By Matthew Rednall, Chair of the Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association
The recent launch of the Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association (TMA) creates an exciting opportunity to encourage and enhance the economic and business potential of the area, while at the same time contributing to a more pleasant environment for residents and the entertainment and recreational visitors to the Quarter.
The TMA is an organisation established to help promote easier accessibility into the area by championing a range of travel choices and options.
If public transport, walking, cycling and car pooling can be encouraged, then the expected growth in car travel into and around the Wynyard Quarter can be minimised, improving accessibility into the area. Easy accessibility is critical to enable business development for Wynyard Quarter and it will also help enhance the pedestrian-friendly environment Aucklanders envisaged when the Wynyard Quarter development was first planned.
Auckland Transport is leading the establishment of the TMA through a steering group of representatives from the Quarter’s major landowners Waterfront Auckland and Viaduct Harbour Holdings Ltd, and Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency who have transport and planning responsibilities for the area. In the future, the TMA will be an independent organisation providing a forum for local businesses and neighbourhood associations to work together on travel initiatives.
Critical to creating an environment where easy access to the Wynyard Quarter will help enable the area to reach its full business and social potential is working with businesses and their employees to encourage a range of alternative travel choices.
A key role of the TMA is to act as a forum to educate and inform the diverse groups within the Wynyard Quarter community about effective and efficient transport measures. In the future, businesses, commercial tenants and residents of the Quarter will be invited to be represented on the TMA to broaden the partnership base.
With the pending upgrade of Halsey and Daldy streets, the opening next year of the ASB Head Office and the increasing popularity of the entertainment and recreational facilities of the Quarter, the time is right to begin a programme for travel choices into the Quarter.
Ultimately there could be as many as 16,000 people working in Wynyard Quarter with several thousand living in the area and many more visiting for entertainment and recreation. With five vehicle accesses to the Wynyard Quarter, we need to minimise sole occupant vehicle trips and maximise alternative transport modes to cater for the growing number of people in and out of the area as efficiently as possible.
The major strategy to achieve improved accessibility is, a “70:30 modal split” target. This means 70 per cent of peak hour travel into and around the Wynyard Quarter being made by public transport, walking, cycling, and carpooling.
Some of the measures to help achieve this goal include:
- Improving public transport, pedestrian, and cycling facilities and services,
- Managing on-street parking and office and commercial building on-site parking spaces,
- Graduating the parking tariff the longer the car park stay, and
- Reducing the speed limit from 50kmh to 30kmh.
Already, there is an on-going programme of transport improvements for the area. For example, the City Link bus now includes a circuit of Daldy and Beaumont streets every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays and public holidays. It connects through to services across the region and the No. 10 bus connects the Quarter to Onehunga via Ponsonby and Pt Chevalier. The City Link service will be a major travel mode for many employees.
Pedestrian facilities have been, and are being, upgraded throughout the area. The now well-used Wynyard Crossing bridge is an excellent example as it means that the Quarter is now just a short walk from the Britomart Transport Centre and Downtown Ferry building. Pedestrian-friendly features were a major feature in the Jellicoe Street upgrade and are a major feature of the upcoming Daldy/Halsey streets upgrade.
As the TMA develops regular engagement with the Wynyard Quarter community, it will be looking to develop resources – such as a website and regular newsletter updates – that will provide detailed information on the range of travel choices available to employees, residents and visitors to the Wynyard Quarter.
The Wynyard Quarter TMA can play a major role in helping implement the vision, and the resoundingly stated preference of the Auckland public, for a pedestrian friendly, low-emission area through initiatives that encourage a travel mode balance for public transport, walking and cycling to and within the Wynyard Quarter.