On Friday, Waka Kotahi NZTA announced an additional $10.1 million for their Innovating Streets pilot which aims to encourage and support tactical urbanism ideas with the NZTA covering 90% of the costs of the projects supported. It comes on the back of $13.95 million for it announced back in June which itself was about twice the initial expected budget and highlights just how popular the idea is with councils around the country.

Through two rounds of funding, Waka Kotahi is supporting councils to create vibrant neighbourhoods that make streets safer and create more space for people.

Kathryn King, Waka Kotahi’s Portfolio Manager Developing Regions says “We’re funding 32 more projects from councils across the country that will help to create streets that everyone can enjoy by moving around in safe, healthy and sustainable ways. We’re really pleased with the interest councils across the country have shown in the fund and in delivering projects that put people first.

“Projects will include safe streets around schools so children can get some exercise and out into nature on their way to school, ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ where people can access local streets that are made much quieter by reducing rat-running by others, and town centre revitalisations to make business districts more vibrant.”

Innovating Streets is a nationwide programme designed to support councils and communities to build experience and knowledge in co-design processes to deliver urban street upgrades faster and with more community insight built in.

More information on the Innovating Streets projects being funded through Round 1

Waka Kotahi is currently working through funding agreements with councils for Round 2 projects and they will be added once councils have announced to their communities. All projects will be delivered by June 2021.

The fantastic widened footpaths on High Street are a good local example of a tactical solution.

Auckland fared poorly in the first round of funding with only 4 out of the 40 being within the region after Auckland Transport’s proposals “fell short”.

We’ve done a bit better this time with 13 of the 32 projects being in the region

  • Project WAVE – A protected bike route at the bottom of Nelson Street and into the city centre. With the aim of increasing the number of people on bikes using the bottom end of Nelson Street.
  • Safe School Streets Mangere – This is part of the Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland project that aims to achieve a fun, safe, healthy and well-connected Māngere and Manukau. Five Mangere schools will be involved.
  • Ponsonby Road – Te Rimu Tahi – returning Ponsonby Road to the people – Creating a more people friendly environment on Ponsonby Road, with a focus on three areas: 1. Three Lamps, 2. Between Vermont Street and Williamson Ave, 3. Outside Western Park.
  • Maungakiekie Tāmaki Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – Creating two Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, one in Onehunga and one in Eastview. This project aims to re-define the street network in these areas, keeping local streets for local people and creating streets where people can bike and walk without fear, loud traffic and traffic fumes.
  • Papatoetoe West Low Traffic Neighbourhood – Creating a low traffic neighbourhood in Papatoetoe West. With the aim of preventing rat-running through residential roads and allocating more road space to walking and cycling.
  • Manukau-Wiri – Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland – The proposal builds on the multi-agency collective impact approach developed through the Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland Programme and involves a series of co-designed temporary tactical interventions to test, trial and pilot people centred changes to streets in Manukau.
  • Creating Safer Streets – Britomart Tyler Street – Creating a more people friendly environment on Tyler Street.
  • Creating Safer Streets – Emily Place – Transforming Emily Place into a peaceful, tranquil oasis for people to enjoy by making significant changes to the way vehicles move around the site.
  • Make it Safe, Make it Playful and Celebrate Tāmaki – Encourage a shift to walking, cycling and public transport. Creating streets as places including play along the way and a celebration of Tāmaki’s natural landscape and unique identity.
  • Pukekohe – Eat Streets and Laneway Enhancements – With a view to creating more people-centred streets and inform the future streetscape upgrades of King St, Roulston St and the laneways, Panuku proposes a series of tactical interventions and temporary activities to enhance the vibrancy of Pukekohe’s town centre. At the heart of this activity will be a relocation of the Pukekohe Markets to the town square and Rouston Street.
  • Maximising Mangere – Time to Thrive – New pop-up bike lanes that fix gaps in the existing network, including co-design to help choose locations for pop-up cycle lanes and some activations to promote the new temporary bike lanes. Widening and painting of footpaths in strategic locations.
  • Glen Eden Town Centre Pop-up Cycleway: Captain Scott Road – Creating safer streets, with slower traffic on Captain Scott Road, The aim is to provide a separated bike connection to Glen Eden Intermediate and Glen Eden Primary Schools, and for residents to the town centre and train station.
  • Community Play Streets Pilot for Tāmaki Makaurau – Testing out play streets at several residential areas in West and South Auckland. Play streets enable neighbours to temporarily restrict traffic access to their street so the space can be opened up for play, recreation and to create a sense of community.

