Queen St Sunday Closure Plan


Plans are afoot for closing part of Queen Street once a month on a Sunday to promote a car-free environment.

The group Future Leaders Programme is talking to Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the relevant Local Boards about their plan to close the area between Customs St, near the Britomart Transport centre and Wydham St.

Auckland Transport has indicated to them going any further up Queen St such as Victoria St would interfere with cross-traffic including buses, although the LINK bus will soon be no longer travelling up Queen St.

Cars would no stopped using this part of Queen St

The group has a budget of about $10,000 but is asking around for more, including approaching corporate sponsors such as banks that have Queen St branches.
It estimates it needs about $30,000 initially to cope with initial traffic management plans, crash barriers, marketing and event management.
Its stated aim is to let Aucklanders sample a Queen St without cars by”demonstrating the flexibility of opening up Queen Street for the exclusive use of the Auckland community” and without cars Aucklanders would get a “unique and central view of the city’s fabric, encouraging a sense of pride and ownership.”

Banning vehicles from Queen St has long been a passion of AKT.

It’s hardly radical when you only have to poke your head across the Tasman to see it works brilliantly for Brisbane’s main street..

and Adelaide’s.

While the Auckland group’s plans are laudable and moving slowly to change is the way to take the public with you, their choice of event needs some work.
They have changed their thinking to create a “Sports Sunday” event, with ideas of people playing tennis or jumping on a trampoline in the wide spaces.
Putting aside any risk of broken windows,sports is limiting in appeal and as the first Sunday event is planned just after the World Rugby Cup ends in November, even rugby fans may be over sports mania by then.
We need outdoor cafes, buskers, musicians, entertainers, people on a soapbox preaching their views. Artists, sculptures and installations.
Last September during Heritage Week, old protestors like current Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt re-enacted “Jumping Sundays” that used to be staged in Albert Park during the Vietnam War era against civic officials’ rulings that the park was not to be used for fun and protest.

Bands played and lefties, evangelists and anyone with a cause would get up on a soapbox and air their views.

In last year’s “re-enactment” there was no age limit to getting up and having a good time.

Let’s stop thinking the world starts and ends with rugby. We will also be over Party Central and its hired bands programme at Queens Wharf’s The Cloud just across the road by this time.
Let’s try a Sunday without cars and invite unpaid artists, buskers, entertainers and preachers add to the festivities. Have street stalls and market stalls.
And see where it goes.




  1. KarlHansen says:

    Good stuff - should go at least as far south as Mayoral Drive. I mean heck, if you aren’t able to slightly modify (or otherwise handle) bus traffic for that, why even try? It’s not rocket science.

    I also think this should be committed to for a couple events minimum. The first one will be a novelty, but the second one may well be much less attended - but then slowly we should see the idea circulate and get more people and more and more interesting things happening.

    Seeing that one of the main costs will actually organising an alternative traffic management plan, why not just reuse that after the first event?

  2. Stu says:

    Absolutely agree about “Sports Sunday”. A ridiculous idea. I’d like to be able to wander across Queen Street with out having to look out for cars, and I’d like to be able to wander across without having to look out for rogue tennis balls etc. We already have parks for that.

  3. Long overdue, we have been advocating this for ages now and met with the Auckland Council to show them our concepts - http://eyeonauckland.com/2011/06/visionary-concepts/

    We have also submitted plans to pedestrianise HIgh, and O’Connell Streets :

    Part 1 - http://eyeonauckland.com/2011/07/eye-on-aucklands-vision-for-auckland/

    Part 2 - http://eyeonauckland.com/2011/07/eye-on-aucklands-vision-for-auckland-2/

    Part 3 - http://eyeonauckland.com/2011/07/eye-on-aucklands-vision-for-auckland-3/

  4. I am sorry, I forgot this link, showing how Queen Street can become a public space full of flower beds and sculptures - enjoy:


  5. Patrick R says:

    Good work Eye, Quay St needs to be added too as a transit/ shared space. Time to be bold with our sad like gully isn’t it./ What century are we in again…?

  6. Andu says:

    Great, this would be FANTASTIC. Great concepts too EyeonAuckland.
    I’ve just been to Copenhagen and experienced their pedestrianised and shared spaces first hand. Absolutely puts Auckland to shame.

  7. LucyJH says:

    mmm, I agree sports is a bit lame but maybe they’re not too fixed in their views? Perhaps it could have a different theme each month. for example, one month it could be about visual art, one month about dance, one month about sports. I think any initiative to close Queen Street is awesome, I would not care if they were staging s & M shows there to be honest so long as they showed that we can shut the street to traffic without the whole city collapsing.

  8. Antoine says:

    A great idea, although it should go all the way up to the town hall.

    … and don’t forget the bikes, skateboards, inline-skates, scooters et al:

  9. KarlHansen says:

    The interesting thing is that numerous groups have now been asking for this or discussing such plans with Council in the recent past - i.e. at some stage we will actually get it, not just talk about it (someone mentioned recently how getting officialdom to act was difficult for any project…)


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