It’s all go for the Eastern Path! This is a pathway which will eventually link Glen Innes with Tamaki Drive via a shared walkway/cycleway through the Pourewa Valley. Recent updates indicate the official start date for Section 1 (Glen Innes – St Johns Rd section) will be on October 19, and Auckland Transport has promised more links into the pathway for Meadowbank & St Johns residents.
Email from Auckland Transport
We received an email from Aaron Hutching – the Public Affairs Advisor from Auckland Transport – on September 9. The full email is below, but key points are:
- Section 1 (Merton Rd – St Johns Rd) expected to begin in October 2015
- Feedback indicated that more connections to the pathway are required, particularly in Section 2 (Meadowbank & St Johns section between St Johns Rd and Meadowbank Station)
- Auckland Transport will showcase potential designs (with linkages into the pathway from surrounding areas) for Section 2 at a public open day to be held later this year.
Notes from Stakeholder Meeting
Our Transport Subcommittee Co-chair Carmel Claridge attended at Stakeholder Meeting on September 21. Key points from this meeting include:
- Official start date for Section 1: October 19, subject to consents but anticipated to be no delay
- Ongoing consultation for links from Glen Innes into Section 1
- Section 2 construction expected end of 2016. Currently in survey phase
- Auckland Transport will engage will community regarding links into Section 2 of pathway. Funding for links will be responsibility of Local Board.
Read Carmel’s full notes from the meeting: Notes Stakeholder Meeting Auckland Transport Eastern Path 21 SEPT
Full contents of email from Aaron Hutching:
In November 2014 Auckland Transport (AT) and The NZ Transport Agency sought public feedback on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path. Thank you for taking part in this process and telling us your thoughts. To find out more about the project, visit www.AT.govt.nz/projects. Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path is listed within with the eastern area projects.
Since then, we have further developed the path route and design for section one (Merton Road to St Johns Road) and are awaiting a decision on the consents needed to begin construction later this year. We expect that construction could get underway in mid-October.
We are also developing a preferred route and path design for section two (St Johns Road to Orakei Basin) and investigating what links into the path might be built, in order to provide better access for surrounding communities.
During the feedback period, we received 127 submissions, with a majority providing positive feedback on the project. A summary of the responses is attached, providing an overview of what you told us.
In particular, comments focussed on the way in which the path improves connectivity to the city and links with public transport along the way. People liked the route the path takes and commented on its scenic nature. Also popular was the way the path lets people walk, run, or cycle, away from roads and traffic.
Some feedback indicated a view that people on foot and on bike should be separated, whether by a physical structure or painted symbols. We do not have sufficient budget to create a path wide enough to incorporate raised kerb separators of the type we are using on cycleways such as Beach Road and Nelson Street within the city centre. Our intention is that the path will not be marked and that the path design will discourage high speeds. It will be an environment in which we ask people to “share with care”, consistent with other shared paths across Auckland.
We have not found markings to be effective at keeping people to one side of a path, particularly when dogs and children are included in the mix. They can encourage conflict by creating the expectation that one person has a right of way over another. Acknowledging the different ways in which people of all ages and abilities will use the path, we want to create an environment in which people engage with and look out for each other.
A key concern expressed by submitters was in relation to the number of connections into the path from adjacent communities. Around 57% of submissions requested more connections, particularly within section two which runs between the suburbs of Meadowbank and St Johns.
Since consultation, the project team have investigated potential links into the section two and have begun concept designs on several options, with a view to providing better connectivity between Meadowbank and St Johns. A key driver for these links is to make it safer and easier for children to walk or cycle to school.
Our investigations will determine what costs and construction challenges are associated with these potential links. We will share these with the community at an open day later this year, by which stage we expect to have reached a decision on what links can be built as part of this project and what might be constructed later. The open day will also be an opportunity for us to share path designs for section two and three and to seek further public feedback.
Thank you for your interest in the project. Please get in touch if you have any questions or feedback.
Feedback charts included in the email can be viewed here: Feedback Charts from Auckland Transport September 2015