Kauri Dieback Spreads To A City Park On Auckland’s North Shore

Kauri dieback spreads to a city park on Auckland's North Shore

Kauri dieback is suspected to have spread to a park in a bushy suburb just north of the bridge on Auckland’s North Shore.

A track at Chelsea Estate Heritage Park has been closed by Auckland Council, as a precautionary measure, while investigations are carried out on a kauri tree that may be infected.

“The tree is showing signs of decline; however, we cannot be 100 percent sure of infection until the test results come back,” Auckland Council biosecurity manager Phil Brown said.

In January, Brown said, while the disease was likely to have spread across the Shore, it was positive Birkenhead was free of the disease.

Visual inspection of the tree was inconclusive but there was a strong possibility the kauri was infected with the disease, Brown said.

“As a precautionary measure, we have closed this track, which is accessed from Blundell Place in Birkenhead, immediately, while we await confirmation from the lab and develop a plan for managing this response,” Brown said.

Signage was installed to close the track on May 4 and additional footwear-cleaning measures for the Chelsea Park area were being assessed.

Soil samples have been taken from around the tree, and where expected to confirm, in early June, whether the tree had been infected.

“From what we know about the incubation period for this disease, if it is in fact infected, this tree may have been in decline for some years, yet not necessarily showing any visible signs of infection,” Brown said.

Brown previously acknowledged kauri dieback had been present in the North Shore for about eight years.

“It has been here a long time. We don’t know for certain where it has come from, all we know is suddenly it has spread rapidly,” Brown said in January.

Albany Scenic Reserve and Okura Bush were the most readily identified areas on the North Shore with the disease, but it may have spread, Brown said.

Kauri dieback is a type of fungus that gets into tree roots and over time can kill the tree.

The tree in question was found during the council’s out track surveys that have been rolling out across the north of the Auckland region in recent months.

Auckland Council advises visitors to kauri forests to clean their footwear and equipment before entering kauri areas and after leaving.

The council has been conducting a survey of kauri dieback across Auckland with results due back soon.

Article published in North Shore Times
Published 04 May 2018

Community ‘delighted’ with crossing win after two year argument with AT

Community 'delighted' with crossing win after two year argument with AT

A potentially life-saving pedestrian crossing has been the cause of an 18-month-long debate between Auckland Transport and an Auckland North Shore community.

Now, the crossing has progressed to the public submission stage, which has left advocates delighted.

Birkenhead’s Hinemoa St is the main route from Highbury town centre to the Birkenhead Ferry Terminal and is on the Auckland cycle route.

But from the top of Hinemoa Street to the ferry terminal at the bottom, there are no pedestrian crossings.

The busy street is also home to Highbury House – a community facility with an early childhood centre, a preschool, and a group of shops and cafes.

Highbury House manager Angela Spooner said she wasn’t happy with AT’s rejection of the original proposal and so she appealed.

“The pedestrian crossing will slow the traffic down and make it safer for everyone.”

The proposal is to install a crossing at 100 Hinemoa St, outside Coffee General and just before Rugby Rd. Some street parking will be lost in the installation.

North Shore Ward Councillor Richard Hills has been another strong advocate for the crossing saying that from a pedestrian safety point of view, the crossing is essential.

Also, investing in these sorts of projects will encourage people to not use their cars when going on shorter journeys, Hills said.

Submissions are now open and can be lodged at at.govt.nz, search: Hinemoa St.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 06 October 2017 The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

The following content is from Auckland Transports website

https://at.govt.nz/about-us/have-your-say/north-auckland-consultations/hinemoa-st-birkenhead-zebra-crossing/

Hinemoa St, Birkenhead – Zebra crossing

Consultation status: closed 6 October 2017

Proposal reference: RTV-078

AT had proposed to install a zebra crossing at 100 Hinemoa St in Birkenhead, including the removal of some on street parking.

The proposed changes included:

  • Installation of a new zebra crossing, traffic islands and pram crossings.
  • Removal of existing pedestrian refuge island at 102-108 Hinemoa St.
  • Installation of broken yellow lines (no stopping parking restrictions) on the approach to the crossing.

