Traffic And Roading Plan For Matiatia Moves Ahead
May 24, 2002
Longstanding litigation between Auckland City and Waitemata Infrastructure Ltd - a landowner at Waiheke Island’s Matiatia Bay - has been settled, enabling council to move ahead with a long-term traffic and roading plan for Matiatia.
The traffic and roading plan aims to meet Waiheke’s projected needs for the next 15 to 20 years. It will affect the layout of the lower end of Ocean View road, the turning areas, short and long term carparking, pedestrian areas, and the connection to the wharf terminal facilities.
The litigation was over a lease between council and the Waitemata Infrastructure’s predecessor, under which council leased land to use for public carparking at Matiatia. The lease covers the upper half of the public carpark at Matiatia which is owned by Waitemata Infrastructure – the lower half adjacent to the beach is owned by council.
Auckland City and Waitemata Infrastructure disagreed over the interpretation of the lease, the ability and obligation to charge for carparking, and who would be able to use those carparks if Waitamata Infrastructure’s planned development proceeds.
As part of the settlement agreement, council will surrender its lease over the upper part of the carpark. Control of that area will pass back to Waitemata Infrastructure, which intends to charge the public to park there in the future. Over time, part of that area will be given back to council, so that it can realign the adjacent road and footpath, in line with its overall traffic plan.
The lower carpark will remain in council ownership and will be free of charges for the foreseeable future. The total number of carparks at Matiatia will remain the same in the short term, and will increase over time as the council’s plan is progressively implemented. This is likely to include building additional public parking further up Ocean View road on council land at Owhanake. A development planned by Waitemata Infrastructure, if it proceeds, will also increase the number of paid carparks at Matiatia.
Chairman of the council’s Transport Committee, Councillor Greg McKeown says the traffic situation at Matiatia has been causing problems for some years now, and the time has come to put in a comprehensive solution for the years of growth predicted ahead.
“We are looking for more than just a quick-fix solution – what we are planning will serve the island’s needs until at least 2017,” he says.
Matiatia Bay is the focus of visitor and commuter transport for Waiheke, containing the island’s main passenger ferry terminal. Revolving around the ferry timetable, cars, bicycles, buses, taxis and pedestrians converge on Matiatia wharf, causing major congestion issues due to the current configuration of roads, footpaths and facilities. Carparking has also become a major problem, with vehicles regularly lining both sides of Ocean View Road and causing delays, frustration and compromising safety.
The transport situation is complex because of the interrelationship of these many different user groups says Cr McKeown. “Without well-planned changes, current problems will only get worse, especially if the island’s population and visitor numbers grow strongly as predicted.”
“What council has worked hard to come up with is a traffic strategy that balances all of those competing interests – buses, taxis, pedestrians, vehicles picking up and dropping off, and the commuters” says Cr McKeown.
Council’s plan ensures that everyone gets good access to and from the wharf facilities, removing the existing bottlenecks and pressure points, says Cr McKeown. In terms of overall transport strategy, Cr McKeown says he believes council should be looking to encourage greater use of public transport on the island, and to this end it will be investigating ways of improving services, such as enhancing co-ordination of buses and ferries.
The formal resolution of litigation will be marked at a private function today, with the signing of a deed of settlement between Waitemata Infrastructure and Auckland City at the office of the mayor, John Banks.
The agreement will also allow Waitemata Infrastructure to formalise development plans for its Matiatia land. In order to proceed with that development, Waitemata Infrastructure must apply to the council for approval of a District Plan change. Once that application is received, the council will consider it under the relevant regulations.