Straight from city council A personal view, by Councillor Steve Morris
As you would have noticed, the city’s roads are under pressure during peak times.
With an additional 50,000 homes to be built in Tauranga over the next 30 years it’s not just the width of the road but the way we travel to work that needs to change. Most new homes will be built in today’s outlying suburbs with the road network stretching out to meet them, leading to more traffic at those familiar pinch points.
As of 2017, 90 per cent of trips to work in Tauranga are by car – the highest of any city in the country. Hamilton and Dunedin are at 87 per cent and 82 per cent respectively and it will be no surprise that Wellington is at 54 per cent with a reasonable train network and inner-city living.
Despite being an attractive option, rail isn’t viable in Tauranga yet due to our small population and a timetabled service conflicting with freight trains trying to get to and from the port. Any hold ups would remove the port’s competitive advantage so we’d have to double-track.
However, dedicated bus lanes, ride-sharing lanes, express buses and off-road cycleways are achievable in the short-medium term. Instead of an empty bus stuck in traffic I can think of no better advertisement for public transport than having a full bus ripping past a line of traffic along 15th Ave/Turret Rd in a new public transport lane.
We’re currently consulting on new cycleways. You can have your say at www.tauranga.govt.nz/cycling You may never ride a bus or get on a bike but every person that does makes our drive to work easier!