Thirteen councils across Aotearoa, New Zealand will receive new funding to implement accelerated street change projects for walking and cycling as part of the Waka Kotahi Streets for People programme 2021-24.
The $30m Streets for People programme aims to make it easier and faster to create safer, healthier, and more people-friendly streets in our towns and cities. The programme creates opportunities for councils to partner with communities to accelerate street change projects. This will help Aotearoa to achieve its emissions reduction goals faster, while creating vibrant, people-friendly places for thriving communities.
The successful local authorities which will be implementing projects as part of the Streets for People programme 2021-24 are: Auckland Transport; Christchurch City Council; Central Hawkes Bay District Council; Gisborne District Council; Hastings District Council; Hutt City Council; Napier City Council; Nelson City Council; Palmerston North City Council; Tasman District Council; Timaru District Council; Wellington City Council and Whanganui District Council.
Details on the council projects to be funded through the programme are available in the table below.
Streets for People is built on the evidence and experiences of the Innovating Streets for People programme 2019-21 which allowed councils and community groups across Aotearoa to trial different kinds of changes on 89km of streets in 32 towns and cities.
The changes trialled in the earlier programme included cycleways, parklets, low traffic streets, community spaces, and safer school crossings.
Nicole Rosie, Chief Executive, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the new Streets for People programme will build on the most successful aspects of those earlier trials to make public spaces more vibrant and safer for people walking, biking, and scootering, taking on board the 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.
“The transport sector has ambitious targets within the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, so we’re working on a number of initiatives to support better travel choices. 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.”
The final list of successful councils and projects were announced today for the three-year programme. In the lead up, Councils across Aotearoa expressed their interest to participate in Streets for People in February 2022. Waka Kotahi then worked with the shortlisted councils to build capability within their teams before each council presented their proposal to Waka Kotahi. Waka Kotahi will now be supporting councils to implement and learn from these projects.
Wellington City Council took part in the Innovating Streets for People programme and is pleased to have been granted funding to participate in the Streets for People programme.
Claire Pascoe, Transitional Programme Manager, Wellington City Council said, “We saw great results from our projects last time around, such as the Brooklyn Hill project, where 64 percent of people feel the route is now safer for everyone using the route, so we jumped at the chance to be involved in the Streets for People programme. We are working at pace to deliver transitional transport projects in Wellington as part of our bike network plan and we’re excited that our project Newtown to Island Bay, as part of the Streets for People programme, will help get us there.”
Although Central Hawkes Bay District Council didn’t participate in the Innovating Streets for People programme, it saw the benefits to other communities across the country and is delighted to have been granted funding to improve the safety of Waipawa main street.
Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker says, “We’re looking forward to being part of the Streets for People programme. We engaged early on with our community and businesses, and our elected members are actively involved. We’ve kept our community updated and we’ll continue working with them to develop local solutions to improve the safety and connectivity of the main street of Waipawa.”
“Right now, the main street of Waipawa is not a street for people. We all want to see healthier, more people-friendly streets, so everyone can get to where they are going safely – whether that’s by prioritising roading damage issues across our network, or by working with Waka Kotahi to make sure Waipawa kids can feel safe walking to school.”
Kathryn King, Manager Urban Mobility, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said, “Our streets need to change. It’s becoming clear that our communities want safer, more resilient and adaptable streets with less traffic, so children can confidently walk or bike to school, and so people can consider getting to work on a bike instead of a car.
“We’re really excited to be working with this cohort of councils on new projects as part of the Streets for People programme and hope to see some similar positive outcomes to the Innovating Streets for People programme. This time around, we’re working with a smaller number of councils and allowing more time to partner with communities - to test safer connections and create more welcoming spaces. It’ll let people across Aotearoa enjoy the immediate advantages of low-cost improvements as we work towards permanent solutions.”
Auckland Transport will be funded to deliver two trial projects, that will be co-designed with communities and other Auckland Council Controlled Organisations. The funding will enable activities that make it easier for people to choose low-carbon active trips, trialling these actions at a street level, with learnings from those trials intended to guide implementation in other locations across the Tāmaki Makaurau region.
Central Hawkes Bay District Council
Slower speeds in the Town Centre
Waipawa’s main street is a busy and important thoroughfare, connecting Central Hawke’s Bay to key Hawke’s Bay infrastructure including Napier Port. With traffic often travelling at speed through Waipawa, introducing reduce reduction measures at the Northern and Southern ends of Waipawa the road will remove major barriers. It will allow children, residents, and visitors to move safely between school, shops, and community infrastructure.
Improved Walking & Cycling intersections across SH2
Waipawa’s main street is home to many businesses and is essential to residents, particularly those with limited mobility. Currently, there are two pedestrian crossings on the entire road, which do not enable people to cross safely. Residents are now opting to drive to access school and businesses which raises concerns for safe crossing, particularly for children. Enhancing safety of crossing points will reduce these challenges, boosting pedestrian and cyclists’ safety, and increasing connectivity on the street.