The council say these projects will be in place by mid-2021 and will be led by Local Boards, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council or Panuku Development Auckland. There is no designs yet to share as the intention is they will ultimately be co-designed with local communities, schools and businesses. One thing we might now be able to see is roadway art with the NZTA saying:

Recently the Land Transport: Traffic Control Devices Rule 2004 was amended to allow roadway art to be used by councils on low-risk streets, similar to many projects seen overseas. A draft Tactical Urbanism Handbook has also been developed for councils as a ‘how to’ guide that can be referred to at each phase of the project lifecycle.

Roadway art is also sometimes called painted streets and there are plenty of examples online, including a number from Portland such as below.

It is also pleasing to see a couple of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods showing up. These are increasingly being used overseas as a way to combat the scourge of rat running by retaining local access but cutting off through traffic.

There looks to be some interesting ideas in the list and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome. I’m also keen to see how the plans in other parts around the country turn out.

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  1. ‘Project WAVE – A protected bike route at the bottom of Nelson Street and into the city centre. With the aim of increasing the number of people on bikes using the bottom end of Nelson Street.’

    How does this work? Isn’t this the same as the proposed Phase III for Nelson street, all the way through Market Place and along Fanshawe..something thats been moved out due to Covid but it really as simple as redrawing some parking spaces, adding some planter boxes and putting a 1 way sign in.

    1. Yes, this is essentially a tactical urbanism replacement for the much-deferred last piece of Nelson Street to Quay Street.

      We (Bike Auckland) pushed Auckland Transport hard half a year ago when they announced they would only do Market Place, meaning there would be a gap between that and Quay Street where people would have to ride on busy streets – or on the Viaduct restaurant terraces path…

      Together with help from Panuku that morphed into Project Wave, which is now even more important with the budget cuts…

      1. In terms of how does it work, well, of course it hasn’t been more than conceptually designed yet, but the way we understand it, it is to be a combination of markings, some parking removal, changes to Market Place direction (as per previous plans) and hopefully, some seriously fancy (but still temporary) separators. The “Wave” in the title has a reason…

      2. They already done design and consultation. I was also went to their consultation session to discuss with their designer.

        It is a shame nothing get started after so long. What a waste of time and effort?

        Using innovating street program means the budget is going to be cut and the result is not as good as the original permanent design.

        1. Correction: Nothing getting started after so long means that nothing is happening. Using Innovating Streets programme means something will finally happen.

          Innovating Streets has the potential to throw up a new way of working, which will achieve different on-the-ground results – potentially much better because they’re more responsive.

          But what Innovating Streets can achieve in terms of process is what is most exciting: the reasons for the cycling programme not progressing are systemic and attempts within AT to overhaul the barriers haven’t worked.

  2. Kathryn King, AT’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager or Kathryn King, Waka Kotahi’s Portfolio Manager Developing Regions?

    Were the frustrations around lack of progress and restructuring within AT too much?

    1. If you and your team get demoted a whole organisation level for doing your job enthusiastically…

      The restructuring happened after she’d already left, from memory.

    1. Yes, that sounds exciting. Any locals out west can tell us how Seabrook Ave cycleway is doing, by the way? Haven’t been out there for a few ages.

      1. From a user perspective SeaBrook ave is great I use semi regularly including with my kids.
        I just wish there were plans to link it through to Glen Eden as the last part up the hill in traffic with kids is a nightmare.

