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A greener Queen St good for Auckland

7 April 2005

A greener Queen St good for Auckland

The Greens are welcoming the Auckland City Council's decision to consider excluding cars from parts of Queen Street.

The council's Urban Strategy and Governance Committee made the move this morning after hearing the case for a 'transit mall', where only buses and taxis are allowed through, from the Greens' transport campaign, Walk Auckland, Cycle Action Auckland and the Campaign for Better Transport.

"Cars don't add the 'buzz' to the city, people do. All over the world councils are reclaiming urban areas and ensuring city streets are a safe and pleasant place for people to interact, rather than just car storage areas," said Jeanette Fitzsimons, the Greens' Transport Spokesperson.

"The council's decision to investigate a transit mall is a valuable first step towards making Queen Street a healthy and vibrant heart to the city, an asset for the CBD and the city as a whole. If Queen Street is to compete effectively with suburban shopping centres it needs to be developed as a desirable destination, a quality urban space for people to enjoy.

"Restricting traffic to just buses and taxis would be a good way to achieve this goal. Such a move would have the additional benefit of easing congestion and pollution levels on other parts of the street."

Some 67 pedestrians, 13 cyclists and a skateboarder have been injured on Queen Street in the past five years, 14 of them seriously. A recent Environment Ministry report said carbon monoxide levels on Queen Street could significantly decrease healthy adults' work capacity and aggravate angina.

"The traffic-related pollution and accident statistics in Queen Street are appalling, so I welcome any council move to reduce the volume of traffic there," said Ms Fitzsimons.


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