Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council are making changes on Queen Street to increase space for those walking, on bikes and using public transport in the city centre, as part of their response to COVID-19
Project status: Construction
Project zone: Central
Separate zones have been set up as part of the continued work to increase the amount of public space available for people so they can maintain physical distancing. The priority is to maintain everyone’s health, safety and comfort, while helping the city function effectively.
Between Customs Street and Mayoral Drive, much of Queen Street is reduced to one lane in each direction. The repurposed space will be used as a shared space for those walking in the area to allow for safe physical distancing. Reduced traffic volumes will make the street safer for people on bikes.
Initially, road cones have being used along Queen Street while AT actively investigates options for more creative separators, like planter boxes or plastic poles.
The changes will be monitored and may be adjusted over time depending on requirements. Both AT and Auckland Council will continue to work with city centre businesses and residents, as well as people using Queen Street. The layout continues to provide for loading and servicing of Queen Street businesses, as well as space for click-and-collect short term parking.
This work is a direct health response to the COVID-19 situation, and will inform an upcoming pilot - Queen Street - putting pedestrians first. This pilot is an Auckland Council project requested by the Planning Committee. The pilot will involve a co-design process with Queen Street users and stakeholders, as well as wider public consultation and engagement.
Different zones exist along Queen Street, they work together as follows:
For the general footpath on both sides of Queen Street:
- the existing footpath is the ‘movement zone’ allocated for those walking
- directional markers have been placed on the ground to show people to keep left when walking
- at intersections, the reallocated space from the traffic lanes will be used for those crossing/waiting for a pedestrian phase
- in the 'waiting zone', markers have been placed to support physical distancing.
Bus stops are placed away from the footpath because traffic lanes have been reduced on Queen Street. To allow for accessible entry and exit to buses, a level platform has been built out into the operating traffic lane.
Markers have also been placed on the ground at bus stops to support physical distancing.
Pedestrian crossings have been widened at intersections that have crossing signals to support physical distancing.
Directional markers have been placed on the ground to show people to keep left when walking.
To ensure local business are supported during these changes, loading zones have been retained. These are indented in to the additional footpath space and can be used for deliveries, but also as a pick-up zone for customers.
The loading zones are limited to 15 minutes parking.
Access into the city centre
With these changes to Queen Street, we want to retain city centre access for people, while maximising public health and safety.
Options for travelling to the city centre:
Bus routes on Queen Street (such as the CityLink and InnerLink services) are not affected by these changes.
Britomart Train station & the Downtown Ferry Terminal are both a 5-minute walk from the north end of Queen Street.
During Alert Level 2 the majority of public transport has returned to normal schedules, with measures to support physical distancing on board. More information about using public transport during Alert Level 2.
Driving in private vehicles
Due to the changes, we discourage using Queen Street as a through-route for traffic, but it remains open for access. If you are travelling by private vehicle, using the Auckland motorway network to access the city centre is your best option. Entry points around the city centre will get you where you need to be.
Queen Street is a high pedestrian area and changes are being made to allow for physical distancing as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease. If you need to drive there you can, but please avoid just driving through.
If you need to use Queen Street to access a local business, you can drive and use the customer pick up zones for up to 15 minutes. Parking in an off-street carpark will be the easiest place if you’re going to stay for a while. Find parking in central Auckland.