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New footpath proposal for Judges Bay Road access to Parnell Baths

Memo to Auckland Transport regarding new footpath priorities 2012-13

Auckland Transport has allocated around $3 million per year in the Regional Land Transport Programme to construct new footpaths. Local Boards have been invited to assist in establishing the new footpath programme by providing proposals to Auckland Transport. Auckland Transport has advised that any local board proposals will be assessed against a set of criteria, which will include:

  • Providing footpaths where none currently exist
  • Providing linkages to community facilities
  • Addressing gaps in the footpath network Enhancing routes and links to schools and public transport
  • Known pedestrian safety issues

The purpose of this memo is to outline the Waitemata Local Board’s high priority proposal for the footpath programme.

Priority footpath in the Waitemata Local Board area

The Waitemata Local Board has identified Judges Bay Road extension as the highest priority location for the construction of a new footpath from the 12-13 new footpath budget. A footpath is required to provide a safe pedestrian connection from Judges Bay Reserve to the Parnell Baths and to the walkway through the Baths that provides pedestrian access across Pt Resolution Bridge to Tamaki Drive and to St Stephens Ave. This is a popular route for visitors to the Baths and for residents and visitors wanting to connect to the wider network of walking routes. This route is also part of a heritage foreshore walk that the Board is developing.

Currently no footpath exists on this part of Judges Bay Road. Pedestrians have to walk on the actual road to access the Parnell Baths and the walkway. Pedestrian safety is also compromised by the car parking on the road.

It is proposed that the walkway is constructed as a continuation of the boardwalk installed as part of the Judges Bay development project on the Bay side of the road. A board walk (or cantilevered walkway) is considered to be the safest option and will ensure that parking can continue to be provided at the entrance to Parnell Baths. (Refer attached photos showing the current boardwalk on Judges Bay Road).

Safe pedestrian connectivity and provision of car parking have been identified as priorities by residents, visitors and the Parnell Baths Support Group. The construction of the boardwalk/footpath is urgent because Pt Resolution Bridge is going to be closed and reconstructed over the Christmas period. During this time Judges Bay Road will be the only access to Parnell Baths. Ideally construction should be programmed to be completed before the start of the busy summer season at the baths. Notwithstanding the temporary closure of the bridge this footpath is considered to be a high priority for pedestrian safety, improved connectivity to a popular community facility and for providing all year round linkages to a well used walking network. It is also consistent with the priorities of the Waitemata Local Board plan.

Strong community support has already been demonstrated for the footpath to be constructed as a boardwalk or cantilevered walkway so that the existing parking can be retained on the road.

Background

At the end of 2011 the $5m Judges Bay development project was completed to upgrade the Judges Bay beach and foreshore area. The project included two stages:

  • Stage 1 – dredging and re-sanding of the beach.
  • Stage 2 – a landscape upgrade of the foreshore and surrounding area.

A stage 2 consultation was undertaken in June 2010  that identified improved pedestrian connectivity as a priority for the community.

As the report noted “The next priority is to deal with the car parking and traffic issues of peak season, which include demands from Parnell Baths and Judges Bay visitors. The significance of these issues extends beyond the convenience of residents and visitors to find suitable car parks and includes safety considerations for pedestrians. The issues of shared pedestrian and car use of Judges Bay Extension is part of this priority. At the other end of Judges Bay, parking on two sides of the road is also felt to create dangers for pedestrians”.

The Waitemata Local Board recently approved the renewal of the Point Resolution Bridge to Parnell Baths walkway to enable the walkway connection project to be completed in conjunction with the replacement of Point Resolution Bridge planned for early 2013. During the construction period Judges Bay Road will provide the only access to the Baths.

The Parnell Baths Support Group has asked the Board to ensure the safe access of pedestrians during the construction period. The Group have also asked that consideration be given to a longer term solution that effectively separates cars from pedestrians on the road but does not reduce the amount of car parking available. They have suggested that the building of a cantilevered walkway beside the carpark, along the narrow extension road to the Baths is the best option.

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