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A facelift is set to roll out on Queen St, in Auckland's CBD.
Wide boardwalks, seating and native plants in planter boxes will soon replace the plastic sticks and temporary footpaths on Queen St between Customs St and Shortland St.
Auckland Council has unveiled plans to remove emergency Covid-19 works in the area and create a pocket park on the corner of Queen St and Fort St.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff said Queen St was due for an upgrade.
“We want the street to be more people-friendly and attractive, and to become a place to visit, rather than just pass through,” he said.
“Last year, temporary measures were put in place by Auckland Transport to allow physical distancing during the pandemic. It’s now time for the yellow markers, stone blocks and painted asphalt to be replaced. "
Extended decking pavements, shrubs in proper planter boxes and street furniture will help change the look and feel of the area, Goff said.
These measures would be trialed before permanent changes were made following feedback from businesses, shoppers, visitors and residents, he said.
“Queen Street has taken a hit from COVID-19, with the loss of tourists, cruise ships and international students."
Goff said the council, businesses and residents needed to work together to help the area recover from Covid-19 and become a vibrant place to shop.
The upgrade will enhance other transformations including the refurbishment of the Chief Post Office, the creation of Te Komititanga, the new public space outside Commercial Bay, and Te Wananga, the new space being built over the water by the ferry building, he said.
Meanwhile, Aucklanders are being invited to give their feedback on a proposal to create bus lanes on sections of Queen St.
The changes are touted to improve reliability as more buses use the street during the next phase of the City Rail Link construction.
What do you think of the improvements to Queen St?
Which changes would you like to see there?
*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.
People have until May 7 to have their say on the changes at:
Auckland Transport and NZ Bus on Friday unveiled the new electric fleet for the CityLINK bus service.
Mayor Phill Goff said the 12 new buses would reduce carbon emissions and help Auckland work towards meeting its climate change goals.
The electric fleet would be quieter than the former diesel models.
“Electrifying Auckland’s CityLINK buses helps improve air quality by reducing pollution from black carbon and nitrogen oxide emitted by diesel vehicles,” he said.
“Black carbon damages health and is at higher levels in Queen St than in any other New Zealand city and many other cities in Europe and North America."
Goff said the launch was another step towards electrifying the rest of Auckland's bus fleet.
When completed, this would stop about 93,000 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere each year compared to 2019 emissions levels.
“We are working with central government towards bringing forward the transition to a fully electric bus fleet, and we’re looking to halt the purchase of new diesel buses from July this year as part of our commitment to a carbon-free city.”