I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Waitematā Local Board will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

1.00pm

Waitematā Local Board Office
Ground Floor
52 Swanson Street
Auckland

 

Waitematā Local Board

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chair

Richard Northey, (ONZM)

 

Deputy Chair

Alexandra Bonham

 

Members

Adriana Avendano Christie

 

 

Graeme Gunthorp

 

 

Kerrin Leoni

 

 

Julie Sandilands

 

 

Sarah Trotman, (ONZM)

 

 

(Quorum 4 members)

 

 

 

Priscila Firmo

Democracy Advisor

 

13 May 2021

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 353 9654

Email: Priscila.firmo@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


Waitematā Local Board

18 May 2021

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

 

17        Downtown Car Park site - transport outcomes                                                          5

 


Waitematā Local Board

18 May 2021

 

 

Downtown Car Park site - transport outcomes

File No.: CP2021/06100

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To obtain the Waitematā Local Board’s endorsement and formal feedback on the draft transport outcomes for the Downtown Car Park site

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The Downtown Car Park site is identified in Auckland Council’s (the council) City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) as a significant site that should be redeveloped to enhance the quality and experience of this key part of Auckland’s city centre waterfront

3.       The Planning Committee approved outcomes for the Downtown Car Park site for land use, urban form and quality design, movement and access, environmental and social responsibility, and Māori in December 2020. Further work was required on the transport outcomes

4.       The Finance and Performance Committee approved the sale of the Downtown Car Park in December 2020. The committee also requested wider local engagement on the proposed development and transport outcomes for the site

5.       The council, Auckland Transport (AT) and Eke Panuku Development Auckland (Eke Panuku) held a workshop with the Waitematā Local Board (local board) on 9 March 2021

6.       The informal feedback from this workshop was collated and included in the report to the Planning Committee on 1 April 2021

7.       At the Planning Committee meeting, concern was raised that the local board’s feedback wasn’t relayed accurately

8.       The Planning Committee deferred its decision making on the draft transport oucomes as more detailed advice was requested

9.       This provides an opportunity for the local board to formalise their feedback and have it considered by the Planning Committee at its next meeting

10.     To enable the local board to provide feedback, more information on the transport outcomes is being provided

11.     In terms of transport context, the CCMP and Access for Everyone (A4E) provide the planning guidance for the downtown area. Within this, we expect to see demand for travel into the city centre increase in line with growth in employment, entertainment and education facilities within the area. This additional demand is forecast to be absorbed by sustainable modes, decreasing the overall car mode share into the area. Actual numbers of car trips are, however, expected to remain at around today’s levels – contributing to an ongoing demand for parking

12.     AT-managed short stay parking facilities appear to play an important role in supporting travel into the city for business, entertainment and retail purposes. These short stay facilities are forecast to reduce by half over time with the sale of the Downtown Car Park and the removal of on-street car parking for other purposes

13.     Redevelopment of the Downtown Car Park site provides opportunities to support council’s transport objectives. A bus facility is recommended within the redevelopment to improve public transport and urban realm outcomes. In particular, this would remove the bulk of the buses from the lower-Albert and Quay street area, improving pedestrian amenity

14.     A flexible transport hub is also recommended as it offers a range of advantages, including the provision of cycling facilities, removing parking and servicing from the street level and improving the pedestrian environment and easing the transition to A4E

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Waitematā Local Board:

a)      endorse the draft transport outcomes for the Downtown Car Park site, namely:

·    a bus facility

·    a flexible, multi-use transport hub, designed to support a range of transport uses like some short stay car parking, car/ride share, micromobility, mobility parking, freight distribution and end of trip facilities (and allow for the space’s change over time)

b)      provide feedback on the draft transport outcomes

 

Horopaki

Context

Process to date

15.     The Downtown Car Park site is identified in the CCMP as a significant site that should be redeveloped to enhance the quality and experience of this key part of Auckland’s city centre waterfront. The high pedestrian and cyclist volume in this area requires the development to carefully consider and integrate pedestrian permeability, multimodal transport initiatives and vehicular access requirements

