Safety first: Tipahi Street road layout trialled with students and the community29/04/2021 2:46am
Nelson Intermediate students took to the streets on Thursday 15 April, putting an Innovating Streets Project trial road layout on Tipahi Street to the test.
The Innovating Streets Project in the Nelson South area has been all about involving the community in trialling ways our residential roads can become safer and more accessible.
Phase Two of the project looks at how we can connect the community with schools, Victory Community Centre and the Railway Reserve, including enhancing pedestrian and cycling safety.
A further trial went ahead on Saturday, 17 April, which gave residents and people from the wider community a chance to provide feedback.
Both events required Tipahi Street between Kawai Street South and Tukuka Street to be closed to general traffic so that the trial road layout could be safely tested.
In the first trial, hundreds of students rode their bikes and scooters or walked through the layout, which involved planter boxes with trees to slow down car traffic. After taking the route, students were asked to say whether they liked the new layout, whether they were undecided, or whether they thought it didn’t work.
Nelson City Councillor Brian McGurk was pleased to see the children letting Council know what they thought of the project.
“Right from the start, the Innovating Streets project has been about co-design with the local community. We are running these trials to see the ideas that work and the ideas that might need some more thought.
“Most children today seemed to like the new layout, but there were others who were unsure, and others who found it uncomfortable. There’s unlikely to be a road layout that suits everyone, but I am confident we will be able to meet our goals of reducing speeds and making people the priority in this area.”
The second trial looked at two different road layouts on Tipahi Street, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon. Both trial layouts were developed from community feedback received during a community design event in March.
Residents and people from the wider project area put the street layouts to the test and then provided feedback and ideas while they enjoyed a sausage sizzle.
People voted on their preference, provided more design ideas, and asked questions about the project. The event was well attended by the community and the feedback will be used to amend the finalised design.
Phase One of the project on Kawai Street South was also co-designed by the community and successfully reduced speeds on the road by 20% and the number of cars by 30%.
Nelson City Councillor Rohan O’Neill-Stevens went to Nelson Intermediate and recalls a hair-raising journey to school.
“I used to go past Hampden Street on my way up Waimea Road, which was a bit unnerving. But over the years Council has made routes to nearby schools much safer, Hampden Street is now closed to traffic from Waimea Road, there are lower speed limits near schools, and more traffic refuges.
“It’s so important to get people using active transport at an early age so it becomes a habit that’s hard to drop. Making it easier and safer for children to walk or cycle to school can go a long way to reducing the congestion, and related emissions, at the busiest times of the day on our roads.”
Nelson City Council is currently taking feedback on the road layouts trialled in Phase Two so far. Visit shape.nelson.govt.nz/innovating-streets to give us your thoughts, or alternatively call us on 546 0200.