Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the announcement by Waka Kotahi the NZ Transport Agency that four Auckland projects will receive around $1.4 million in new funding from the government’s Innovating Streets for People programme.
The Auckland projects confirmed by the NZTA include upgrades to Queen Street in the city centre and Huron and Northcroft Streets in Takapuna, as well as a pop-up walking and cycling link in Henderson and funding to trial new safety measures near school entrances.
“Innovating Streets is about creating safer, more people-friendly places across our region,” Phil Goff says.
“The government funding means we can work with local communities and local boards on the design and delivery of creative projects to improve our streets at a low cost.
“Ideas can be tested and improved in response to feedback from local communities and businesses, and where projects work well and gain strong support, we can investigate making changes permanent.”
Planning Committee chair, Councillor Chris Darby, says, “The government’s generous funding means we can fast-forward with creative plans to enliven streets for people by providing room to move safely and enjoyably.
“Funding for Queen Street takes us a big step closer to making the Waihorotiu Valley a lively and safe place for pedestrians. It’s fantastic to see funding for improving Huron and Northcroft Streets, which will make Takapuna an even more enticing retail centre for working, visiting and living.
“I’m also looking forward to seeing more of our tamariki walking and cycling safely to school thanks to the Safe School Streets programme.
AT and Panuku Chair Adrienne Young-Cooper says the funding will support Council-controlled organisations working together to deliver creative, place-based solutions for people to experience their streets differently.
“The projects in Queen Street, Takapuna, Henderson and outside a number of schools, will deliver medium term, tactical improvements. These will be trials that we can learn from and work closely with locals to co-design.
“A renewed focus was placed on neighbourhoods and streets during the Covid-19 lockdown. The Innovating Streets funding is a welcome opportunity for us to respond to community needs and make our street accessible for all.”
Queen Street, Access for Everyone pilot
The highly anticipated ‘Access for Everyone’ pilot for the Waihorotiu/Queen Street Valley will begin next month, signalling the start of pedestrian priority for the heart of Auckland.
Auckland Transport and Auckland Council will use a co-design process with Queen Street users and stakeholders to test low-cost ways to lay out the street that can be quickly adjusted, adapted, improved or removed through the process. This approach has successfully been used in High Street, where it won an award from Living Streets Aotearoa.
Access for Everyone will work towards the removal of non-essential car traffic from Queen Street. This prioritises pedestrians and frees up road space for public transport, deliveries, emergency services and for people with limited mobility.
Ratanui Link, Henderson
This proposal pilots a pop-up walking and cycling link and improved access to Henderson Train Station. This will be tested by reallocating some street space in Henderson's town centre to make more space for people, all designed through a collaborative process with local stakeholders and businesses. As well as improving walking and cycling safety, the project also aims to make it more enjoyable for people living close to the town centre.
Huron and Northcroft streetscape improvements, Takapuna
This proposal aims to work with local community to co-design a series of temporary interventions to support better walking connections through Takapuna, due for completion in October 2020. It will build directly on previous and current Panuku led tactical urbanism initiatives in Takapuna and will permit adjoining businesses to explore activating their street frontage, widening footpaths and providing safer crossings. The learnings will be used to inform a future permanent upgrade.
Safe School Streets Pilot: will use temporary tactical measures to trial co-designed safety improvements near school entrances to fully understand what’s needed before a permanent solution is delivered. This could include parking changes, new drop off and pick up zones, new pedestrian crossings, and speed calming measures.
School speed reduction: will reduce the speed around several schools using co-designed tactical urbanism measures to reduce the risk of death and serious injury.
School Streets road closure and rapid active mode shift programme: aims to get more children walking and cycling through community bike programmes, walking school buses, and temporary school street closures.