Tamaki Drive Boardwalk Proposal


An innovative  proposal is going before Auckland Council for a boardwalk along Tamaki Drive as a long-term solution to the ongoing transport issues including concern about cyclists.

It comes from the Tamaki Drive Protection Society, set up in 1991 to promote the protection and preservation of Tamaki Drive.

I hope it’s taken seriously even though it will cost a few million.

The boardwalk proposal is for an upgraded cycle track and a new walkway on the Northern side of Tamaki Drive from Mechanics Bay via Okahu Bay, Mission Bay and Kohi to St Heliers.

The aim is to provide separate safe and attractive cycle and walkways.

Priority would be the separation of cyclists and pedestrians along the 1.5 to 2ks between Mechanical Bay and the Landing.

It’s envisaged it would be achieved by constructing a separate walkway which may be a self-supported or cantilevered boardwalk structure adjacent to the sea for pedestrians and a dedicated upgraded cycleway on the aging and compromised cycleway and footpath.

Because of occasional storms and high tides, cantilvered extensions to the two main road bridges could prove feasible and inexpensive while improving safety for pedestrians and cycling.

The society says the design, which could be a mix, should ensure the seaward views are unimpeded, that public access to the water and beaches for fishing and recreation is enhanced.

It hopes the change would resolve the over-loaded potentially dangerous situation for cyclists while recognizing the cycleway would appeal more to social users but would also be helpful in the early morning and evening peak times for commuters and non sports groups. The society expects group sports rider would continue to use the main roadway.

The replacement cycleway could be sand and pumice soil as with the NW motorway cycle route over the pohutukawa roots so as to allow drainage.

Engineering design for a separate walkway may require some reclamation of an existing sea wall or a structure supported by driven poles as used at the original Okahu launching ramp dingy lockers platform.

But no significant length of reclamation is envisaged.

Tamaki Drive: The footpath cycle way

Priority would be given to preserving and enhancing all tide access for swimmers, boaties, fishers, family enjoyment and tourism and for that reason, the society would support extension of a tramline only as far as Teal Park.

Of course in the end it hinder on who pays and how much. But we can;t afford any more cycling tragedies on the waterfront. I have stopped riding there.

And to the cost: The society suggests indicative costs suggest it could be up to $1m per kilometre but other examples suggest a lower more cost effective figure. This could be shared between such groups as Auckland Transport, Waterfront, Auckland Council, Tourism Auckland and Cycle Action Auckland.





  1. Tim Doyle says:

    Sounds like a great project, and it is disappointing to see that the chance of funding is slim. The cost may appear to be high at face value, though this is tiny in comparison to roading projects - and I guess like other transport projects, a BCR should be considered. A great example is Wellington’s equivalent project between Petone and Ngauranga. As reported in the dom post:
    that project has a BCR greater than 1.3 (more like 4) and probably should be considered ahead of other legacy projects like Transmission Gully and even new Wellington tramways. Likewise for the Tamaki Drive cycleway. It is frustrating that these projects are not considered as infrastructure projects and decided upon using BCRs - instead they are a thing that needs to be fought for tooth-and-nail by a few that can be bothered with it!

  2. Chris says:

    I met someone yesterday who was hit by a car turning out into traffic while he was cycling along Tamaki Drive. He wasn’t seriously injured, bruises and scrapes, but still a nasty fright.

    We hear about the deaths and serious stuff on Tamaki Drive but I suspect for every one of these, there are 5 or 10 unreported incidents that leave cyclists bruised and shaken.

  3. Harry McDonald says:

    I used to run along Tamaki Drive a lot but gave up in frustration with all the tourists hogging the whole with of the footpath and then cyclists weaving to avoid them. It was downright dangerous.
    This would be a fantastic civic amenity which means that Stephen Joyce will be against it. Civic amenity= socialism!
    I’ve found somewhere just as flat with no crowds to run on now but I’m not telling where.

  4. Matt says:

    Ultimately, Tamaki Drive will remain a danger for cyclists until there’s a separated cycleway that’s suitable for use by non-casual riders. Those of us who can hit 30+ km/h on the flat are not going to use a path that follows the current path, upgraded or not, because it’s not safe to us and it’s not safe to others. That relegates us to the road, and it’s the use of the road that is the danger.
    As one example, the lady who ran a stop sign and collected four cyclists would still have hit them with this proposal because recreational pack cyclists aren’t going to fit on something the width of the current footpath.

  5. Patrick R says:

    There also needs to be a joined up walk and cycle way along the Eastern Line reserve…. both would be be fantastic amenities and transport links.

