In early 2021 we engaged with the local community, stakeholders and wider public to find out how people travel to Cameron Road, what for, and how the proposed changes might affect them.
We wanted to understand what people thought about the proposed changes and if they had any concerns. Some of the key themes that emerged from the feedback included queries on why the Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa project is needed and our ability to deliver. There was good support from the community to improve safety along Cameron Road, make Cameron Road more accessible for those walking or travelling by bike, and improve bus services. There was also concern around economic impacts to local businesses and community impacts due to construction disruption and loss of parking - we’re working to address these through the detailed design plan and construction scheduling
We engaged mana whenua to help us explore and understand the whakapapa of Cameron Road. Our design team have been working under the principles of Ahi Kaa to encourage people to reconnect with the cultural and historical richness of the area. Together we prepared Ahi Kaa, the cultural and urban design framework for the proposed Cameron Road project. This document begins by remembering the past, reflecting on the whakapapa of Cameron Road (“Inamata”), before describing its context today (“Onamata”), and then moving onto the project itself (“Anamata”). We encourage you to take time absorbing the significant cultural and historical context of this project, before progressing to the design outcomes (“Te Ahi”).
Ahi Kaa – Part 1 (Inamata, Onamata and Anamata) (24mb pdf)
Ahi Kaa – Part 2 (Te Ahi) (16mb pdf)
The feedback from the community informed the detailed design plans that will make Cameron Road safer, more attractive, and provide more ways for us all to travel through Te Papa peninsula
Places for people - We’re adding more crossings for pedestrians and cyclists and including bike racks, seating and planting to create a place people want to spend time in.
Bus lanes and stops - Part-time bus lanes in both directions during morning and evening peal hours will improve bus network reliability. Off-peak and weekends vehicles can park in the lanes. We’re also improving the bus stops to make journeys better for bus users.
Cycleway - A high quality separate two-way cycleway on the eastern side of the road between Spring Street and Fifteenth Avenue will be created. This is likely to be extended to 17th Avenue.
Road layout changes - Some road intersections connecting with Cameron Road will be improved to create a safer and more pedestrian and cycle-friendly area.
Environment - Stormwater treatment along the road will be improved.
Utilities - This major upgrade is also futureproofing growth by replacing and upgrading aged and undersized wastewater and drinking water services. Some sewer pipes underneath Cameron Road are made of clay and are over 100 years old – these are currently being replaced. This work is being funded through the City Waters Capital Budget.
Left-in-left-out - We propose some intersections to be left-in-left-out. There will no longer be a right turn available into the street. The below map shows the intersections the proposed changes will be.
What's being proposed map (79 kb pdf)
Trees and plants
Trees and plants are a main feature of the new Cameron Road design. They have many benefits – from creating spaces that people want to spend time in, providing shade, softening footpaths and roads, to connecting people with nature and attracting native bird life.
The existing trees along the Cameron Road are important to us and our community and will generally remain in place. Of the 260 trees within the construction area we have identified 16 trees for removal (nine in the verge and seven in the median) including tulip trees, jacaranda and one swamp oak. We may also need to remove two brush box trees in the median between Fourteenth and Fifteenth Ave however this is yet to be confirmed. Exact locations of trees impacted can be found within the detailed design plans available on the main Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa web page.
There are a number of existing trees within the construction area which are protected under the Tauranga City Plan. None of these are impacted by the project and we have a special consent to work around them and keep them safe.
Our protected trees include:
- Group of trees outside of Tauranga Boys College
- Group of trees outside Tauranga Fifth Avenue and Arundel Street
- 1 Blue Atlas tree on the corner of Spring Street and Cameron Road
- Norfolk Island Pine – 198 Cameron Road, adjacent to Toi Ohomai campus
- 1 Pohutukawa tree on the east side of Cameron Road and Eleventh Avenue.
We will replace trees that need to be removed for construction and safety reasons with native trees and plants in suitable areas along Cameron Road. New trees and plants will be planted along the sides of Cameron Road in the median strips that separate the footpaths, vehicle lanes, bus clearways and cycleway, and within the areas of retained central median.
Overall, there will be a significant increase in trees and greenery with plans to plant around 30,000 more trees, plants and grasses, including around 80 canopy trees and 380 sub-canopy trees, as part of the upgrade. This will include large canopy trees such as kauri and totara, smaller sub canopy trees like nikau and lancewood, smaller shrubs such as manuka, kawakawa and kowhai, and floor planting including taro, turutu and NZ daphne which we know will grow well in this area, attract bird life and be around for a long time to come.
Why more lanes won’t work
Tauranga is made up of several narrow peninsulas that funnel traffic into key pinch points that cause traffic congestion during busy times of the day. The shape of these peninsulas and the limited space available means building more roads is not a viable solution. Knocking down homes and businesses to build roads is not only costly but also reduces the attractiveness and value of these areas, severs communities, and most of all, doesn’t fix congestion.
We need to find smarter, more space-efficient modes of transport such as public transport, cycling and walking. This is what Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa aims to deliver.
Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa is not a project specifically geared to ease traffic congestion for people that travel by car. However, a bonus of enabling more ways for people to travel along this route will reduce car dependency which will help improve journeys for those who travel by car.
Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa - objectives
There are three main objectives for this project:
Whether you live, work, walk, go to school, or commute along Cameron Road, we want you to be safe.
With more students, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles using Cameron Road, there’s an increasing risk of accidents that could result in serious injuries or death. We want to reduce this so people can feel safe using Cameron Road.
We will be providing a wider range of transport options so people can choose whether to walk, cycle, use public transport or drive.
The best long-term solution to reducing congestion is creating more reliable and viable alternatives to a car. It’s also something the Te Papa peninsula community have asked for and something Central Government wants to see too. As part of the funding agreement, we must create cycle and bus lanes along with our other improvements.
A two-way cycle lane will be run along the eastern side of the road, from Harington Street to 17th Ave. While an initial ‘part-time’ bus lane will operate during morning and afternoon peak hours, allowing it to be used for parking at off peak times. Within the next ten years as usage and demand increases, the lane will transition to a dedicated bus lane.
Although we are focusing on alternative transport modes, we understand there will always be people who need to drive which is why we are not removing any car lanes.
To achieve this, we will be adding more pedestrian crossings in key areas and creating extra lanes to separate vehicles from cyclists. We will also be improving footpaths and adding more lighting.
We want to create a destination, not just a commuting corridor.
When asked what they would like to see in a future Te Papa, the community said they wanted walkable, pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods that were safe, open, clean and had places to meet. The first steps towards this future will be along Cameron Road.
Working with the local community including retailers, we will be looking at ways to improve the Cameron Road corridor. We plan to create inviting community spaces that embrace the area’s rich cultural history through the various design elements such as landscaping, wayfinding, signage, material selection, and street furniture.
Cameron Road is one of the city's oldest roads dating back to 1871. As the city grew, so did the number of pipes, drains and cables running under it. Some of these water pipes are still clay, over 100 years old, and desperately need replacing. Working with telco, gas, power and Council infrastructure teams, we will be looking to renew and upgrade the service network to meet current and future needs simultaneously.
We will be upgrading some of the underground services so the network can cope with future growth.