However we are concerned about the poor standard of connections to this fantastic cycling infrastructure. The approach roads to the Canada St entrance are not pleasant to ride on especially for less confident riders and a number of detours are expected of commuters wanting a smooth ride and direct route. There is also a lack of signage to Lightpath from K’rd .
We (transport portfolio of the Waitemata Local Board) have asked Auckland Transport and NZTA to follow up on a number of issues that we are already aware of since the opening on 3 December. Many of these will get fixed as part of the proposed K’rd cycleway and some are already being investigated by a NZTA safety auditor but we wanted to confirm the urgent action we think is needed on the connections to the Canada St entrance to Lightpath from K’rd, Grafton Gully cycleway and Ian McKinnon Drive. Fortunately there is a lot of road to work with and low parking demand on Canada St. Please let us know if we have missed anything from the list below (either use the comments or email me email@example.com)
Moved by Deputy Chairperson PJ Coom, seconded by member CP Dempsey:
i) That the Auckland Transport Update – December 2015 report be received.
ii) That the Waitematā Local Board notes the public feedback analysis for the Nelson Street Cycleway Phase 2 and requests Auckland Transport provide a direct connection to Wynyard Quarter via Market Place and the Western side of Nelson St in addition to the proposed Quay St connection.
iii) Congratulate NZTA and Auckland Transport on the successful opening of the Nelson St cycleway Phase 1
vi) Requests that NZTA and Auckland Transport urgently undertake measures (interim if necessary) to provide safe connections from K’rd, Grafton Gully Cycleway and Ian McKinnon Drive to the entrance of Te ara i whiti/Lightpath at Canada St including:
Installation of an advance cycle box on K’rd at the intersection of Pitt St and Mercury Lane for the right hand turn on to Mercury Lane In the short term we are proposing to trial a cycle barnes dance at this intersection which will enable people on bikes to cross the road and access Mercury Lane without conflict with other vehicular traffic. In the longer term this movement will be improved further in the KRd Streetscape Upgrade project.
Traffic calming on Mercury LaneWe are including traffic calming on Mercury Lane in the reference design for the street once the CRL works are complete. We will investigate ways of better enabling this movement in the short term.
Treatment to provide for riders moving across the traffic lane to enter the right hand slip lane on Mercury lane to cross over Canada St to the entrance to the Canada St bridge In the longer term access to the Light Path from Mercury Lane will be addressed in the upgrade of Mercury Lane as part of the CRL works.
Traffic calming on the approach to the Canada St give way sign at the intersection with Mercury Lane An improvement to this section of Mercury Lane will be included in the reference design for the street as part of the CRL works. We will investigate opportunities for temporary measures before the CRL works commence. .
Installation of a cycle facility from Upper Queen St bridge to the K’rd intersection on the western side of Upper Queen St We plan to upgrade this section of Upper Queen Street as part of the KRd Streetscape Upgrade project
Wayfinding signage on K’rd We have included the requirement for wayfinding signage as part of the KRd Streetscape Upgrade project. We will investigate opportunities for temporary signs in the meantime
Appropriate kerb ramps for riders wishing to enter the Canada St shared path from Mercury LaneThe New Zealand Transport Agency are investigating this request as part of the final safety audit.
Signalised crossing from Grafton Gully to the southern side of Canada Street across Upper Queen St. This movement is currently catered for as a two part crossing over Upper Queen Street and Canada Street. As part of the KRd Streetscape Upgrade project we will look for opportunities to improve the level of service for people walking and cycling.
vii) Requests NZTA and Auckland Transport to report back to the February 2016 meeting of the Waitemata Local Board on the actions taken
At our February board meeting where AT verbally presented the updates we emphasised the need for quick fixes rather than waiting for the the improvements that are promised to be delivered as part of the K’rd Streetscape Upgrade Project (to be delivered by 2017/18) and the CRL works (2022).
NZTA has also provided this update:
The work around Murray Lane and Canada Street is being reviewed as part of the final safety audit which is due to be concluded imminently with remediation work to follow. I will provide an update on this when it is available.
This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 November until 5 December 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre. I was also acting chair from 15 – 19 November.
