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Auckland Transport

Cook Street, Auckland Central - Walking & cycling improvements Cook Street, Auckland Central - Walking & cycling improvements

Proposal status: closed 28 June 2018

Reference number: MIP1718-249

We're proposing changes in your area

We are proposing to improve walking and cycling connections along Cook Street in the Central City.

Changes to Cook Street

  • Reducing the number and width of some traffic lanes on Cook Street.
  • Reducing the motorway off-ramp to one lane, including new gateway signage and coloured road surfacing with speed limit markings.
  • Installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Morton and Cook Street, including pedestrian and cyclist crossing phases.
  • Installing an additional lane on Sam Wrigley Street to improve safety for vehicles exiting from Cook Street.
  • Electronic driver speed feedback signs and flashing 'hidden queue ahead' sign on approach to signalised intersection.
  • New traffic island on northern side of Cook Street.
  • Trimming of lower branches of mature trees to ensure visibility.
  • A net-loss of 24 on-street car parks along Cook Street to ensure safety and visibility.

Proposed pedestrian safety changes

  • New footpath, raised zebra crossings and pedestrian refuge islands near Drake Street, including extending the existing footpath to reduce crossing distances.
  • New zebra crossing at Sale Street, including new traffic islands to direct vehicle movements.
  • Sale Street parking bay better organised, including no parking on the berm.

Proposed cycle paths

  • Union Street to Sale Street: 4.0 metre bi-directional cycle way alongside 1.8 metre footpath. 
  • Sales Street to Morton Street: 3.0 metre bi-directional on-road cycle lane with cycle-separators.
  • Morton Street to Nelson Street: 1.8 metre single-direction on-road cycle lanes with cycle-separators.

The proposed cycle paths will connect to the Nelson Street cycle way, Victoria Park and Franklin Road cycle way (currently under construction).

Cook Street proposal drawing

Download the proposal drawing for Cook Street (PDF 2.93MB)

Why the changes are needed

The proposal aims to ease high traffic speeds on Cook Street by reducing the number of traffic lanes, providing safe zebra crossings, new traffic signals at Morton Street, and cycle paths.

There has been a significant increase in the number of residential developments in this area and these changes will provide much safer options for people walking or travelling by bicycle.

These are interim changes which are expected to address foreseeable pedestrian and cyclist demand until the City Centre Masterplan is implemented as part of Auckland Council’s 20-year vision.

Find out more about the City Centre Masterplan and its vision on the Auckland Council website

​Proposal outcome

This proposal received positive feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. The project will proceed according to the original proposal, but with a number of minor changes based on public feedback. Please find below a list of these changes, a summary of the feedback received, and answers to questions and concerns.

Based on a number of concerns and requests by respondents, the proposal has been refined and will now proceed with the following minor changes:

  • The pedestrian crossing at the entrance to Drake Street (off Union Street) will be upgraded from a pedestrian refuge to a zebra crossing.
  • We are currently investigating opportunities to relocate or add additional loading zones at the corner of Union and Sale Streets to better serve local businesses.
  • Existing and proposed on-street parking along the southern kerb of Cook Street between Hobson and Nelson Streets will be removed to reduce risks to cyclists.
  • Of the five parking spaces originally proposed to be removed from the car park on Sale Street, only three spaces will be removed.
  • The proposal will no longer involve removal of trees.
  • The two lanes proposed where Cook and Union Streets meet Sam Wrigley Street will now proceed as only a single lane in order to reduce risks to pedestrians.
  • A second speed cushion will be installed at the entrance to City Depot off of Cook Street. This will better alert drivers to the presence of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The signalised pedestrian and cycle crossing proposed for the slip lane from Cook Street to Sam Wrigley will no longer be signalised. Instead, it will involve installation of a raised dual zebra crossing that can accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.
  • A vehicle crossing (driveway) will be retained on Cook Street near the corner of Sam Wrigley drive. This crossing will be monitored for safety.
  • Although further investigation is required, we can ensure that the cycle path and the footpath are appropriately separated.
  • The footpath will extend alongside the cycle lane near the Sale Street car park and a dual zebra crossing will be introduced on the slip lane from Sale Street onto Cook Street that can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Broken yellow lines will be installed on Sale Street outside of property no. 70.
  • We are investigating alternative options that will allow vehicles travelling westward along Sale Street to easily and safely turn into the car park behind #41 and #43.
  • Further changes will be consulted on in the next fiscal year as part of a second project at the intersection of Nelson and Cook Streets that aims to improve connectivity of the proposed changes and the cycleway along Nelson Street.

