Input called for on Pilot Bay traffic trial
Tauranga City Council is calling on community members to register their interest in a new Mount Maunganui trial, named ‘Innovating Streets at the Mount’.
The project aims to enhance the way people move around on the streets in the north Mount Maunganui area and will be developed in close collaboration with local residents and businesses.
While various ideas have already been suggested, one of which is a dedicated cycle/cruiseway along Pilot Bay accompanied by a one way traffic system, council says nothing is set in stone yet.
Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell says Mount Maunganui is one the most popular spots in New Zealand, with high numbers of people in cars, on bikes, on foot and other modes of transport, but there is also limited space.
“Innovating Streets at the Mount is all about taking up a great opportunity to test some quick, creative, low-cost and temporary street solutions, with direct involvement from the community in their design.”
A Pilot Bay resident has several concerns regarding the proposed trial.
“We do not have enough cyclists to justify disrupting all of the traffic caused by this idea. I really don't think that it will encourage more people to get on bikes.
“There are more cyclists over the summer time, so for the rest of the year the cars have to be inconvenienced by the one-way idea.”
Parking in the Mount area has also been an issue, particularly in the summer months.
“One of the things people coming to the Mount complain about is parking. Having one way traffic means people can't get back to a park if they see one become available.
“If people need to go back along The Mall then they have to go back down Maunganui Road and back through the main shops, making the roundabouts and streets busier in the already congested area.
“It mentions a calmer environment on the pamphlet, when people are messed around, it makes them more frustrated.”
Powell says the aim of the proposed trial is to make the treasured, but busy area as people-friendly and safe as possible, with better facilities for moving about and for recreation.
“The lockdown due to COVID-19 gave many of us a new experience of using public spaces at the Mount.
“We would like to learn from this and see if there are any ways to enhance this area and make it more available to a wider variety of users.”
Community engagement is planned to start in late-August and will allow people to contribute to this project throughout its lifespan.
In order to enable the co-design aspect, a community design group will be formed to help guide the direction of the project, while the wider community will also be able to provide feedback to the plans developed.
Council will use the learnings and insights from an earlier proposal in 2017/2018, which considered a similar area.
That background information will be combined with new community input to develop a plan that will be implemented as a temporary trial before mid-2021.
The project is supported through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets pilot fund.
Costs for the total works are estimated at $1m + (ex GST), of which Waka Kotahi is funding 90 per cent and Tauranga City Council 10 per cent.
For more information about the project, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/innovatingstreets. Anyone interested in being involved in the project is asked to register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org