Pedestrians on High Street can now enjoy more walking space with the completion of a continuous footpath extension running the length of the street.
The third stage in Auckland Council’s High Street Pilot was finished over the weekend between Durham Street East and Victoria Street, taking the project a step closer to completion.
Ten on-street carparks have been removed from the section of road to allow decking to be laid for a wider footpath and additional loading space has been created on the street to support local businesses.
Waitematā and Gulf ward Councillor Pippa Coom is delighted with the progress being made.
“It’s fantastic to have reached another milestone in this project. Through a process of collaboration and engagement with local businesses, residents and property owners, High Street’s narrow congested footpaths have been attractively opened up by re-purposing car parking.
"The changes made through the pilot are rebalancing the use of space to make the street function much better for both pedestrians and for essential business operations, like pick-ups and deliveries.
“The changes on High Street support the city centre’s recovery with social distancing requirements in place. People will make a choice to go to areas where they feel comfortable and safe so High Street will become an even more attractive destination,” says Cr Coom.
Auckland Council’s project delivery lead, James Buckley, says the pilot is showing that good outcomes for different groups of users can be delivered quickly and cost effectively with simple interventions.
“We’ve used planters to signal where the kerbside is, which prevents vehicles parking on the pavement and obstructing pedestrians. This was a real issue with couriers because of a lack of loading zones," says Buckley.
"We’ve converted some of the paid on-street parking spaces into dedicated spaces for delivery vehicles, which makes their life easier and makes it safer for pedestrians."
The project has been a collaboration between Auckland Council, Heart of the City and the High Street community. The trial changes are testing ways to improve High Street and explore ideas for its future.
The final stage of the High Street pilot will see additional decking added at the Shortland Street entrance to High Street and is scheduled for late May.