Feedback received

Cyclist facilities and connectivity

  • Request to better separate and widen proposed cycle lanes in order to improve safety for cyclists. The design aims to maximise the available width in order to best accommodate cyclist demand.  Further improvements are planned for this area in the City Centre Masterplan, which is a comprehensive guide highlighting long-term transformational changes for the city centre that will prioritise active road users, including people on foot and on bike.
  • Request to not completely separate the cycle path from the road so that cyclists are not isolated when utilising the cycle path at night. The cycle path is proposed directly adjacent to the roadway, so we expect that it should be safe to use both during the daytime and at night.
  • Concern that placement of the proposed raised cycle crossing on Sale Street will force drivers to stop abruptly. The cycle crossings will be painted in green to raise driver awareness on their approach.
  • Requests to extend the cycle lanes and improve cycling connections on Cook Street through to: Hobson Street, Mayoral/Vincent Street intersection and to the west and to the east of the proposed changes (connectivity). Your requests have been passed along to our walking and cycling specialists for further consideration through the Cycling Programme Business Case (PDF 4MB). Cycle routes within the city centre will be identified and prioritised within the next 12 months.
  • Requests to install additional cycle lanes: along Drake Street, alongside of the motorway from Union Street through to the pink path by way of an underpass to the motorway off-ramp and along Wellesley Street instead of along Cook Street. Your requests have been passed along to our walking and cycling specialists for further consideration through the Cycling Programme Business Case (PDF 4MB). Cycle routes within the city centre will be identified and prioritised within the next 12 months.
  • Query as to why cycle lanes are needed on both sides of Cook Street. The proposal has been designed to maximise cyclist safety and improve connections with the Nelson Street cycleway.
  • Request to implement a safe transition for cyclists between the shared path and eastbound traffic along Sale Street. This request will be further reviewed and incorporated in the design at the next stage of detailed design.
  • Request to install a solid barrier between the cycle path and the road where Union Street turns onto Sale Street. We will further investigate alternatives to physically separate the road and those utilising the cycle path during the detailed design stage.
  • Concern that the westbound cycle lane along Cook Street on approach to the Morton Street intersection will cause difficulties for cyclists. The proposed measures have been thoroughly reviewed by cycling specialists and have been optimised to ensure that facilities are as cycle friendly as possible.
  • Request to install provisions allowing for the easy left turn of southbound cyclists from the existing Nelson Street cycleway onto Cook Street. These requests will be further reviewed as part of a project that will be consulted on in the next fiscal year, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility.
  • Request to install safe hit posts at the intersection of Nelson Street and Cook Street to better protect turning cyclists. This request will be incorporated into a project that will be consulted on in the next fiscal year, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility.
  • Request to allow alternative methods for cyclists to cross Nelson Street, rather than waiting in advanced stop boxes. This request will be incorporated into a project that will be consulted on in the next fiscal year, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility.
  • Suggestion to remove the Advanced Stop Box proposed for the left turn lane from Cook Street (westbound) to Nelson Street. These cyclist stop boxes are already existing at this location. This request will not be incorporated into this proposal as it will be more effective to undertake all changes at the intersection of Cook and Nelson Street at one time. We expect that this project, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility, will be consulted on in the next fiscal year.

Pedestrian facilities

  • Requests to upgrade footpaths: along Cook Street and a request to widen footpaths in the general area and to install a protected pedestrian footpath over the Wellington Street motorway overpass. We are currently investigating the possibility of coordinating construction work and footpath upgrades with our maintenance team.
  • Requests to extend footpaths:
    • Alongside the proposed western Union Street cycleway to more directly meet up with Cook Street (as opposed to separating them). We have refined our proposal and the footpath will now extend alongside the cycle lane near the Sale Street car park. This will also involve installation of a dual zebra crossing on the slip lane from Sale Street onto Cook Street that can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.
    • Past Cook Street in order to connect the northern end of Union Street with Wellington Street. We are currently investigating the area around the intersection of Wellesley and Sale Streets for future road safety, pedestrian and traffic improvements. We will consider this request as part of our initial investigations.
  • Requests to install and/or upgrade crossing facilities:
    • At the missing pedestrian leg on the Nelson Street intersection. This missing leg will be reviewed as part of a separate project that will likely be consulted on the next fiscal year, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility.
    • Request for a raised table zebra crossing at the entrance to Drake Street. We have refined our proposal and will now proceed with installation of a formal zebra crossing at this location, rather than the pedestrian refuge originally proposed.
    • Request for formal crossing over the two lanes proposed for Sam Wrigley Street, outside of PlaceMakers. We will not be able to incorporate a formal crossing over two lanes for Sam Wrigley, but we are currently liaising with key stakeholders to reduce the width of Sam Wrigley and slow down the speed around the corner.
    • Request to upgrade the existing crossing at the motorway off-ramp on Nelson Street. We will not be able to upgrade the existing crossing at the motorway off ramp as there is no suitable location for a crossing facility that will meet the safety standard.
    • Request to install a raised table zebra crossing on the slip lane from Cook Street (westbound) onto Sam Wrigley Street. We have refined our proposal and will now proceed with by installing a raised dual zebra crossing that can accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians, rather than the signalised crossing proposed.
    • Request to upgrade the pedestrian crossing over the motorway on-ramp from Wellington Street. This requires extensive construction work and will not be prioritised in our short-term plans.
    • Request to build out kerbs at the intersection of Sale Street and Wellesley Street in order to reduce pedestrian crossing distances. We will consider this request as part of our initial investigations of the area around the intersection of Wellesley and Sale Streets.

