FAQs for Takapuna Innovating Streets for People

    What is Panuku?

    Panuku Development Auckland (Panuku) is Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).  As part of this project, Panuku is partnering with Takapuna locals, Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency). For more on the neighbourhoods Panuku works in including Takapuna, read more here: www.panuku.co.nz/about/who-we-are

    Why is Panuku doing this trial?

    Takapuna’s Huron and Northcroft streets have long been viewed as windy streets that are unpleasant for people. They are also on a critical walking route between the new car park building, Toka Puia, and the future Takapuna town square.

    Our discussions with the local community highlighted issues and opportunities around pedestrian safety, slower vehicle speeds, wider and more even footpaths, better-designed parking and management of bus traffic.

    This project will trial temporary interventions on the street, designed with the local community, to find out what works best. The activity is expected to help make these streets more welcoming to people visiting local shops and moving around Takapuna. Community feedback and observations from the trial will feed into the development of a long-term solution.

    What and where are the temporary street changes?

    The project focuses on the sections of Huron and Northcroft streets between Auburn Street and Lake Road. The design includes the following trial elements:

    • Speed cushions to slow traffic
    • New pedestrian island on Lake Road
    • New median strip on Northcroft Street to make it easier for people crossing the street
    • New traffic island on Northcroft Street to slow traffic
    • Widening the footpath on Huron Street to make it easier for people crossing the street
    • Two new mobility parks on Northcroft Street
    • Decorative planter boxes
    • Creation of wind and rain shelters along Huron Street
    • Colourful painting on the road and pavement.

    Are the changes permanent?

    No, all the changes are designed to be able to be removed. The project is a trial, and it will depend on measuring success against project objectives and community feedback whether any of the changes remain longer-term.

    How long will the trial last?

    The project is designed to be a staged install and is expected to take up to 20 days to install (weather dependent). The installation will begin in June 2021. Most of the installation will occur at night with minimal disruption to neighbours and traffic. Details about the installation works will be distributed to neighbours through the course of the project.

    How do I give feedback and how will this feedback be used?

    You can give feedback online at akhaveyoursay.co.nz or use the feedback form available at the Takapuna Library. You can also request to meet with one of our team on-site to discuss specific details or elements. This feedback will assist in developing a long-term design solution for these streets. 

    We’re also undertaking a monitoring and evaluation study of the trial including measuring vehicle speeds, observing how the streets are being used by people, and safety audits. All this information will inform decisions around future design improvements to these streets.

    How is the project funded?

    This project is 90% funded by Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) as part of its Innovating Streets for People initiative www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/innovating-streets/about/pilot-fund/.  

    Panuku successfully applied for the 90% funding, with the remaining 10% of funds being provided by Panuku as part of its Unlock Takapuna programme www.panuku.co.nz/takapuna.

    Panuku is leading the urban regeneration of Takapuna on behalf of Auckland Council. The Unlock Takapuna programme aims to revitalise the town centre, improve public spaces, create better connections to the beach and support more options for urban living and public transport.

    Why is money being spent on a temporary design, rather than something that’s built to last?

    Due to the temporary nature of trials, they are adaptable if feedback and onsite observations require changes.

    This method places trials in front of street users and helps to address the challenges of generating awareness and response typically associated with engaging with communities on street design.

    This can lead to more of the community being engaged. Having a project tested in real-time enables the community to experience the benefits of the proposed changes before committing to the final outcome, and being able to smooth out any issues to feed into permanent design.

    The project was put forward for funding by Panuku because there is an immediate need to improve these streets following the opening of the new ‘Toka Puia’ car park building on Northcroft Street in December 2020. The temporary design is expected to help make the journey from the new car park building to the town centre more attractive and safer for locals and visitors. It aims to encourage more people to linger on Huron and Northcroft streets, with potential benefits for surrounding retailers following the effects of COVID-19.

    Will the trial take away parking spaces?

    Twenty-three car parking spaces will be removed from Huron Street to make way for a staged install of wind and rain shelters and a wider footpath to make it easier for people moving along and crossing the street.

    The recently completed Toka Puia car park building at 15 Northcroft Street offers 420 vehicle parking spaces and bicycle parking. The car parking fee is currently $1 per hour to a max of $8 per day. On-street parking on Huron and Northcroft is currently set at $1 per hour for the first two hours, rising to $2 for any subsequent hour.