Download the consultation drawing for Hinemoa St (PDF 613KB)

Why the changes are needed

We are proposing these changes in response to local requests for safer pedestrian facilities on Hinemoa St. The proposed crossing will also act as a traffic calming measure on this busy road.

Feedback

Thank you everyone for your feedback.

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed with minor changes to the next stage of detailed planning. These changes include raising the zebra crossing and reducing the width of the central traffic islands.

Specific feedback

  • Concern that the loss of on-street car parking will negatively affect local businesses. Our proposal aims to balance the demand for parking in this area with local requests for a safer pedestrian crossing. Whilst we appreciate the inconvenience of losing parking directly outside individual businesses, adequate parking still exists at a reasonable distance on Hinemoa Street, Rugby Road and Glade Place.
  • Suggestions that pedestrian demand is not high enough on Hinemoa Street to justify installing a crossing and removing car parking. Our surveys show that a high volume of pedestrians are crossing at multiple locations near 100 Hinemoa Street. We have concluded that this area requires a safer crossing that will also reduce vehicle speeds and create a more comfortable environment for all road users.
  • Concern that the proposed crossing will cause additional safety hazards and confusion for both drivers and pedestrians because it is located too close to the intersection with Rugby Road. We have surveyed the site of the proposed crossing and our calculations show that there will be adequate visibility for drivers and pedestrians approaching the new zebra crossing. Road signage will also be installed to notify drivers of the new crossing.
  • Requests to move the proposed crossing closer to the Highbury Community House and Crèche at 110 Hinemoa Street. Pedestrian surveys show us that most pedestrians are crossing between Rugby Road and Glade Place. We therefore believe that 100 Hinemoa Street will be the most effective location for a crossing facility.
  • Concern that the proposal will negatively affect nearby properties due to noise from vehicles required to break when approaching the crossing. Whilst we appreciate that our proposal involves changes to traffic movements at this location, we expect that noise from breaking cars will not be any louder than cars stopping to pull into parking spaces.
  • Concern that the removal of on-street parking will result in cars parking in residential driveways when visiting local businesses. Parking in driveways is prohibited. We recommend regularly reporting these parking infringements to our parking enforcement call centre, which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. Please call 09 355 3553.
  • Requests to upgrade angle parking on Glade Place, near the intersection with Hinemoa Street (due to reports of these parking bays being muddy with potholes), include time restrictions and clear markings to identify the parking space boundary and prevent residential driveways from being blocked. We plan to tidy existing parking spaces in Glade Place when the new zebra crossing is constructed on Hinemoa Street. Our surveys show that time restrictions are not required for these parking spaces at this point in time. If parked cars are illegally blocking driveways, please contact our parking enforcement call centre, which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week on 09 355 3553.
  • Requests for speed calming measures along Hinemoa Street to address traffic safety, including chicanes and warning lights. Respondents also request that the speed limit be dropped to 40 or 30 km/h along this road. Whilst Hinemoa Street does not meet current criteria for a reduction of the speed limit, we have expanded our final plans to include a raised zebra crossing. The raised crossing will slow traffic speeds and create a safer environment for road users.
  • Concern that the proposed zebra crossing causes a pinch point for cyclists due to narrow road lanes. Respondents request that lane widths be extended to 4.2 metres to accommodate cyclists. Changes to our final plans include reducing the width of the traffic islands to 1.8 metres. This will allow for a kerb-to-kerb lane width of 4.2 metres which can safely accommodate cyclists.
  • Requests for cycle lanes along Hinemoa Street and through the proposed crossing. Respondents report that many cyclists use this road to access the ferry terminal and also refer to the Sky Path as a facility that will increase cyclist volumes in the area. We also received requests to address other cyclist pinch points caused by traffic islands, parked cars and planted medians along the length of Hinemoa Street.
    While these requests are out of scope of this proposal at 100 Hinemoa Street, we will undertake further investigations to expand cycle facilities along the length of the road. We have also amended our plans to increase kerb-to-kerb lane widths which will comfortably accommodate cyclists travelling through the crossing.
  • Request that the bus stops on Hinemoa Street be limited to specific times to allow car parking outside these hours. These restrictions will not be incorporated in our final plans because buses continue to use the stops at different times and any restrictions will not be feasible.
  • Requests to replicate the bus stop/pedestrian crossing arrangement at Birkenhead Avenue. This arrangement is reported to be successful in retaining on-street parking and meeting the needs of bus users. We investigated the arrangement of the pedestrian crossing on Birkenhead Avenue and have determined that it is not feasible to replicate at Hinemoa Street. There is not enough space between Rugby Road and Glade Place to safely accommodate this arrangement and we cannot move the crossing away from this location as pedestrian counts show that it will be less effective.
  • Requests to move bus stops to 100-110 Hinemoa Street and 105 Hinemoa Street respectively in order to establish additional on-street parking. We will not be incorporating these requests in our final plan as it would involve the removal of additional on-street parking.
  • A request for adequate street lighting in this area including an assurance that the proposed crossing will meet the requirements of the Auckland Transport Code of Practice (ATCOP) section 19.6.3. While lighting plans were not included in our consultation drawing, we can confirm that lighting facilities will meet the ATCOP standards.
  • Requests for more information regarding background research and surveys conducted in preparing this proposal. Our proposal to install a zebra crossing at 100 Hinemoa Street is in response to concerns from local residents who reported that the existing crossing facilities are unsafe for pedestrians. We surveyed the number of pedestrians crossing at different areas on Hinemoa Street and concluded that a zebra crossing was necessary at this specific location. Data relating to vehicle speeds and volumes was also taken into account during this investigation. We concluded that positioning the zebra crossing where most pedestrians are currently attempting to cross Hinemoa Street would create a safer environment for all road users.

