Five months ago I wrote a post calling for the council to implement a regular Ciclovia event – or Sunday Streets as it’s known in the US. At the time local board member Pippa Coom said the the local board had already been working with the council on the idea and that there was a good chance one would happen. Well the great news is one is happening this Saturday.
Aucklanders will get a taste of Quay Street’s potential as a world-class waterfront boulevard this Saturday as it is closed off to traffic for the cycle-themed street carnival, ‘Ciclovia on Quay’.
Delivered by Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Waterfront Auckland, the city’s harbour edge from Britomart Place through to Silo Park in Wynyard Quarter will be car-free for the enjoyment of people on foot, bikes, scooters and skateboards from 10am to 4pm.
An array of family-friendly cycle-themed activities will span the length of the event and will include cycling obstacle courses for all ages (bikes provided), bike decorating and bike maintenance tutorials, interactive games, face painters and a children’s carousel. The Velociteers, Auckland’s only synchronised bike dancing group are set to wow the crowd, as will a game of bike polo from the Auckland Hardcourt Bike Polo Club.
The ever popular Silo Park Markets and the Britomart Markets will be in full swing and there will also be a chance to participate in hands on, live and static displays at the Volunteer and Emergency Services expo on Queens Wharf.
The event is one of several Auckland Council place-making initiatives planned for Quay Street and aims to give Aucklanders a taste for what the Quay Street area may be like in future years. It is part of council’s long term vision to transform Auckland into the world’s most liveable city.
Mayor Len Brown says, “The new shared spaces at North Wharf and Wynyard Quarter have been an extraordinary success and it’s fantastic to see that vibrancy extending to Quay Street through events like Ciclovia on Quay. We have a unique opportunity in Auckland to merge the beating heart of the city centre with the water and Quay Street is an important part of that vision.”
Auckland Council Design Champion, Ludo Campbell-Reid adds, “We listened to the feedback from Aucklanders during consultation on the City Centre Masterplan 2012 and the Waterfront Plan 2012, which was to create a more vibrant people-focussed city and in the case of Quay Street, to reconnect the city with the harbour.”
“Currently Quay Street serves the city as a major traffic arterial but its potential for greenery and recreation and as a high-quality pedestrian amenity remains untapped. We think events such as Ciclovia on Quay are the perfect way to test Aucklanders’ appetite for the potential Quay Street has as a people-friendly world-class waterfront boulevard.”
Ciclovia (si-kli-vi-a) is a Spanish term that means ‘bike path’. The Ciclovia event has its origins in Bogotá, Columbia where every Sunday and public holiday certain main streets are blocked off to cars for runners, skaters and cyclists. Ciclovia events have become popular worldwide with many major cities following the trend.
Ciclovia on Quay is a free event.
It’s great that this event is happening and something I hope happen on a regular basis and that grows over time to cover more of the central city along with events in other parts of the region. That will only happen if lots of people turn up for the events which is something else I hope happens although the organisers haven’t done done themselves any favours by arranging it on a day when no trains are running to Britomart due to electrification works.
Len Brown will also be at the event from 12-1:30 and will be taking a ride along the waterfront with anyone who wants to join him. I wonder if he will be kitted out in all of the hi-vis gear he wore on the Campbell Live piece the other day?