Auckland's cycle 'SkyPath' has a key date with residents

Auckland's cycle 'SkyPath' has a key date with residents
St Mary's Bay residents will pass – or not – a resolution on the long-awaited cycleway under Auckland Harbour Bridge this week

Auckland's endless debate about transport throws up some pretty odd scenarios, but few have been stranger than the residents' associations of Northcote and St Mary's Bay – which both, of course, overlook a multi-lane motorway on either side of the harbour bridge – expressing fears this year over a proposed walkway/cycleway on the bridge.

In truth, both groups had some reasonable concerns over the vagueness of plans to connect the so-called SkyPath at either end and the prominence of advertising to support its operation, but it was an odd spectacle. In particular, St Mary's Bay residents are on the far side of eight lanes of motorway from the proposed path.

A crunch of sorts comes on Thursday evening when the St Mary's Bay Association meets to consider the issue and possibly pass a resolution. The lobby group Cycle Action Auckland is encouraging local supporters to join the association and attend the meeting.

Meanwhile, the first part of the city's Grafton Gully cycleway–​ a short stretch between Grafton and Alten Roads, has been opened. Other stretches are due before summer, and there are plans for the path to extend down to Beach Road and Britomart, and also to the planned new Parnell railway station, which is expected to provide a good deal of foot traffic to the university.

Frustratingly for western residents, the 'top' end of the cycleway–​ connecting the new path to the popular northwestern cycleway at Upper Queen Street –​ is lagging somewhat. That stretch is a joint venture between NZTA, which is building the rest of the Grafton route, and Auckland Transport, and is waiting on AT's decisions on beautification of the route.