Green MP for Auckland Central Chlöe Swarbrick, in partnership with the City Centre Residents’ Group, has today launched a petition calling on the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff to pedestrianise Queen Street.
“We are calling on Auckland Council to turn Queen Street into a pedestrian-friendly zone. This will transform the area into a cultural hub and living space for our 40,000 residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors, instead of a thoroughfare that pushes people to the sidelines,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.
“Ten years ago, Auckland Council signed off on the City Centre Masterplan. Ten years on, we’re yet to see much action, including on the common-sense commitment to prioritise pedestrians on Queen Street.
“We’ve seen a model for this over the ditch with great success, on Sydney’s George Street. Here too, we can reclaim the streets for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau.
“If Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland wants to be the world’s most Liveable City, we need the city centre to reflect the needs of people on the ground.
“When you prioritise people, you also prioritise their exploration and interaction with small businesses that may otherwise be bypassed.
“It’s a fools’ game to think we can return to pre-COVID working trends. It’s time to evolve. Our neighbourhood is so much more than a CBD - it is a city centre and we deserve an environment that celebrates, embraces and reflects that.
“We’re calling on Auckland Council to take action now to pedestrianise Queen Street. We’ve got enough plans, enough vision. We’ve had enough disruption and enough unsatisfactory compromise. It’s time to commit and do it properly,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.
Noelene Buckland, of City Centre Resident’s Groups, says “as the 2012 City Centre Master Plan states:
“The CCMP is the key guiding document for the Auckland Council whānau, setting the strategic direction for the city centre over the next 20 years.
It applies the Auckland Plan to the city centre through ten outcomes, to be delivered through eight transformational moves and Access for Everyone (A4E).”
“There can be no confusion over this wording and, to make everything even clearer, this was formally adopted by Councils Planning Committee on 5 March 2020.
“CCRG’s position is that all the tough work has been done – we now need the Auckland Council whanau to deliver on it as per the commitments made above. We have done the hard yards – now we need the brooms to sweep the street clean and build what we promised everyone.
“A vibrant pedestrian priority shopping street at the heart of Waihorotiu / Queen Street Valley - Queen Street will support centre-running transit (starting with buses) and become the centrepiece of a greatly expanded pedestrian priority and low emissions zone.” (CCMP)