Expanding the Car Free Queen Street idea South!
After the fanfare over the last two days of Queen Street to be car free next year (see: Auckland Council Moves Towards Car Free Queen Street + OTHER Centres too) it is time to hold Auckland Council to its word.
Part of the Resolutions that were passed with no opposition on Tuesday were that the Access 4 Everyone (car free streets trial) be also extended to the Metropolitan and Town Centres at a Local Board’s request.
I have two streets that could be closed off to cars immediately (given they were in the past) allowing pedestrian connectivity between the mall and Manukau Stations to be enhanced in one go. Those two streets are Putney Way and Osterley way both in the core of Manukau City Centre.
Osterley Way runs north-south while Putney Way runs east-west. The yellow are the car access points I would block off leaving the cyan route open to pedestrians. Of course service traffic will be able to access the area between 6-11am each day but NO cars rat running through a core urban area. Traffic access to the mall car park and the Council civic buildings are maintained at this point in time.
Going out wider you can see how closing off Putney Way and Osterley way allows ease of access for pedestrians between the mall and both Manukau Bus and Rail Stations. I am aware Auckland Transport recently upgraded Putney Way to allow taxi and drop off zones outside the bus station and they would be affected by Putney Way being closed under Access 4 Everyone given such access is meant to be on Davis Aveune per the Our Manukau plans. So in short those access points get moved to where they should have been in the first place.
That said the Putney Way section closed off could become a transit mall to cater for the 33 and 361 busses that run through Manukau and not stop inside the station themselves. This would free Davis Avenue up for the taxis.
Papakura Metropolitan Centre
I have previously written on how part of the Great South Road inside the Papakura Metropolitan Centre could be turned into a transit mall boosting the amenity of the area while not affecting the busses that travel through it.
The bypasses for car and truck traffic are already in place inside Papakura Metropolitan Centre and most cars using the Great South Road use it as a rat run anyway. Closing off the Great South Road to thorough traffic would improve the amenity on the main street and better encourage both vendors and patronage by locals.
Simple quick wins to improve the amenity of two Metropolitan Centres that also do not impact the traffic. Let’s hope our Local Boards take up Ludo Campbell-Reid’s offer to get Access 4 Everyone – EVERYWHERE!