What We Are Learning » What does the community think of the changes?

Balancing the view

It is important to take a balanced view of how people see the changes in Māngere. Below, we discuss some of these aspects of the project.

Parking in the bike lane

Parking and bike lanes

There has been some loss of parking, to make way for bike lanes, and some people have concerns about this. In fact, some people park in the bike lanes and this causes a lot of problems for people using them.

That people do not like the loss of parking is understandable as it has affected people’s day to day lives. This issue is coming up all around New Zealand.

But on the other hand, we need to better understand the trade-offs – people being able to park on the street, versus providing greater transport choice and healthier transport options for people.

Suburbs like Māngere have big challenges related to road safety, public health, climate change, and traffic congestion. It is really important that we work out the transport solutions that are going meet these challenges and also work for people.

Dogs and personal safety

Fear of dogs, of crime, and of being attacked are ongoing concerns in Māngere. It is important to note that these issues affect the way that people choose to get around. So, there is definitely ongoing work to be done to address these things if we want people to be able to move about freely and safely.

Community engagement

Some people felt they weren’t consulted enough, or at all, on the Future Streets changes. Compared to other community transport projects we did a huge amount of engagement at the start of the project, including listening to how people get around and what they value in their neighbourhood. This led to the development of the design principles which reflected what people told us. However, as with any major project it was difficult to reach everyone in the community. There were also delays in delivering the project, which may have contributed to some people feeling like something just arrived with no consultation.

Watch the video from 0:36 to hear more

This is actually a wider problem in delivering transport projects (right around the country). More needs to be done to make sure the early parts of a project with good community engagement, link through to the delivery, and that the people delivering the project continue to listen to the community along the way.

Network and connections

Future Streets was a defined project, and so there are neighbouring places that don’t share the same quality of infrastructure for people who want to walk or bike. More work is needed to connect the street and path improvements to other places where people go, like Māngere College, Māngere Bridge, Māngere East, and Middlemore. There are already some great links to Auckland Airport from Māngere emerging, and a lot of work is being planned.

Maintenance

An important part of a new infrastructure project is to make sure the quality of the changes is maintained over time. Some parts of the Future Streets infrastructure could be better maintained, such as the painted surface on the Community Trail, through the Town Centre car park, and in the cycle lanes.

Different Designs

By combining an infrastructure project with research we are able to better understand the effect that changes have on communities. After all, without research, how do transport planners know if the changes have made a difference, or what they should do differently in the future?

Lessons about some aspects of the Future Streets designs have been learned.

For example:

 

  • The height of the cycle lane barrier at some locations means that some cars hit them
  • Another zebra crossing linking the Town Centre to the Samoan Consulate could be beneficial
  • The road closure at Windrush Close has led to some vehicles driving on the footpath
  • The width of the separated cycle lanes accommodates small cars. Making the lanes a little narrower would help to keep cars out of this space
  • The raised tables have been very effective at reducing vehicle speed
  • Wider footpaths results in more comfortable group walking which is very important in Māngere.