Council to progress with Mount streets trial
Tauranga City Council says community feedback on the innovative streets project planned for the north Mount Maunganui area shows there is support for trialling temporary changes on some of the busiest streets.
The aim of the ‘Innovating Streets at The Mount’ project is to make highly-used streets safer and more enjoyable for all users, says a statement released from the city council.
In August and September, council undertook a survey asking for thoughts and ideas about temporary changes which could be tested on four popular routes: Banks/Salisbury Avenue, Pilot Bay, Main Beach (from the corner of Adams Avenue to Banks Avenue) and Tay Street Link (between Banks Avenue and Tay Street).
A total of 1236 responses were received, providing insights from residents, business owners and visitors.
The survey findings indicated that the majority of the respondents want to trial changes; with support varying between 58 and 70 per cent, depending on the route.
Council says other key survey outcomes were that respondents think all the proposed routes are safer for pedestrians than for people on bikes, scooters, skateboards or other mobility-aid devices.
Community representatives taking part in the Community Design Group workshop.
“Between 46 per cent and 66 per cent of respondents think the routes are not safe for children on bikes, scooters, skateboards or other mobility-aid devices. The statistics for adults are similar (within five per cent).
“Feedback statistics for respondents who identified themselves as ‘Mount residents’ were similar to those for all respondents (typically within five per cent).”
Council says the survey feedback has been key in guiding the next step in the project, which has seen the recently formed Community Design Group, consisting of community representatives, work closely with council staff and consultant designers to develop improvement options for the potential routes.
“That work is expected to be completed before the end of this month. In November, council will seek the community’s views on the designs they want to see trialled, through a further round of public consultation.
“In February 2021, the mayor and councillors will consider the final design options and approve those they think should be piloted.
“The community will then be able to experience the pilots on the ground and provide further feedback about how they are working, from their perspectives.”
Round two of community feedback: share design options and find out what the community thinks.
Finalise a design with the Community Design Group for each route that the community wants to see trialled.
Seek approval for trials from mayor and councillors.
Set-up and implement any trials approved by the mayor and councillors. Public get to experience on-the-ground changes through the pilot phase.
After April 2021
Round three of community feedback: once the trials are in place, evaluate how the community feels about the changes involved.
Selection process for Community Design Group
Out of 180 applications, 28 people were randomly selected to be part of the Community Design Group.
All applicants were sorted into different categories (e.g. youth, resident, parent, business owner), to ensure that the various community sectors and views are represented, with a police representative undertaking multiple random draws to determine the group members.
The Mount trial is being supported through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets pilot fund. $990,000 (ex GST) has been set aside for the project, of which Waka Kotahi is funding 90 per cent and Tauranga City Council 10 per cent.
To find out more about the project, view the full feedback report and sign up to receive updates, see www.tauranga.govt.nz/innovatingstreets.