipe or accidents? Apparently its 4 m wide for both cyclists and walkers in two directions.
    • Sharon Stewart Have they thought about the cyclists coming off the bridge a peak traffic times – morning/afternoon peak traffic and mignling with the traffic on or at the bridge approaches etc? How will this be managed?
    • Sharon Stewart Parking of cars that want to do the bridge crossing will also be a problem. Will the council have to purchase land for carparks next to the bridge for all these potential users? Would this cause issues with peak traffic all these potential bike users of the bridge at peak times? Anything as Millie Liang has commented on looks good on paper.
    • Sharon Stewart Pleased to see that George Wood has similar concerns along with Nigel Turnbull
      • Sharon Stewart Yes on the Skypath – he seems to be supporting so far the Eden Park recommendations. That surprised a few of us.
      • Millie Liang but I thought George voted it to go to the next stage.. If he’s got concerns why didn’t he simply vote against it until everything was in order… He’s been in this game long enough to know that once an idea gets momentum the promoters get confident and crank up the pr machine and then it’s hard to kill…. Someone needs to check Georges medication.. maybe all the get fit exercise is playing tricks on him and he fancy’s himself riding around town looking like some Tour de France 25yr or thinking he’s Buck Shelford running round Eden Park…or maybe eyeing some seat on some board/committee.
    • Sharon Stewart QUOTE FROM AN EARLIER POST – The proposal for the Auckland Harbour Bridge pathway Project Update —- Its going to Strategy and Finance committee. Lots of questions have been asked to be reported back to the Strategy and Finance committee. The proposal should cover all costings and contingencies before it is given approval from the Auckland Council. Ratepayers should not be exposed to risk. This is such a big issue and should be debated by the full council. The ratepayers have to decide is this a high priorty. I have had calls from Ratepayers from all over Auckland – most have suggested the 2nd crossing could have a walkway and cycleway incorporated. We now have only just a quorum. JUST.
    • Sharon Stewart QUOTE FROM AN EARLIER POST —Sharon Stewart Councillors Quax, Morrison, Wood and Stewart had lots of concerns. As I said before its not all done and dusted.
      Wednesday at 10:01pm Remember the Transport committee is not a committee of all Councillors – going to see what other councillors think about this. Now is the time to discuss and question before – the rubber stamp.
    • Sharon Stewart Question is will this become a huge burden on the Auckland Ratepayers????
      • Millie Liang cause it going to be another white elephant just like that Manukau Central car park building nearly empty all the time with 100’s of lights burning up ratepayers money 24/7, even on weekends when the building is all locked up…. If no body in the council has the common sense to ensure a simple thing like a motion senor in the lighting system,,, then how much collective brain power and common sense do the Councillors have… Councillors need to remember they were elected to run the city and it’d their necks on the chopping block not some highly paid cco exec or manager.
    • Sharon Stewart In the perfect world it would be nice to have everything – unfortunately its not the perfect world.
    • Millie Liang The first thing that Councillors should do is all in their own quite time and alone is sit down with all the information/plans/costings/reports(and none of this commercially sensitive rubbish so information is withheld from them) and write down all the questions they want answered… Then they are all correlated and the promoters/AT (or whoever they are) answer the questions in a Q & A… If Councillors don’t have any idea themselves, I sure consultants/engineers/architects construction companies who never get on the councils preferred contractors/consultants list will gladly pull it apart for free I would guess…. There is no way the consultants/designers/promoters will ever admit to anything but it being a success, therefore go outside the inner circle and get independent assessment.. Like any development proposal it’s all flashy and slick and 1+1 =2 and fools most people, hopefully the Councillors aren’t made to look like idiots…. And I hope once the construction drawings/specifications/contract docs are ready, international fixed price tenders are called…..Then and only then once the tenders come back should the council decide if it’s commercially viable…..