This is my final report for 2015. Many thanks to everyone who supports the work of the Board during the year.
Parnell Festival of Roses on 15 November
Congratulations to the team who delivered an outstanding community-focused Parnell Festival of Roses this year (the festival is now in its 22nd year). I was particularly impressed to hear that the festival broke zero waste records. It is the most sustainable event in terms of zero waste since Auckland Zero Waste Alliance’s Zero Waste Event Project started operating in 2013 achieving a diversion from landfill of 98%. 90% of the event’s waste was composted, and another 8% recycled. Only 2% of the waste generated went to landfill.
David Seymour MP took a big interest in learning about zero waste
Freemans Bay School Think Big project
The launch of the Auckland Kids Voice website by Freeman’s Bay School was held on 11 November at Auckland Council. The website is a Think Big project developed by the school with funding from the Waitematā Local Board earmarked for youth initiatives as part of being a UNICEF Child Friendly City.
Launch of the Low Carbon Community Action Plan at the Auckland Museum
Waitematā is the first Local Board to launch a community low carbon action plan. The plan came out of community concern about the lack of action on climate change that led to the Board in 2011 committing to develop a localised plan for reducing emissions that will focus on reducing energy use, sustainable transport options, waste reduction, local food production and more effective and cooperative use of resources and land. I acknowledge the work of the Natural Environment Portfolio team (members Deborah Yates and Rob Thomas) who have seen through the project this term.
On Wednesday 4 November the plan and a Low Carbon Community Network was launched by the Board at the Auckland Museum. The network is intended as a loose collaboration of all those interested in climate change and forging a low carbon community. The Board aims to make the most of sharing the considerable ideas, news and events which make up our collective local knowledge.
At the launch the Museum’s Director of Corporate Services Les Fleming (pictured below with board members) described the huge success they have had in reducing their carbon footprint and took attendees on the roof to see the solar array which is contributing to their effort.
Ponsonby Rd Pedestrian Experience project
On 17 November consultation started on the proposal by Auckland Transport and the Waitematā Local Board to make Ponsonby Road more visually attractive and pedestrian-friendly through improvements to 8 side streets between Franklin Road and Williamson Ave. Additional improvements for Mackelvie Street include a new central island with plantings and an additional raised table. Depending on the preferred design the improvements will result in the addition of between 8 – 12 on street car parks, a new pedestrian refuge for crossing Ponsonby Road and new street furniture.
The improvements are funded from the Waitematā Local Board transport capital expenditure fund to support delivery of the Ponsonby Road Plan.
I’ve previously reported on the 2 year battle the Board had with Auckland Transport to achieve a pedestrian friendly design so it is great to see this project progress.
Auckland Transport has made unnecessarily difficult work of proposals for transport changes at the Grey Lynn shops. Auckland Transport failed to appreciate the impact of their original proposals (that started out as a project to just relocate one bus stop and improve the safety of two more in the town centre), didn’t develop a consultation plan with the Local Board and didn’t respond adequately to issues raised by the local business community.
It is unfortunate because there are many positive aspects of the revised project (following initial community feedback) that Auckland Transport started consultation on in early November. The new proposals include a new pedestrian crossing, relocation of a loading zone and revised changes to bus stops in the town centre, as well as the installation of traffic calming treatments on Prime Rd and Selbourne St. The changes aim to improve pedestrian safety, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and improve the operation of bus services. Importantly it is no longer proposed to remove a loading zone and substantial on street parking which was the focus of original concerns about the project.
On my request the feedback period was extended by 2 weeks (until 9 December) following the Surrey Cres working group raising concerns about the timeframe and extent of the consultation.
Update on the berm planting guidelines
I’ve previously reported on the feedback we gave Auckland Transport on their draft berm planting guidelines. As part of the feedback the Board requested that Auckland Transport re-write the guidelines in conjunction with Local Board Services and that the guidelines include:
details about why berm planting is encouraged and supported
sets out an empowering and enabling criteria
clarifies the local board role
identifies how to mitigate potential hazards and maintenance expectations
tips on working with neighbours to achieve the best outcomes for the community from private plantings in the road corridor
However Auckland Transport has advised that a new draft of the guidelines will go to Auckland Transport’s Executive Team and the AT Board, with a final version of the guidelines likely to be available in the new year. In other words AT has ignored the Board’s request to have input BEFORE the guidelines are finalised.
