New Zealand’s Open Streets festival attracts record number of visitors

Published on : Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Zealand in shoulder seasonAn estimated 30,000 people who came to New Zealand’s biggest ever Open Streets festival on Karangahape Road.

 
Vehicles were banned and the famous road was open for people and bikes only for seven hours on Sunday (May 2), from Queen Street to Ponsonby Road, for a street festival of music, art, food, street performers and activities for kids.
Hugh Smith was one of the visitors. He 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 there on 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.

 
Open Streets 2016 has been an excellent opportunity for K Road and Aucklanders to celebrate the cultural, social, creative and business activity that takes place in this diverse community.

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