Installing bollards along a short section of the Manly Beach Esplanade strikes a balance between dune protection and car parking following public feedback and a decision by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.
The board agreed to the bollard installation and use of ground stabilisation materials to protect the reserve’s vulnerable trees and sand dunes from damage caused by vehicles driving on to the reserve. Unfortunately, Microsoft were experiencing a major outage yesterday which meant some people were unable to attend the business meeting online.
The work is expected to cost $45,000 and after it is complete, there will still be car parking in most areas. The board also requested that Auckland Transport staff investigate improving the standard of The Esplanade road surface and see if any additional car parking can be provided on the road.
Beach visitors like to park on the Esplanade Reserve, between Cross Street and Manly Sailing Club, and have done so for many years. Council coastal and arborist experts have advised the board that car parking is damaging the reserve and tree roots, and left unchecked this will get worse with the trees at serious risk.
Last October, bollard work stopped after members of the public raised concerns. The public were invited to give feedback on the bollard proposal and 176 people responded.
Almost 90 per cent of respondents lived less than 10 minutes’ drive from the beach with 121 respondents mostly driving to the beach. Fifty-six per cent of respondents opposed the bollard installation with forty-six per cent supporting bollard protection for the reserve, dunes and trees.
Following the consultation, council staff proposed several solutions at a local board workshop. But after a site visit in May, a new solution was proposed and adopted by the board in July.
The solution divides The Esplanade into four sections between the Manly Sailing Club and Cross Street.
Key features are:
- keeping most of the parking in the areas where the damage is not so extensive
- restricting access entirely in one section, which will be re-grassed, to create a dedicated area for picnicking under the trees
- installing ground protection to protect the tree roots and enable parking in these sections.
Council staff will monitor the impact on car parking in The Esplanade and surrounding streets after bollards are installed. They will review the parking situation if this is required.
The bollard report with consultation feedback is available online here.