I have therefore written to the CEO of Auckland Transport bringing his attention to the flawed process his senior managers are pursuing with regards to the berm planting guidelines and to ask that he takes action to ensure the guidelines are only finalised after AT has sought the input of Local Board services as requested (by Waitemata and many other Boards).
In ignoring the request for further input from Local Board Services AT is failing to recognise the Local Board’s placemaking role and desire to work with the community on this issue. AT is also acting contrary to the governance structure and engagement agreement with Local Boards. The current process proposed by AT is unacceptable and is likely to lead to Local Boards having no choice but to draft our own guidelines together with the community.
Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme
The results of Auckland Transport’s consultation on the Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme showed 59% overall support (78% support from residents). However AT advised the Freemans Bay Residents Association that further consultation may be necessary due to the low response rate (2439 letter sent out, 305 responses received). This led to over 140 emails from concerned residents to Board members asking that the scheme be implemented as soon as possible. I assisted the chair in drafting the following response to Freemans Bay residents:
Thank you for your email and for showing your support for the Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme. The Waitematā Local Board is very concerned about the ongoing parking issues in Freemans Bay.
We have asked Auckland Transport (AT) to implement the scheme as soon as possible.
The Board has been advocating for the introduction of the Freemans Bay Residential parking scheme since 2011 and we have actively supported the work of AT together with the Freemans Bay Residents Association to develop the proposed scheme that was recently been consulted on by AT.
One of our key advocacy areas in our Local Board Agreement 2015/16 is Auckland Transport to implement the residential parking zone scheme to manage commuter parking in central Auckland suburbs following consultation with residents.
On 3 November Auckland Transport’s parking team briefed Local Board members on their analysis of the consultation feedback. Although AT advised that they are satisfied they carried out a robust and thorough consultation process, the AT parking team raised with the Board their concern about the low response rate from residents and whether this might require further directed consultation such as door to door enquiries to ensure residents understand and support the scheme.
However we confirmed with AT that we do not think there is any reason to delay the implementation or undertake further consultation given the level of support at the public meeting we attended and that a low response rate is to be expected when the majority are favourable to a proposal.
I, on behalf of the Board, have therefore given AT a very clear direction of the Board’s support for the scheme which has also been backed up by the many positive messages of support, including your own, that we have received from residents.
The parking team confirmed that they will be recommending this month to the Auckland Transport Executive (the final decision maker) that the implementation of the scheme goes ahead based on the consultation results and the support of the Waitematā Local Board. AT have undertaken to get back to the Board with an implementation plan very shortly.
At our November Board meeting we also directed Auckland Transport to implement the scheme as soon as possible (thanks to the Freemans Bay Residents Association for supporting this work and attending the meeting). AT has now confirmed implementation will take place in March 2016.
Applications for the Quick Response Round Two 2015- 2016 were considered at the Community Grants Committee meeting on 2 December. 17 applications totally $36,622.00 were received for a remaining grants fund of $53,298.58.
The annual switch on of the Franklin Road lights took place on 1 December. This is a very special community event that the Board supports with a grant for the opening night celebrations and additional waste services.
Thanks to the organiser Roscoe Thorby who is to be congratulated on a fantastic opening night with record crowds and special guests Buckwheat and Tess.
Nelson St cycleway opening
The Nelson St cycleway and Canada St bridge opened on 3 December by Hon Simon Bridges. It is fantastic to see this cycleway project progress so quickly since receiving funding from the Urban Cycleway Investment fund. It is the most exciting and interesting cycling project happening in New Zealand if not the world right now. The magenta colour, lighting installation and clever repurposing of a disused motorway off ramp are sure to be award winning and a huge visitor attraction.
