INDEPENDENT NEWS

Record numbers for Open Streets

Published: Tue 3 May 2016 11:50 AM
Record numbers for Open Streets
Hugh Smith was one of an estimated 30,000 people who came to New Zealand's biggest ever Open Streets festival on Karangahape Rd. Vehicles were banned and the famous road was open for people and bikes only for seven hours on Sunday, from Queen St to Ponsonby Rd, for a street festival of music, art, food, street performers and activities for kids.
Hugh, who cycled from his home in nearby Newtown with friends, was enjoying the traffic free environment. “The fact that you can just cruise in and see K Rd with no vehicles is awesome.”
When the crowds weren’t being entertained by live music, buskers, street artists, or cabaret act Mika Haka they were taking part in the various activities spread along the road. The drag queens from Caluzzi Bar were running a five-a-side soccer tournament for kids, Bike Auckland held a bike treasure hunt and the Karanaghape Rd Streetscape Enhancement project team had hundreds of people providing their thoughts on how the street could be improved.
The feedback from the community has been fantastic says Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking manager Kathryn King. “There was such a festive atmosphere thereon Sunday. With so much to do and see, the crowd started large and seemed to grow throughout the day.
“It was great to see families and groups of friends taking their time to wander along this stretch of road which is loved by so many for its people, culture and history.
“It was fantastic working with K Rd Business Association on this event. By using local artists, musicians and eateries, they really captured the essence of K Rd. People loved it,” she says.
Open Streets 2016 has been excellent for local businesses says KBA's president, Ross Liew. “We have a clearer picture of exactly how much it has increased sales in the next week, but anecdotally the event has been a real boost for the local economy.”
ENDS

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