16.     At its meeting on 3 December 2020, the Planning Committee (PLA/202/120) agreed the outcomes sought from a development on the Downtown Car Park site. The outcomes agreed were grouped under the following headings:

·    Land use

·    Urban form and quality design

·    Movement and access

·    Environmental and social responsibility

·    Māori outcomes

·    Transport

17.     At its meeting on 15 December 2020, the Finance and Performance Committee (FIN/2020/104) approved the sale of the Downtown Car Park. It also granted approval for the Eke Panuku Board, in consultation with the AT Board, to lead a market process to select a partner to purchase and redevelop the car park site to achieve the outcomes agreed by the Planning Committee

18.     The Finance and Performance Committee also requested wider engagement on the development outcomes and for the result of this engagement and the transport outcomes to be reported to the Planning Committee

19.     A steering group comprising of senior staff from the council, AT and Eke Panuku has been formed to oversee the implementation of the decisions of both committees. This group is led by David Rankin, CEO of Eke Panuku

20.     Workshops were held with the local board, Heart of the City, and the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board between 9 and 12 March 2021, to discuss the draft transport outcomes. Mana whenua were also advised of the proposed development of the site through the Eke Panuku Mana Whenua Forum. While a range of views were expressed, there was general support for the development outcomes and the benefits this would provide to the city centre, with a number of questions around the draft transport outcomes

21.     The feedback gathered was collated and presented to the Planning Committee on 1 April 2021. However, concern was raised that the local board’s feedback on the draft transport outcomes wasn’t accurately relayed

22.     The Planning Committee deferred decision making on the draft transport outcomes, pending more detailed advice, providing an opportunity for staff to seek the local board’s formal feedback

Strategic Planning Context

23.     The Auckland Plan 2050 is council’s over-arching strategic planning document. The three ‘directions’ stated in the Auckland Plan 2050 relating to transport and access are to:

·    Direction 1: Better connect people, places, goods and services

·    Direction 2: Increase genuine travel choices for a healthy, vibrant and equitable Auckland

·    Direction 3: Maximise safety and environmental protection.

24.     Building on the outcomes and directions set out in the Auckland Plan 2050, in March 2020, the council adopted a refreshed version of the CCMP. A core concept of the refreshed City CCMP is A4E. A4E is a coordinated response that manages Auckland's city centre transport needs by:

·    limiting motorised through-traffic

·    prioritising access to city centre destinations

·    creating new spaces

·    improving access for servicing, freight and delivery

·    favouring public transport, walking and cycling.

25.     A4E integrates long-term planning, city management and investment and provides an opportunity to transform how people and freight move in the city centre. By enabling a decisive mode-shift away from private vehicles, it aims to make better use of finite city centre space and improve the quality of the environment. The core elements of A4E are summarised in the CCMP as:

·    city centre managed as a series of low-traffic neighbourhoods, restricting through-traffic.

·    30 per cent reduction in peak-time traffic levels in Auckland city centre to enable new traffic network

·    Mode-shift towards public transport, walking, cycling and micro-mobility.

·    easier access for people with accessibility and mobility needs.

·    better conditions for freight access in city centre, including construction, deliveries and rubbish collection.

·    more reliable access for emergency services.

·    growth in use of smaller, zero-emissions vehicles for city centre transport of people and goods.

·    zero-emissions areas in Waihorotiu Queen Street Valley, enabled initially via pilot projects to prioritise pedestrians.

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: Access for Everyone concept diagram from the City Centre Masterplan

26.     The CCMP identifies some specific transport, movement and public realm outcomes for the ‘Downtown West’ area. It notes that the transformation of the area remains key to integrating the city centre downtown core with the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter waterfront neighbourhoods to the west. The eventual removal of the Lower Hobson Street flyover, and aspiration to redevelop the council-owned Downtown Car Park site are initiatives identified as having the collective potential to add:

·    greater intensity

·    higher value

·    more active uses

·    a more engaging and connected public realm that delivers the unrealised place potential in this prime location