Workshops and meetings
From 1 November – 5 December 2015 I attended:
Central Local Boards briefing on financial policies for Annual Plan 2016/2017 on 2 November
Surrey Crescent working group meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss the Grey Lynn transport project on 2 November
Waitematā Local Board workshop on 3 November
Media and communications catch up on 4 November
Business Improvement Districts policy workshop for Councillors and Local Board member representatives on 5 November
Meeting for Board members to discuss proposed Unitary Plan rezoning
Meeting to discuss Waitematā Local Board Grants programme
Auckland Transport presentation to Parnell Inc members regarding the New Network bus consultation
Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 10 November
Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 11 November
Meeting on 11 November to discuss Ellen Melville Hall art concept proposals
Waitematā Local Board workshop on 12 November
Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Franklin Road upgrade options and process
Presentation by 5 year two AUT students of their innovative ecological design project for Western Bays.
GHD hosted breakfast on 13 November and ‘Bikes are good for business’ presentation by Kyle Rowe, Transport Planner with the Seattle Department of Transportation
Catch up with NBA General manager on 13 November
Weekly update with Relationship Manager including update with Senior Advisor on 16 November (as acting Chair)
Waitematā Local Board workshop on 17 November
Transport portfolio monthly meeting with Auckland Transport on 18 November
Meeting at MacKelvie St organised by the Ponsonby Business Association with Auckland Transport to discuss the Ponsonby Road pedestrian experience project consultation
Waitematā Local Board workshop on 24 November
Meeting with Julian Hulls from Nextbike to discuss bike share
Waitematā Local Board extraordinary meeting on 24 November
Community Development Portfolio meeting on 25 November
Inner City Network meeting organised by ADCOSS on 26 November at Ellen Melville Hall
Meeting to discuss Greenways route through Parnell Station
Waitematā Local Board annual plan presentation to the governing body (presented by the Chair)
Tamaki Drive (Plumer St to Ngapipi Rd) cycle route workshop organised by Auckland Transport on 30 November at Beca
Ponsonby Community Centre Committee meeting on 30 November
Waitematā Local Board workshop on 1 December
Attended the Step it Up conference organised by Centre for NZ Progress opening plenary on 30 November and with Michael Wood (member Puketapapa Local Board ) presented at the Step It Up conference on 1 December Local government elections in 2016 – Fighting for progress
Waterfront Forum hosted by Panuku Development Agency on 1 December
Waitematā Local Board grants committee meeting on 2 December
Local Board Members briefing on Housing Affordability on 3 December
Events and functions
From 1 November – 5 December 2015 I attended:
All Blacks parade in Victoria Park on 4 November
Launch of the Low Carbon Community Action plan at Auckland Museum on 4 November
Community information event for the POP programme 2016 held at Studio One on 6 November
Hudson & Halls at the Herald Theatre on 6 November at the invitation of Silo Theatre
Opening of the Salisbury Reserve playground upgrade on 7 November
Auckland Transport’s New Network Consultation at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 8 November
Freemans Bay School’s Think Big Project launch (Auckland Kids Voice website)
Armistice Day commemoration held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on 11 November
Opening of the Short me Shorts Film Festival at the Civic Theatre on 11 November
Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks
Opening of the Onehunga Foreshore Taumanu on Saturday 14 November
Parnell Festival of Roses on Sunday 15 November
Auckland Architecture Association Awards and Lecture by the chief judge Rewi Thompson at the Auckland Art Gallery on 17 November
Parnell Community Committee AGM on 17 November
The Grey Lynn Book Launch at the Grey Lynn RSC on 18 November
Opening of the Air New Zealand 75th anniversary exhibition at the Auckland Museum on 19 November
Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 19 November
Launch of the Arch Hill Art Wall at Lot 23 on 20 November
Bike Market organised by Auckland Transport at the Pitt St YMCA Hall
Announcement event for the Phil Goff mayoralty campaign on 22 November
Civic Trust AGM at the Leys Institute Library on 22 November
Cycle Action Auckland relaunch as Bike Auckland on 24 November
White Ribbon march on 25 November
Ponsonby Community Centre Christmas drinks on 25 November (I received coasters as a Christmas gift from the staff at the centre)
Drinks with Jarret Walker , author of Human Transit How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives hosted by MR Cagney on 27 November
Grey Lynn Park Festival on 28 November
People’s Climate March on 28 November (photo right with Christopher Dempsey on the Climate March)
Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 30 November
Waterfront Forum hosted by Panuku Development Agency on 1 December
Franklin Road Christmas lights opening on 1 December
Silo Park Christmas launch on 2 December
Dawn blessing and opening of the Nelson St cycleway on 3 December
First Thursdays on K’rd
Grey Lynn Community Centre Christmas gathering on 3 December
Te ara i whiti – Lightpath opened yesterday to rave reviews and a huge turn out of people excited to experience the world’s first ever pink (officially magenta) coloured cycleway created from a transformed disused motorway off-ramp.
