Auckland Transport (AT) in partnership with City Rail Link (CRL) propose to make the lower Queen Street area more people-friendly by removing the thoroughfare option for vehicles.
Project status: Consultation - feedback closed Monday, 20 July 2020.
Project zone: Central
Lower Queen Street is home to Britomart train station and Commercial Bay where thousands of people will transit through each day. The area will only get busier when the City Rail Link is complete with an estimated 17,000 people using Britomart train station daily.
We are proposing to extend the lower Queen Street ‘pedestrian mall’ onto part of Tyler Street and Galway Street and remove the exemption for buses and thoroughfare vehicles.
A ‘pedestrian mall’ is a legal designation of a road to a pedestrian-only zone.
The space largely operates as a pedestrian zone currently, however up until recently vehicles could still transit through the area which would no longer be an option under this proposal.
Having a pedestrian-only zone on lower Queen Street will better cater to the many people walking to and from the train station, surrounding bus stops, shops, and around the waterfront and Ferry Terminal.
This is in line with the City Centre Masterplan which envisages lower Queen Street as the gateway to Auckland for thousands of international cruise ship tourists, daily commuters and casual visitors. Together with Quay Street and other developments in the area, it will transform downtown into a people-focused space that enables Aucklanders to re-engage with the water’s edge in the city centre.
Artist impression of the new Britomart Plaza.
- Downtown will transform into a people-focused space
- Safer for people walking and cycling
- New public space where city events and celebrations can be held.
Once CRL works are complete, the downtown area will be transformed into a vibrant plaza with new street furniture and trees for people to relax and enjoy.
The plaza will be a welcoming space connecting the waterfront to Auckland's cultural, commercial and retail heart. The plaza will also open up event space possibilities where city events and celebrations can be held.
We propose to:
- amend the lower Queen Street ‘pedestrian mall’ to no longer allow any vehicles such as buses or private motor vehicles to transit through the area*
- extend the pedestrian mall onto parts of Galway and Tyler Streets
- erect bollards on Galway Street, Tyler Street, and at the intersections of lower Queen Street / Quay Street and lower Queen Street / Customs Street.
*Exemptions to this will include bicycles, e-scooters, emergency service vehicles, and authorised vehicles with prior permission from AT to undertake maintenance, make essential deliveries and collections, or to support events.
Statement of proposal
We have issued a Statement of Proposal, which outlines the details of our proposal to change the lower Queen Street pedestrian mall and summarises options that were deemed unsuitable for the space.
This includes details on how to provide feedback on the proposal in person if you would like a formal hearing.
We asked for feedback from 18 June to 20 July and received 676 responses.
The feedback we received was overwhelmingly supportive with 93% of responses supporting the pedestrian mall because it created a safe and attractive space near Auckland’s largest transport hub.
6% of people didn’t like the proposal because they were concerned it could increase congestion in the CBD or thought that reducing the number of vehicles in the city centre would harm businesses. 1% of responses weren’t clear either way.
After listening to all the feedback, we are proceeding with the amendment to the pedestrian mall as proposed.
- We have made minor wording changes to the vehicle exemptions to better clarify who can and can’t use the pedestrian mall.
- We have added conditions around how bikes and scooters will be allowed to operate in the mall whereby they will need to adhere to a speed limit and give priority to pedestrians.
We anticipate the pedestrian mall will be in place in December 2020 to coincide with the Lower Queen Street square opening.
The lower Queen Street pedestrian mall management plan will be made available on our website in early 2021.