Bike campaigners find more room on bridge

By Mathew Dearnaley

Cyclists and pedestrians have supplied Transit NZ with new measurements to show they could fit comfortably across Auckland Harbour Bridge without undue sacrifices by motorists.

An amended plan by Cycle Action Auckland and Walk Auckland would leave buses and cars with more space on its clip-on lanes than suggested by Transit as a price of creating a 2.4m cycleway on one side of the bridge, and a walkway on the other.

Bus operator Ritchies Transport feared narrowing the lanes to 3.1m may not leave enough clearance for new buses expected to be 2.6m wide. But Cycle Action chairman Bevan Woodward said yesterday, at the launch of an online campaign to build public support for cycling and pedestrian crossings, that the new calculations would leave buses with 3.4m on the outside clip-on lanes.

Mr Woodward said he had passed the new measurements to Transit, for assessment by a multi-agency group of officials examining options for another Waitemata Harbour crossing.

He said fitting cyclists and pedestrians on the existing bridge, with only small 340mm "add-ons" on each side, could be achieved for $5 million compared with $40 million for larger cantilevered structures proposed by Transit.

Ritchies director Andrew Ritchie said that although he would prefer dedicated clip-on lanes for buses only, and he would have to take advice from Transit on the new measurements, a width of 3.4m "seems okay to me".

That compares with an existing width of 3.65m, and a proposed 3.2m allowance for the inside clip-on lanes.

Elite Auckland athletes, including Ironman champions Jo Lawn and Cameron Brown and Olympian Hamish Carter, gave their blessing to the "Get Across" campaign in which the public is invited to log their support or opposition on a new website.

ON THE WEB
www.getacross.org.nz

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