Improved Walking & Cycling connections at key intersections
As you travel through Waipawa’s main street, there are two complicated intersections intersecting with Ruataniwha Street and Victoria Street. They can be hazardous areas to cross - both are extremely busy, cater mostly for heavy traffic and lack defined crossings for footpath users. We want to make these intersections simpler and safer to navigate by building clearly defined options for crossing and moving through the intersections.
Improved access to Madge Hunter Park and Centennial Memorial swimming pool
Madge Hunter Park and the community swimming pool on Harker Street are popular amenities in Waipawa. Due to their location near the State Highway, they are difficult to access – there are no areas to cross the road and traffic is moving quickly entering the 100km zone. Our goal is to make this area people-friendly by introducing safety and speed measures and enhancing accessibility in this southern area of the town.
Cycling on SH2 – Testing cycling options on SH2
With plenty of easy-riding cycle trails in Central Hawke’s Bay, there are many people out exploring by bike. Waipawa’s main street does not currently cater for cyclists but is a midway point and forms a key connection in the Heartland cycle trails. It can be a dangerous route as cyclists disembark their bike or cycle their way around moving vehicles and parked cars. Our objective is to install a fit-for-purpose cycleway along the street so cyclists can travel safely and easily link on to cycle trails.
Christchurch City Council
Haeata Connections is centred around the Haeata Community Campus and community in Aranui, eastern Christchurch. Currently there are safety issues, both transport and personal, impacting people’s ability to travel sustainably and safely. This is especially true for the students of Haeata. This project aims to deliver community lead initiatives that open the streets to people with a focus on local ownership and delivery.
Gloucester Street Shared Space
The Gloucester Street Shared Space runs between Colombo Street and Manchester Street. This city cultural and entertainment hub currently doesn’t provide a nice environment for people, with wide lanes, ample car parking and a plain street scape. Gloucester Street is a major destination with the Isaac Theatre Royal, Tūranga and New Regent Street already along this street. The importance of Gloucester Street is going to grow with the development of the Performing Arts Precinct and the Cathedral Square Precinct. This project aims to develop on other previous adaptive projects in the area and trial a unique space that provides for people, and supports the performing arts precinct and local businesses.
Gisborne District Council
Safer Crossing on SH35 and community meeting space – Uawa
This project is located in Uawa (Tolaga Bay) on the East Coast north of Gisborne. The Gisborne District Council have committed to installing a cycle trail around the area to enable active journeys for the local community who have championed the project. SH 35 runs through the centre of the community and is a busy road which has a high volume of logging trucks.
The Streets for People programme provides an opportunity to trial enhancing the two existing pedestrian crossing areas on the state highway, provide for a separated cycleway to link to the trails as well as updating te whakairo o Hingangaroa raua ko Iranui (underutilised main street community meeting place). The potential problems will be around catering for the large logging trucks which provide a lot of business to local retailers and need places to park – we need to ensure we retain sufficient parking area to encourage drivers to rest and avoid driver fatigue.
Linear Park, Grey Street
This project is located in Grey Street in the Gisborne city area. Grey Street connects the Taruheru River to Waikanae Beach through the main CBD. The I-Site is located here and is the arrival and departure point for the intercity bus. The commuter bus also travels along here and there are strong links to the active network. A local community group (Tairawhiti Adventure Trust) have championed this project. They have installed a pump track next to the I-Site and are expanding the skate park on Grey Street with future ideas for an indoor climbing wall at the I-Site.
Currently the connection from the CBD to the I-site, skate park and pump track is uninspiring and does not encourage active journeys between the CBD and the facilities. We anticipate the linear park being able to be a multi-purpose site for community and cultural events. We expect there may be problems around community perception of the linear park being limited to between Childers Road and Waikanae Stream and therefore not connecting river to sea. This is due to the cost and complexity of addressing CBD parking and SH35 and either end.
Hastings District Council
Heretaunga Arakura – Heretaunga Journeys to School
Many of our tamariki are driven to and from school daily, adding to heavy and fast-moving traffic, creating busy and dangerous roads, with car usage increasing emissions and air pollution. Students deserve safe school journeys, and active transport should be accessible for all, but many parents fear their children could come to serious harm by cycling, walking or scootering to school.
We are focused on putting children at the heart of urban street design, creating safer routes to school so every child has the opportunity to be independent and scooter, ride or walk to and from home, lessening traffic on our roads. Calming our streets will increase pedestrian confidence and shift mindsets, making active travel more accessible, resulting in healthier, more connected communities and a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future for our tamariki and whanau.
Hutt City Council
Hutt City Council’s Wainuiomata Connection project covers the area between Parkway and Wainuiomata Rd near schools. Wainuiomata is a fast-growing suburb with high quality infrastructure for people using bikes for leisure, and an excellent shared path to Lower Hutt.
However, the lack of connections between schools and the Wainuiomata shared path is limiting low-carbon travel choices such and biking and walking, and increasing safety concerns for school students.
The project aims to deliver a safer and better-connected low-carbon travel network between the town centre and local schools, so Wainuiomata residents feel more confident walking and cycling. Reducing reliance on private vehicles and public transport would also have a positive financial impact for locals.
