Protesters take over traffic island to stop 'eco-terrorism'

A group of women have occupied a traffic island in Grey Lynn to stop what they call "eco-terrorism" destroying their neighbourhood.

Lisa Prager, owner of the Garnet Station Café and political activist, has taken up residence in the roundabout in protest to Auckland Transport's changes to Surrey Cres and Garnet Rd.

Ms Prager's main issue is with the introduction of a cycleway, which she says is dangerous and has taken away "up to 50 percent" of parking in the area.

She says the cycleway forces residents to drive across it to get in and out of driveways.

"They're creating an issue which is basically driving residents out of their own properties whilst their taking away up to 50 percent of all the parking in Surrey Cres and Garnet Rd."

Ms Prager says the protest has successfully delayed the demolition of the island by two days and they're receiving support from passers-by.

She also takes issue with the removal of trees in the area, saying 25-year-old trees are being removed as part of a "greenwash" to install the cycle ways.

"How is this safe?  How is this sustainable? How is this green?" she said.

"We believe that it's a green wash that the council, Auckland Transport and the contractors are laughing all the way to the bank because the Greens have given them the perfect excuse to do the entire environment in."

Auckland Transport denied Ms Prager's claims regarding the trees and on-street parking.

Spokesperson Mark Hannan says as part of the project 18 new trees will be planted, and the amount of parking removed will not reach 50 percent.