38 organisations call for Auckland Transport to urgently deliver the inner west street improvements – spoiler alert, we are one of them!

38 organisations call for Auckland Transport to urgently deliver the inner west street improvements – spoiler alert, we are one of them!

Bike Auckland

On Tuesday 21 February Waitematā Local Board are being asked to vote to endorse 2 of the 3 Inner West street improvement projects and to pause the third. The Waitematā Safer Routes (also known as the Grey Lynn and Westmere improvements) is the project which hangs in the balance.

Today Bike Auckland wrote to the Auckland Transport Board, as well as the relevant councilors and Local Boards, encouraging them to consider their community’s overwhelming support for all three projects.

The mayor has previously directed Auckland Transport to “deeply understand and respond to what matters most to Aucklanders in transport” and it is overwhelmingly clear what matters to this local community in transport.

As we’ve previously covered, these three projects work together to form a network, connecting into wider safe walking and cycling pathways, all together allowing more children to get to school safely, parents to cycle to work, and people of all ages to be safe.

Empowering people to make low emission travel choices like these is vital if we want to reduce more severe weather events such as the ones we have recently faced.

Read our letter to Mark Lambert, Interim CEO of Auckland Transport, and Wayne Donnelly, chair of the board of Auckland Transport:

Tēnā kōrua,

Bike Auckland is one of 38 organisations who are today issuing a public call for Auckland Transport to urgently deliver the long overdue inner west street improvements, being the Great North Road improvements, the Waitematā Safer Routes (also known as the Grey Lynn and Westmere improvements), and the Point Chevalier to Westmere improvements.

Bike Auckland previously wrote to Auckland Transport on 18 November 2022 expressing our strongest support for Auckland Transport to continue with the projects as planned. We are aware that many other organisations and individuals have also written, and that the correspondence has overwhelmingly supported the projects.

The organisations joining today’s call include (among others):
– All six major schools along the routes, being Newton Central School, Grey Lynn School, Westmere School, Western Springs College, Pasadena Intermediate School and Point Chevalier School, who last year had a combined roll of over 3,700 students;
– The Grey Lynn Residents Association, the Auckland City Centre Residents’ Group and several community groups in the project areas;
– The Ponsonby Business Association and the Karangahape Road Business Association,
who together represent over 1,000 businesses and property owners;
– The Auckland Regional Public Health Service, OraTaiao: the NZ Climate & Health Council and Sport Waitākere; and
– A range of advocacy groups, including the Campaign for Better Transport, Living Streets Aotearoa, Brake Aotearoa New Zealand, Generation Zero, the Coalition for More Homes and Bike Auckland.

The Mayor’s letter of expectation directs Auckland Transport to “deeply understand and respond to what matters most to Aucklanders in transport”. The message from the community has been loud and clear: the inner west projects have unprecedented community support. The projects have been delayed far too long, and they must now be urgently delivered. If Auckland Transport does not proceed, it will be acting contrary to the wishes of the community.

We are alarmed at Auckland Transport’s recent suggestion that it is now seeking to pause or descope the Waitematā Safer Routes project. The inner west projects form a connected network, and the Waitematā Safer Routes are a vital link between the adjoining projects. Dropping the middle project would mean network benefits were lost, and the schools and communities of the inner west would be left disconnected.

The projects are shovel-ready with significant but time-limited co-funding, and there is no good reason for any of them not to proceed. Delaying or descoping them would be utterly irresponsible in the face of overwhelming community support, Auckland Transport’s responsibility to reduce transport emissions and improve road safety, and the extraordinary delays the projects have already faced. If Auckland Transport wishes to confirm government co-funding for the Waitematā Safer Routes, it must do so urgently. It cannot exploit its own failure to seek co-funding as an excuse for non-delivery.

We look forward to your urgent confirmation that construction of all three projects will proceed as planned.

Your sincerely,

Tony Mitchell
Bike Auckland

Image showing all the logos for the organisations that support the Inner West street improvement projects

Feeling inspired? Check out the tips below for writing to your elected representatives about safer streets.

Here is the full list of organisations represented on the graphic above, calling for the inner west street improvements to be urgently delivered:
In addition to the many letters of support Auckland Transport has received from individuals…

Newton Central School –newton.school.nz

Grey Lynn School – greylynn.school.nz

Westmere School – westmere.school.nz

Western Springs College – westernsprings.school.nz

Pasadena Intermediate School – pasadena.school.nz

Point Chevalier School – ptchev.school.nz

Ponsonby Business Association – iloveponsonby.co.nz/ponsonby-business-association

Karangahape Road Business Association – karangahaperoad.com

Grey Lynn Residents Association – greylynnresidents.org.nz

Auckland City Centre Residents’ Group – ccrg.org.nz

Auckland Regional Public Health Service – arphs.health.nz

Sport Waitākere – sportwaitakere.co.nz

Ora Taio: the NZ Climate & Health Council – orataiao.org.nz

Living Streets Aotearoa – livingstreets.org.nz

Campaign for Better Transport – bettertransport.org.nz

Brake Aotearoa New Zealand – brake.org.nz

NZ School Speeds – facebook.com/nzschoolspeeds

Grey Lynn Farmers Market – greylynnfarmersmarket.co.nz

Cohaus – cohaus.nz

Grey Lynn 2030 – greylynn2030.co.nz

Transition Town Point Chevalier – transitiontowns.nz

Bike Grey Lynn – facebook.com/bikegreylynn

Bike Pt Chev – bikeptchev.nz

Cycling Without Age Point Chevalier – facebook.com/cwaptchev

New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities – sustainablecities.org.nz

Coalition for More Homes – morehomes.nz

Generation Zero – generationzero.org

Greater Auckland – greaterauckland.org.nz

Women in Urbanism Aotearoa – womeninurban.org.nz

Movement – movement.org.nz

Bike Auckland – bikeauckland.org.nz

All Aboard Aotearoa – allaboard.nz

1Point5 Project – 1point5.org.nz

Greenpeace Aotearoa – greenpeace.org/aotearoa

350 Aotearoa – 350.org.nz

Citizens’ Climate Lobby NZ – citizensclimatelobby.nz

Students of Urban Planning and Architecture – facebook.com/supa.uoa

Big Street Bikers – bigstreetbikers.co.nz

Join us

Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

Suggest a new ride