    Will the trial slow down traffic?

    Speed cushions and concrete planters positioned to narrow the road will be installed to test slowing vehicle speeds.

    Will there be fewer buses coming through?

    The trial will not affect the bus routes, frequency of buses, or bus layover spaces.

    Feedback received during the trial relating to buses will be raised with Auckland Transport to consider in the development of a long-term design solution for these streets.

    How quickly can you make changes, if required?

    The temporary installation allows for quick changes to try things in different ways if they aren’t working well the first time.

    Will access to my business or destination be affected during the install and/or trial?

    The install will be carried out promptly and with minimal disturbance to residents, businesses and other road users. We will notify properties on a one-to-one basis if access to their property may be affected.

    What is the painting about? Why have these colours been selected?

    The road and pavement painting is designed to slow traffic and add vibrancy to the streets. The simple artwork pattern has been selected for its suitability for people with visual impairments.

    The colours are a continuation of the colours along Hurstmere Road to help create a sense of connection.

    What type of plants will go in the planter boxes?

    The planter boxes will contain Nikau trees and shrub planting.

    How big are the shelters?

    The wind and rain shelters on Huron Street are 2.4m high by 3.6m wide. A few of the shelters include seating.

    Are the wind/rain shelters permanent structures?

    All the shelters are temporary structures to test their effectiveness.  These will be replaced with permanent structures if they work.

    There are no wind shelters proposed for Northcroft Street. If they are successful in Huron, we could install these in both streets as part of a long-term solution.

    There are two types of shelters. Some provide overhead shelter and protection from the wind to make sitting outside more comfortably. The others (in front of the Sentinel tower) are to provide protection from the rain for people where there currently is none.

    What is the Innovating Streets for People programme?

    Innovating Streets for People is a nationwide programme initiated and 90% funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. The programme aims to make it faster and easier to transition our streets to safer and more liveable spaces through trialling quick, low-cost improvements in the road reserve. 

    Rather than the more traditional method of gathering feedback to proposed plans, the project trials allow community members to interact with the changes in real time. There are 21 projects taking place at 36 to 39 sites across Auckland to make streets safer and more liveable.

    What is a co-design process?

    A co-design process involves designing, engaging, and communicating with local people, schools, and businesses, using participatory approaches to gather, and input insights and ideas. The goal is to create places and spaces that reflect the needs of diverse communities, using interventions that can be trialled and iterated over time. Attitudes towards sharing power and prioritising relationships are essential to the success of a co-design process. 

    *Participatory approaches can include but aren’t limited to co-design workshops, interactive sessions, public activities.  

    What does ‘consultation by trial’ mean?

    Consultation by trial is an approach which allows for temporary changes over normal project processes enabling ‘experiential’ engagement and consultation. Rather than proposing designs online or in a brochure, communities can interact with proposed street changes in a real-life context. Installations are adaptable if necessary following feedback and onsite observations. 

    Feedback will be collated throughout the trial until a decision is made about whether to keep the installation in place, or if further refinements are needed. Ultimately successful trials will lead to a permanent solution, which will take on board feedback collected from the community during the trial period.

    Who is leading the Innovating Streets programme?

    This is a nation-wide programme initiated by Waka Kotahi: www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/innovating-streets/. The projects are led by local boards, Kāinga Ora, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Tāmaki Regeneration and Panuku Development Auckland; while communities, schools and local businesses are encouraged to contribute ideas to create the places they want. 

    How is it decided whether trials should continue?

    Decision-making about keeping the trial installations includes the following considerations:

    1. Local and wider community response to the installation

    2. How successful the trial has been against project outcomes and any specified key performance indicators

    3. The road safety impacts of the installation

    4. What impact the trial has had on the transport systems for buses, trains, cars, bikes and pedestrians. 

    5. How materials that have been used in the trial are performing and how long they will last

    6. How far away the funding is to implement a permanent installation

    7. What the cost would be to continue the trial in the medium-term.

    Has the safety of people been considered for these trials?

    Yes, the safety of those in the community is paramount to this project. The design process includes determining whether an independent road safety audit is required and actioning this. Additionally, Auckland Transport’s Road Safety Technical Lead reviews all designs before installation.