Next steps

We expect to introduce this work in the 2018/2019 financial year, subject to any further changes in design or funding issues. Contractors will issue 48-hour notices to all affected residents prior to construction work.

Last updated 09 February 2018

Pollution at Auckland’s Chelsea Bay ponds leaves locals angry with council

Pollution at Auckland's Chelsea Bay ponds leaves locals angry with council

Dead eels, paralysed ducks and violently green water has left some Chelsea Bay locals concerned the pollution in the ponds surrounding the iconic sugar factory is getting out of control.

A number of ponds near the Chelsea Sugar Factory on Auckland’s North Shore play host to a raft of native and exotic fish species.

However, locals are concerned the wildlife is in danger because they feel Auckland Council is not doing enough to stop pollutants getting in the pond.

Resident Doug Waters said every summer the water gets an algal bloom, but this season the pollution seemed particularly bad.

“I don’t think the council are even going anywhere near to do doing enough. The bottom line is there should not be that degree of algal bloom. I think they are treating the ponds as waste water plants.”

On a daily basis, dead or sick ducks were being pulled from the water, along with eels, Waters said. The ducks were likely getting sick from avian botulism, which can leave them paralysed.

Do you know more? Get in touch at newstips@stuff.co.nz

Raw sewage had leaked into the ponds, along with litter and other contaminants, Waters said. When it rained, the water in the ponds spilled over into the sea at Chelsea Bay which left Waters wondering if wider bay was being polluted.

“From time to time I swim across Chelsea Bay, but you are swimming through an area which is potentially toxic. People walk their dogs down there at low tide, and the dogs splash in that water, and people walk through the water. It is a health hazard.”

While the ponds sit close to the sugar factory, they are the responsibility of the Auckland Council. Another local, who did not want to be named, said it was the council, not Chelsea, who needed to clean up their act.

“If anyone should be doing the right thing it is Auckland Council,” she said.

“Any waterway has got to be protected, you have a special waterway with significant fish in it, they are allowing it to be polluted, and that pollution is going out in the sea – and area which is used a lot for recreation. You could say the sea is so big it can cope, but it is all incremental.”

However, Auckland Council General Manager for Healthy Waters Craig Mcilroy said they had not received any reports of dead or sick wildlife.

“We have not received reports of wildlife getting sick at this site,” he said.

