Changes include slightly wider traffic lanes, improved visibility at driveways and intersections, and clearer road and bike lane markings. Concrete buffers similar to the ones in Rongotai Road in Kilbirnie will provide greater protection for people on bikes and scooters, and something for people to park next to and unload on to.
In November last year, Mayor Andy Foster and Councillors gave the green light to a set of changes designed to make The Parade safer. Yesterday, following consultation on the traffic changes (resolutions) required to make these improvements, the Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee agreed to go ahead with the work south and north of the shopping centre.
The committee also signalled its support for the planned design which will provide a continuous safe biking and scooting connection through the main shopping centre for the first time.
However, final decisions on the traffic changes related to the shopping centre changes were deferred until later in the year. The design includes replacing the existing angle parking with parallel parking, and this deferral will provide some additional time for discussions about how to best make use of parking in and around the town centre.
The design and plan for parallel parking is not expected to change, but the local area-based parking plan being developed could for example include more time-restricted parking, or spaces designated for mobility parking permit holders.
The committee agreed the Council should work on building a stronger relationship with the new committee of the Island Bay Residents’ Association. Separate funding has also been budgeted for an upgrade of the shopping areas and a working group will be established next month to look at ways these public areas can be improved. Changes in the main shopping area will happen next year.
“Our decision this week will resolve the longstanding Island Bay Cycleway problem,” says Mayor Andy Foster.
“We have received a wide variety of views over the many years on possible solutions but unfortunately it is impossible to satisfy everyone. However, I think this is a decision that is a balanced, pragmatic, affordable way forward covering the length of the Parade currently covered by the cycleway.
“I am also pleased that there will be further opportunity for us work with the community and find an outcome that is best for the Island Bay Village centre.”
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says she hopes these decisions will provide a clear way forward for the community and the Council after what has been a difficult history.
“The funding agreed through last year’s Long-term Plan and our decisions in November and yesterday will mean the most pressing safety issues can be resolved, while acknowledging that in time The Parade is likely to be redeveloped as a mass rapid transit (MRT) route. We can now get on and work with the community on placemaking for the Island Bay village, allowing the most space and safety for people."
Puroro Amua Chair Councillor Iona Pannett says getting on with these improvements fits with our goal to develop a city that is safe and easy to get around for everyone.
"It also means we can focus on our commitment to build a citywide bike network and prepare for future mass transit and a net zero carbon future.”
Work will begin in the block between Mersey and Reef streets where routine resealing work is scheduled to start this month.