The day started with a dawn blessing that allowed for a contemplative walk with iwi reprepresentatives along the route to admire the new art works and take in the newly created vistas of the city as the sun came up.
Hon Simon Bridges with the help of super hero riders from Freemans Bay primary school offically opened Phase One that includes a new swirling Canada Street Bridge connecting to the magenta-coloured Nelson Street off-ramp that joins the cycleway that runs down the length of Nelson St to the intersection of Victoria St. Phase 2, to start early next year, will take the entire Nelson St cycleway to Quay St.
In the evening thousands gathered on foot, on skateboards and on bikes to enjoy the “first hoon” and interactive light show that runs along one side.
It was a really happy day for Auckland and wonderful to take part in the celebrations for the magic that has been created in an incredibly short time.
Since the Nelson St off ramp closed in 2005 people have looked down on spaghetti junction and imagined what could be possible to break up the endless grey motorway that dissects the city. The idea to re-purpose the off -ramp took shape in the City Centre Masterplan 2012 (CCMP). It was visualised as a NYC style Highline with an urban garden. In 2013 Matter Architects installed hundreds of bikes as part of an award winning Designday installation which raised further questions about how the off-ramp could be used.
Janette Sadik-Khan inspirational Auckland Conversation presentation in May 2014 provided the platform for a challenge to city’s leaders to get behind a “quick win” transformational pilot project. Barb Cuthbert and Max Robitzsch from Bike Auckland (then Cycle Action Auckland) were ready with just the right project – a concept for the off-ramp as a cycleway connected to K’rd (also supported and promoted by Transport Blog). Fortunately the timing was perfect with a new Regional Director at NZTA willing to make the idea a reality and Auckland Transport agreeing to get on board to tackle Nelson St to provide a business case for the off-ramp as a key connection in the city’s cycling network. The crucial funding arrived with the Government’s announcement of a $100m Urban Cycling Investment Fund in August 2014 followed by confirmation that
Nelson St would be included in the programme in January 2015 (I was a member of the Urban Cycling Investment panel that recommended the programme to the Minister). Political support came from the Mayor Len Brown, Councillor Chris Darby (the Council’s political urban design champion) and of course the Waitematā Local Board! (our small financial contribution was to fund a drinking station on route)
The final part fell into place with the decision of the City Centre Advisory Board to use the targeted rate paid by central businesses to fund the WOW factor for the project. This gave Auckland Council’s urban design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid and the Auckland Design Office the opportunity to get creative and follow through on the potential identified in the CCMP to make sure Auckland ended up with something really unique.
Following public feedback the concept was created by Monk Mackenzie architects and LandLAB, in association with artist Katz Maihi. Māori patterns and narrative form a core part of the designs, following discussions with iwi. The path includes etched carvings at intervals along the length, with a 6-metre pou at the entrance. The colour (by Resin Surfaces Ltd) represents the heartwood of a freshly cut totara, with the red and pink shades strengthened to contrast with the surrounding motorway lanes. It includes LED lights by Iion lighting lining the safety barriers, that can interact and pulse as people pass them, as well as a strong magenta surface colour that fades out at the northern end in a Māori design (details from the Auckland Council media release).
I’d like to acknowledge and thank all who played a part in the Lightpath & Nelson St cycleway project from Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, NZTA and the many contractors (including Hawkins Construction, GHD, Construction Landscapes, PFS) who worked hard up right to the opening day. Te ara i whiti is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when the stars align on a great idea and creative people are given the brief and funding to make it happen.