      Better still…why doesn’t all the Councillors just sit on their hands, call international tenders for design/build/operate the skypath….The councils preferred Consultants/AT etc won’t like it but but aren’t the Councillors Inc in the drivers seat and not just mere passengers as to what happens in Auck….. Remember we were told Eden Park wouldn’t cost ratepayers a cent, now look what the councillors have signed us up to…the govt must have thought,,is that how stupid the council and people of Auckland really are
    • Sharon Stewart QUOTE ABOUT — SkyPath’ vote going ahead Wednesday
      By: Laura Heathcote | Latest Auckland News | Monday February 11 2013 12:21
      Complicated politics are expected to characterise the vote on a plan to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
      An Auckland Council transport committee will decide on Wednesday whether to support SkyPath, a tolled walking and cycling route which would be slung below the bridge.
      Heart of the City’s Alex Swney says his support is shared by cycling and walking advocates as well as the Council’s business faction – which supports the public-private partnership.
      But he acknowledges Auckland Council is trying very hard to keep rates down.
      “Then there’s the complication. There are some that think that walking and cycling should be free so you want to try and second guess these things, you just don’t want to.”
      Cycle Action Network chair Barbara Cuthbert says the council’s being asked to be a minor guarantor, putting forward $3 million towards the project.
      She says a further $29 million is being put up by the NZ Super Fund.
      “This is a gift to the people of Auckland that we know that well over 65 percent of Aucklanders want this facility and this allows them to get it for virtually no investment from the council.”
      Ms Cuthbert says if the vote goes through, it’s hoped SkyPath would be operational by the end of next year.
      Cuthbert says New Zealand Transport Agency is also backing the project, provided it proceeds on the basis of being a tolled facility.
      “This is the final step. The transport agency have been very helpful in helping it get through to here in terms of giving advice and access to the bridge.”
      Photo: Edward Swift
      • Millie Liang HOLD IT A MINUTE..Barbara says “we know that well over 65 percent of Aucklanders want this facility”. 20-30% of auckland are meant to be asian and another 10% maori ….. now tell me how many asians or maori do you see riding round auckland…what’s her 65% based on and how was the survey structured, where/time/day ..was it leading questions….I studied probabilities & statistics at uni and you can get the results you are after quite easy….. How many councillors own a bike and are regular cyclists….then how many will regularly ride over the bridge
    • Sharon Stewart QUOTE FROM THE ABOVE ARTICLE SkyPath vote going ahead Wednesday -Cycle Action Network chair Barbara Cuthbert says the council’s being asked to be a minor guarantor, putting forward $3 million towards the project.
      She says a further $29 million is being put up by the NZ Super Fund.
      • Millie Liang Hold it…. some where I read it was commercially viable and why should ratepayers be landed with having to provide any guarantee…… So it’s $3 million….. those that want it should fund raise or can’t they even do that..go get sponsorship off all the consultants/contractors/bike retailers, travel companies etc etc etc, sell naming rights…how hopeless are they…. everyone got dreams but who’s paying…. To me it’s only going to be of benefit or interest to very few people, trouble is I believe they know how to lobby and work the system and get their demands pandered to, and the majority of Councillors are to scared to stop it in case they loose votes and are booted out in a few months time.
      • Sharon Stewart INTERESTING COMMENT – MILLIE
      • Millie Liang hahaha. just thought,re (Barbara Cuthbert says) I often hear in conversations/negotiations words along the lines of; she says / he says are all waffle words and simply verbal diarrhea…We get every everything in writing then we look at it and if it doesn’t stack up we move on…… Just ask Barbara to produce the MOU/Heads of Agreement or whatever doc she got from NZ Super Fund and if she got nothing in writing I would presume it just verbal diarrhea……
        Remember in this game it is more smoke and mirrors to get anything off the ground and reality is never the same… If the promoters/consultants etc etc don’t hype it and float the kite high it won’t have the Wow factor and people tire and move on….Councillors need to realize they were elected to collectively run the city in prudent manner and not like some division of WINZ.
      • Sharon Stewart Millie – make sure you read the Bernad Orsman and Brian Rudman articles in the New Zealand Herald today. On the Eden Park issue.
      • Millie Liang Ok will do… I hope I’m wrong but if they both thinking straight they will say the Councillors were conned and played big time by McCully or whoever the minister is.
    • Sharon Stewart I wouldn’t have thought that the NZ Super Fund would be supporting something like this?? Like your comments. NZ Superannuation Fund????
    • Sharon Stewart Lots of SPINNING – going on with the bikes
    • Millie Liang Another way to look at it….. The Councillors Inc need to imagine they are the financiers for this development and it is their own money they putting on the line… They need to act like astute and prudent professionals and ask the hard questions/seek independent expert opinion…

