Saturday, November 21, 2015

Can SkyPath fit 14337 cyclists on Northcote Point? SkyPath says it can!

Bike the Bridge 2015 a few of the 3,000 cyclists leaving Smales Farm

Can SkyPath fit 14,337 cyclists & pedestrians on Northcote Point between noon and 3 pm? SkyPath says it can! Many Northcote residents would like to know how SkyPath plans to do this. It is a big secret but they are sure they can do it.

A glance at the photograph above showing a few of the 3000 cyclists from Bike the Bridge 2015 leaving Smales Farm gives some idea of what the numbers involved might entail. The above crowd is by any standards huge and the official numbers were 3,000.  It looks more as they take up so much room. Northcote Point is to receive 14,337 every summer Saturday and Sunday between noon and 3 pm according to the Official Research by Auckland Council  into the viability of SkyPath and this is to rise to 20,000 + in 5 years time.

The Mayor and majority of councillors, SkyPath itself and the Independent Commissioners, Ms Karyn Sinclair - Chairperson, Ms Jenny Hudson, Ms Melean Absolum, and Mr Mark Farnsworth who granted the Resource Consent feel that the effects of this 14,337 on Northcote Point will be minimal.
The Resource Consent  Advice of Decision:
The adverse amenity effects at the Northern Landing (primarily associated with increased activity, privacy/overlooking, noise, and perceptions relating to safety and security) can be adequately mitigated through design and site management as proposed by the Applicant. 
The problem is no one has informed the residents of Northcote Point just how they are going to cope with this problem. The Mayor and SkyPath are convinced that they can  but refuse to say how. Maybe they do not  know exactly how much space is needed for 14,337 people queuing to get into a 4 meter tunnel with only two entrances and exits which are blocked by turnstiles.

Reasons for the decision: 

The reasons for this decision are included in the decision report above but can be summarised as follows: 1. In terms of section 104D(1)(a) of the RMA, the adverse effects of the activity on the environment at the Northern Landing have been considered as moderate. Turning to section 104(1)(a), mitigation measures have been incorporated into the design of the proposal, and a range of consent conditions have been imposed to ensure that any adverse effects on the environment for the entire proposal can be satisfactorily avoided, remedied or mitigated.

How exactly do the Commissioners propose to ensure that 14,447 can be accommodated with no adverse effects?  Are they experts in crowd management?

For Bike the Bridge 3000 cyclists needed the whole of Smales Farm with acres of car parks and all the Bus Station lanes as a meeting point. 300 official marshalls to slow down the traffic, a bank of porta cabins at each end, and around 100 buses to form a barrier for safety. NO pedestrians or children allowed and the traffic which filled the Bridge Lanes was just one way. Traffic was all one way and moving all the time. No stopping.

One has to be blind or stupid to see that Northcote Point with just 50 meters of available land for Skypath that even the 3000 for Bike the Bridge are not going to fit. There is virtually no space either side and one road entrance of about 8 meters, This is for traffic both ways plus pedestrians with children and push chairs.

Buildmedia simulation under Northcote Point. Over 14,000 people are expected!

The Official Research says this is the correct number and in fact SkyPath needs these numbers if it is not to fail financially. If it is built and it is underwritten by the Council and these numbers do not turn up these losses will be paid for by the Ratepayers of Auckland. To add insult to injury Northcote had it rates put up by 16% this year.  To date the costs to the Ratepayers must be millions.

Bike the Bridge Cyclists arriving at Westhaven 

Until last week there was really no visual evidence to support Northcote Point's predicament  but now there is evidence. Plenty of it. So come on Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland, Bevan Woodward, SkyPath's promoter and Ms Jennifer Valentine - Auckland Council's Lead Senior Planner, front up. Northcote Point is waiting.

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