Pedestrian and vehicle conflicts

  • Concern that pedestrians frequently cross the motorway off-ramp. No additional crossing facilities will be introduced at the motorway off-ramp as part of this project as the layout does not allow for installation of a safe crossing facility at this location. We will be installing additional safety measures aimed at reducing the speed of traffic from the motorway and reducing the number of lanes at the intersection. However, we do not encourage pedestrians to cross at this location.
  • Concern over the location of the proposed level zebra crossing on Sale Street, as vehicles frequently travel along this road at speed. We expect that the changes will help to reduce the speeds of traffic on Sale Street. We are also currently investigating new improvements in the area around the intersection of Wellesley and Sale Streets which will also address traffic speeds.
  • Concern that vehicles frequently park on the footpath on Union and Sales Streets; request to install bollards to discourage this behaviour. We will undertake further monitoring at this location following implementation of the changes. Parking on footpaths is prohibited and therefore enforceable. Should you observe this behaviour in the future, we encourage you to report it to Auckland Transport Enforcement by calling 09 355 3553.
  • Request that footpaths across driveways clearly prioritise pedestrians over vehicles by maintaining a level surface and utilising short lips. All driveways accesses will be constructed according to the latest standards, allowing ease of use by both pedestrians and vehicles.

Shared cyclist-pedestrian facilities

  • Requests to physically separate the cycle path from the footpath in general, near the lower end of Union Street, at the corner of Nelson and Cook Streets (requests for a protected intersection), and at the intersection of Morton and Cook Streets. Thank you for your feedback on this issue. Further investigations will be required before we will be able to finalise the type of separation that will be installed, but these requests will be incorporated into the final design.
  • Requests to improve shared cycling and pedestrian facilities:
    • To the west and to the east of the proposed changes.
    • Along the Union Street/Sam Wrigley street loop.
    • Request to convert the loop road around PlaceMakers to designated walking and cycling facilities.
    • Request to install a pedestrian/cyclist corridor between Morton Street and Sale Street.
      Although these changes cannot be incorporated into this proposal, your requests have been passed along to our walking and cycling specialists for further consideration through the Cycling Programme Business Case (PDF 4MB). Routes within the city centre will be identified and prioritised within the next 12 months.
  • Request to relocate the proposed shared cyclist/pedestrian crossing at Cook Street and Morton Street to the east of the intersection. Based on existing spatial constraints, we believe that the proposed arrangement is the most suitable layout and will provide the greatest benefits to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Request to install wayfinding signs for cyclists and pedestrians at the intersection of Cook and Sale Streets. We will be further investigating opportunities to install wayfinding signs to better guide cyclists and pedestrians during the detailed design stage.

Signal phasing

  • Request that cyclist signals on Cook Street near the intersection with Nelson Street be automatic and able to detect lighter bicycles. This request will be incorporated into the final project design.
  • Request to ensure that pedestrian and cyclist wait times at signals are 30 seconds or less. Traffic signals will need to accommodate competing needs based on vehicle and pedestrian-cyclist traffic. Depending on demand, we can coordinate optimisation of the signals in order to reduce wait time.

Aesthetic appeal

  • Request to add additional benches and small green spaces to the proposed project area. As this proposal aims to improve safety at this location, we unfortunately do not hold budget for additional benches to be installed as part of this project.
  • Query as to when details will be made available regarding measurements and project materials (i.e. kerb heights, plantings, etc.). This information will likely be made available within the next couple of months.
  • Request to utilise planter boxes rather than concrete barriers wherever possible. We will investigate a number of alternative measures to separate cyclist facilities from both the roadway and pedestrian footpaths during the detailed the detailed design.
  • Request to protect existing trees and to add additional trees/vegetation where possible. The proposal has been refined based on public feedback and will proceed to implementation without any tree removal.

