Safer and more vibrant, people-friendly streets are coming to South Auckland.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has announced an additional $10.1 million investment through the Innovating Streets for People pilot fund to make towns and cities more people friendly, in addition to $13.95 million announced in June.
There are five successful southern Auckland projects, ranging from making it safer for kids in Māngere to get to school, to streetscape upgrades in Pukekohe.
The projects are led by Local Boards, Kāinga Ora, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and Panuku Development Auckland, while communities, schools and local businesses are invited to contribute ideas to create the places they want.
The projects will all make quick, low-cost improvements to create more people-friendly spaces in each neighbourhood. This may include the use of pop-ups like street dining and things like road art, planters and street furniture.
All ideas will be co-designed with the community and will be improved upon in response to feedback from the people who live, work and travel in these areas.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the new funding will help to develop safer, more people-friendly streets in a fast growing part of the region.
“This funding supports us to work with local communities and their local boards to design and test changes at low cost. Projects evolve based on the feedback of local people and businesses and when an idea we test works well and has strong community support, we can look to make the changes permanent.”
Maximising Māngere – Time to Thrive, in partnership with Kāinga Ora, will see new pop-up bike lanes that fix gaps in the existing network. This will include pop-up cycle lanes and widening/painting of footpaths.
Kāinga Ora sustainability programme manager Jessica Rose says Kāinga Ora is leading a redevelopment programme in Māngere West to deliver more affordable homes. Over the next five to seven years, 230 old state houses will be replaced with approximately 900 new warm, dry and healthy homes.
“With this increased density, there are opportunities to transform the environment and support active travel. It’s important that we invest in things that people want and will use. We want to allow people to feel safer as they move around their neighborhood.”
Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland – Safe School Streets aims to achieve a fun, safe and well connected Māngere and Manukau.
Auckland Transport’s community transport manager, Claire Dixon, says five Māngere-based schools will take part to ensure the area around their school is safer.
“Pedestrians aged up to 10 continue to feature as high-risk road users in South Auckland. There were 16 deaths or serious injuries in the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board area from 2014 to 2018 and 75 per cent was children under the age of 10. This is simply unacceptable.
“This funding will mean we can improve safety on our roads for our most vulnerable, especially around schools and town centres.”
Welcoming the announcement, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board says that the board is proud to play their part in bringing the long-awaited changes to the streets network in Māngere.
“With growing population and traffic, it is becoming increasingly important to provide better and safer options to move around the area. These improvements will make our streets a lot safer for our people, especially children, young people and the elderly while encouraging people to choose safe walking and cycling as viable transport options.”
Manukau – Wiri – Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland, in partnership with Panuku Development Auckland, is a series of people-centered changes to streets in Manukau.
Panuku Development Auckland’s southern priority location director Richard Davison says making the centre of Manukau safer, more accessible and vibrant is his goal.
“The project we’re working on in Manukau will create safer access in the town centre, linking the mall with the train station and universities, so that more people feel comfortable hanging out in this part of town. We’re looking forward to working with local businesses and people who want to come up with and test out improvements with us.”
Papatoetoe West Low Traffic Neighbourhood, in partnership with Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board, aims to prevent rat-running through residential roads and will allocate more road space to walking and cycling.
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board says the announcement is a cause for celebration, as the locals will feel much safer with these improvements.
“The rat-running has been the cause of several unfortunate incidents on our roads. These improvements will help us put a stop to that as well as allow residents to safely walk and cycle around the area.”
Further south in Pukekohe, Pukekohe Eat Streets and Laneway Enhancements led by Panuku Development Auckland will see people-centred streets and streetscape upgrades of King St, Roulston St and the laneways.
Panuku proposes a series of temporary activities to enhance the vibrancy of Pukekohe’s town centre. While the timing is yet to be confirmed, at the heart of this activity will be a relocation of the Pukekohe Markets to the town square and Roulston Street.
Ideas will be developed over the coming months, with temporary changes expected to be in place before mid-2021. Permanent changes will happen in the long-term if the trials are successful.