Revised Mission Bay safety improvements are on their way.
In November last year, Aucklanders shared their views on Auckland Transport’s (AT’s) plans to make road safety improvements in Mission Bay.
Mission Bay town centre was prioritised for improvements due to the high numbers of vulnerable road users – children, senior citizens, people walking and people on bikes or motorcycles who interact with motorists.
This was the second time AT asked for feedback on a safety proposal through Mission Bay, as the first proposal out for feedback in 2019 was not well received.
AT then changed its approach – working collaboratively with the community on a new design before asking for feedback on it last year.
AT worked alongside community representatives - including the Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association, the Mission Bay Business Association, the Ōrākei Local Board and the local councillor - to propose the new set of safety improvements that better reflect the community’s needs.
Ōrākei Local Board Chair, Scott Milne, says Mission Bay town centre is both a local and sub-regional destination, especially at the weekends. “It needed to be prioritised for safety work due to the high number of people walking, biking, skating and scooting.”
Auckland Councillor, Desley Simpson, says the new approach meant that AT worked alongside community representatives on the new set of safety improvements that better reflect the community’s needs.
AT’s Road Safety Engineering Manager, Michael Brown, says reducing speeds here to 30km/h has the greatest potential to reduce the chance of serious injuries and deaths occurring.
“The new proposal includes new raised tables, most of which will be zebra crossings, to support the new 30km/h speed limit. Out of 865 responses, 76 per cent of people stated their support for the proposal with some suggesting further changes.”
After listening to all feedback, AT will proceed with the proposal and make the following main changes:
Construction of the changes will begin in April 2022 and will be completed by October 2022. AT will be in touch with residents and businesses prior to any construction taking place.
Auckland Transport (AT) is asking for feedback on a new proposal to improve safety through Mission Bay.
Similar to St Heliers, AT had asked for feedback on a different safety proposal last year which would have required the removal of some car parks.
AT listened closely to the feedback that this didn’t reflect what the local community wanted and as a result took those plans off the table.
AT’s Group Manager Network Management, Randhir Karma, says “We have since worked alongside community representatives including the Mission Bay Residents Association, Mission Bay Business Association, Ōrākei Local Board and local Councillor Desley Simpson to shape a new proposal which we hope better reflects the needs of the local community.
“We had great input from these groups and were able to work together to propose improvements that will make getting around Mission Bay safer and easier for all,” says Mr Karma.
The safety improvements proposed include: three new raised pedestrian crossings, a dedicated cycleway or widened shared path, two new speed bumps, a new car parking area, and some small bus layover changes. This proposal has minor car park changes but overall there will be no loss of car parking.
Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association representative Don Stock says: “We are very pleased that the original proposal has been withdrawn and we can work collaboratively to find the right solution for our busy town centre. The new safety improvements will mean people walking, cycling, or driving to Mission Bay will find it safer and easier to get around.”
Mission Bay Business Association Secretary Megan Burgess says: “I am pleased to see improvements that will assist business growth and safety. After initially proposing a concept that we didn’t support, AT has listened to the concerns from the Business Association and adjusted its approach. We have appreciated being able to work collaboratively with them.”
Ōrākei Ward Councillor Desley Simpson says: “The best outcome from this issue in my opinion has been a change in both attitudes and thinking from AT as to the way they go about public consultation. The process they now use internally has additional steps to ensure they are more open and transparent. Including key local stakeholders and elected members in discussions before they go to the wider public is a key to their success moving forward. I’m very pleased to see this new process piloted successfully in both Mission Bay and St Heliers.”
Ōrākei Local Board Deputy Chair, Sarah Powrie, says: “We are very pleased to work with AT and the local community representatives to help design the plan to improve safety around the Mission Bay town centre. We look forward to receiving further input through the consultation process and seeing the safety improvements in place.”
AT will also be extending a 30km/h speed limit to Mission Bay in June 2021 as part of its safe speeds programme. These safety improvements will complement the speed limit change and help ensure people adhere to the new limit.
The improvements will be made possible through the Regional Fuel Tax.
Feedback is open until 3 December.