Traffic congestion

  • Concern that removal of one lane along Cook Street will exacerbate existing congestion issues at this location. Traffic modelling has been undertaken as part of the proposal design which confirms that there will be minimal impact to the overall operation of Cook Street.
  • Concern that removal of the lane from Union Street through to Cook Street will exacerbate existing congestion issues. While we do expect that these changes will slow vehicle speeds to improve safety at this location, traffic modelling has been undertaken as part of the proposal design which confirms that there will be minimal impact to the overall operation of Cook Street.
  • Concern that signalisation of the intersection of Cook and Morton Streets will cause congestion that backs up to the motorway off-ramp. Traffic modelling has been completed and confirmed that there would be minimal impact to the operation of Cook Street. The modelling also indicated that queuing at Morton Street will not extend beyond the crest of Cook Street near the existing gantry sign.

Speed calming

  • Requests to extend the red high friction surfacing further up the motorway off-ramp in order to raise driver awareness as early as possible. We will liaise with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to determine whether textured surfacing can be further extended.
  • Request to re-design the existing raised speed table at the entry to Union Street in order to improve safety. The current design encourages slow entry speed for vehicles turning into Union Street off of Victoria Street East, which provides a number of crucial safety benefits to vulnerable road users. As such, we are unable to consider re-design of the existing speed table.
  • Concern that slow moving vehicles from Sale Street will have to merge with fast moving traffic from the motorway off-ramp when turning onto Cook Street. A slip lane arrangement has been proposed in order to ensure that vehicles from Sale Street are not forced to dramatically increase their speed in order to merge with traffic exiting the motorway. The stop sign at the intersection of Union (near the motorway off-ramp) will be retained.
  • Request to install additional speed calming measures where Cook Street (eastbound) turns onto Sam Wrigley Street. Due to the nature of Cook Street, which is an arterial road, it is inappropriate to install physical speed calming measures. Nevertheless, the design does endeavour to reduce vehicle speeds through the introduction of measures aimed at raising driver awareness.
  • Request to install high friction surfacing at the signalised crossing proposed on the slip lane from Cook Street onto Sam Wrigley Street in order to raise driver awareness. The signalised pedestrian and cycle crossing proposed for the slip lane from Cook Street to Sam Wrigley will no longer be signalised. Instead, it will involve installation of a raised dual zebra crossing that can accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Requests to reduce the speed limit along Cook Street. The speed limit of Cook Street and a number of other streets within the city centre are currently being reviewed.
  • Request to install a speed camera at the Cook Street motorway off-ramp. At this stage, a speed camera has not been proposed as part of this project. The Speed Camera Programme is a national programme which identifies and prioritises locations based on demonstrated need. As part of the proposal, a driver feedback sign will be installed on Cook Street that notifies drivers of their speed.
  • Request to reduce the Cook Street motorway off-ramp to a single lane. The proposal has included for the reduction in the number of lanes from two to one at the motorway off-ramp.

Parking removal

  • Query as to why the broken yellow lines proposed outside of 70 Sale Street are not continuous along the front of the property. The proposal has since been refined and will include installation of continuous broken yellow lines at this location.
  • Request to retain parking: along the southern edge of Cook Street (where westbound cycle lane is proposed) and off-street around the intersection of Sale Street and Cook Street (five car parks that may be removed to accommodate the final cycle way alignment). While it is acknowledged that parking demand is high at several locations within the project area, the proposal aims to improve safety of people walking and cycling at this location while minimising the removal of parking.
  • Requests to remove all on-street parking spaces (both proposed and existing) on the southern side of Cook Street between Hobson Street and Nelson Street, instead replacing them with a cycle lane. The proposal has been refined and will involve removal of existing and proposed on-street parking along the southern kerb of Cook Street between Hobson and Nelson Streets. In an effort to mitigate some of this parking loss, only three of the five spaces proposed for removal at the car park on Sale Street will be removed.
  • Concern over the removal of parking. While it is acknowledged that parking demand is high at several locations within the project area, the proposal aims to improve safety of people walking and cycling at this location while minimising the removal of parking.
  • Query as to whether additional car parking can be made available nearby to mitigate proposed loss of parking: in general and outside 43 Sale Street. There are no changes proposed directly outside of 43 Sale Street. While it is acknowledged parking demand is very high in some areas within the project area, the design endeavours to minimise the removal of the parking spaces required. In an effort to mitigate some of this parking loss, only three of the five spaces proposed for removal at the car park on Sale Street will be removed.