      Has the Council sought opinions from independent experts around the world as to the cost/commercial viability of it and if so where’s the reports. ?…. Where’s the report form the clip-on builders as to the pro’s-cons of doing it…. what’s the warranty on the existing structure, because if they going to bolt / weld onto the existing clip on that causes more problems that any of the maintenance workers will tell you…… actually what should happen is councils should go work as a maintenance worker and see just how bad it is…like the tv program where switched on bosses get hired as the new guy on the ground so they can see what is really going on in his company..
    • Sharon Stewart Did you read the above information quote from Barbara Cuthbert who said Council is being asked to be a minor guarantor putting forward $3 million towards the project. She said a further $29 million is being put in by the NZ Super Fund. I wonder what all the TAXPAYERS and the baby boomers will think about this. From my experience on being on council – projects like this always blow out and guess who picks up the mess. That’s right the RATEPAYER OR THE TAXPAYERS. Central Government keeps passing the baby over to the Local Government and its just getting out of control. That’s my opinion anyway.
    • Sharon Stewart Wonder what people like Stan Blanche and David Thornton thinks about all this?
    • Millie Liang You spot on Sharon. I commented re Barbara under your “INTERESTING COMMENT – MILLIE”
    • Millie Liang  I couldn’t believe the councillors took the hook line sinker over Mt Eden…what were they thinking… To me it wasn’t about the collective good for auckland but about getting themselves onto these paying bds and playing you scratch my back and I will scratch yours. Just my thoughts got no proof but I know how the game is played. Wonder what the voting would have been if no councillors were allowed to be appointed to any bd /committee.
    • Millie Liang One last thing before I need to concentrate on work.GeorgeCameron,Sharon,DickBenLesley has any one calculated the wind and current movement on the bridge and how that will affect useage and what happens if people panic.
      • Lesley Opie Wind – that is something that will affect this structure. We live in direct line of the harbour bridge and when the strong south westerly winds come – it is awful – you can’t go outside. Imagine it is far worse actually on the harbour bridge. Think this walkway/cycleway is going to be a bit of a white elephant. With all the public transport proposed for the future how many will actually use it?
      • Sharon Stewart Lesley the public – need to understand that if we don’t get all the answers to the questions councillors may support this and this could end up being a huge anchor around us for ever. Hope you read all the post between Millie and I – probably best to copy and past – make sure you read all the See mores – this is just CRAZY. Imagine 5000 bike all 2 m long going one way across the bridge. Imagine the problem it will cause at the end of the bridge especially in peak traffic. Imagine even over the weekend people from the North Shore side wanting to ride across hundreds or thousands or maybe not many at all. If we got the numbers the SKYPATH are talking about the problems it will cause around Mission Bay – the bay’s etc… I don’t really think anyone has really thought this through. Imagine the window cleaning from inside and outside from all the sea spray. Imagine what would happen if 50 tourist end up on the bridge walking and site seeing and cyclist coming from both directions – FAST – It’s only 4 m wide for both cyclists and walkers in both directions. They are even suggesting having a cafe. What about air conditioning. They will need that because they can’t use the air from above because of he exhaust emissions unless they want to stop cars/trucks/buses etc… using the Auckland Harbour bridge the life line for those that live on the Shore to get to the other side. Cost of the CCTV cameras the length of the bridge in case of emergency. Accident or a gang fight. Once again no business plan. JUST A LOT OF SPIN.
