Karangahape Road (K Road) is a joint project with Auckland Council that aims to preserve the road's unique character, while creating a street environment that supports the local community and meets the needs of a growing population.
Project status: Construction.
Project zone: Central.
Karangahape Road is a colourful hub and popular destination, with a flourishing residential and business community. As one of the busiest roads in the region, thousands of people travel along it daily. This growth is set to continue with a 30-year projection of a million more people calling Auckland home.
Our transport choices are also growing.
More people are opting to walk, cycle, scoot, skate, bus and when the City Rail Link comes online in 2024, the rail network will double in capacity to carry up to 54,000 passengers an hour.
Once the City Link’s Karangahape Station opens with entrances on Mercury Lane and Beresford Square there will be a massive influx of people arriving and departing from Karangahape Road. A single Alliance is delivering the main CRL works - the stations and tunnels. Find out about the construction updates and background information for the City Rail Link work in the area.
Greater transport choices are being supported by a growing network of cycle ways, improved public transport, better pedestrian connections and street environments that create a sense of community and connection – destinations rather than thoroughfares.
We want to make Karangahape Road a more attractive place for businesses, shopping, residents, visitors, and its other users while also making sure it is ready for the changes ahead.
An enhanced street environment
The changes will enhance an already vibrant and dynamic street life to create an accessible, people friendly public spaces. This will be done by:
- widening and decluttering footpaths creating more space for people
- having a cycleway in each direction connecting to existing and planned cycleways
- adding more bike parking, lighting and street furniture
- adding peak hour bus lanes to improve the reliability and predictably of bus services
- enhancing the natural environment with rain gardens, landscaping, vegetation and trees
- creating more opportunities for outdoor dining and street activities
- creating an environment that reflects Maori cultural values.
How we got here
The Karangahape Road Enhancement Project has evolved through extensive public engagement and planning.
- 2012 - Auckland Council City Centre Master Plan
- 2016 - Project engagement: public walking and cycling surveys, Myers Park Medley, public consultation
- 2017 - Karangahape Design Reference Group with residents and property and business owners to help refine and develop urban design elements to retain the unique street character, parking plan and construction staging
- 2018 - Parking consultation
- Business and pedestrian surveys
- Change to paid on-street parking at the west end of the precinct
- Footpath water blasting to improve slip resistance
- Project pop-up information hub
- 2019 - Construction starts July
- 2020 - Late 2020 completion expected
The project is funded by Auckland Council, with AT and central government making up the balance. The budget reflects a design-led project, constructed using high quality materials, appropriate to Karangahape Road’s city centre location and unique character.
The Karangahape Road Enhancements project has been divided in to five different sections each with a different design.
- Section 1: Ponsonby Road to Pitt Street.
- Section 1A: Karangahape Road Bridge.
- Section 2: Pitt Street to Queen Street.
- Section 3: Queen Street to Symonds Street.
- Section 4: Upper Queen Street (K Road motorway overbridge).
From Ponsonby Road to Pitt Street we are looking to create a greener environment with less clutter on the footpath. This would provide more room for pedestrians, outdoor dining and street activities.
People on bikes will be separated from pedestrians and vehicles, creating a safer environment for all. All kerbside parking will convert to bus lanes during peak hours.
On the Karanghape Road Bridge the focus is on creating a more attractive, safer and more spacious environment for pedestrians and people on bikes. Removal of a traffic lane in each direction and re-positioned bus stops and shelters will create space for a cycleway and a wider footpath.
This section will have similar features to section 1 Ponsonby Road to Pitt Street, and could be upgraded in the future. The City Rail Link and proposed Light Rail will greatly increase pedestrian movement through this section.
On this section, the cycleway will be raised, to retain the existing traffic lanes, preserve the protected heritage wall of the Jewish Cemetery, and street trees on the north side.
On this section, a separated cycleway will connect to the network of existing and planned cycleways which provide access to different parts of the city centre and the wider Auckland area. The cycleway on Upper Queen Street is designed for flexibility, in the event of Light Rail construction.
The enhancement project will create a streetscape where people will want to spend time, meet friends, visit galleries and shops or dining at the many street-front restaurants.
With other transport options, such as rail, bus, scooter or walking, leaving the car at home is a realistic option.
To accommodate the bus lane, wider footpaths and cycleways, 27 of the 501 carparks will be removed.
What to expect during construction
Parking and loading zone access will change during construction.
What to expect after construction is completed:
- More off-peak loading zones on Karangahape Road. Loading zones become taxi stands after 9pm.
- Expansion of paid parking to operate in two zones:
- Karangahape Road and top of side streets, 8am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.
- Remainder of side streets 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
- Replaced eight taxi stands for parking and mobility spaces.
- Three more off-peak mobility spaces.
- Added 17 extra car parks on Karangahape Road and down side streets.
- Added extra motorcycle parking
- 27 of the 501 carparks will be removed
Karangahape Road bus lanes
There are 63 buses travelling between Ponsonby Road and Queen Street every hour during peak times. At the end of construction, buses will have a dedicated bus lane during peak commuting hours in both directions along Karangahape Road. During these times parking and loading will not be available. K Road’s bus lane operation is similar to other bus lanes across Auckland.
An urban forest of 85 trees, rain gardens and vegetation will transform Karangahape Road into a green corridor. Thirty-three of the trees will be new and mostly nikau and pohutukawa mistrals, with some liquid amber and plane trees.
Space constraints with the cycleway and wider footpaths means we will move 11 of the existing trees to other locations along Karangahape Road, and nine will be removed. The relocated trees will be positioned within the new rain gardens adjacent to their current locations.
Rain gardens help remove pollutants, slow stormwater flows and add colour and interest to the street. Stormwater run-off flows through the soil and plant root systems, which absorb and filter contaminants, before it flows to the surround ground, drains, streams and eventually the sea.
John Fillmore Contracting Ltd (JFC) is delivering the physical works for the project.
Expect changes to traffic lanes and journey times during construction. There will be some changes to some bus services, check which bus services will be affected on our Roadworks affecting public transport page.
Stage 1 construction will be carried out in two sections, at the same time
- Ponsonby Road to Howe Street northern side.
- From Symonds Street to Upper Queen Street southern side.
For those located outside stage one, the team will meet with you closer to when work starts in your section.
What to expect
We’re upgrading the street so that means:
- relocating or building new kerbs
- work to some areas of the footpath
- installation of new bins, bike racks and seating
- installing new street lights
- construction of rain gardens and tree pits
- new or reconfigured traffic lights
Karangahape Road business and pedestrian surveys
In June 2018 we commissioned two community surveys. The first, interviewed Karangahape Road precinct businesses and the other spoke to people on and around Karangahape Road – a ‘pedestrian intercept survey’.
We conducted similar surveys in 2016 and were interested to compare views of the Karangahape Road community then and now. The Karangahape Road Business Association (KBA) helped us shape the survey to be relevant to the precinct and the upcoming construction.
Public consultation 2016
Our public consultation on the proposed K Road enhancements ran from 18 October until 20 November 2016.
We received 508 submissions through our online and hard copy feedback forms, with feedback on the whole project as well as on each of the five sections.
We also received feedback through a number of other sources: the K Road Business Association and a survey of its members (140 responses), a survey undertaken by Generation Zero (990 responses), and from the Waitematā Local Board.
Most feedback was strongly supportive of our proposed enhancements. Based on this feedback, we will proceed with the layout as proposed.
Parking plan 2018
A parking plan to maximise parking opportunities within the precinct by prioritising short-stay parking and loading zone access in peak times was consulted in March 2018.