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Accessible Streets Programme

Accessible Streets programme

Accessible Streets is a 20-year programme designed to provide more active travel options by delivering a connected network of cycleways throughout Tauranga for people of all ages and abilities.

It will also provide safer intersections, safer crossings, and speed tables in key areas to make it safer to walk and easier to catch a bus.

What you’ve already told us

Over the past five years you’ve told us you would like more ways to get around Tauranga and better connections within your local community and neighbourhoods. Many of you have told us you would take more trips by bike or foot if it was safer to do so.

There are many people that want to have a safe option to cycle. In 2021, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency research showed that 78% of people in Tauranga support cycling. We also know from feedback on the Tauranga Cycle Plan in 2019 that more than 91% of people said Tauranga needs cycle paths that are physically separated from traffic (e.g. raised barrier island), 72% of people said they may start cycling or cycle more often if it were safer and easier, and 76% of adults did not feel Tauranga is safe or easy for kids to ride bikes.

Family bike riding

Shared path, bike riding

Photos: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency CycleLife

Why do we need Accessible Streets?

We need to make it possible for more people to safely and confidently walk, cycle or bus to reduce the number of vehicle trips taken on our roads. Not only are these travel options more economical and healthier for our people and environment, but it will also help those who need or prefer to travel by vehicle by reducing the number of people regularly using cars. 

How will we get Accessible Streets?

The first step is to build infrastructure that will provide people with safe, comfortable, and direct cycling routes to key destinations such as the city centre. These primary cycle routes need to make cycling a safer, more attractive travel choice.

Our initial focus will be on these three key areas of the city:

  • Arataki Peninsula (Area A) 
  • Ōtūmoetai Peninsula (Area B) 
  • Te Papa Peninsula (Area C) 

Accessible streets - Otumoetai map

Accessible streets - map (64kb pdf)

Designing for all ages and abilities

‘All Ages and Abilities’ or ‘AAA’ is an internationally recognised design that ensures a safe, protected cycleway for all users. It focuses on a wider range of people who wish to cycle. Many existing cycle facilities traditionally favour confident cyclists, excluding others who might otherwise cycle. Accessible Streets aims to develop cycleways on key routes designed for all ages and abilities to use. 

AAA cycle routes have good lighting, improved safety at intersections and places to cross so people can feel safe and confident when cycling. More importantly, it means physically separating people cycling from moving vehicles.

AAA - designing for all ages and abilities
Photos: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency CycleLife and Bike Auckland

Designing for all ages and abilities (AAA) (1.27mb pdf)

Making it safer for people walking or wanting to catch a bus is another key element of designing for all ages and abilities. In some key locations, Accessible Streets will help to improve some neighbourhood streets and make it safer for everyone by adding traffic calming measures to reduce speeding. 

What’s next? 

We have an opportunity to seek funding from the Government to develop the Accessible Streets programme. In the second half of 2022 we will be working alongside our partners to develop a 'business case' to evaluate the benefits, costs and risks of various cycleway options before we come up with a final solution.

Your feedback and ideas are also important to help us develop the business case. The Ōtūmoetai Peninsula is the first area the Accessible Streets programme will focus on. We are currently consulting with communities, businesses and schools on the Ōtūmoetai Peninsula.

Accessible Streets for Ōtūmoetai Peninsula

Our partners

Tauranga City Council is partnering with mana whenua and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to deliver Accessible Streets.

Frequently asked questions

A connected cycleway network provides a safe and comfortable cycling experience, enabling people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go. Consider the road network as an example. When people get in a car to go somewhere, they rarely give much thought to whether the road can get them to their destination or if they feel secure taking children with them. In other words, the road network for motor vehicles connects to the places people need to go in a generally consistent, reliable, and comfortable way. We want to do the same for people cycling, walking or catching the bus.

Connected cycleway networks increase the number of people who cycle and improve safety.  New Plymouth is a good example of how providing a connected cycleway network changes how people move around. New Plymouth saw a 35% increase in cycling between 2006 and 2013 after building a cycleway network. It was also reported people commuting by bike on shared pathways increased more than 50%. A 2012 study of students across 24 schools found a 62.5% increase in active travel to and from school since 2011. 

The city of Seville, Spain focused on connecting a cycleway network across the entire city, fully separating cycleways from traffic to make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to cycle. Between 2006 and 2013, the network grew from just 12km of protected cycleways to 152km spanning the entire city. With these improvements (and other cycle-friendly policies and programmes), the city observed a 435% increase in the number of cycle trips and a 61% drop in ‘cycle and car’ crash rates (Marqués & Hernández-Herrador, 2017).

  • healthier and more productive people
  • more liveable towns and cities
  • more economical travel choices
  • improved safety and access for travelling within towns and cities 
  • stronger local economies
  • less impact on the environment
  • reduced costs for councils

There are other benefits to be considered. For older people, being able to cycle safely can offer more freedom to attend social and recreational events, and access services when other transport options are not available to them. It also provides a more affordable travel option for many as the cost of car ownership, petrol and parking are often a barrier to access work or education. For our youth, it offers more freedom to travel to school and spend time with their friends.

We recognise that how you move around is a choice and not everyone will choose to cycle or walk. Around 70% of you said you would be interested in cycling if road safety was improved. Our focus is on those people who said they are interested in cycling but are concerned for their safety. Having more people cycle more frequently for different trips, or who start cycling even two or three times a week can make a big difference in reducing vehicle trips. 

More information can be found on Waka Kotahi website.

We are planning a transport system that supports future growth and connects existing and new urban centres in a way that makes it easy to move around to learn, work and play. A Transport System Plan (TSP) was developed, focused on generating a noticeable shift from cars onto public transport, improving safety, providing reliable travel times for freight, and creating better walking and cycle connections. 

In the future, people who don’t need to drive should be able to reach their destination using public transport within 30-45 minutes, and a network of safe cycling, walking and electric mobility routes will allow people to reach their local shops, schools, parks and neighbouring communities within 15-30 minutes. Having a direct and continuous connected route will help achieve those journey times. 

As part of the Transport System Plan development, a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) was used to assess routes. The MCA establishes preferences between options against a set of criteria.  The MCA uses the five main cycle design objectives (safety, coherence, directness, attractiveness and comfort) supplemented with risks to delivery, environmental and cultural considerations. We also need to understand the potential impacts on traffic movement, residents and businesses, such as removal of on-street parking. The assessment is based on a scoring system where an option must first pass the ‘is it safe?’ test before being judged against other objectives. 

When compared to other cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, Tauranga has a high proportion of people taking trips by car. In Wellington for example, 68% of all trips are by car, compared with 84% in Tauranga. This is a challenge not only in terms of the environment and our carbon footprint, but also managing congestion and accommodating more people on our roads.

Contact us

Email accessiblestreets@tauranga.govt.nz or phone 07 577 7000 and ask to speak to a member of the Accessible Streets project team if you’d like to know more.

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