The Accessible Streets for Ōtūmoetai Peninsula project will make it safer and easier for people in Ōtūmoetai, Matua, Brookfield, Bellevue, and Judea to cycle, catch a bus, or walk to key locations.
Tauranga City Council is today opening public consultation on the Accessible Streets for Ōtūmoetai Peninsula project, happening across Ōtūmoetai, Matua, Brookfield, Bellevue and Judea.
The project aims to support a shift from private vehicles to more energy efficient, low cost and active modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport by delivering a connected network of cycleways, improving bus journey times and infrastructure, and making it safer for pedestrians and other road users.
Due to its central location, proximity to the water, green spaces, and commercial/retail centres Ōtūmoetai Peninsula is expected to experience strong population growth over the coming years. For this reason, the peninsula is a priority area to deliver safer and more environmentally friendly options for travel.
Tauranga City Council Director of Transport, Brendan Bisley, says Council needs to make it safer and easier for people in Ōtūmoetai, Matua, Brookfield, Bellevue, and Judea to cycle, catch a bus, or walk to key places within the Ōtūmoetai Peninsula, as well as travel into the City Centre.
“The community has told us they would choose to cycle to shops, parks, or work if they felt safer on the roads. We also know that a lot of young people, particularly students and school children, rely on biking. Making cycling safer for them as well as people of all ages and abilities is critical.”
The Whakahou Taketake Vital Update survey in 2020 found people living in Brookfield, Judea, Bellevue, Ōtūmoetai and Matua valued being close to parks, cycleways/walkways and reserves and would like better road infrastructure, less congestion, and improved cycleways.
In addition, the Take me to the future: Ōtūmoetai 2050 project, which will create a plan for the future of this area, showed people in the area wanted more connected neighbourhoods as well as safer walking and cycling routes.
“We’re asking for community feedback on the options available along the identified primary cycle and bus routes. It’s vital we understand the community’s needs, how local commercial/retail centres would be affected, environmental and cultural areas of importance, and how the primary routes should best connect to schools and the City Centre,” Brendan says.
The consultation, which runs until Sunday, 25 September 2022, will target schools, residents and businesses in the area for their thoughts on 12km of cycleways and improvements along bus routes that connect Ōtūmoetai Peninsula to the City Centre via Cameron Road at Chapel Street and Waihi Road.
Feedback will be used to develop a preferred option as part of the business case needed to secure government funding. Following consultation, Council would need to approve a preferred option for the area and proceed with concept design before community consultation on the preferred design again early next year.
Should the business case be approved, construction could begin in 2024, taking two to three years.
To find out more, give feedback via the survey and sign up for project updates visit: www.tauranga.govt.nz/accessiblestreets-otumoetai
Accessible Streets is one of a series of actions under Government’s Road to Zero Strategy – where no one is seriously injured or killed on New Zealand roads.
It is a collection of Land Transport Rule changes designed to improve safety for footpath users, encourage active modes of transport, and support the creation of more liveable and vibrant towns and cities. In particular, Accessible Streets aims to support a shift from private vehicles to more energy efficient, low-cost and healthier modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.