Significant speed reduction achieved on Kawai Street South

09/02/2021 3:32am

The Innovating Streets for People project in the area surrounding Kawai St South came about after considerable engagement with the community, many of whom were concerned about the speed of cars using their roads as a ‘rat run’ instead of Waimea Road.

The majority of the ideas for traffic calming measures came from residents, with the goal of reducing speeds and making the streets safer for the people who live on them, and for the children who attend Nelson South Kindergarten. These included planter boxes, build-outs from the kerb with benches that narrow the street, coloured sections at street corners and speed cushions. 

Speeds outside the Nelson South Kindergarten were monitored before, and after the changes were made.  There has been a 37.5% reduction in speed on Kawai Street South, effectively reducing speeds on the road to 30 kilometres per hour.

“These changes are all part of a trial that will allow us to see what works well, and what needs some extra thought when we come to make a more permanent change to the street. The speed reduction is a fantastic result for the project and has made the area safer for the people who live there,” says Group Manager Infrastructure Alec Louverdis. 

“Residents have been kept informed by newsletter and had the chance to talk face to face with project leads at a community barbecue just before Christmas. At the barbecue, much of the feedback was positive, and we were also able to take on board suggestions for improvements.”

Some of the changes the community requested were able to be made straight away. This included closing gaps between the planters, which people had highlighted as a safety issue for children playing on the street. 

Phase Two of the project will focus on connecting the community with schools, Victory Community Centre and the Railway Reserve, including enhancing pedestrian and cycling safety. 

We would like as much buy-in from the local community as possible, and there is a survey on Shape Nelson at Paper copies can be delivered to anyone who would prefer not to give their feedback online.