Tauranga City Council is encouraging the public to share their ideas for a trial to test temporary changes to street layouts in The Mount. The main aim of the project is to create ‘Streets for people’ by making busy Mount streets safer and more enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities, whether they travel on foot, in a car, on a bike, skateboard, roller skates or (mobility) scooter. Community feedback for the project ‘Innovating Streets at The Mount’ closes on Monday 7 September at 11 pm.
Why make Mount streets safer and more enjoyable?
- There are large numbers of people in cars, on bikes, on foot, on mobility scooters and other modes of transport sharing a limited road space. We want people of all ages and abilities to feel safe and confident when travelling in this area.
- We need to increase the opportunities for safe active travel, which is good for our health and the environment.
- The COVID-19 lockdown showed us that there was a huge suppressed demand for activities such as biking and scootering that was realised when traffic volumes decreased, and people felt safer on our streets.
- The popularity and the population pressures at The Mount are only likely to increase. We need to explore new ways of doing things to accommodate more people.
- Traffic accidents are occurring with cyclists and pedestrians along key routes. The number is not substantial, probably because of the slow vehicle speeds. However, with an expected increase in the numbers of people on foot and other active travel modes, the accident risk is likely to increase, at which point, significant action may be required. We want to consider ways of avoiding that situation.
- The Tay Street intersection area in particular has a history of safety challenges, which will need to be addressed in the near-term, and the trials give us the opportunity to evaluate potential solutions at minimal cost.
To understand how council and the community can make The Mount safer, more accessible and more attractive, we need to know:
- How easy and safe is it for you to move around The Mount?
- Which routes should be included in the trial?
- What do you think we should change and what should we keep?
The feedback form is available online at www.tauranga.govt.nz/innovatingstreets. Printed forms are available at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, Mount Maunganui Library, Mount Hot Pools and Baywave. Or people can call council at (07) 577 7000.
The results of this feedback round will be used to inform a design group of around 20 community members. This group will consist of a balanced mix of people – some who are for and some who are reluctant to make any changes. The group will discuss the implications of any proposed solutions and come up with their own ideas as well. This will play a vital role in determining the plan for the trial.
Two more rounds of feedback are planned for this project: one in November 2020, where council will ask the public what they think of specific design options, and one after April 2021 once the trial is set up, to evaluate how people feel about any changes.