Sunday, April 17, 2016

The April Fool's Answer to the Problem of SkyPath

1st April- April Fools Day when one is allowed to be naughty for a few hours and have a joke. Being English I decided to be naughty and have fun with the vexed problem of SkyPath, the cycling and pedestrian hang on which seems to be the only answer to letting cyclists and pedestrians cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The problem is with the present design of SkyPath is it just won't work, great concept but no safe landing area at Northcote Point. 50 sq Meters for over 13,347 people a day is sadly not enough added to the fact that in my opinion SkyPath is a 1.2 kilometer cage death trap.

Today the Auckland Town Planners, The Mayor, Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Authority have decided the car has got to go and we all have to get on our bikes. All over Auckland car lanes are being removed and replaced by cycle lanes. Vast sums are being spent to de car our city so very tongue in check I wrote an April Fool Comment as follows.

At a meeting with NZTA last night to discuss SeaPath one of the representatives told me that NZTA were actually planning a trial of cycling and walking on the bridge to see if the amount of cycle traffic will justify the expense. As it is now usual to remove car lanes it is easy to close the first two lanes on the west side of the Bridge and give them to the cyclists and pedestrians. Access is simple via Stafford Road and Curran Street. With two lanes available safety is assured. The plan is to run it for three months starting in July. What a simple solution for everyone and it will get cars off the road and you and I on our bikes. Good for AT.

One has to craft an April Fool carefully. It has to have that air of verisimilitude that gives it that tang of reality. I had been at a meeting to discuss the multi million dollar SeaPath that is supposed to take the pressure off Northcote Point which is to be inundated with 20,000 cyclists each weekend with nowhere to put them so my comment had a plausible twinge to it. I only have a select few friends on FB so it was not widely seen. I should have done it the night before for our local rag. but hey its fun and NZ doesn't really do fun that often.

Then later it hit me. This is the complete answer to every one's prayers answer. Close first two lanes facing westward to cars and give them to the cyclists and pedestrians. It is so easy as the access and exits roads are already there, easy access both ends with the Westhaven  end  cycle and  running straight into the city. Perfect.

No construction, No SkyPath hardly any expense, fewer cars, Happy cyclists, two lanes, safe as houses and free!

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