The path of resistance grows

August 17, 2017

The path of resistance grows

The SkyPath observation deck. Image: supplied

A new – and somewhat mysterious – community group has emerged as the fight against the SkyPath heats up again.

Despite Northcote Point residents dropping their appeal against the harbour bridge crossing more than a year ago, a letterbox flyer drop in the area by a group calling itself Friends of Northcote Point was carried out this week.

The flyer urges residents to take action against the path, with suggestions of writing to Northcote MP Jonathon Coleman and Auckland Transport board member Sir Michael Cullen.

However, it carries no contact details and the group appears to have no social media presence.

The Northcote Residents Association (NRA) says it has no knowledge of the second group.

Chairman Chris Wargent said: “We don’t actually know who these people are but we don’t think it is an incorporation.”

Expected to open in 2019, the SkyPath was granted resource consent in mid-2015 but that was appealed by several community organisations, including NRA.

The NRA has been calling for urgent action since the Environment Court granted consent for the building of the SkyPath to begin in 2018.

Privately funded, the SkyPath itself is not the issue, but potential parking issues in the area have angered locals.

Mr Wargent said his group was taking one thing at a time and was now concentrating on what the traffic back-up would be like for commuters coming from Birkenhead and the flow-on effect from this.

“Believe me, our case has been taken to the highest avenues.”

Resident Catriona Colven said: “[The SkyPath] would be very cool. As long as they didn’t take out the street parking and make all the current ones P120.”

Bryant Douglas has lived in Northcote Point for more than 20 years. “It’s a good idea. A huge amount of thought needs to be put into how to deal with the foot traffic.

“It shouldn’t be built at the expense of the residents.

“With an expected 14,000 [people] visiting and walking across each weekend, there needs to be somewhere they can park. It’s good to see the community stepping up to get answers about what can be done.”

Northcote and Birkenhead MP Jonathon Coleman told TWN he supported the concept of walking and cycling over the bridge.

However, he said, any such crossing needed to “link to SeaPath, as Northcote Point couldn’t cope if the south end of Princes Street was the sole exit point”.

SeaPath is a proposed path that will extend from the SkyPath to Takapuna.

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