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Streets for People

Streets for People

004346 SFP DL afront
  Artist's impression of changes to Waipawa's main street. The two raised crossings and raised platform indicated on the map will be replaced with alternatives following NZTA reviewing the use of raised platforms on state highways. 

 

This project is 90 percent funded by NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) and aims to create safer, healthier and more people-friendly streets so everyone can get to where they are going safely.

Following the successful delivery of NZTA's work to improve safety and slow traffic through Waipawa's main street by installing two raised safety crossing in October 2023, Council has resumed work on the Streets for People project 

Our Streets for People project will deliver important improvements to Waipawa’s High Street that reflect feedback from local businesses and residents garnered in the FOLKL survey (July 2022) on how to make the street safer and more accessible for everyone. The improvements will include:

  • traffic calming interventions into Waipawa.
  • improved walking connections across State Highway 2 and at key intersections, including two new pedestrian crossings, one at the northern end of High Street near the library and one at the southern end, near BP Station.
  • improved access to Madge Hunter Park and Centennial Memorial Swimming Pool.
  • a temporary roundabout (centre is pre-cast concrete, surrounded by asphalt) at the intersection of Ruataniwha Street and State Highway 2 to slow traffic and extending the footpath on Harker St.

Valuable feedback from our co-design group has helped us shape the potential 'look and feel' of future Waipawa. The co-design group is made up of community members, mana whenua, business owners and local police, plus technical designers and engineers who have been working on designs. These designs have also been assessed by road safety experts. 

Update as at 27 February 2024

New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is reviewing its use of raised safety platforms on state highways across the country and investigating alternatives that may better align with the government’s vision of a safe and efficient transport system.

As a result, we will be making some changes to the construction plans we shared earlier this month by removing three raised crossings/platforms planned as safety interventions for the Streets for People project in Waipawa, which is funded by NZTA and delivered by Central Hawke's Bay District Council.

NZTA and Council remain committed to delivering this important project for the community and creating a transport system that enables everyone to get where they are going safely.

Streets for People allows us to test safety interventions (with a view to permanency) using external funding and deliver improvements to the main street that our community has been calling for over many years through a community petition and campaign, and our Integrated Spatial Plan 2020–2050 and Waipawa Town Centre Plan, which were widely consulted on.

What's changing?
We are currently working through what alternatives and other interventions can be installed in three of the locations where raised platforms/crossings were being constructed. This is near Madge Hunter Park, BP and the library (please see above). The roundabout at SH2/Ruataniwha Street intersection will proceed as planned.

Alternatives include non-raised pedestrian crossings, centre pedestrian islands and kerb extensions, which can be used to slow speeds and create safer places for people to cross the main street.

We are working with our contractor and NZTA to make adjustments to the plans and timetable shared with the community earlier this month. As soon as we have updated plans and a confirmed timetable we will update the community.

 

 

In July 2022, Council worked with Napier-based research company FOLKL to monitor and evaluate traffic and people movements on the main street. This research has provided us with vital information as to how pedestrians, cyclists and motorists use Waipawa's main street, including traffic movement and speed, sound monitoring, and how people move around the main street, cross the road, utilise the existing crossings and cycle.

The information has been instrumental in informing the final designs for Waipawa's temporary safety interventions, with the aim to make the main street safer and more people friendly. 

Using feedback from the codesign group and following the two raised safety crossings installed in October 2023, final detailed designs have been developed by technical designers and engineers and can be viewed here. These will be used by contractor to complete project works in the first quarter of 2024.

From early 2024, we will be trialling temporary interventions on the main street:

  • Two additional temporary pedestrian crossings on the main street, one at the northern end of High Street near Waipawa Butchery and one at the southern end, near BP Station.
  • A temporary asphalt roundabout at the Ruataniwha Street intersection.
  • Temporary traffic calming measures and road narrowing from Tamumu Road through to the Ruataniwha Street intersection.

As these changes are temporary and we will be assessing and monitoring how effectively they work throughout the construction and for 12 months following the project's completion. 

We will come back to you with ways to give your feedback at a later date.