In order to prevent the spread of duck botulism and other related toxins, the council suggests members of the public pick up their pets’ waste and dispose of it.

They also advise against feeding ducks.

People should report sightings of sick or dead ducks, or even swans, to the council on 09 301 0101.

Mcilroy said they were alerted to a leak in a wastewater pipe at Chelsea Bay on Friday, January 12, but it had since been fixed.

“Once alerted to the leak, Watercare crew attended the site, stopped the leak and repaired the pipe by Friday evening. We are currently awaiting reinstatement.”

Mcilroy added that there were two culverts leaking nutrients into the pond from a nearby landfill site, which was likely a “major factor” in causing the algal bloom.

“The council’s Healthy Waters team is currently working on redirecting the culverts, which should make a significant impact on reducing the nutrients entering the ponds and solve the algal bloom issue.

“We expect to finish this project by the end of 2018,” he said.

Sylvia Durrant, who helps care for sick birds, said a mixture of high temperatures and low water levels often caused botulism to spread.

“When the water levels go down, the ducks eat off the bottom of pond which is where the toxins live.”

Over the past three weeks, Durrant had cared for twenty ducks from the Chelsea Bay ponds. She believed it wasn’t just the council’s responsibility, but also the public’s.

“Whenever anyone tips something down the gutter, or litters it ends up in the ponds. It’s not just the council’s fault.”

According to the Chelsea Sugar Factor website, the ponds have large koi carp and short and long-finned eels, along with native fish species include inanga, kokopu and common bully.

Article by Tommy Livingston
Published 17 January 2018 > Business Day – stuff.co.nz

AT gives 25 public car parks to private developers

AT gives 25 public car parks to private developers

Drivers are outraged at Auckland Transport’s decision to give a private developer exclusive access to 25 public car parks from an already strained car park on the North Shore.

Despite a significant shortage of car parking in the Birkenhead community, Auckland Transport (AT) has allowed private developers, Chelsea Bay, the use of 25 public car parks for up to 18 months, reducing the capacity of Rawene car park.

Rawene car park has always been a bit narrow and in high demand, but a Neighbourly.co.nz poll has unearthed a plethora of unhappy locals.

Michelle Pratt, who is a manager of a Birkenhead business, is outraged that AT has done this to the local community and has called the incident “abhorrent”.

“How dare they take car parks away from the local library and from local businesses,” Pratt said.

“Auckland Transport has now seriously compromised business and community viability.”

AT media manager Mark Hannan said the developers approached AT for the use of the car parks, while the construction of a 60 unit building for 19-21 Rawene Rd was ongoing.

Hannan confirms that AT arranged the leasing of these spaces to developers, after consultation with the Kaipatiki Local board, as a “safety buffer” between the worksite and the car park.

“We referred the request to the local board, after some questions and answers Auckland Transport granted permission for some parks at Rawene Car Park to be leased as a health and safety buffer.”

However, Pratt said she also has doubts about the safety aspect.

There are many examples of large scale developments all across Auckland who do not have the luxury of having a car park beside them and they manage fine, Pratt said.

“‘Occupied for health and safety is a poor excuse for not managing their own site.”

Kaipatiki Local Board member Lindsay Waugh raised her concerns about the removal of 35 car parks in February.

“I do not see that local businesses should bear the cost of this [the construction workers] convenience,” Waugh said in her report.

The Rawene Rd developers did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

** Auckland Transport’s Mark Hannan has apologised for any confusion around his original statement that stated Kaipatiki Local Board granted permission for the carparks to be used.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 03 August 2017 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Town centre upgrade causes debate on Auckland’s North Shore

Town centre upgrade causes debate on Auckland's North Shore

A pine tree stands at the centre of a heated debate around pedestrian safety and main street car parking in a North Shore town centre.

Kaipatiki Local Board voted on the “option one” design for a planned upgrade to Birkenhead’s town centre at a meeting on April 19.

Option one increases public open space and seating areas, as well as introducing a new decked area at Highbury Corner – the junction of Birkenhead Ave, Hinemoa St and Mokoia Rd.

