Thursday, June 20, 2024

Takapuna streets upgrade goes on trial

A trial to test improvements to the layout of Takapuna’s Huron and Northcroft streets will soon get underway.

Eke Panuku Development Auckland has been working with Takapuna locals to shape the temporary design solutions to improve Huron and Northcroft streets for people moving around Takapuna.

Locally known as being windy, unsafe, and unpleasant for people, Huron and Northcroft streets also form part of the walking route between a new car park building, Toka Puia, and the future Takapuna town square.

In June and July, the community will begin to see the temporary design solutions popping up on the streets. The installations will be trialled for their effectiveness at addressing issues identified by the local community in a series of co-design sessions held last year.

Pedestrian safety, slower vehicle speeds, wider and more even footpaths, improvements managing bus traffic, better-designed parking, and protection from the wind were some of the key issues and opportunities raised.

Priority Location Director at Eke Panuku, Kate Cumberpatch says the trial is a great opportunity for the local community to help shape the long-term design of the Takapuna town centre.

“The trial is about testing ways to make these streets safer for people, more vibrant and less dominated by traffic,” said Ms Cumberpatch.

“The next step is to see how the ideas work in practice and listen to the community to find out what’s working and what isn’t. If something isn’t working or locals would like something changed, the project team can tweak or remove them.”

Innovating Streets is a nationwide programme initiated by Waka Kotahi to make it faster and easier to transition our streets to safer and more liveable spaces.

Unlike the traditional method of gathering feedback to proposed plans, the project trials allow community members to interact with the changes in real-time.

North Shore Ward Councillor, Chris Darby says Takapuna deservingly won out against other centres to be part of an Innovating Streets trial.

“We’ve secured additional investment to explore creative solutions to bring new life to Huron and Northcroft streets. The trial project also enhances the short walk between the new Toka Puia car park and the soon to be realised town square, making Takapuna even easier to get around.”

Weather permitting, the temporary changes are expected to take up to 20 days to install and will be completed in stages across both Huron and Northcroft streets.

The trial includes:

  • Speed bumps to slow traffic;
  • A new pedestrian island/crossing point on Lake Road;
  • New median strips on Northcroft Street to make it easier for people crossing the street;
  • A new traffic island on Northcroft Street to slow traffic;
  • Rearranging some of the car parks on Huron Street to create a wider footpath and make it easier for people crossing the street;
  • Two new mobility parks on Northcroft Street;
  • Decorative planter boxes;
  • Creation of wind and rain shelters along Huron Street;
  • Colourful painting on the road and pavement.

Council says the changes are temporary, with any long-term plans depending on the success of this trial. Bus routes, frequency of buses and bus layover spaces will not be affected.

During the trial, which will last through June and July, the community will be encouraged to leave feedback, while a monitoring and evaluation study will measure vehicle speed and monitor how the streets are being used by people, alongside safety audits.

“The great thing about these trials is that people can experience them in 3D reality, rather than just see a 2D plan – and multiple versions can be trialled to make sure we’ve got it right before putting any permanent changes in place. I encourage residents to leave feedback to enable Eke Panuku to respond to any concerns and make improvements,” Chair of Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, Ruth Jackson said.

For more information and to leave your feedback on the project, visit the official Takapuna Streets for People page

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