The vision for Queen Street outlined in the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) sees Queen Street becoming a transit mall; an expansive level surface area (without segregated lanes for travel) with zero emissions, and a vibrant walking and shopping street where pedestrians and public transport have priority.
We want to recognize and reinforce that Queen Street is first and foremost a pedestrian environment. The key objective of the project is to rebalance the street, to give the most space, comfort and amenity to people.
The Wai Horotiu Queen Street Project is the first stage to move us towards the vision, while also supporting an increased volume of buses due to CRL, servicing and loading, as well as private property access, all the while giving pedestrians priority.
The proposed active mode zone recognises that pedestrian priority, while it will accommodate cyclists and scooter users, their needs are secondary to people on foot. We believe that creating a separate area for the exclusive use of cyclist undermines the pedestrian priority intent of Queen Street.
Design improvements have been made to differentiate the footpath and the multi-use path. Colour grading and surface texture will define the bus platforms, areas for walking and the multi-use path which is for slower bike and scooter riders and other slow-wheeled modes, removing these users from walking spaces. Fast bike riders will be encouraged to use the road.
Key crossing points such as bus stops, loading zones and pedestrian crossings will have extra safety measures in place to ensure speeds are low, all users are more aware, and people exercise courteous behaviour. For example, planters will be placed to slow those on wheels and protect people walking. Crossing stripes, wayfinding markings and rough stone texture will provide further safety cues.
We have been gathering feedback on this project since its inception in the second half of 2020. This has involved co-design workshops, drop-in sessions, consultations, online feedback tools and many meetings with affected residents, businesses and key stakeholders such as Fire and Emergency, Heart of the City, Blind Citizens New Zealand, mana whenua and more. We will continue to meet with the local community to collect feedback throughout the project.
We also implemented zone 1 (the area between Customs Street and Shortland Street) first and gathered feedback on it. This was valuable as it informed the final design we are implementing in the rest of the project area between (Shortland St and Mayoral Dr).
Social Pinpoint our online feedback tool will also continue to be used as a way for people to give feedback on the project.
Every effort will be made to minimise the impacts that the Queen Street community will feel during this development. This means ensuring access to homes, shops, businesses and laneways is retained, maintaining sight lines throughout the street with low level fencing and keeping our construction footprint and small as possible to preserve pedestrian space and working to a short 9-month construction programme to minimise the amount of time we are constructing in the area.
The construction is also largely above-ground which is typically less disruptive than below ground work.
We have also appointed a Stakeholder Liaison Manager, Cherie Armer who will always be on hand to liaise with and assist local businesses and community members during the project. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 420 108.
Auckland Council is also proposing to change the existing pedestrian mall of Vulcan Lane, and create new pedestrian malls in short sections of Fort Street and Lorne Street. This will further prioritise pedestrians and reduce traffic into Queen Street.
The current documents for Vulcan Lane, designating it a pedestrian mall, date back to the 1960s. By updating the legal designation we can cater for the needs of legitimate users of the lane and introduce measures which prohibit unauthorised cars, utes and vans from parking in the laneway.
The capex budget for the full project will cost $13.5M. The budget includes:
Waka Kotahi NZTA Innovating Streets programme with $900,000 and the City Centre Targeted Rate $600,000, for the first part of the project (between Custom Street to Shortland Street).
$6.1 million budget to progress the Zero Emissions Queen Street Valley. Part of the Recovery Budget package of new climate actions totalling $152 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.
Other General Rates and the City Centre Targeted Rate funding.
The changes that will be delivered by this project will stay in place for up to 10 years.
It will remain in place until the City Rail Link (CRL) is completed, and until such times as a more permanent future design is planned and funded, which might include light rail.
There is currently no funding for this in Auckland's Long-term Plan (The 10-year budget). Future investment for Queen Street will be prioritized against other needs in Auckland.
We will be constructing in a way that doesn’t dig up the road and allows us to change and remove materials and re-purpose them for future works.
While City Rail Link is being constructed Queen Street needs to be used as a temporary route for additional buses while Victoria Street is closed.
The current improvements will enable us to realise significant benefits for pedestrian priority, traffic reduction and progress towards the City Centre Masterplan, while providing us with vital information and behaviour change, that would help us plan a more substantial future project.
Why are we implementing a ‘multi-use path’ instead of a separated cycleway?
How are you going to ensure the multi-use path is safe?
Auckland Council has also engaged with experts in accessibility, placemaking and transport, as part of the independent peer review process, and with the local community to help ensure the multi-use path operates smoothly and safely.