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

City centre transport context

27.     The last decade has seen a major change in the nature of the transport network supporting the city centre. Public transport has improved dramatically, with rapid transit improvements through the Northern Busway and an upgraded rail system running modern electric trains. The bus network has been substantially upgraded and improved. The frequency of services into the city has also increased dramatically, particularly on the rapid transit network

28.     These improvements have enabled the transport network to accommodate an increase in demand for travel to the city centre while yielding a major change in travel behaviour. Based on census data, the share of commuting by car has declined from 59% in 2006 to around 42% in 2018. Meanwhile, more recent and detailed traffic monitoring shows a decline in morning peak private vehicle trips from around 42,000 in 2015 to around 35,000 in 2019.  However, during the course of a full day there are an estimated 196,000 trips by private vehicle into the city centre. This indicates a much higher use outside of the peak periods, most likely for business, entertainment or retail purposes

29.     COVID-19 and the shift to working from home has also impacted travel behaviour, with total morning peak demand for travel to the city centre dropping from 63,000 in December 2019 to 49,000 in December 2020. As the impact of COVID-19 recedes, we expect growth to return to its previous trajectory, albeit off this lower base as working from home appears to have become embedded     

30.     Looking forward, a key objective is to ensure there is sufficient transport network capacity to support ongoing growth of the city centre. This is achieved primarily through investment in rapid transit links, along with improved bus capacity and walking and cycling to support mode shift and accommodate increasing demand through higher-capacity sustainable modes. The modelling results suggest car travel reducing from 44% of AM peak motorised trips in 2016 to 25% in 2038, while the interpeak reduces from 66% to 42%. Importantly however, the actual number of car trips is expected to remain relatively constant over time (although these figures do not factor in the requirement for A4E to reduce peak period travel by 30%)

31.     In summary, the modelling indicates a strong mode shift to sustainable modes as the city centre grows, particularly during the peak periods. However, the overall number of car trips into the city centre is expected to remain similar to today. Car travel will continue to play an important role in interpeak travel and trips for business, entertainment and retail purposes and this is likely to lead to a continued demand for short stay parking         

City centre parking context

32.     At a strategic level, the Auckland Plan 2050 recognises we can reduce the need for valuable land to be used as parking if there is:

·    greater use of public transport, walking and cycling

·    an increase in the number of people travelling in each vehicle

33.     As with the rest of the city centre transport network, and consistent with the Auckland Plan 2050 and previous strategic plans, AT’s parking operations have undergone significant change over the last decade. On-street parking has reduced from 5,000 to 2,460, to support reallocation of road space to other modes and purposes. Meanwhile, the price for commuter parking in AT’s car parking buildings has more than doubled, to a maximum of $40 per day

34.     At present, AT currently controls 6,649 car parks in the city centre, of which 4,189 are off-street and 2,460 are on-street. Of these, just over 5,000 are short stay parks intended to support the economic and cultural vibrancy of the city centre. Although this is a small proportion of overall parking in the city centre, AT is a key provider of lower-cost short stay parking

35.     The Downtown Car Park has around 1,944 car parks, of which 1,148 are for short stay parking and 796 are for lease. Data shows that the car park attracts use from around north, west and central Auckland. Most of the short stay parking use occurs during the inter-peak period and weekends, suggesting use for business purposes along with shopping and entertainment in the surrounding area. This is reinforced by survey data, which indicates that 75% of people parking at the car park during the interpeak were there for entertainment, dining or shopping

36.     Looking forward, we expect to see continued reduction in on-street car parking in the city centre. And, over the long-run, the bulk of short stay car parking is expected to be removed – particularly with eventual completion of the full A4E project

37.     Before an unsolicited offer in 2020 to purchase the Downtown Car Park, AT’s plan had been to maintain the existing level of short stay car parking within the city centre over time. The intention was to phase out off-street lease spaces and replace these with the short stay parks displaced from on-street locations. However, the combination of the Downtown sale and reallocation of on-street parking will now see AT-provided short stay parking reduce by half over time, with a higher reduction in the downtown and Queen Street corridor areas

38.     Overall, the limited data available indicates that AT’s short stay parking is fulfilling its intended role of supporting economic activity and vibrancy in the city centre by providing another travel option that suits shorter-length activities rather than commuting. Looking to the future, we expect this role to diminish as overall sustainable travel options improve and short stay parking capacity is significantly reduced within the city centre

