The Auckland Trains blog reports that the Get Across group that’s been advocating for a walk and cycle way across the Harbour Bridge has just sent a detailed proposal to the New Zealand Transport Agency to be considered.
The proposal is for a tolled walk and cycle way. The project would cost $14 to 16 million to build and it would be paid off over 15 years through tolls. The walk and cycle way would be fitted under the bridge using a design that’s been successfully used in Canada to retrofit a bridge.
The proposed tolls would cost $3.90 return for people using their new public transport smart card. (Aucklanders are expected to have these soon as part of the integrated ticketing project. )
However, for tourists or those wanting to just make a one off trip and pay by cash, credit card or EFTPOS, the cost would be $10 return.
Does anybody think it’s a little crazy we’re going to charge people $10 a pop to walk and cycle across the Bridge when it is free to drive? This is a project that would have massive economic benefits for Auckland – including for tourism, congestion, the environment, and for our health.
So long as the Transport Agency thinks that this proposal is technically possible and won’t weaken the bridge, I think the government should just fund this project outright and make it free for everybody. What do you think?