Here are some of the features:
How have you included the local community in this project?
How are you managing construction in a way that doesn’t adversely affect businesses and residents in the city centre?
Can you tell us more about the pedestrian mall changes?
Does AT have a strategy for managing parking and loading in the city centre?
Loading and servicing are critical elements of the day-to-day operation of the city centre.
As the city centre continues to grow and develop, there will be changes to loading zones to ensure that goods can continue to be delivered during and after construction.
The Parking Design and Solutions team are currently developing an interim Servicing and Loading Plan for the city centre, which will be completed in draft by January 2022. The interim plan will cover the whole of the city centre, with a focus on current and upcoming construction and development works, planned network changes and stakeholder feedback. Auckland Transport is involving Heart of the City and National Road Carriers to discuss requirements and ensure that the range of loading and servicing activities are captured.
The interim plan incorporates review periods every three months to reflect and refine the plan, as and where required. The Access for Everyone (A4E) project team will be involved in the development of the plan, to ensure shorter term efforts align with longer term planning.
As the A4E project team establishes its programme, a more comprehensive city-wide parking management plan will be developed. Servicing and loading will be a key feature of this plan and will take on board initial monitoring and feedback from the interim plan, as well as inputs from other emerging A4E workstreams.
This work is expected to start in 2022 and to be developed in parallel with feedback from the interim plan.
Why are you allowing parking and loading on Queen Street at all? It is not consistent with the CCMP.
There is no general parking on Queen Street as Auckland Transport has changed them all to time-restricted loading and servicing spaces.
This is a response to the Wai Horotiu Queen Street project and considers feedback AT has received as part of previously completed consultation on our network and interim parking and loading changes, which indicated that a level of loading and servicing must be retained to ensure that businesses and people living on Queen Street can still receive goods and services.
Why are you proposing to remove key parking spots that businesses need for couriers and deliveries, etc.?
Although the plan proposed as part of the WHQSV project reduces the overall parking space available on Queen Street by two spaces, we believe that parking for goods and service vehicles, those making essential trips to support businesses and homes, will be easier, as all general parking spaces along Queen Street are turned into loading zones, freeing up the parking space for these essential trips.
Who can use the loading zones and who can use the goods loading zones?
Any vehicle, including goods vehicles, can use a Loading Zone (LZ) for short term parking to pick up or drop off goods or passengers. The timeframes for use vary.
Goods Loading Zones (LZ GVO) are designed for vehicles that are used exclusively for the carriage of goods. The timeframes for use vary.
Someone in either zone, with multiple things to unload, can go to-and-fro to/from their car/truck to load/unload multiple times, as long as they are away, each time, for no more than the time specified, i.e. 5 minutes or 15 minutes.
How is Auckland Transport reducing vehicle movements on Queen Street?
The City Centre Masterplan envisages Wai Horotiu Queen Street as a pedestrian priority area and low-emission zone, delivered by removing non-essential vehicle traffic.
To help achieve these goals, Auckland Transport is proposing to introduce an Essential Vehicle Area (EVA) between Wellesley Street and Wakefield Street. The EVA is designed to direct discretionary, through-traffic away from Queen Street by preventing access along its full length.
How does the Essential Vehicle Area (EVA) work?
The EVA is for use only by buses, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, goods and service vehicles and emergency vehicles.
What kind of impact do you expect the EVA will have on traffic on Queen Street, i.e. how many fewer vehicles do we expect on Queen Street as a result of the EVA?
The EVA will reduce traffic along Queen St. While modelling has not been undertaken to assess volume reductions, on-going monitoring is in place to capture the changes in volumes.
What are its hours of operation?
The EVAs hours of operation are 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this was decided through consultation with the community.
I make deliveries in Queen Street. How will I access loading zones on the other side of the EVA?
As a goods and service vehicle you are able to use the EVA.
I have limited mobility. How will I get dropped off at mobility space on the other side of the EVA?
There are still ways of getting from one side of the city centre, and around the EVA. If you want to find the mobility parking spaces on or around Queen Street, you can download the AT Park app and set the filter to mobility parking. This will show you all the mobility parking in the city centre.
If you are trying to access the mobility parking spaces near the Town Hall, you should travel around Mayoral Drive to Wakefield Street, down Wakefield Street to Queen Street. Once you reach Queen Street, turn left and the mobility spaces will be on your left, opposite the Town Hall.
For the mobility spaces nearest the Civic Theatre, there is a drop off space outside Smith and Caughey’s. Travel down Wellesley Street from Albert Street, turn left into Queen Street and the mobility parking spaces will be on your left outside Smith and Caughey’s.