 

Inclusion of transport infrastructure within the redeveloped Downtown Car Park site

39.     The transport outcomes for the site are still being worked through, but it is proposed that as part of the redevelopment of the site, a bus facility and an AT-managed flexible, multi-use transport hub is included

40.     The development will require allocated parking to meet the current long-term leasing obligations as well as parking for the development’s own requirements

Bus facility

41.     A4E and AT’s Bus Reference Case[1] have set the policy context for the City Centre Bus Plan (CCBP), which AT plans to present to the Planning Committee in mid-2021. The CCBP will set out how buses will use the four key city centre bus corridors (Customs, Wellesley, Albert and Symonds Streets) and how they will be supported by new off-street terminal facilities. This CCBP project is supported by the recently released Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), which includes two key projects within the city centre to improve bus infrastructure

42.     Currently, all bus route groups terminate at various disparate on-street facilities. Under the CCBP, all bus route groups except two will cross the city centre from east to west on either Wellesley St or Customs St, to terminate at Beach Rd, Grafton Gully, Victoria Park and Wynyard Quarter

43.     The two exceptions will be Western bus routes on Albert St, and from the central Isthmus on Symonds St, which are proposed to use the Lower Albert St terminal (which opened in late April 2021 and will initially be used by Northern Express, Onewa Rd and Western services).

44.     The use of Lower Albert St will require buses to circulate on Quay St and Lower Hobson St in both directions and, in the case of the Albert St group (West Auckland), to also use Fanshawe St, Market Place, Pakenham St and Sturdee St to turn around and lay over between trips

45.     Lower Albert St is predicted to have insufficient capacity to cater for future bus volumes at some stage in the next decade (post-2028)

46.     The use of the Downtown Car Park presents the opportunity for all bus route groups to terminate at off-street locations. This is illustrated in Table 1 below:

 

Table 1: proposed bus route termination points in the city centre

47.     The Downtown redevelopment proposal opens the possibility that the Lower Albert St bus stops could ultimately be replaced by an off-street facility incorporating passenger platforms, waiting areas, a customer service centre, bus turnaround and layover spaces and driver toilets and break rooms. This would mean that no city centre bus routes would need to use streets for layover purposes

48.     A major benefit of using the Downtown Car Park site would be that all buses would be removed from Quay St between Hobson and Albert Streets. This would not only improve the urban realm around the recently completed downtown works on Quay Street, but it would also mean that major waterfront events would not impede bus operations at the very time when such events create high customer demand. The routing for western and central isthmus bus service groups is indicated below, both with and without an off-street facility incorporated within the Downtown Car Park development

 

Figure 2: On-street bus movements without bus facility incorporated in the Downtown Car Park development

Figure 3: On-street bus movements with bus facility incorporated in the Downtown Car Park development

49.     Given the benefits in removing buses from the surrounding streets, AT recommends that the bus facility is included in the competitive market process to redevelop the Downtown Car Park site

Flexible, multi-use transport hub

50.     This space would be flexibly designed to support a range of uses (and allow for their change over time). This includes public access to: some short stay parking, car share/ride share, micromobility, mobility parking, freight distribution and dispatch and also end of trip facilities. Design requirements would also seek to ensure that the space is commercially feasible for conversion to other non-transport uses in the future

51.     A final decision on a flexible transport hub would depend on the implications around loss of revenue and fit-out costs on the sale of the site. 

52.     The main advantages of a flexible transport hub are as follows:

·    It provides greater flexibility to adapt to changing transport needs with an off-street, AT-managed space that can be tailored to requirements over time

·    It supports cycling use through bike parking and end of trip facilities

·    It will make it easier to remove some on-street vehicle or other transport related parking or loading/servicing requirements in the downtown area if there is an off-street alternative. (The use of parking in the Victoria Street car park to compensate for the loss of short stay in High Street during the recent trial is an example of this)

·    It provides a reduced short stay parking capacity to smooth the future transition away from on-street parking as part A4E and to continue to support economic and cultural vibrancy in the area

·    May provide a modest ongoing revenue source.