However, the decision to design the upgrade around the tree has severed opinions.

Kaipatiki Local Board member Lindsay Waugh said the amount of effort the board had spent on keeping the tree is a “travesty of urban design”.

Equally concerned is Birkenhead Town Centre Association chairman Pete Taylor who said he is as worried about losing seven car parks as he is about pedestrian safety.

“The plans shows encouraging people to hop across the roundabout in an increasingly busy intersection,” Taylor said.

“I wonder when organisation members become liable for such decisions.”

Highbury Corner’s upgrades follow from the extensions to Rawene car park and the building of Kaimataara o wai manawa.

Local board chairwoman Danielle Grant said option one will deliver the main street its “much needed” facelift.

“These projects have been a significant part of the board’s focus for the past four years,” Grant said.

Option one will now go to tender and work is expected to start in June.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 28 April 2017 > North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Seven car parks are worth more than $1 million say business owners on Auckland’s North Shore

Seven car parks are worth more than $1 million

Business owners in Auckland’s North Shore would rather turn away Birkenhead’s $1 million upgrade, than lose seven car parks.

Kaipatiki Local Board voted on a design for the Birkenhead’s Highbury Corner upgrades at the April 19 board meeting.

The contentious plans to upgrade the area around the main roundabout, will shave seven car parks from the main street’s shops.

Birkenhead Town Centre Association chairman Pete Taylor said this result is really disappointing and concerning.

The association’s research found each main street car park is worth $3000, per week, to local businesses, and removing them would cost more than $1 million a year, Taylor said.

“We are talking around a million dollars in pure income per annum being taking out of the town centre’s revenue, for pedestrians and beautification, and I think that’s shocking,” Taylor said at the meeting.

“The members would rather the money was spent elsewhere, than to invest in something that will have a negative impact to local businesses,” he said.

Highbury Corner is where Birkenhead Ave, Hinemoa Street and Mokoia Rd meet at a roundabout.

Upgrades to Birkenhead’s Highbury Corner, follows on from the 129 parking space expansion to Rawene car park, and the building of lookout, Kaimataara o wai manawa.

North Shore Councillor Richard Hills said major community consultation was undertaken in the planning of these upgrades and showed 60 per cent of the public submissions were in favour of the upgrade plans.

Taylor said the objection against losing carparks has been consistent from the businesses from the start.

“In a survey conducted by the association, 54 out of 56 businesses say they don’t want any upgrades,” he said.

Taylor said that the design ignored expert advice and will damage the livelihood of businesses in the area.

Local board member Paula Gillon said she is “struggling” to see how this upgrade will be detrimental to businesses, with the amount of people it will encourage.

However, Taylor said the revenue lost can not be replaced by wide footpaths and trees alone.

“The extra parking added to Rawene car parks are not the issue here, as the businesses are concerned about main street car parks only,” he said.

Local board member Ann Hartley said the accusation that people won’t walk 100 metres from Rawene car park to the main centre is “nonsense”.

“Birkenhead does not have a parking problem,” she said.

“This is just a mess.”

OPTION ONE DESIGN

At the centre of a heated debate around the upgrades to North Shore’s Highbury Corner, stands a pine tree.

Alongside a loss of carparks, fears around pedestrian safety have also been raised.

Also, the decision to redesign the upgrade to include the tree has reignited the longstanding debate, between those who wish to keep the tree and those who don’t.

Option one, will increase public open space and seating areas, as well as introduce a new decked area at Highbury Corner.

Local board member Lindsay Waugh said the amount of effort the board had spent on keeping the tree is a “travesty of urban design”.

Equally concerned is Birkenhead Town Centre Association chairman Pete Taylor, who said that he is as worried about losing the seven car parks as he is pedestrian safety.

“The plans shows encouraging people to hop across the roundabout in an increasingly busy intersection,” Taylor said.

“I wonder when organisation members become liable for such decisions.”

Local Board chairwoman Danielle Grant said option one will deliver the main street its “much needed” facelift.

“These projects have been a significant part of the board’s focus for the past four years,” Grant said.

