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$23 million Queen Street transformation

7 March 2005

Plans unveiled for $23 million Queen Street transformation

Revised plans to transform Auckland’s iconic Queen Street into a world-class, pedestrian- friendly avenue were unveiled by Auckland City Council today.

Over $23 million will be invested in the street’s revitalisation. The project will turn it into a main street that looks and feels distinctively "Auckland" with both people and business in mind.

The designs are available for public comment until 24 March. Work will start later this year and be completed by June 2007.

"The objective is to restore Queen Street’s status as New Zealand’s number one attraction for people and business,” says Councillor Penny Sefuiva, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, which will assess the proposed plans at the end of the consultation period. “It is a priority project under the Auckland CBD Into the future strategy.

"Street upgrades are a vital component of the wider $200 million, 10-year strategy for revitalising the CBD as one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

"A transformed Queen Street will be a high quality place for people and business. Overall, it will be a more stylish and safer place. It will make all Aucklanders proud.

"Queen Street will function better as a destination for shopping and entertainment, as a route for parades and for pedestrians, cyclists and passenger transport as well as commercial vehicles.

"Plantings, footpath widening and central median refuges where appropriate and traffic calming measures are a feature of the revised design and will do much to improve the pedestrian experience visually while making the street safer and easier to use."

The concept plans include: an overall design that recaptures Queen Street's past history, geography and vibrancy the use of water – symbolic and actual – to recognise the street's beginnings as a valley stream leading to the harbour better lighting, more shelter from rain, and wider footpaths where the street gets the sun a leafy "boulevard" between Mayoral Drive and Karangahape Road, with trees on both sides and in the centre of the street artworks and street furniture designed by some of New Zealand's best artists and craftspeople.

Four lanes of traffic have been retained on Queen Street to protect the road space for high-quality passenger traffic in the future.

The revised designs have taken account of business and property owners' feedback on the importance of short-term parking bays, expressed during the initial round of consultation.

There are now 81 parking bays between Customs and Wellesley Streets – 40 P15 parking spaces, 35 loading bays and six taxi spaces. The revised concept proposes 51 multi-use stopping places. Until 11am, Monday to Friday, the spaces will be for loading and servicing businesses. After 11am, six of the spaces will become taxi ranks with the remaining 45 available for short term stopping and servicing.

In addition: loading by large vehicles will be limited to mornings only the council will actively police taxis treating short-term parking spaces as taxi ranks.

Auckland City staff will be on Queen Street handing out a summary of the revised concept plans and a feedback form between 7am and 9am and from noon until 2pm every day from 9 to 11 March.

ENDS

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