Carlyle Street is a main arterial that’s pumping. Residential streets feed into it and there are businesses on either side. It’s also an important connection between the city centre, suburbs and routes out of Napier.
Now it has received a funding injection that will mean it’ll become easier for all commuters, whether in a car, on a bike or on foot.
Debra Stewart, Executive Director Infrastructure for Napier City Council, explains the area supports a number of business and frequent driveways service them but on-street parking restricts visibility.
“Currently, vehicle traffic is king, and pedestrians and cyclists feel unsafe and unwelcome,” says Debra. “There are car yards and automotive servicing, second-hand stores, bottle shops and takeaway food outlets, and lots of commuters trying to navigate a narrow street with a lot of challenges.”
Napier City Council is focused on the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists using this busy route, and wants to make changes to benefit the whole community, including visitors to this city.
It’ll now be helped in its objectives by a $676,000 grant from Waka Kotahi NZTA. The Streets for People programme is getting behind the ambitions of 13 councils, spending $30 million to help make it easier and faster to create safer, healthier, and more people-friendly streets in towns and cities.
The programme creates opportunities for councils to partner with communities to accelerate street change projects, achieve emissions reduction goals, and create vibrant, people-friendly places for thriving communities.
In Napier, the Streets for People project will explore and implement ways to significantly reduce vehicle volumes and speeds along Carlyle Street, as a first step towards making it a safer and more attractive place to be.
The project also provides an opportunity to recognise the significance of the western end of the street, and its importance to mana whenua. This site was once known as Pukemokimoki Island and was home to mokimoki, a sacred fern. After the 1931 earthquake, the island was completely removed and used in the rebuilding of Napier.
Nicole Rosie, Chief Executive, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the Streets for People programme will build on the most successful aspects of earlier trials, such as Innovating Streets in 2020. It aims to make public spaces more vibrant and safer for people walking and biking, taking on board feedback provided by communities.
“The kinds of projects being funded through this programme are the ones which received community support in our earlier trials. We know that communities right across Aotearoa want safer urban spaces, and they want travel options which are good for the environment,” says Nicole.
“Streets for People is one initiative we’re scaling up, and it’s an incredible opportunity to reimagine our streets, so we can speed up our response to climate change.
“By opening our streets to everyone, we can reduce our emissions, make it safer and easier for people to move around, and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of people in our communities.”
29 September 2022
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