Onehunga Low Traffic Area: 'Vandal' removes temporary roadblocks part of decried safety programme

About 10 roadblocks in a residential Onehunga street moved to the curb.
The roadblocks were moved to the curb by a 'vandalist'. Photo credit: Facebook / Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board

A much-decried traffic safety programme in Auckland has been the target of vandalism from a suspected fed-up local.

Plywood boxes have blocked several thoroughfare streets in Onehunga as part of the Arthur Grey Low Traffic Area (LTA) programme since March. It's designed to redirect cars from narrow residential streets like Grey, Arthur, Cardwell, and Cameron back onto main roads like Mt Smart to create quieter and safer streets for locals.

Residents were angry they hadn't been consulted on the project before it was installed, and now some say their travel times have lengthened.

"I do think at the end of the day it is a really good idea in theory. But the way it was put into place has caused a lot of anxiety and division," local Heather Bates told RNZ in March.

But it appears one fed-up resident has now taken matters into their own hands by removing temporary 'no entry' installations on the corner of Arthur and Galway streets.

Onehunga Low Traffic Area: 'Vandal' removes temporary roadblocks part of decried safety programme
Photo credit: Facebook / Onehunga Community / Rob Spedding

Gleeful locals took to social media to say how excited they were that Arthur St was open again, believing the removal was the work of the local board or Auckland Transport, with many saying "thank God", "finally", and "I can't believe my eyes".

But one person pointed out the cleared street could be the result of a frustrated resident.

"I don't mean to rain on your parade folks, but I can't help but wonder if this moving of the boxes to the berm is just the work of a local fed up with the roadblocks."

The Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board confirmed it wasn't them or Auckland Transport who removed the temporary barriers.

"If you live in or around the Arthur Grey Street area of Onehunga, the temporary installations which are part of the Low Traffic Area pilot project have been vandalised," the board says.

"While we are working to ensure the road layout remains safe, please be vigilant of road layout changes."

Onehunga Kotahi, a community organisation made up of residents who have concerns with the LTA development and implementation, is urging people to watch out for pedestrians, scooters, and cyclists since some locals may not be aware cars are back on the road.