City Centre Residents Deeply Concerned At Auckland Council’s Sudden Change Of Position Over Waihorotiu/Queen St Valley
We have been blindsided by a surprise short notice Council survey on the revision of the Queen Street Pilot Designs that were the subject of an earlier co-design process.
“Auckland Council has rushed through a survey giving only 48 hours’ notice after pressure from various interest groups” says the City Centre Residents Group Chair, Noelene Buckland.
These latest changes proposes a reduction in pedestrian space with more parking and loading zones which will invariably lead to more vehicular traffic.
The Waihorotiu/Queen Street Valley is the most heavily polluted neighbourhood in New Zealand.
“We know it’s possible to reduce black carbon levels on Queen Street because it happened during the first lockdown in March 2020” says Ms Buckland.
The Central City Master Plan creates a vision for the city centre and has been widely consulted on and was recently refreshed and formally adopted by Councils Planning Committee in March 2020. It is unacceptable that the agreed co-design process has been ignored and overthrown at the last minute when work to implement the agreed plan had begun just one day earlier.
“This proposed plan does nothing at all to achieve the City Centre Masterplan’s vision for the Wai Horotiu Queen Street Valley. It is actually a major step backwards to what we currently have, or was proposed just two weeks ago,” says Adam Parkinson, CCRG Deputy Chair.
“The Queen St alternative proposal is for additional traffic flow and parking to encourage even more traffic and congestion, poorer air quality and more noise – everything the Master Plan is trying to reduce and improve. Everything the declared climate emergency requires us to reduce and replace with new ways of doing things.”
“We are aware that some groups have demanded changes but those changes have to go through the correct formal procedure to ensure that no particular group is given special treatment over other stakeholders. We are the people who live in this city 24 hours a day and we have been denied the same opportunity for discussion with council on their proposed changes” says Ms. Buckland.