Auckland’s new shared space was officially opened this week and it looks great. The shared space is the 100m+ south section of Federal St between Mayoral Dr and Wellesley St. The upgrade was first viewed in late 2017, highlighting how long even small sections like this take . It also follows the upgrade of the Wellesley St to Victoria St section which was completed in 2014.
The Mayoral Drive end of Federal Street is now a tree-lined, pedestrian-scale, community-focused shared space.
St-Matthew-in-the-City’s pōhutukawa now stand alongside 13 native trees – pūriri, tānekaha, rewarewa and white mayor – some of which are over six meters tall.
The new trees were planted along the west side of this 100 meter lane at the south end of Federal Street.
This Auckland Council-led project features a design narrative, developed in partnership with mana whenua, referencing the ideas of compassion, community, home and well-being. These ideas are reflected through warmer paving materials, seating and shelters along the new street.
The space was officially inaugurated on July 19. Aucklanders can expect an inviting place to sit and relax, improved lighting to support the region’s inclusive feeling, and nine rain gardens that filter stormwater before it reaches the Waterways.
I haven’t had a chance to check out the upgrade yet, but the board did provide some pictures of the transformation
Here’s a quick tour through space plus a before and after from Mayor Phil Goff
A little tour in this new shared space https://t.co/gU4bR71chs pic.twitter.com/A5kRTGXWc2
— Malcolm McCracken (@urbanistfromwhk) July 19, 2022
The fact that there is no passing lane should hopefully help this section avoid some of the problems of other shared streets with cars that sometimes use them as rat races. But the real test here will be to what extent, if any, Auckland Transport enforces parking. From how they handle law enforcement in the rest of the city, it won’t be long before the place is overrun with illegal parking lots and some of the features are damaged, like the rain gardens . Even Phil Goff, it seems, expects a lack of enforcement based on this in a newsroom article.
Goff said it was a place people “would like to linger” – hopefully not illegally in their vehicles, as he said he hoped illegal parking wouldn’t be a problem and wanted to see more of powers granted by central government to Auckland Council to manage parking. offences.
The upgrade may only be for a short area, but is a great addition to the town.
The next improvement we will see completed in the city center will be the Queen St upgrade later this year and then the Myers Park underpass upgrade by the end of summer 2022/23.