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Auckland Council’s people-focused design for Queen Street on track

Published: 19 May 2021

More than 900 people have taken part in a survey conducted by Auckland Council that shows a majority support the council’s planned design for the northern end of Queen Street, between Customs and Shortland Streets.

The survey, conducted last week, came about after a group of Queen Street stakeholders expressed concerns that the design might negatively impact businesses in the area.

In the survey, people were asked if the original council design or an alternative plan suggested by the business group aligned better with the principles created in the Wai Horotiu Queen Street Pilot with the Queen Street community.

Those principles prioritised improved access, movement, environment and people’s experience.  

A total of 57.5 per cent “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Customs to Shortland Street enhancements (Zone 1) deliver on the overall principles, and 54.8 per cent either “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Fort Street pocket park (Zone 2) meets the overall pilot principles.

Respondents also showed a clear preference for the original design for the Customs to Shortland Street enhancements (Zone 1).

Work began last week in the northern end of Queen Street, between Customs Street and Shortland Street, to create a more people-prioritised environment.

These improvements will continue, based largely on the original design. The Fort Street pocket park design is being refined to ensure it remains a place for people and continues to meet the pilot principles.

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chris Darby says these survey results show us there is continued public support for changes that prioritise people and public transport over private vehicles in Queen Street.

“City centre residents and workers, business and property owners, students and visitors have been clear in the survey. They’ve told us to stick to plan and get on with the trial to transform the ‘golden mile’.”

“We are on track to deliver an improved Queen Street, from Customs Street to Shortland Street, by the end of June.

“We are putting people at the heart of our city centre; a greener safer and better-connected place where people want to come and spend time. This vision is set out in the refreshed 2020 City Centre Masterplan, which has wide public support and has been approved by Auckland Council. It sets the direction for all of the city centre projects and shapes the way our city will grow for the next 20 years,” he says.

Above: Te Komititanga, a new square in lower Queen Street designed for people

Waitematā and Gulf Ward Councillor Pippa Coom says: “The original plan, based on the agreed pilot design principles, will encourage more people to visit the city centre and will also benefit residents who live there. Fewer private vehicles and through traffic on Queen Street means improved air quality, less noise and less congestion.”   

The Wai Horotiu Queen Street Pilot is a key project being undertaken to transform the city centre and bring the City Centre Masterplan to life. It provides the opportunity to test different ways to achieve the City Centre Masterplan goals and to seek feedback on these for further refinement for future works. 

The changes being delivered in this first stage of the pilot aren’t a permanent solution and are the first in a series of stages to transform Queen Street. Once they are in place, we can use them to test how things are working for people, formally gather feedback, and adjust as we go to continually improve it.

Submissions for the Queen Street network changes consultation are currently being collated by Auckland Transport.

More information on the design survey results can be found here.

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