Option one will now go to tender and work is expected to start in June.

The final design vote was so contentious, members Ann Hartley and Lindsay Waugh abstained from voting.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 24 April 2017 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Panoramic viewing platform opens in Birkenhead

Panoramic viewing platform opens in the heart of the North Shore's Birkenhead

Construction has finished on the split-level viewing platform in the heart of North Shore’s Birkenhead, offering panoramic views of Le Roys Bush, Auckland City, and Rangitoto.

Kaimataara ō Wai Manawa held an opening event on September 3, which drew in a large crowd of local board members, councillors and community families.

A few finishing touches remain to be made on a cafe and public art display, but public are still free to enjoy their newest public asset.

Kaipatiki Local Board chairwoman Kay McIntyre says the “soft launch” was a way to celebrate the end of construction and acknowledge the name.

The name, Kaimataara o Wai Manawa, was gifted to the community by mana whenua.

Wai Manawa is the historical name for this part of Birkenhead. Wai Manawa meaning the “source of the water” refers to the basin nature of the Le Roys Bush area, alternatively Wai Manawa (maanawa – mangroves) refers to the collection of water in the mangroves at the base.

Kaimataara means both the purpose of a space as a lookout, and to be watchful.

Together it translates as “the Lookout of Wai Manawa”.

The 10-month long construction project was a part of the Birkenhead Centre Plan.

North Shore City bought the land in 2004, with the intention of creating just a platform overlooking Le Roys Bush.

In 2012, board member Lindsay Waugh formed a liaison group to reignite the original aspirations.

Key features needed a bit of rearranging, and Moller Architects drew the final plans.

Sustainability solutions were included for the project, such as a water tank placed under the deck.

“The rainwater coming off the roof will now go into this tank,” McIntyre says.

“Recycling this water will result in saving 105,000 litres per year of water.

“It’s a good sustainability initiative. We always have got to find ways to make our water go further,” she says.

Another addition to the project, was the look-out cafe.

“It became clear that this space needed a commercial operation to return money,” McIntyre says.

Now ratepayers don’t have to pay the renewals and upgrades to the same extent, because it self-generates a rent for the council, McIntyre says.

Bungalo cafe owner Chris Jones will open the lookout cafe around November.

Visit the lookout at 35 to 41 Birkenhead Ave.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 08 September 2016 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Birkenhead wharf bike shed cost $60K has gone

Birkenhead wharf bike shed cost $60K has gone

A bike shed on Birkenhead wharf on Auckland’s North Shore which cost $60,000 to build only three years ago has already been removed.

Soon after it was built, a petition found it obstructed fisherman, impeded views of the harbour and there had been inadequate community consultation prior to its construction.

Constructed in June 2013, the Bike Park at Birkenhead wharf was, according to Auckland Transport, “installed to cater for people currently cycling and to encourage others to cycle to the Birkenhead Ferry Terminal.”

However, the jetty bike shed was at the bottom of a steep hill and a subsequent review found it was seriously underused.

In the following two years, the public petition and two reports by Lee Consulting and AT itself confirmed the bike shed was underused and a nuisance for residents.

In June 2015, a Community Led Working Group (CLWG), made up of representatives from various user groups, the Kaipatiki local board and AT, was established to fix the problem.

After thorough resident consultation, a report from CLWG in 2015 requested the Bike Park be removed from Birkenhead wharf.

“This report was handed in in September of last year. I went overseas for six months and, when I came back, it was still here,” CLWG representative Mere Roberts says.

“But, in the meantime, the shed was getting more and more derelict, panels were missing, and we really started to begin wondering if it was going to be left here to deteriorate.

“It’s quite a sad waste of public money due to poor decision-making and no consultation,”

AT now admits the shed was a failed piece of infrastructure but will not reveal how much it cost to dismantle and relocate.

“This bike shelter has not been used as much as anticipated so, following consultation with the local board, Auckland Transport has removed it for redeployment to another yet-to-be determined location,” an AT spokesperson says.

“Bike shelters with a similar design have been installed in Glen Innes and Albany where they are working well.