        1. +100 for the link further west.

          I think the strategic answer is to follow the rail line; a logical extension of the Avondale-New Lynn corridor, relatively easy grades for most of it, and connects to all sorts of existing/future local networks including this Glen Eden location. I believe this route is on the long term radar for various organisations….just nowhere near funded.

  3. Great to see more in Auckland this time.

    Is there somewhere the detail has been published? Or do we really have to wait for the Local Boards / Council to communicate them?

    1. I think that’s correct. But I don’t think we’ll need to wait long. The approach *should* involve more community input but less waiting around for internal BAU processes to play out.

  4. Really good news. My fear is always around how the community is engaged with and who is actually getting a say.

    A word of advice to LBs and Council.

    You will need to placate the masses (particularly boomers) if any of your town centre plans involve the removal of on-street parking. Keeping NZ Great (Again?) is all about being able to park outside the hairdresser and then driving 200 metres to do the same at the bank.

    There is a massive disconnect between making Town Centre’s great to be in and one of the most reptilian aspects of human beings which is the conservation of energy (i.e parking as close as humanly possible to where i need to go). Don’t try and fight it. Feed them cake…

    Triple/Quadruple on street mobility spaces both in and around the project area to look after the elderly and those with accessibility issues (if you’re young and fit and live within a walkable distance to your town centre, you should consider walking anyway); and

    Hold public meetings on weekends in the community (preferably where the work is going to be taking place) – this way you will get a better cross section of voices. Young families out with kids on the weekend, Yo Pros brunching etc.

    Having public meetings about these things at 11am on Tuesday at the local library means you are only going to get the boomer ‘free tea and biscuit brigade’, Which i hate to say; but it will give you a very skewed view. As the elderly in NZ have only ever known car dependency and many of the town centres we are talking about were once one horse towns where an abundance of space meant driving and parking freely has been ingrained as a god given right

    1. Mobility parking is important as is ensuring a safe cycling network is established and walking is made safe, pleasant and convenient. Curious to know how much parking you’re envisaging in “feeding them cake”. Do you have a “feeding them cake” case study we could look at?

      1. No case study Heidi… This is tactical urbanism, no time to do those!

        I’m saying the starting point should be to remove on-street as much as possible.

        What on-street remains in the project area and nearby should be catered to those with accessibility issuesfirst and foremost.

        If this requires going above and beyond what’s legally required to cater to those with accessibility issues then I say do it!

        This has a double win of being the right thing to do and also placating what is often the most vocal anti change segment (older generations).

        This is of course my uninformed non case studied opinion with a healthy does of ‘I reckon’.

        1. I would agree – of course, there are places where there’s no mobility parking; all the parking has been removed to squeeze in more traffic lanes. Generally that hasn’t met the same sort of opposition. We need a framework for how to approach the issue rationally, which allows some out of the box thinking, and yes, that’s the strength of tactical urbanism. Trying stuff out.

          Deliveries is the other biggie that can be approached in a completely different way.

        2. Deliveries – In some situations Loading Zones on public land are unavoidable. e.g servicing a pub on Vulcan Lane. However i often take issue with provision of LZ’s for private businesses where they have offstreet parking and often rear access via service lanes. This land is often poorly utilised. One could argue putting it on the street front is providing a subsidy to private businesses to run their business at the opportunity cost to the public of a higher value use. Not sure how to tackle this issue or provide a standard approach. Keen to hear thoughts…as is definitely not a one size fits all…?

    2. @ Dude, I’m not sure at what age you consider people become “elderly”, but us “Boomers” grew up in an era when car-dependency was far lower than it is now, simply because many people didn’t have cars. Car-ownership tended to be more aspirational than actual. I think the real problem was that behaviour-modifying transport-policy decisions began to entrench car-dependency ahead of people actually making a choice to subject themselves to it. As time went on, a growing move away from deliberately un-resourced and unattractive public transport translated to a growing move towards large-scale car-ownership, incentivised by focussed investment in glitzy new roads. People felt that they were making a logical and unconstrained choice, but they failed to grasp that significant manipulation was taking place and failed to foresee the quagmire this would lead into.
      So – not true that “the elderly in NZ have only ever known car dependency”. Rather, they unquestioningly allowed themselves to be sucked into it as it pervaded society, and uncritically convinced themselves that this was somehow a good or necessary thing.

