Waitākere Ward councillors Shane Henderson and Linda Cooper welcome the news that Henderson’s town centre will receive funding from Waka Kotahi the NZ Transport Agency to trial a people-friendly streets project.
Four Auckland projects will receive about $1.4 million in new funding from Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People programme.
The successful Henderson project will take shape as a pop-up walking and cycling priority link and make it more enjoyable for people to shop and meander along the main street.
Accessing Henderson Town Centre and Train Station
Councillor Linda Cooper says “there currently aren’t any safe walking and cycling routes to access Henderson Town Centre and the train station. The existing Twin Streams path ends 400 metres away from the middle of town. This trial aims to change that and to encourage people to travel by foot and bike in Henderson.”
Councillor Shane Henderson agrees. “This funding means that we can work with local people to test solutions and make more room for people to move around safely. This project fits into our wider plan for Henderson to help it become an inviting and thriving centre of West Auckland.”
The streets leading to the train station including parts of Great North Road, Railside Avenue and Ratanui Street could all be included in the trials.
“By reallocating some street space in Henderson's town centre we can make more space for people and increase the patronage of local businesses by foot,” says Councillor Cooper.
“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,” says Councillor Henderson.
The Waitākere Ward Councillors acknowledge the hard work of Panuku Development Auckland, Henderson-Massey Local Board and stakeholders such as Bike Henderson.
“The active support and engagement of local people and community groups is crucial to improving the Henderson Town Centre for locals and visitors,” says Councillor Cooper.
While COVID-19 has financially hindered the progress of some planned projects across Auckland, it has also provided opportunities to do things differently.
“The COVID-19 lockdown brought a new focus for people back to their own neighbourhoods and local streets. This new funding is a way for the council to be responsive to the changing needs of our communities and local places. This is a great way to leverage government funding for intensely local projects for local people,” says Councillor Henderson.
Delivery of the concept is due to take place over the next 12 months. If the improvements are successful, they could remain in place longer than this.