Waka Kotahi approves $850k Innovating Streets funding for Nelson South27/10/2020 4:11am
There is good news for the residents of Nelson South’s Kawai South, Tipahi and Tukuka Streets who will benefit from a new people-first road layout after Nelson City Council’s application for Innovating Streets for People funding was approved by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People programme aims to make it faster and easier to transition our streets to safer and more liveable spaces.
The money will be used to trial innovative traffic calming measures in the Kawai Street South/Tipahi/Tukuka St area. These measures could include colourfully designed on-street art, planter boxes, build-outs from the kerb that will partially narrow the street, astroturfed sections at street corners and speed cushions.
This initiative will see build out areas that can be used for community spaces such as picnic tables, community gardens and areas for community artwork.
These Phase 1 changes are expected to be implemented prior to Christmas, with further co-design being undertaken with the community in the New Year to extend the project.
These changes were reviewed and tested with the community through a pop-up event held at the Nelson South Kindergarten on 25 July 2020.
Kawai Street resident Clare Scott said they have been working for over a year on making this project a reality and listening to the concerns about safety and liveability from those who call the area home.
“The community will be thrilled to see action taken to make our neighbourhood streets slower, safer, and more about creating a thriving neighbourhood rather than a busy thoroughfare. As the community lead for this project, I am so excited to see this finally coming together, and am very grateful to everyone who helped make this amazing project happen."
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says this project is an example of Council and community working together to come up with a solution.
“One of our focus areas as a council is sustainable transport and by altering the street layout this project will make it safer for children, more appealing to cyclists and a more pleasant place to live.”
Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland commended Nelson City Council for putting residents first and taking up the Innovating Streets Funding.
“We need to change the way we use our suburban streets so they have much more of a benefit to local residents and encourage active transport choices like walking and cycling. This is a great initiative in Nelson South.”
Once the changes have been made, Council will monitor the effect it has on traffic on Kawai Street and the surrounding area. The data gathered from this will be used to understand better how Council can further improve streets for people throughout Nelson.
Infrastructure Chair Brian McGurk says Council wants to encourage walking and cycling wherever it can.
“Alongside this project, we are undertaking a Speed Limit Bylaw Review to lower the speed limits on many local roads. This is all about a shift to a more sustainable transport system, and allowing people to feel safe on the street they live on.”
The Innovating Streets for People Programme was set up in 2018, when local government and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency identified an opportunity to foster and develop nationwide capability for delivering tactical urban street projects.
The funding of $851,000 covers 90% of the costs of the project, with a further $94k provided by Council.