Napier City Council is transforming Ahuriri’s West Quay into a pedestrian and cycle-friendly precinct, working in partnership with Waka Kotahi, New Zealand Transport Agency and the community.
The agency’s Innovating Streets For People pilot fund is available to help councils create more people-friendly spaces in towns and cities.
The changes taking place at West Quay are fast, tactical, non-permanent changes, which will remain in place for three months. This will enable Council to test a prototype street design before permanent changes may be made.
“The benefit of being able to use the Waka Kotahi funding is that it has given us the chance to try out ideas from the community and measure their success before commiting to a permanant change,” said NCC’s Planning Projects Facilitator, Steph Kennard.
“By using materials such as astroturf, it means we can quickly and affordably make temporary changes and then remove them after the trial period.”
Last year, users of the precinct were asked how they would like to see West Quay transformed to make it more attractive and safer for residents and customers of the hospitality establishments in the area.
Additionally, Council undertook an extensive data gathering exercise to establish how the precinct is currently being used by traffic, cyclists and pedestrians and to identify how it could be made safer for all three.
The installation will include a footpath on the hospitality side of the street, with planting separating the path from the outdoor dining areas. There will also be a dedicated south-bound cycle path, bike-stands and a wheel-chair accessible parking space. The street will become a one-way system for north-bound traffic only. The changes will provide easier access for vehicles servicing the working wharf.
“Once we remove the installations after the three month trial, we’ll analyse what worked well and what didn’t, to allow us to confidently plan permanent changes to the precinct,” said Ms Kennard.
More information about Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People Fund visit, www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/innovating-streets/about/