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Federal Street to get spotty makeover

Polka dots are coming to Federal Street as part of a creative solution to make walking and cycling safer between Victoria and Fanshawe Streets.

After working with surrounding businesses and residents, Auckland Transport will install polka dots along sections of the road to make the street easier for pedestrians and bike riders, until a permanent upgrade of the road is done. The polka dots are intended to create a slower, safer environment as they are unexpected by drivers and encourage people to slow down. A contra-flow cycle lane will allow bike riders to ride in the uphill/opposite direction on the one-way street.

Once it is installed, AT will ask for feedback from users to make improvements to the interim design and evaluate how it works.

“This section of Federal Street has given us an opportunity to do our engagement in a different way,” says Kathryn King, AT’s Manager Walking, Cycling and Road Safety.

“Once the improvements are complete in late March, we can see how people experience them and get accurate feedback from pedestrians, bike riders and drivers as well as the surrounding business owners. We will be able to easily make changes to the design and layout and improve it as we see how it is used,” she says.

Changes to improve the safety of the design will be made based on the feedback received.

Auckland Councillor and cycling champion Chris Darby says the project is a creative way to make a link through the middle of the city centre safer.

“We want our city centre to be attractive and easy to get around. There is a lot of construction happening throughout the city, and instead of this being a challenge, we want to use this time as an opportunity to try something new and innovative,” he says.

“Projects like the Federal Street upgrade give us a chance to try something new and see how it works before we commit to a permanent solution, and it gives people a more attractive and safe area to walk and cycle around.”

This project will:

• include a protected south-bound (up Federal Street) ‘contra-flow’ cycle lane, allowing people cycling to travel in the opposite direction to traffic on Federal Street.

• improve pedestrian facilities in the lower section of Federal Street through upgraded footpath surfacing, road marking and signage.

• offer people walking and cycling an easy north/south route through central Auckland, providing an alternative to Hobson Street and Albert Street.

• provide a link in the City Centre Cycle Network to the Nelson Street Cycleway, via the future Victoria Street Cycleway.

• take an approach that is low-cost and quick to install.

• give AT an opportunity to better understand people’s preferences for separated cycle lanes, which will inform future city centre development projects.

Given Federal Street’s relatively low traffic speeds and volume, people cycling north-bound can do so in the general traffic lane, guided by “sharrows” - road markings designed to guide cyclists and alert motorists to their presence.

Find out more information here.

© Scoop Media

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