Napier City Council
Carlyle Street is an important connection between the city centre, suburbs and routes out of Napier. Napier City Council is concerned about the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists using this very busy route, and wants to make changes to benefit the whole community, with their help, and visitors to this city.
This project also presents 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, home to a sacred fern. The island was completely removed and used in the rebuilding of Napier following the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.
Nelson City Council
Railway Reserve to Waimea Road active travel link
This project builds on the success of the award winning Innovating Streets - Nelson South project, extending a safe corridor for active travel from the Railway reserve in Nelson South to Waimea Road.
The project aims to reallocate road space, so that active travel feels safer, and is safer, for people moving by walking or biking through the area to Nelson Hospital (as one of the region’s largest employers, and about to undergo a major redevelopment), multiple high schools and primary schools, or towards the city centre.
The project will fill a gap identified in how our transport network functions for all modes, showcasing how pop up trials can improve the public space, and will provide a foundation to implement Council’s many strategies to build a sustainable transport future, including the Regional Transport Plan, Future Development Strategy (intensification), Speed Management Plans, and the Active Travel Strategy.
Delivered by an experienced team, the project will be developed with partners, stakeholders and the general public, so that the wellbeing of all participants is maintained and the project successfully delivers on the identified objectives.
When complete, the Railway Reserve to Waimea Road Travel active travel link will directly contribute to a reduction is vehicle kilometres travelled, reduced transport emissions, and a safer network for people using active modes of travel.
Palmerston North City Council
Palmerston North’s Featherston Street cycleway will provide a safe protected route for school children and commuters to move around our central city. Featherston Street is one of the busiest roads in palmy and home to three schools and several major retailers including McDonalds, Countdown and Mitre 10.
The Council identified the street as one of its top priorities in its 2019 Urban Cycle Network Masterplan, which aims to provide a network of protected safe cycleways to encourage more people to choose to ride bikes.
The project will include the area around Palmerston North Boys’ High and Central Normal Schools, from Aroha to North Streets. But the exact extent will be determined with stakeholders, schools and businesses once consultation gets underway. The Council will be working closely with the community to design the cycleway to ensure it works for everyone. They say planter boxes will not feature in the design.
Tasman District Council
Richmond and Mapua
These projects aim to accelerate the delivery of the strategic network of cycle lanes as set out by our Walking and Cycling Strategy within Tasman towns.
Timaru District Council
Port Loop Road – Shoreline Greenway Project
The Port Loop Road Shoreline Greenway project is seeking to re-invigorate a key active transport link between Timaru’s City Centre and Caroline Bay. This will transform a currently unappealing and unsafe feeling connection which is dominated by heavy traffic to an attractive green way which will connect our city to its major coastal tourist sites. It will also provide an important new gateway for the increasing number of cruise passengers that our city welcomes each summer.
Wellington City Council
Newtown to Island Bay route
Wellingtonians have asked for better transport options and action on climate change. Making it safer and easier for people to ride, walk, and use public transport for everyday trips is key to rapidly cutting emissions. Paneke Pōneke is Wellington’s plan for a citywide network of connected bike/scooter routes that will be combined with improvements for people walking and taking the bus.
The Newtown to Island Bay route is the final part of the southern connection between Island Bay and the city, and will make it safer and easier for more people to bike/scoot from the southern suburbs into the city. This full route has been identified for mass rapid transit in the future to support significant growth over the coming years, so this is about providing safe and easy active transport options in the meantime that will be vital to avoid further congestion in this busy area and reduce conflict between people walking, riding, driving, and using public transport.
Whether walking, cycling, or using the bus, the changes on this route will give people better options for how they can get to and from work, school or tertiary study, dropping kids at daycare, working at Wellington Hospital and related health services, visiting shops, and taking part in sports and recreation.
Whanganui District Council
The Guyton Group Trust has been advocating for improvements in Whanganui’s Guyton Street for over a decade. There are safety concerns in the area, with cars travelling through quickly and accidents occurring over the years. This project will also give us the opportunity to improve pedestrian connections in and around Guyton St.
Whanganui District Council is keen to start the process of working with people who live and work in the area, Iwi and the wider Whanganui community to think about how a safer and revitalised Guyton Street might look.
We’d like to see Guyton Street more connected to the rest of Whanganui’s central business district, as part of a walkable town centre – this funding will give us the opportunity to make Guyton Street a vibrant destination for our community to enjoy as they move about the central business district.
Saint Hill St bus hub
In February 2023 a new bus route will be rolled out in Whanganui to make catching the bus an easier way to travel across the city. The new bus route will run every 20 minutes, on a route which goes from one end of Whanganui to the other.
The Streets for People funding for the Saint Hill St bus hub will allow us to create an attractive streetscape around the existing Saint Hill St bus shelter to bring some fresh energy to the experience of catching the bus, as well as improving the area for cyclists and pedestrians. The aim of this project is to support public transport in Whanganui.
Whanganui District Council will be talking to people in the community about the two projects soon and letting people know how they can get involved – keep an eye on the Whanganui District Council Facebook page for updates in September/October.