The Harbour Bridge debate

The internet seems to be awash with Aucklanders contesting the great ‘cycle across the harbour bridge’ debate (e.g Public Address and the Herald).  Or at least the debate that’s not happening because it seems the Auckland City council is not to keen to have it. 

Not hard to guess my view obviously. Keith notes:

This is a must-do project if we are serious about a cycle network in Auckland. It will provide the only possible cross-harbour connection for walkers and cyclists, for whom the projected tunnel under the harbour would not be appropriate.


Councillors should grab this opportunity and not be put off by cost considerations for the walkway/cycleway, which are minor compared with most roading projects. The estimated cost – from $23.8 million to $42.7 million – pales in comparison to the $1.89 billion cost of the 4.5 kilometre Waterview Connection.

That’s about $420,000 per metre. Enough to make you want to cycle.

11 Comments Posted

  1. There will be a gathering of cyclists and pedestrians who would like to be able to get across the Harbour Bridge on Sunday 21 September.

    Perhaps you would like to drive along and organise a counter-protest Owen.

    Gather in the park below the Harbour Bridge at the city end
    at 2 pm on Sunday 21 September.
    (access is from Curran Street (Herne Bay) or from Westhaven Drive)

  2. Lets make sure the people who profit from net migration pay for their externatilies, including the effects on existing residents. Make them pay for their own roads and compensate for loss of sunlight etc.

  3. Well the Greens think the only transport users who should cover their full costs, and the costs of externalities are those using trucks, cars and planes – bus and rail operators (and certainly cyclists) should have those who don’t move or don’t use them pay for them.

    It is nothing to do with economics, precious little to do with the environment, but everything to do with a mystical ideology backed up with little evidence and a lot of “feeling”.

  4. I see that the consultants on the cycle lane estimated about 570 to 1300 people would use the lane each day. I cannot remember precisely and don’t have the paper with me.
    However, I do remember doing the sums at the mid point and the toll required to pay for the cost of capital (and if you don’t you are destroying wealth/ savings) came to about $50 dollars a week per rider.
    Now where did I last hear that figure.

  5. The cost doesn’t really pale in comparison to the Waterview Connection. That will cost $105,000 per lane/metre, The bridge cycle/pedestrian lanes will cost between $15,000 and $30,000, the clip-ons cost $35,000 (at todays prices) and the Otira Viaduct cost $30,000. The Homestead Gully-Siberia Ford realignment cost $556 and the Normanby realignment cost 1,300 and has eliminated fatal crashes thus paying for itself in reduced social cosy of crashes in just 4 years. The cost of the last two improvements really pale in comparison to the Waterview Connection yet Labour has opted to increase spending on urban motorways instead of building safer highways. Maybe they have subconsciously added something to the road safety advertising slogan from the late 1990s: “Country people die on country roads” but country people mainly vote National.

  6. Owen McShane Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    > The usage of such an exposed and steep cycle crossing would be low.

    Steep and exposed? Aucklanders don’t know what steep and exposed means.

  7. >> The usage of such an exposed and steep cycle crossing would be low.

    Well actually the proposed design has walls and a roof. Next?

    Yes it is steep, but hey, its good aerobic exercise going uphill, and there are plenty of steeper hills around Auckland that cyclists deal with daily.

  8. How many vehicle movements will waterview facilitate and how many will the bridge cycleway? What is the cost per movement?

    The GReens favour tolls, so let’s fund the cycleways with tolls. Any shortfall can come out of the GReen’s Parliamentary funding budget as you guys are so keen on it.

  9. The waterview connection should cost only about 250 million (the same as the Phil Goff section) but it is in Helen Clarke’s electorate and so is going underground.

    Cycling and walking works on Golden gate because being a suspension bridge it is flat and provides a great view of the harbour etc.
    Costs do matter because funds spent on one project are not available for another.
    The usage of such an exposed and steep cycle crossing would be low. If you believe that motorists should pay their costs then so should cyclists. If the lane was 30 million, that is a cost of capital of say 3 million per annum or 8,219 a day.
    So at a dollar a day each way it would need over 8000 riders or walkers each way a day to meet the cost of capital – ignoring costs of collection etc.
    Then on really windy days and really rainy days what happens?

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