A project to better connect Whangārei’s Rose Street Bus Hub with the city centre has been extended to include safety improvements on the Cameron/James Street Laneway, with work to begin on Sunday.
Council’s Matatau – Landscape Architect, Tracey Moore said the initial project was to provide a safer pedestrian connection on Vine Street, courtesy of a $111,000 grant from Waka Kotahi, New Zealand Transport Agency’s ‘Innovating Streets for People’ fund.
“We realised the funding would allow us to go further and address some safety conflict between pedestrians and vehicle movements in the Cameron/James Street Laneway,” Ms Moore said.
“The design will now include the original plan for a pavement mural on Vine Street between the carpark entry and exit, a raised courtesy crossing across Vine Street to Quality Street, and planters made of 900mm pipes re-purposed from another infrastructure project.
“At the Cameron Street end of Quality Street we will use planters to close off an area where people often park illegally, and add picnic tables painted to echo the colours in the pavement mural – creating a small, vibrant public space.”
Concrete blocks on James Street will also be replaced with steel planters matching those used on Cameron and Vine Streets.
“This work should make it much clearer to drivers that this is a shared space, forcing them to slow down and make it safer for pedestrians to move through the space,” Ms Moore said.
She said the ‘tactical urbanism’ approach enabled communities to try out low-cost improvements to spaces before making a full-priced commitment.
“It’s also a very local project. We have involved the business community all along the way in this project and have met with our youth and disability reference groups.”
“We will monitor and evaluate the results over a cycle of seasons to see how the community responds to the changes.”