North Shore City Council is seeking public feedback on its $4 million makeover plans for Highbury Shopping Centre in Birkenhead.
Council principal planner urban design John Stenberg says the project aims to make the centre more vibrant, pleasant and more user-friendly for pedestrians and shoppers.
It is at the initial concept design stage and the council wants to consult the public over a number of options associated with each of the key areas for improvement – Rawene and Mokoia roads, Birkenhead Ave and Hinemoa St.
These were identified following a meeting with the Birkenhead Northcote Community Board, the Birkenhead Town Centre Association and the Birkenhead Residents Association.
Mr Stenberg says for Rawene Rd, the plan is to make it easier and more enjoyable for pedestrians to walk between the shopping area, Birkenhead Library and the Nell Fisher Reserve.
One option is to focus on narrowing the entrance to the road to create more public space and provide a seating area looking out towards the Waitemata Harbour.
A more comprehensive option involves creating a shared space for vehicles and pedestrians.
On Mokoia Rd, the council is looking at removing some car parks in front of the New Zealand Post and Telecom buildings to free up more space, install seats for pedestrians and carry out some landscaping to frame the space.
A number of options have been drawn up to improve the Birkenhead Ave, Hinemoa St and Mokoia Rd roundabout and make it safer for both motorists and pedestrians. One is to use the space outside 1-23 Mokoia Rd for a viewing area and installing a variety of facilities – median strips, pedestrian refuge islands and zebra crossings – to help people cross the road.
Another aims to emphasise the look and feel of the roundabout by having planter boxes and bollards to help define footpath and road areas.
The most extensive option involves removing the roundabout and installing three signalised pedestrian crossings.
There is also a proposal to convert the council-owned site on 35-41 Birkenhead Ave into a public viewing space with cafes or food stalls overlooking Ley Roys Bush reserve.
The project team will be at the Birkenhead Library on August 17-19, from 1pm-5.30pm to respond to any questions from the public.
Submissions, which close on August 27, should be mailed to North Shore City Council Transport Services, Private Bag 93500, Takapuna, 0740 or made online at www.northshorecity.govt.nz/highburymainstreets.
Written by: JODEAL CADACIO.
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times