      • Lesley Opie Where I live a wide cycle/walk bridge is being built to replace the narrow Northboro Pipe bridge (costing well over a million dollars – building passing bays on the bridge would have been much cheaper and adequate). When this bridge is wide the serious cyclists are going to speed over the bridge – they do it now when no one else is on the bridge. Health and safety issues have already arisen with the Northboro cycleway/pathway with pedestrians and cyclists – even though there are signs that say “Share with Care”. Cyclists seem to think they have the right of way over pedestrians (children, old people, mothers walking babies in buggys, people walking their dogs). Those who are proposing this Skypath don’t care about the effect on the surrounding environment so long as they can get their cycle fix. The bottom line is speeding cyclists and pedestrians sharing the same exit and entrance path and shared cycle/pedestrians paths, is not a good mix. Imagine a child walking with mum and dad suddenly decides to run ahead or sideways – could be quite nasty. Seems that those in charge of building the shared cycle/path ways don’t see the health and safety issue at all. They just think that everyone will share with care.
    • Sharon Stewart If you look at the plans Millie it will be glassed in. If it was open aired people would be blown off the bridge. Lot’s of Glass that would need to be constantly kept clean at I would suggest a huge cost. The maintenance of this under – grip on as they call it will be a constant drain on eventually the Ratepayers when the baby is passed on – as it happens all the time. RATEPAYERS ARE JUST AN EASY TOUCH. JUST KEEP PUTTING THE RATES UP FOR ALL THESE COSTLY DREAMS.
    • Sharon Stewart Read the 25 comments – above and take it all in. Looking forward to your comments. Some of those that are involved in promoting this SKYPATH are keeping to themselves today. SO FAR.
    • Millie Liang That’s why the mayor wants to ram another 1-1.5 million into the city…..It’s got nothing to do with the quality of life everyone enjoys..its all about the money… The average hard working people in the wider Auckland community think they can’t make a difference and that’s why there is such a poor voter turnout for elections… And when they go broke or simply sell up and move out they keep quite as they think they are failures…Like rats on a wheel, never mind how fast and clever you are you will get thrown off eventually… look at what they tell old people who have lived in their homes for 40-50yrs and can’t afford the continual increases in rates and cost of living…”well maybe you should consider selling up and moving somewhere where you can afford”..
      If this madness isn’t stopped, properties will be sold up, developers build 30-80sqm high rise apartments and the quality of life goes out the window and we book 6mths in advance to go to Long bay beach.
    • Sharon Stewart I hope the local Howick and Pakuranga times my local community paper picks up on this. As its a problem for all communities not just the Northshore and the CBD. Unless the public are aware of what is truly really going on – THINGS HAPPEN. Its called missing the boat.
      • Sharon Stewart Reay Neben, Nick Neben make sure you read all of these posts on the Skypath.
    • Millie Liang Re you comment Sharon ” Some of those that are involved in promoting this SKYPATH are keeping to themselves today. SO FAR.”…. old trick  they will keep quite pretending they aren’t aware, but if they any good they will be planning and plotting their next move…. Most probably studying up on how Sun Tsux would play his next card… If the councillors stand united, use common sense for once they will be able to withstand the next move of the promoters, but if councillors are picked of one by one, then it’s game all over.
    • Sharon Stewart Correct Millie its like a game.
    • Ben Ross Well we know what you must do Sharon when it hits Strat and Finance either next month or in April. Reject the proposal outright or defer it to the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan giving Skypath two more years in getting their figures together
    • Millie Liang Ben… To me it should have never got this far in the first place if astute people likeGeorge are still waiting for answers and he’s going to go and raise his concerns with the ceo . It’s like the Councillors were sleeping on the job… Imagine you going to the council for a resource consent with half of it missing or going to the bank for a loan with half your application not filled out ?
    • George Wood You are so right about the half baked application Millie.
    • Ben Ross Well then if that is the case Millie, the Skypath people are going to find a fast rejection from Strat and Finance just as AT did rather quickly with trying to get a half baked application for money reallocation in regards to the Manukau North Link duplication – although AT are going to be stupid enough to try again next month (insert Tui Ad here if I get a speaking slot) 