“The removal of the bike shelter is being completed in a cost-effective manner to minimise budget expenditure.”

Initially supportive of the bike shed, the Kaipatiki Local Board accepted the need for its removal some time ago.

“It hasn’t been a successful project,” board member Danielle Grant says.

“There has been a lot of community goodwill and I thank them for their patience but it’s taken too long to get to this point.”

AT will now monitor Birkenhead wharf to determine what smaller bike facilities are needed.

Article by Tom Dillane
Published 25 July 2016 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Cycleway will affect carparks on Queen St

Cycleway will affect carparks on Queen St

A proposed cycleway through Northcote’s Queen St is dividing residents.

Auckland Transport says their 5.2 kilometre Northcote Safe Cycle Route will encourage more cycling.

But Auckland Transport’s plans would remove off-street parking from significant portions of the route between Northcote Point and Smales Farm, including Queen St.

Queen St resident Briar Walsh’s family of five would lose three car parks if a dedicated cycleway replaces parking on her side of the road, she says.

“It’s just the most illogical idea, there needs to be another plan,” she says.

Walsh estimates her family will face a 200 to 300 metre walk every day to find a car park “even if they’re lucky” and local businesses will suffer too.

Kaipatiki Local Board member Richard Hills says the plan, which the board supports, is out for public consultation and it is not “100 per cent clear how much parking will be taken out”.

Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman, who lives on Queen St, says he has received a “hell of a lot of correspondence from residents who have huge issues” with parking.

A recreational cyclist, Coleman rides the proposed route frequently, but says he cannot see the justification for it.

“I see very few cyclists along the route and there’s nothing in the consultation document about cost,” he says.

An Auckland Transport spokeswoman says the estimated cost of the cycle route is less than $4m.

Coleman believes the cycleway is a “trojan horse” to get the Skypath’s northern landfall from the Harbour Bridge built at Northcote Point.

Birkenhead resident and Cycle Action member Steve Southall says the cycleway plan has received “generally positive feedback” but it will not please everybody.

Auckland Transport has come up with “a good design, given the constraints along the route,” he says.

“There’s insufficient road width for everyone to get a slice of the pie,” the former roading engineer admits.

Southall, a commuter biker, cites Belmont Intermediate’s 30 per cent increase in student cyclists because of the Lake Rd cycleway.

“You really have to ask ‘what is the priority for our road space, is it giving people free off-street parking, or is it getting our kids to school?’ “.

Auckland Transport is holding open day consultations, starting August 9, at the Northcote Library. Construction on the route is planned to start in late 2015.

More: at.govt.nz/northcotecycleroute.

Credits:

Written by Simon Maude
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times 05 August 2014

Off-leash dogs a big problem

Off-leash dogs a big problem

Letitia Reddington has had enough of the dog droppings left on her property.

She has seen dogs “challenging” small children and had to put down the family cat after it was attacked at the secluded Chelsea Bay Reserve, which borders her house.

The 24-hour off-leash rule in place since 2004 needs to be revoked before a real tragedy happens, she says.

“We just want the beach turned back to what it was.”

Mrs Reddington says she is not anti-dog – they should just be on a leash while at the Birkenhead park for safety reasons.

The 10-year-old bylaw passed by the former North Shore City Council is under review, as are all dog access rules at Kaipatiki beaches.

Mrs Reddington and her husband Pat have lived on the border of the reserve since 1984 but she says they were never asked about the dog rule change.

Kaipatiki Local Board initiated the review of all access beaches in its area and any proposed changes will be publicly notified mid-2014, an Auckland Council spokesperson says.

The board may consider other off-leash areas as part of this review.

Decision-making on the review is guided by the council’s 2012 policy on dogs, the spokesperson says.

“The council has received two complaints in the last year about this reserve, with people being concerned about dogs running loose in an uncontrolled manner.”

If owners do not clean up after their dogs the public must contact council with identification, such as car registration, the spokesperson says.

“Most often council officers are not present when an offence occurs so we rely heavily on the public to provide the evidence needed to follow up.”

Credits

Written by: Jess Etheridge
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times – 21 February 2014