Karangahape Rd will host Auckland’s biggest traffic-free street event of 2016 on Sunday 1 May from 12pm-7pm.
Open Streets 2016 is a chance to take in live music, street dining, art installations, pop up performances and more on Auckland’s famous street. It will be traffic-free between Upper Queen St and Ponsonby Rd.
Karangahape Rd, which is set for a streetscape enhancement, was chosen for Open Streets 2016 for a number of reasons says Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking Manager Kathryn King.
Picture: Open Streets 2015 held on Quay Street
“It’s got a vibrant art, music and culture scene; rich heritage and historic buildings; celebrated eateries and bars; and a rapidly expanding residential community. It’s also centrally located with great connections to our growing network of cycleways, so we’re encouraging people to cycle or walk there on the day.
“The pink Lightpath is right behind Karangahape Rd so it’s a great chance for people to walk or cycle Lightpath and continue around the whole inner city cycle loop. They can also enjoy a drink, some food and listen to free music with friends and family on K Rd.”
Part of Nelson St and Sturdee St (Nelson St Cycleway phase two) will be closed so people can cycle the entire inner city loop. The route starts at Lightpath, continues down Nelson St, Sturdee St to Quay St where cyclists can continue on the Beach Rd and Grafton Gully Cycleway and then back up to Lightpath at the bottom of Mercury Lane.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says Open Streets is a great family event. “Last year it was held on Quay St and there was a huge crowd. This year on Karangahape Rd is a bigger space and I hope to see even more Aucklanders turning out.”
Auckland Transport is working closely with the Karangahape Rd Business Association on this year’s Open Streets, which will reflect the unique character of the destination.
Open Streets is tailor-made for K Road and this Open Streets will be home grown says Karangahape Business Association president, Ross Liew.
"We have a diverse and engaged community of creatives, businesses, NGOs and personalities whose value can be well realised through a platform such as this."
The family-friendly day will see K’Rd businesses host activities and games for kids, sharing the food and drink from local eateries and showcasing the local artistic offerings through street performance, music and art.
Open Streets is an international initiative to temporarily make a road or area traffic-free to claim the street for walking, cycling, playing and socialising.
Staff from Auckland Council and Auckland Transport will be there on the day presenting early plans for the Karangahape Rd Streetscape Enhancements and Cycleway. It will be an opportunity for all Aucklanders to give feedback on and ask questions about this exciting project.