Lower Queen St is now traffic-free and Auckland Transport is encouraging people to make the most of the space to walk, cycle and relax. Instead of being a major bus interchange, the area between Quay St and Commerce St will have a bike polo tournament, street performers, and a maze marked on the old road.
At lunchtime for the next five Fridays, AT is running ‘activations’ to encourage people to make the most of the space which includes Queen Elizabeth Square adjacent to the Downtown Shopping Centre. Bike polo will be held tomorrow 29 April from 4.30pm.
The bus stops at Lower Queen St have been moved to make way for work on the City Rail Link and the demolition of the shopping centre. When preparation for the demolition begins on 29 May, there will be a hoarding from HSBC building to Zurich building but the rest of the square including Lower Queen St and Britomart train station will remain open.
Last week people of all ages were playing musical chairs and this week a maze has been marked on the road.
AT’s Walking and Cycling manager Kathryn King says it’s a great space to be enjoyed. “We want to create some real buzz. We want people to know that this area is not a no-go zone, in fact, for the next few weeks this space will function like a plaza.
“We are rapidly moving towards a city centre that is easier and safer for people to walk and cycle around. The shared spaces all over the city are encouraging more pedestrians and improving safety.
“While this area is only traffic-free temporarily, we want people to enjoy the benefits of the space while they can,” she says.
Activities schedule from 28 April – 27 May
Each Friday for 5 weeks, the space will host light-hearted activities for all ages.
- 28-29 April – Maze
A giant, abstract pedestrian and cyclist maze in the middle of the street. This focal point will be the base for many more cycling and walking activations throughout the six week period.
- 29 April – Bicycle Polo (4:30pm - 9:30pm)
A live demonstration of the unique and exciting sport of bicycle polo, lead by Auckland Hard Court Bike Polo.
- 6 May – Statues (4:30pm – 6pm)
A giant game of Green Light/Red Light (or Statues). Pedestrians moving through the space on their way to the train, bus or ferry will have the chance to play a large-scale game of the schoolyard favourite on their way.
- 13 May – Mirror Mirror (7:30am – 9am)
Installed ankle-height mirrors will give pedestrians a chance to check out their own walking moves – adding an unexpected moment to the morning commute, with walking-related music to set the pace.
- 20 May – A-Maze-ing Walks (11:30am – 2pm)
Make your way through the maze and avoid the gauntlet of fun, colourful obstacles along the way. Prizes to be won and endless fun to be had!