Loading zones

  • Request to install additional loading bays at this location to better accommodate for local businesses. We are currently investigating opportunities to relocate or add additional loading zones at the corner of Union and Sale Streets to better serve local businesses.
  • Concern regarding removal of the existing loading zone on Cook Street. There are designated loading areas located behind the businesses on Cook Street. The removal of this loading zone is a necessary safety requirement for installation of the cycleway.

Driveway access

  • Concern that the proposed cycleway will create a hazard for vehicles backing out of driveways on the southern edge of Cook Street, near the intersection with Nelson Street. Vehicles should not be reversing out of driveways and into the roadway at these locations.
  • Concern that planned driveways for the new development on the corner of Sale Street and Cook Street could be obstructed by the proposed changes. We are coordinating with the developer to ensure that there are no clashes between these projects.
  • Concern that the redirection of traffic will create a hazard for vehicles exiting the driveway between 41 and 43 Sale Street. Due to the change in layout and the proposed speed calming measures, we expect that vehicles will be travelling at relatively low speeds. Based on modelling, we do not expect the re-direction of traffic will create hazards at this driveway.
  • Concern that the proposed traffic island outside of 41 Sale Street will obstruct access for westbound vehicles attempting to turn into the car park behind 43 Sale Street. We are investigating alternative options that will allow vehicles travelling westward to easily and safely turn into the car park at this location from Sale Street.
  • Request to close driveway access for the City Works Depot on Cook Street, instead encouraging vehicles to utilise driveways on Morton Street and Wellesley Street. This will not be implemented as we do not believe the presence of the driveway at this location poses operational or safety hazards.
  • Request to install double judder bars at the driveway to the City Works Depot for two-way traffic. The proposal has been refined and a second speed cushion will be installed at the entrance to City Depot off of Cook Street. This will better alert drivers to the presence of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Concern that the volume of vehicles entering/exiting driveways at businesses along Cook Street will pose safety hazards for cyclists. Speed humps and road greening have been proposed at these locations to encourage slow traffic speeds.

Operational issues on Sam Wrigley Street and Union Street

  • Query into the purpose of the second lane proposed for Sam Wrigley Street. The proposal has been refined and the two lanes proposed where Cook and Union Streets meet Sam Wrigley Street will now proceed as only a single lane in order to reduce risks to pedestrians.
  • Request not to remove the right turn from Morton Street onto Sam Wrigley Street. This movement is prohibited and proposed changes will further reinforce this.
  • Concern over the difficulty drivers encounter when attempting to travel from Union-Sale Street (northwestern stretch) to Sam Wrigley Street (traversing multiple lanes). The current design reduces the number of lanes along Cook Street to encourage a slower speed environment, making it safer to traverse multiple lanes between Union and Sam Wrigley Streets.
  • Request to remove the existing median between Cook Street and Union Street to better allow drivers to merge before entering Sam Wrigley Street. No changes are being proposed to remove the median between Cook Street and Union Street as the proposed lane reduction helps to lower vehicle speeds and make lane-changing easier along this stretch of road.
  • Request to install further measures discouraging vehicles from making illegal turns from Morton Street onto Sam Wrigley Street. The proposed signalisation of Motion Street has been designed to further reinforce that this movement is prohibited.
  • Request to make Union Street to the west of PlaceMakers a two-way road. These changes may be revisited as part of future plans for the Cook Street area. For details, please refer to Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan.

Bus facilities

  • Query as to whether there will be additional bus bay parking added as part of this proposal, as the existing facilities tend to overflow during afternoon hours. There is no additional bus bay parking proposed as part of this project. Additional bus parking capacity will be identified at other locations within the city centre.
  • Concern that buses frequently park where the signalised cycle/pedestrian crossing is proposed (at the intersection w/ Morton Street). The design will ensure that bus parking is not to close to the intersection of Cook and Morton Streets. Broken yellow lines will be reinstated accordingly where appropriate to further reinforce where bus parking is prohibited.

Miscellaneous requests

  • Request that the left-most eastbound lane on Cook Street be left turn only onto Nelson Street. No changes to lane configuration is proposed at the Nelson Street intersection. This can be reviewed as part of a separate project that will likely be consulted on the next fiscal year, which aims to better connect cyclists on Cook Street back onto the existing Nelson Street cycle facility.
  • Request to create an additional southern motorway off-ramp nearby (i.e. Sale Street, Union Street, Karangahape Road, etc.). This request has been forwarded on to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

Next steps

This work will happen on or before June 2019, but we will let you know if there are further changes or delays. Our contractors will send notices to affected residents 48-hours prior to construction starting. ​