53.     The main disadvantages are:

·    Loss of revenue associated with the sale of the asset compared to first and best use, along with associated construction costs

·    Continuing to attract cars into an area that should be increasingly pedestrianised through A4E and will slightly slow the speed of mode-shift into the city centre

·    Any provision of car parking may contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, although the impact will be smaller than current parking allocations and will be mitigated by support for more sustainable modes

54.     While car parking and other options would be lost during the construction period, we expect that demand for short stay parking would remain over time as on-street parks are progressively removed. AT’s experience with the Ranui car park redevelopment has shown a strong return of demand, with the car park now at full capacity

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

55.     The draft transport outcomes will support climate change objectives by encouraging mode shift away from private vehicles and likely see less people driving into the city centre, compared to the status quo. It is however difficult to estimate how much of this will displace to other locations. Increased use by electric vehicles could mean that ultimately the facility generates zero emissions

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

56.     AT strongly supports the bus facility and the flexible transport hub as a way to achieve the council’s transport and development objectives in the surrounding area

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

57.     Following the workshop with the local board on 9 March 2021, feedback and questions were collated

58.     The themes from the workshop discussion were recorded as:

·    Getting the right balance between transport and urban design outcomes

·    Getting the right balance with Access for Everyone

·    General support for the development proposal

·    Concerns around buses taking up room for residential/office space

·    Making the most of the sea views

59.     This discussion was summarised in the report to the Planning Committee on 1 April as: “The Waitematā Local Board is keen on a balance of transport needs and the needs of the urban realm, and alignment with the Access for Everyone concept. It is concerned about too much potential commercial space being given to buses”

60.     As there is concern that this isn’t accurate, we recommend that the local board provide its formal feedback for inclusion in the next report to the Planning Committee

61.     In addition, since the transport outcomes presented at the 9 March workshop with the local board were in early stages of development with limited detail available, this report provides the local board with more detail, which the board can use to inform their feedback

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

62.     Mana whenua were advised of the redevelopment proposal through the Eke Panuku Mana Whenua Forum. Further engagement with mana whenua will be undertaken to explore the potential for the incorporation and expression of mana whenua identity and values through the process. Other opportunities for mana whenua may evolve as part of the go to market to process

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

63.     The Downtown Car Park was approved for sale by the Finance and Performance Committee in December 2020. The value realised from the sale will be determined by developer responses to a competitive market process to deliver the development outcomes

64.     The proposal for the transport outcomes outlined in this report is reasonable from a financial perspective. The transport outcomes proposed are broadly consistent with the unsolicited proposal received in 2020

65.     The boards of Eke Panuku and AT have requested a business case is developed which will include the full implications of the development proposal which are currently unknown

These include:

·    Impact on AT’s budget from the loss of all or some car parking revenue (either in total or just during the development phase)

·    Operating cost of a bus facility (not currently included in the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) or Long-Term Plan budget) 

·    Impact on the council group borrowing capacity due to the reduction in car parking revenue

·    Increase in rates revenue following redevelopment.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

66.     The loss of large-scale short stay parking facilities in downtown, when combined with the progressive removal of on-street short stay parking, will raise the overall cost of travel into the city centre for short stay purposes. While some mode change will occur, there is also a risk that travel for business, entertainment or shopping purposes will displace to other locations, impacting on business around the Downtown Car Park and the overall vibrancy of the city centre. The proposed flexible transport hub option addresses this risk by including a smaller provision of off-street short stay parking to provide an alternative as on-street parking is progressively removed

67.     There are risks that the bus facility will require additional modifications outside of the building site that are currently not funded. This will need to be considered in future budgets once there is a better idea of potential costs, but is not provided for in the current RLTP

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

68.     Following receipt of the local board’s formalised feedback, it can be included in the next report presented to the Planning Committee.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Hanno Willers - Senior Community Affairs Advisor, Eke Panuku

Authorisers

Marian Webb - General Manager: Assets & Delivery, Eke Panuku

Trina Thompson - Local Area Manager