The first stage of the Taupō Town Centre Transformation on Tongariro Street is complete, Taupo District Council has announced.
Chance Anderson of Access Taupō met recently with council landscape architect, Fraser Scott, to look over the new mobility access parks on Tongariro Street and discuss the next stages of the project, which will transform the southern end of Tongariro Street and Roberts Reserve into a pedestrian-friendly precinct.
In addition to the extra mobility access parks in Tongariro Street, two more will be created in the library car parking area to create a hub of four long term parks.
“A hub of parks makes things a lot easier, and that is a good location,” said Mr Anderson.
“But the biggest change from our perspective is not so much the parking, but the speed reduction that the new street layout brings. The new crossing points and drivers slowing down along Tongariro Street mean that the street is no longer a no-go zone.”
Mr Scott said the speed reductions were a consequence of the new street layout that diverted traffic travelling through the town centre via Tītīraupenga Street, as well as the new angled car parks.
“Obviously it will take us all a little time to get used to this and to remember to divert via Tītīraupenga,” he said, “but it’s great to see that people are already embracing the new layout. The western side of the road is still two lanes, but we’ll be converting that to a single lane with angle parking before we begin work on transforming the Roberts Reserve area.”
Mr Anderson says he’s looking forward to the next stage of the project.
“The changes to the southern end of Tongariro Street and the new layout around Roberts Reserve are going to be great for the town, and the further speed reductions that those bring will be even better – with the current speed limit of 50km/h along the lake front, it means it’s risky at the best of times for anyone with a disability or crossing with kids.
“The new layout will reconnect the town to the lake, taking care of crossing issues for everyone. And it means everyone in the community can enjoy the new space.”