  6. Nick R says:

    My concern is that even if we were to build a new bordwalk we’d simply have both the old path and new boardwalk occupied by the same mix of walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, pram pushers, tourists, ice-cream eaters etc.

    So plenty of expense but still no functional cycleway, and even more reason for motorists to go “bloody cyclists have no right to be on the road, we built them a cycle lane and they don’t use it”.

  7. Matt says:

    Nick, indeed. Non-cycling motorists just don’t understand the speeds we can achieve. I can pace traffic on Pakuranga Rd, ffs. There’s no way I’m willingly sharing with pedestrians and other slow-moving footpath users, because it’s just bloody dangerous.
    And I’m not going to let the likes of Geoff tell me that I should confine myself to walking pace on a footpath because I’m unworthy to share a road with him and his two-tonne steel penis-rep^W^Wcage.

  8. max says:

    Well, a PERFECT solution can never be found, BUT I (and I think I can speak for Cycle Action Auckland in total), like this proposal very much. Yes, there will be some remaining conflicts on the off-road path, and yes, sports cyclists will stay on-road. Almost impossible to provide for 30+ speeds in other ways anyway.

    But that doesn’t mean this proposal would not be an awesome improvement for the whole of us. The extra width would help a lot with dooring issues, congested shared paths etc… and encourage recreational cyclists and the more relaxed commuter cyclists. It may also allow the odd pinch-point for on-road cyclists to be improved.

    Oh, and Jon - while Cycle Action Auckland would love to chip in, our total yearly budget is, oh, I think, about $5,000. So not much infrastructure funding to be had from a shoestring volunteer organisation - our power is in the relationships we have forged all over town, and in our keen, almost always unpaid cycling enthusiasts!

  9. richard says:

    As stated above a boardwalk unless extremely wide is a waste of time.

    The waterfront drive is used heavily by every form of transportation imaginable except tram, rail and monorail! This needs to be accepted by all concerned and much of the parking removed, roads are for the movement of people not car parks.

    The formation needs widening to form a proper promenade with a wide footpath pedestrians, skaters etc. can use, a partition then a four metre two way cycleway, another partition, a tramway which would reduce traffic and to encourage reduced traffic the road lanes cut to two with occasional short term parking bays.

    This would make the petrol heads scream!

  10. Jon C says:

    @Nax I should have made it clear the proposal suggested your funding. I thought they must know something I did not know!

  11. morecityplease says:

    There’s plenty of room there already. Start by removing the flush median. There are very few turning movements required. Also, I’ve always been confused about the parking on the water’s edge. I assume that people using those spaces to access the boardwalk can in fact walk, so maybe they can simply park not on the most beautiful stretch of the city and instead walk to it from a modest distance.

  12. Bryce says:

    Get rid of all of the road side parking on Tamaki Drive and build some, tariffed, parking accross the road. Narrow the lanes. Change the median to make it pedestrian friendly. No right turns except at controlled intersections.
    There ya go - 90% fixed.

  13. Brian says:

    Paint on-road cycle lanes on each side so cyclists are separated from traffic, but not endangering pedestrians. Remove on-street parking if need be. HOW HARD IS THIS?

  14. Nick R says:

    Removing on-street parking is pretty damned hard in Auckland!

  15. Bryce says:

    But not impossible :-) .

    The other thing I can think of is build a 2 lane road along the rail corridor to take the Kepa Road traffic and close the Ngapipi Road / Tamaki Drive intersection. Then, change Tamaki Drive from the Marine Rescue Centre towards the bays into a 2 lane road thereby allowing more room for cycle lanes.

  16. ingolfson says:

    “2 lane road along the rail corridor to take the Kepa Road traffic”

    An interresting idea, and likely to work for motorists, BUT it only fixes half of the tight section for cyclists on the causeway, and also, it will remind some people way too much of the Eastern Motorway, even in such a downscaled form.

  17. Bryce says:

    Yes it may remind some of the failed Eastern Motorway but to be fair the idea (EM) actually did include some good points that unfortunately were thrown out with the bath water so to speak.
    Auckland is not that hilly in a global sense and we need to make cycling a fun and safe pastime.
    Due to the lack of roads on the sea side of Tamaki Drive I would put a 2 way cycleway on that side and move the traffic lanes over in order to improve safety / convenience with turning traffic. Hell, if it were up to me, I would use the Eastern Motorway route to put a proper cycle way all the way through to Panmure (and beyond). Maybe even wide enough to become a road course (without cars of course).


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