The 2 km Auckland Harbour Bridge that connect the north and south shores in Auckland City New Zealand does not have any walking or cycling on it. It is for motorized vehicles only. Originally the paths were planed but were never built as the money was not available. The bridge was built with 4 lanes in 1959 and later in 1969 another 4 lanes were clipped on the original structure.
Since that time walkers and cyclists have advocated for a way across.
I am part of the current push to get this access.
I will describe the getacross.org.nz campaign since my involvement and the work of Bevan Woodward. Our methods, the use of the web and telemarketing software that is free for not for profits.
On May 24 2009 we drew a crowd 5000 to the base of the bridge. It was the 50th anniversary of the bridge and despite this occasion and asking many times in the past 3 months to cross; we were denied access. The crowd took over and cyclists led the masses to disobey the law. Children in prams, dogs, cats and families crossed the bridge as the dozen police stopped the motorway traffic for 2 hours. This action was very controversial but did get the attention we needed.
This was the turning point of our campaign and we are now planning a crossing that will not cost the government a cent. We are planning a public private partnership to built, own, operate and transfer the walk cycleway within the next 3 years.
Andy Smith is the charman of Walk Auckland and on the board of Living Streets Aotearoa. He has a degree in Computer Sceince and a Graduate Diploma in Not For Profit Management.