I have been reading about the proposed changes to parking, speed limits and road layout for our village.
My first question is “What is the problem that this proposal is solving?” The ‘Streets for People’ project is one that is being rolled out around the country – and in various formats around the world. It mentions safety.
So, what are the current safety issues we face?
The sharing of the footpath for cyclists and pedestrians seems to be working well – I walk and cycle around the village up to five days a week and have never felt unsafe.
The natural traffic calming we have with our current street layout also works well. As soon as there is any congestion around the mall area, traffic slows accordingly. This would be for a few minutes during each busy time which would occur a few times a day.
We don’t have any pedestrian crossings, so that must be the safety issue that is to be addressed. Yes, a crossing in the village centre makes sense to me.
So what is the proposal that we have been given, suggesting?
– not one crossing, but SEVEN I am told. Not the regular zebra stripes but seven RAISED crossings
– the removal of at least 40 car park spaces from the school to Java Hut all along the east side of Aranui Road. I am not sure where cars will now park when there are large events in the Hall or Church. I can’t see any allowance for this in the current proposal. It is apparently to allow more room for cyclists and pedestrians.
– more traffic calming – garden beds or similar to narrow the busiest area of road ie the area around the mall
– speed restrictions ie 30km for the central part of the village for 24 hours 7 days a week
– the suggestion that the 30km limit will later be implemented for the whole of the village area AND Ruby Bay including all of Higgs, Tahi, Iwa, Toru, Broadsea, Tait, Brabant, and Pinehill and the streets off them.
SO, Streets for People is an interesting concept that I would like to know more about.
How is it decided that we need tens of thousands of dollars spent this way in our village? Many of us travel out of the village for work, sport, to visit friends and family and for social and cultural events – and we take our cars. Why is there a plan in place to make this movement in and out of the village less timely and less functional?
We have a number of small businesses operating in Aranui Road – exactly in the area where the parking is to be removed. What is the plan for their clients?
How do those who need a car for their independent mobility feel about their access to the affected businesses and the hall and the church being limited?
How are those who take their boat/kayak/waka ama etc down to Grossi Pt going to feel about narrowed roads with several raised crossings to navigate?
How easy is it going to be for emergency vehicles, service vehicles, trades vehicles etc to move freely through the village and surrounding streets? Without creating significant disruption to other motor vehicles?
In summary, just how is this proposal going to improve the overall functioning of our village, it’s residents, visitors and businesses?
I am now have cause for concern that the various forms of ‘Streets for People’ being implemented around the country is more about the imposition of an ideology using the excuse of ‘improving your safety’ rather than being a genuine locally driven project to meet a genuine locally identified need. What do you think? Have your say at https://shape.tasman.govt.nz/streets-people/mapua-survey (There is no closing date published at time of writing).