      It belongs in Strat and Finance no matter where they are with the progress for two reasons:
      1) To get the financial officers to run over this with a red pen and ruler
      2) So Strat and Finance can pass the rejecting resolution which is binding and tell Skypath one of several things: it will be deferred in any solid decision until your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, it will be rejected outright regardless until we get a new council at the end of the year, it will be rejected and sent back to AT (please don’t do that one) for more reports

      That proposal got stuck in the Transport Committee for over two hours leaving me fuming on the time wasting exercise that was when Skypath did not belong there at that point in time.

      Least it is now in Strat and Finance where the answer is simple: Half bake it like AT did last week with Manukau and it is rejected – pure and simple. Just don’t take two and a half hours to reach that conclusion please
    • Stephen Maire Ben, you continue to impress me. Keep it up.
      • Ben Ross Thanks for that  – incoming post in a few hours on this

 

Phew that took a moment to get it into the blog and format it back out – although I am not going back over the Facebook comments to correct spelling or gramma either 😛

But you can see where the debate amongst the opposition to Sky-Path is. Again my current line is this:

Well then if that is the case Millie, the Skypath people are going to find a fast rejection from Strat and Finance just as AT did rather quickly with trying to get a half baked application for money reallocation in regards to the Manukau North Link duplication – although AT are going to be stupid enough to try again next month (insert Tui Ad here if I get a speaking slot) 

It belongs in Strat and Finance no matter where they are with the progress for two reasons:
1) To get the financial officers to run over this with a red pen and ruler
2) So Strat and Finance can pass the rejecting resolution which is binding and tell Skypath one of several things: it will be deferred in any solid decision until your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, it will be rejected outright regardless until we get a new council at the end of the year, it will be rejected and sent back to AT (please don’t do that one) for more reports

That proposal got stuck in the Transport Committee for over two hours leaving me fuming on the time wasting exercise that was when Skypath did not belong there at that point in time.

Least it is now in Strat and Finance where the answer is simple: Half bake it like AT did last week with Manukau and it is rejected – pure and simple. Just don’t take two and a half hours to reach that conclusion please
With my official line being: REJECT THE SKY-PATH PROPOSAL AT THE STRATEGY AND FINANCE COMMITTEE ON THE PROVISION THAT IT (THE PROJECT) IS BEING DEFERRED TWO YEARS UNTIL THE 2015-2025 LONG TERM PLAN IS OPERATIONAL. IN THAT DEFERMENT, THE SKY-PATH PROJECT SPONSORS HAVE THOSE TWO YEARS TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL THEIR I’S ARE DOTTED AND T’S ARE CROSSED IN THE FULL BUSINESS AND ENGINEERING CASES BY THE TIME THE PROJECT COMES UP AGAIN ON THE 2015-2025 LONG TERM PLAN (CONSIDERATIONS).

No doubt this debate will continue – hopefully with the Sky-Path proponents having something to say in reply to the questions that were asked by those above – sooner rather than later.

 

BR:AKL will keep tabs on the Sky-Path development as it reaches the Strategy and Finance Committee  and whether the project will pass or rejected by Council as a whole!

 

Transport Committee Proceedings

Resolutions and Drawn Out Debate

 

Only to Send Two Matters To:

 

Another Committee

 

From 2pm until around just after 5pm I was at and observing the Auckland Council Transport Committee which met today. The public gallery was full for the most part for about two-thirds of the meeting – which is ironic as two-thirds of the meeting were tied up solely on the Auckland Sky Path project which I mentioned in my “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH” post this morning.

 

For two and a half hours presentations by the public, Local Boards and various associations; as well as constant debate on the merits and demerits of the AHB Sky-Path between Committee members occurred which meant two things to me:

  1. A numb-bloody backside for listening to all of this
  2. The fact I had a numb backside was made worse by Committee members being extremely inefficient in their debate today on the Sky Path as pretty much 99% of their questions and concerns belonged to the Strategy and Finance Committee (which the Sky Path proposal and recommendations finally got kicked to after that 2:30 hours) rather than the Transport Committee

 

Again you can get the details and information thus far on and from Page Nine of the February 2013 Transport Committee Agenda by clicking on the respective blue link.