If you can put in an EVA between Wellesley Street and Wakefield Street, why can you just make the whole of Queen Street an EVA?
Currently, on Durham Street West, there are two privately-owned parking buildings to which Auckland Transport must maintain access. Durham Street West is the only access point to these parking buildings and due to the City Rail Link (CRL) works on Albert Street, Durham Street West is only accessible from Queen Street. When Albert Street reopens at the end of the CRL works it may be that access to these parking buildings can be changed to Albert Street and an EVA put in place the entire length of Queen Street. This is not possible at this time.
In addition to this, providing continued access to some venues, such as those in the arts quarter, i.e. the Town Hall, Q Theatre, the Classic Comedy Club, etc., means we cannot exclude some classes of vehicles, like taxis and ride share vehicles, and private vehicles from parts of Queen Street.
However, limiting the ability for vehicles to travel the entire length of Queen Street will direct traffic away from Queen St to routes better suited to their final destination.
Queen Street will remain accessible to those vehicles dropping off or picking up passengers with limited mobility.
What are you doing to improve enforcement on Queen Street to help reduce general traffic?
We have two dedicated enforcement officers on Queen Street, one from Customs Street through to Wellesley Street seven days a week, and another enforcement officer that operates from Wellesley Street through to Mayoral Drive from Monday to Friday.
We also have a total of seven officers from Monday to Friday that cover the surrounding area, from Hobson Street in the west, to Symonds Street in the east, Customs Street in the north and Karangahape Road in the south. Three officers then cover this area in the weekends and at night.
From April 2020 through to end of July 2021 more than 28,000 infringements were issued for stationary vehicle offences on Queen St and immediate side streets.
Auckland Transport are using CCTV cameras to monitor the northbound bus lane between Shortland Street and Customs Street during its hours of operation. These cameras will also capture anyone that is ignoring the right turn ban into Shortland Street. We will also use CCTV cameras to monitor the proposed Essential Vehicle Area between Wellesley Street and Wakefield Street. Anyone who is captured on these CCTV camera’s for ignoring the restrictions will receive a $150 infringement fee.
How will the loading zones and goods loading zones be monitored to make sure people aren’t overstaying in them?
Auckland Transport monitors the use of parking on Queen Street between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Weekends are also covered by our normal patrols and we have a night shift team that works until 3am. Outside of these hours, we can respond to customer complaints.
We are always looking at ways to improve. As such, we are trialling sensors and undertaking a CCTV enforcement trial on Quay Street. As confidence builds with these technologies, we will look to introduce them in other locations.
How many infringements for illegal parking on Queen Street have been issued to date?
Since some of the loading zone spaces have been changed to P15 from P5, an officer must observe vehicles in loading zones for the entire 15 minutes to determine if an infringement is warranted, i.e. that no loading/unloading was undertaken and the vehicle was left unattended.
In July 2021, 298 infringements were issued for all offences. For loading zones, we issued 30 infringements for vehicles of the wrong class being in the Goods Vehicle Loading Zone. Seventy-nine infringements were issued for vehicles left unattended and not loading or unloading over the maximum time on the sign.
In June 2021, 229 infringements were issued for all offences. For loading zones, we issued 19 infringements for vehicles of the wrong class being in the Goods Vehicle Loading Zone. Forty-eight infringements were issued for vehicles left unattended and not loading or unloading over the maximum time on the sign.
Other infringements were related to Warrant of Fitness and/or Registrations being out of date, cars overstaying time limits in time restricted spaces, vehicles parked on broken yellow lines, and/or parking without a valid paid parking ticket (around Mayoral Drive).
How is the right turn ban out of Shortland Street be monitored?
The NZ Police have the powers to enforce turning bans.
However, Auckland Transport will be using CCTV cameras to remotely monitor the northbound bus lane between Shortland Street and Customs Street during its hours of operation. This means that users that are not permitted in the bus lane turning right from Shortland Street into Queen Street between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm, Monday to Friday, will receive a $150 infringement fee.
Why not keep two lanes each way on Queen St to accommodate extra buses instead of restricting general traffic?
The City Centre Masterplan has since 2012 identified Queen St as a low traffic, pedestrian-focused street.
Data from observing traffic in Queen Street since February 2020 also shows us that having more lanes operating along Queen Street does not reduce journey times significantly, but restricting traffic does.
How much is this project costing?
How can you justify spending that much money on a temporary project, why don't you just make permanent changes now?