Federal Street gets an almost-instant makeover

A quick and colourful solution in the Auckland CBD

A collaborative approach has provided an innovative solution in the Auckland CBD. With construction of the City Rail Link (CRL) creating on-going disruption to Albert Street, Auckland Transport needed a quick fix for the people who live and work in this part of the city.

Boffa Miskell helped formulate an easy-to-install, low-cost way to create a viable and safe route along Federal Street – for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and local business owners.

Auckland Transport will install painted polka dots along sections of Federal Street to make the street easier for pedestrians and bike riders to navigate until the permanent upgrade of the road is done. The polka dots are intended to create a safer environment as they are unexpected by drivers and will encourage people to slow down.

“It’s interesting in terms of a tactical urban intervention,” says design leader Michael Hawes. “We’re doing something with high visual impact, which users will notice right away. It’s hoped these changes will start a conversation around the opportunities for Federal Street to evolve into a destination, as we’ve seen happen in other parts of the city.”

Other key changes involve adding a protected ‘contra-flow’ cycle lane, similar to the one on nearby Nelson Street; and upgrading the surface, road markings, and signage to improve the pedestrian experience.

The improvements will be completed by late March. Because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to do, Auckland Transport will build them first, then consult on how people feel about them.

“What’s happening with this part of Federal Street is quite innovative in its approach to community consultation and engagement,” Michael continues.

“Users will provide feedback based on real-life experience, rather than responding to unbuilt plans or drawings. These interventions are essentially a placeholder; but if they work as well as we hope, then it’s a success all around. If modifications or improvements are needed, those changes can be made quite easily. I think we’re going to get a more complete understanding of people’s preferences around these shared streets, and how people react to changes in the way they move about the city.”

For further information please contact Michael Hawes

28 February 2018