      A few of us realized early-on that something was very amiss, but trying to persuade a stampede of buffalo that they are headed the wrong way is a hopeless task. But today, more and more Boomers (“elderly” if you like) are questioning the mess that car-dependency has led us into and are increasingly supportive of efforts to change. Those resisting are the motoring-passionate, the blinkered, those with vested-interests in the business, and politicians who remain asleep to the changing reality.

      1. @Dave, as with everything generalizations never capture the multitude of variance of opinions on many matters. So i use the term ‘Boomer’ as a flippant term to both get a reaction and because i’m too lazy and off the cuff to provide a nuanced case studied post on this blog.. It’s just my style.

        In the same way that it’s not true that all millennial’s cant get on the property ladder because of a severe smashed avo dependence; I don’t think all boomers are car fanatics…

        However from my experience of Local Body politics and meetings (which i’ve attended many) they are overly represented by members of the public that are generally elderly and resistant to change.

        This creates an issue as it creates an impression that proposals are viewed more negatively than perhaps they would be if the general populace was able to access the information and engage with it.

        So I would like to see more engagement across the spectrum of ages and ethnic groups as most town hall meetings are generally very white and old. These Innovating Street Projects are disruptive by design which makes me worry that the buy in will be really negative if only a subset of society is able to engage i.e those that can make a meeting at 11am on a Tuesday. NZTA, LB and CCOs need to engage with all and dare I say it work on the weekend… when they can engage with the working populace and those tied up in formal education on a Tuesday at 11am.

    1. There’s plenty of off-street parking (even more added recently after a building was demolished as turned into at grade Wilson’s parking), and at present there’s not much but parking on the tar-sealed areas of Emily Place, I sure as hope the plan is to dramatically cut that back, and I say that as a resident.

      1. The demolition of the 1908 warehouse with 1920s facade on Emily Place was appalling. It’s going to sit as an undeveloped gravel carpark for half a dozen cars and late night vagrant activity. As a resident (owner of a 4 bedroom unit with 1 x off street park) I was denied a residents parking permit as I have a park already (despite 5 people in the household). The existing footpaths are huge, so it’s not unsafe for pedestrians, and is one of the last bastions of accessible On street car parking for visitors to the lower CBD. With the majority of the street residential, it’s going to be very difficult for residents to accommodate visitors if parking is reduced. Then there is the underhanded move by a property owner to close the public access way stairs to beach road. Auckland Council claims no record of it being a “bonus floor provision” accessway, despite it being listed on their own website twice, regular council cleaning and maintenance. The street sign with “public access to beach road” has been mysteriously cut off at ground level. The council staff member I talked to commented that the records were probably lost in the super city transition. Poor form all around. I really hope the residents of Emily place are consulted before we are blessed with less car parking, more dull grey granite footpaths, and an “upgrade” devoid of thought, color or soul.

        1. That’s no good about the stairs. Where was the sign, exactly? Any chance you’d be able to see it on Streetview, back in time if necessary?

  5. Was good having Park Ave Papatoetoe closed off and painted. Sadly this is been stopped and Park Avenue is going to be reopened. Which means now it’s going to go back to normal with heaps off speeding cars going up and down. With them looking at making Park Ave narrow by Claude will not stop them speeding up and down Park Ave. we really need speed humps like Claude ave Ferndown Ave Papatoetoe has.

      1. Seems to be some didn’t like that it took a few minutes longer to get home. Even lough it made park ave way safer. There is always some who are just in a rush all the time

        1. That’s no reason to remove the project. Unfortunately I have limited time to dig into this at the moment. It’s quite disappointing.

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