The new coastal connection is a step closer with consultation now under way to fine-tune the design for the last section of Tahitai, the link between Miramar and the city from Cobham Drive to Greta Point. Draft plans are available from today, and open for feedback here until Tuesday 12 October 2021.
Completing this connection is an important part of building a city where it will be easy to get around in low carbon ways, and to see and enjoy the places that make the capital so special.
This section of the citywide bike network will complete Tahitai, the key commuter and recreational route around the bays from the east, and improve the connection to Kilbirnie shops.
It is a step towards lower emissions and a future where more people of all ages and abilities can opt to bike, walk, scoot or take public transport more often.
Taranaki Whānui has gifted the name Te Haerenga Roa o Te Aro (long promenade or journey) for this section, and discussions with businesses, groups, and other people in this area have helped shape the draft design.
Mayor Andy Foster says it is wonderful to see so many people using the completed sections along Cobham Drive, around Ōmarukaikuru/Pt Jerningham, and closer to the city. The more detailed planning happening now is for this next stretch through Greta Point.
“Now is the opportunity for anyone interested to share thoughts and suggestions so adjustments can be made to the draft plans before we make decisions in November.”
Deputy Chair of Pūroro Āmua, the Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, Councillor Tamatha Paul, says changes to make it possible for more people to change the way they move are critical to achieving climate action goals.
“I’m also excited at the prospect of living in a city where people of all ages and abilities, including children can get about easily, safely and independently, so it is great to see plans for this part of the route and our wider bike network being fine-tuned.”
Planning started about five years ago with drop-in sessions at the ASB Sports Centre, a community working group, community consultation, and a 2018 Council decision to develop a seaward-side footpath and two-way bike path on this part of Te Aranui o Pōneke/the Great Harbour Way.
The Council has already agreed to a concept for the whole route, but will now make decisions on the traffic changes (resolutions) required for this section. To be a city where people of all ages and abilities can choose to make some trips by bike, a citywide network of safe connected routes are essential.
Information and plans are available at transportprojects.org.nz/evansbay and feedback can be provided online.
Prior to the latest COVID-19 outbreak, consultation was planned a week earlier but a decision was made to push the date out because of the constraints everyone has been under, and to increase the possibility of being at lower alert levels.
Community drop-in sessions are not a good option at the moment, so instead there will be more online opportunities for people to find out more and ask questions.
Evening online sessions are planned for:
Tuesday 21 September, 7.30pm
Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mTpOv9LrQRqOaAuAONXRcQ
Wednesday 29 September at 7.30pm.
Zoom link: : https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UuezBODBRrmgxIsGdeLwuw
Anyone needing help to access information, or a form mailed to them, can phone 04 499 4444.
The draft plans include:
- a continuation of the footpath and separate two-way bike path already being built around the bays
- two new raised pedestrian crossings in the Greta Point area (near the childcare centres and café), plus raising the existing crossings near Cog Park and Hataitai beach to about footpath height
- four pairs of bus stops through this section instead of seven to improve bus journey times (almost all potential passengers will still be within a five-minute walk or less from their nearest stop)
- changes to improve visibility at major driveways
- improvements to the landscaped area between Greta Point and Cog Park, including a ramp (rather than steps) to the lower level, new paving, seats and timber decking
- improved lighting in some areas
- slightly more parking at Greta Point and near Cog Park, and less in some other areas including Hataitai beach, where most parking would be removed on both sides to provide more space for people and wider traffic lanes. Buses and large vehicles are less likely to cross the centre line on bends, improving safety for everyone through this narrow area
- removing the painted median between NIWA and Cog Park to create more space for people to walk and bike, and so car parking can be retained in this area
- upgrades of some retaining walls and seawalls south of Hataitai beach
- a dedicated footpath and two-way bike path through Cog Park.
The significance of Te Haerenga Roa o Te Aro
The name Te Haerenga Roa o Te Aro (long promenade or journey) gifted by Taranaki Whānui for this section of Tahitai acknowledges the journeys of the peoples of Te Aro from their arrival in Aotearoa.
It acknowledges journeys from the Bay of Plenty to Taranaki, from there to Wellington, and from Te Aro Pā (near where Taranaki Street and Manners Street are today) to Evans Bay where the Te Aro Pā Trust now has a kāinga of modern townhouses. Haerenga also means promenade.