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Safety improvements proposed for Cook Street and surrounding area

Published: 14 June 2018

Auckland Transport is proposing a number of new safety measures, including crossings, shared paths, cycle paths and speed reduction on Cook Street and the surrounding area in the city centre, to make it safer for people walking and cycling.

Cook Street is one of the high-risk corridors in Auckland and is a priority for safety investment. AT is seeking feedback until 28 June on the changes, including improvements for the intersections of Sale Street, Union Street and Drake Street.

Kathryn King, AT's Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager, says new and upgraded zebra crossings, pram crossings, speed tables and pedestrian refuge islands will make these city centre streets more pedestrian-friendly.

"Safety is paramount. We're committed to making our streets safer and easier for people to get around," says Miss King.

"A huge amount of people live in this part of the city centre, and with more residential developments planned and under construction in the area, the volume of foot traffic and people travelling by bike is set to increase.

"Cook Street currently feels very unsafe to navigate on foot and by bike. In the long term, Auckland Council has plans within the City Centre Masterplan to improve safety and connectivity of our roads. In the meantime, this proposal serves as an effective interim measure to make the area safer, more convenient and better connected for people walking and cycling."

Under the proposal, a network of on-road cycle lanes and shared paths are planned from the upcoming Victoria Street cycleway via Union Street to Sale Street, onto Cook Street and connecting to the Nelson Street cycleway. At the intersection of Cook and Morton streets, electronic driver speed feedback signs will help to reduce traffic speeds while a new traffic island on the northern side of Cook Street will make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

The proposal also includes lowering high-traffic speeds exiting the Northern Motorway off-ramp onto Cook Street by reducing and narrowing road lanes. In addition, an extra lane would be added on Sam Wrigley Street to make the intersection with Cook Street safer for all road users, particularly for the Auckland Motorway Association whose heavy service vehicles currently have difficulty entering the street due to the fast-moving traffic exiting the motorway.

"We have spoken to key stakeholders and people living and working in the area to balance the demands of people travelling through the area and people staying to enjoy the area. The key focus is creating safe and healthy streets that work for everyone," says Miss King.

"Some on-street parking will need to be removed to enable the introduction of these safety measures, which is necessary if the safety of these streets is to be improved.

"We are keen to get feedback from local residents about the proposed improvements and how we can best implement them to improve safety in Cook Street."

For more detailed information about the proposed changes and to provide feedback, go to the AT Have Your Say website.