However the resolutions in the Transport Committee passed and the matter is now finally off to the Strategy and Finance Committee where the entire AHB Sky-Path Proposal can be fleshed out and either one of these results will happen with the :

  • Rejected outright – project basically dead in the water until after the Local Government Elections in September/October this year
  • Rejected and sent back to Auckland Transport and the project people for more information
  • Rejected but deferred until the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan is operational (this is owing to that there is no budget line for the Sky Path project in the current 2012-2022 LTP)
  • Accepted as is and away we go subject most likely to Annual Plan considerations

 

From the resolutions passed on to me this evening I am going to take a punt that one or both of these is going to happen with the AHB Sky-Path:

  • Rejected and sent back to Auckland Transport and the project people for more information
  • Rejected but deferred until the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan is operational (this is owing to that there is no budget line for the Sky Path project in the current 2012-2022 LTP)

 

These were the resolutions passed this afternoon – please note the following first:

The reports contained within this agenda are for consideration and should not be constructed as Council Policy unless and until adopted

 

The resolutions

Secretarial Note: The motion was taken part by part. 

Resolution number TRAN/2013/9 
MOVED by Cr M Lee, seconded Cr CE Fletcher:

That the Transport Committee:

  1. a) Receives this report on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway (‘SkyPath’)Project Update. CARRIED
  2. That the Transport Committee notes the project sits within the LTP as an unfunded item. CARRIED
  3. Supports in principle the provision of a shared walk and cycle way across the Harbour Bridge rather than wait for provision once an Additional Waitemata Harbour crossing is in place subject to financial feasibility analysis. CARRIED
  4. d) Acknowledges the significant transport benefits (as well as recreational and tourism benefits) the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway would bring to the Auckland region in terms of completing a missing link in the Auckland Cycle Network and walking network, which would be further enhanced by the completion of the Northern Linkage/Shoal Bay. CARRIED
  5. e) Acknowledges the timing of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway, in the short term, would take advantage of Waterfront Auckland’s planned waterfront cycleway and walkway from Westhaven Marina to Daldy Street, and planned improvements by Auckland Transport to the local streets in Northcote as part of its Safe Schools Programme. CARRIED
  6. f) Requests the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to consider the Shoal Bay proposal as part of the investigation of the Northern Link between Northcote and Akoranga to provide improved walking and cycling connections to the northern end of the proposed Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway. CARRIED
  7. g) Recommends that any construction and operation of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway facility should be subject to an open and competitive price process. CARRIED
  8. h) Recommends that a report should be prepared with further information for the Strategy and Finance Committee to consider funding sources and the Council’s contributions (in the form of part underwrite and assumption of obligations at the end of the public private partnership period) to the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway. This further information would include:
    • – Procurement arrangements: fully contested or the proposed negotiated public private partnership;
    • – Detailed risk assessment;
    • – Comparison of a public private partnership arrangement with traditional procurement process or other processes to determine best value for money; and
    • – Assessment of the project against the Council’s Significance and Public Private Partnership Policies;

CARRIED
Cr Hartley left the meeting at 3.30pm. 


Resolution number TRAN/2013/10

MOVED by Cr C Casey, seconded Cr W Walker:

  1. i) continue to investigate how some or all users can have free access. CARRIED

Resolution number TRAN/2013/11 
MOVED by Cr GS Wood, seconded Cr W Walker: 
That the Health and Safety aspect of the project be reported upon. CARRIED

 

Not all points passed with a unanimous vote

 

So off to the Strategy and Finance Committee the Auckland Harbour Bridge Sky Path goes – just a bugger and a numb backside later it took 2:30 hours to get it to that committee.

Oh and One News were covering the beginning of the proceedings today with an article on the Sky-Path on their website.

 

Next post: Developments on the Manukau Duplicate North Link :-\