FAQs

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The total budget for the project is $1.7 million. NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is funding 90 percent of this, with Council’s 10 percent contribution consisting largely of officers’ time for managing the project.

Find out more about NZTA’s Streets for People programme here.

All construction is planned to take place overnight, between 7 am and 6 pm, Sunday to Thursday. There is no planned daytime construction disrupting motorists or pedestrians' access to the main street, and only one traffic detour overnight is planned for one week during the construction timeline to allow for the roundabout to be installed.

Once completed, these trial interventions will only serve to slow speeds and improve pedestrian accessibility on the main street.

Recent important changes to the final designs and implementation plans respond to feedback following the successful installation of two raised safety crossings in October 2023, ongoing consultation with the community and co-design group, and results from safety audits of the planned interventions. These changes include:

  • night works to minimise disruption to motorists, with no planned daytime construction or detours.
  • reducing the number of new trial pedestrian crossings to two – one near Waipawa Butchery and one near BP Station – to improve pedestrian access to the High Street.
  • improved access to Madge Hunter Park and Centennial Memorial Swimming Pool by way of a raised platform across State Highway 2 to slow traffic and extending the footpath on Harker Street.
  • a temporary roundabout (centre is pre-cast concrete, surrounded by asphalt) at the intersection of Ruataniwha Street and State Highway 2 to slow traffic entering Waipawa from the south and improve vehicle movement at that intersection.
  • removing plans for a cycleway through town.

As officers worked through different options for a cycleway through town, several safety issues were raised by traffic engineers through safety audits they conducted. In addition, throughout the Streets for People consultation to date we have heard consistent feedback from our community that there is limited support for a cycleway. The traffic calming interventions will still make the main street safer for cyclists through the slowing of traffic. ​

The main purpose of installing the crossings is to make the road safer by slowing the traffic down, and more accessible for people while encouraging them to enjoy Waipawa’s main street. Streets for People allows us to answer the Waipawa community’s call for a safer, connected and future-focused main street that we heard clearly during our Waipawa Town Plan consultation, Integrated Spatial Plan consultation, and through a community petition and campaign advocating for a safer main street. In response to feedback on our earlier designs, which we shared with the public in the middle of last year, we have removed one of the trial crossings and are trialling a raised table where another of the trial crossings was proposed. A safety audit has been done with no concerns for the crossing. This is a trial installation and will be closely monitored. If proven ineffective, it can be removed.

The traffic calming interventions into and through Waipawa slow traffic and encourage visitors to stop and enjoy the main street. They include the crossings and roundabout but also the planter boxes and bollards that will serve as safety interventions and enhance the vibrancy of the town.

There is already one mobility park at the southern end of the Museum car park and a second one will be added at the northern entry to the Museum car park on the main street.

Click here for a map illustrating where the mobility car parks are in Waipawa.

These changes are considered ‘low cost and low risk’, with the ability to remove and replace the interventions quickly if they do not prove effective. Once temporary changes are made, we can monitor and assess what is working and what is not. If successful, they will remain in place until we can secure a permanent change. If unsuccessful in improving the safety and accessibility of the main street in Waipawa, they will be removed.

You will have an opportunity to give your feedback at a later date.

You will have an opportunity to give your feedback at a later date. We welcome your thoughts and ideas to help us shape the best possible outcome for Waipawa.

We are aware that some of our community would like Harker Street reopened to traffic. Unfortunately, it is not a simple fix and there are several factors to balance to ensure our investment is the wisest use of ratepayer’s money. Firstly, Harker Street does not qualify for Streets for People funding. It was damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle and there is currently no government funding to fix this. Even before the cyclone there were multiple instances of damage to the railway bridge in the past. In order to reopen to traffic, Council must fabricate and install a protective structure for either side of the rail bridge to prevent large vehicles from striking the structure and damaging it. Since the last protective structure was put in place several years ago, the structure has been struck at least once. Without the protective structure, if the rail bridge is struck again, the cost for repair is the sole responsibility of Council. These costs can be substantial.

The funding for this programme is only available within a certain time frame and must be used before 30 June 2024. The budget is specifically allocated for safety improvements and accessibility on Waipawa’s main street.

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