Local communities take back the streets

April 26, 2023

Local communities take back the streets

‘Open Streets’ festivals – where the road closure begins, Avondale. Photo: Christy Quiliam.

A series of festivals is helping the Avondale community reclaim space used for cars to celebrate local business and people.

‘Vibrant Streets’, or ‘Open Streets’ project as the community has named it, began last week with the Whau Arts Festival involving 50 local artists, sitar players, the Waitakere Brass band, Cuban Groove flash mob and Sean Kerr's Men at Work.

Arts Whau has been trying unsuccessfully to "try out a car free event", said spokesperson Jody Yawa McMillan.

The annual event, running for eight years, is usually held at the empty 3 Guys supermarket site, which is now earmarked for the Eke Panuku Apartment build.

The event closed about two blocks of the village on Great North Rd, between Rosebank Rd and Crayford St.

Green Party member Jessica Rose said that the suburb is changing, meaning a loss of community space.

“There’s nowhere for people to go, that’s why it’s (Open Streets) a good idea.

Avondale has the highest ethnically diverse community, we want to give it a go.”

Auckland Transport's involvement has been the concept, application process and holding the purse strings.

Working with the community and Avondale Business Association, was important, said Tiffany Robinson, AT senior active modes specialist.

“We’re involved in monitoring and evaluation, choosing a project that has viability, a local tie-in with the community and reducing climate impact".

Robinson says he point is for “people to use active modes,” to get down the block, with the family, riding bikes, kids on scooters even and enjoying the car-less roads.

The Eke Panuku Development will house a 1000-apartment building on the 3 Guys site, just one of three Avondale apartment blocks  that are new or planned.

News media cuts will damage Asian representation in newsrooms

News media cuts will damage Asian representation in newsrooms

Regina Tao May 16, 2024

Could regional rail hold answer to affordable travel around New Zealand?

Could regional rail hold answer to affordable travel around New Zealand?

Ryan Bos May 15, 2024

Calls for bylaw to limit ‘harmful’ positioning of vape stores

Calls for bylaw to limit ‘harmful’ positioning of vape stores

Amani Sadique May 15, 2024