There's a bit of a battle going on in Onehunga, where several suburban side streets have been blocked to through traffic with heavy plywood boxes and artificial grass and patterns stencilled onto the asphalt.
Drivers used to rat-running on Arthur St, Grey St and some of the other streets nearby are now encouraged to use the main roads.
It's a trial for a "Low Traffic Neighbourhood" (LTN), initiated and largely paid for by Waka Kotahi, the Government's transport agency, with the support of Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.
Locals are divided. You've taken away our shortcut, say some commuting drivers.
Although that's not quite what it sounds. There's a pre-LTN video doing the rounds that shows 51 cars on Grey St, all in a line hoping to avoid the busyness of Mt Smart Rd. Not so much rat-running as rat blocked.
The rubbish trucks have lost their shortcuts too. "What will the rubbish trucks do?" is a Very Big Thing in transport planning.
Peter McGlashan from the local board got Auckland Transport out to show them what the rubbish trucks actually were doing before the LTN.
Which was: cutting across the verge and driving the wrong way into a one-way exit, over a busy footpath leading to a school. The LTN has stopped that happening.
Most nights, says McGlashan, a few of the boxes get dragged aside. They're filled with rocks and weigh a couple of tonnes, but they do seem to fill some people with rage.
And yet the battle shouldn't be about whether drivers have all the rights to the roads.
Onehunga has good public transport, with a rail line and bus routes with frequent-service timetables. Many commuters who've had their old routines disrupted have real options.
And many locals love the intervention. There are two primary schools nearby and several pre-school centres, and the streets are safer for their kids. There's great potential for games, barbecues and other events. The birds are coming back, as they did during lockdown.
If the trial succeeds, trees and planters will be introduced; the cul de sacs could even be grassed.
McGlashan says he's hearing a lot from locals disappointed their own streets weren't included.
Meanwhile, the number of cars in Onehunga and everywhere else in Auckland is surging. Does that mean everyone needs to get out of their way?
And what? Wait till all the side streets are filled with cars searching for a quick rat-run? Just forget about the carbon emissions?
Or does it point to the urgency of rethinking our attitude to cars – and to the streets they drive on? They're public spaces, after all.
The Onehunga Primary School roll is surging too. Big new housing projects are planned for nearby. Everything's growing. We have to manage the growth and reduce emissions while we do it.
Low-traffic neighbourhoods offer an answer. They're getting popular too. Know how many there are in London alone? Three hundred.
What's your carbon footprint? Try this five-minute FutureFit survey, supported by Auckland Council, to find out.
This story is part of the Herald's contribution to Covering Climate Now, an international campaign by more than 400 media organisations, which this week highlights our responses to climate change ahead of a US-led world leaders summit on April 22. To read more of our coverage go to nzherald.co.nz/nz/environment