The Council voted today on a preferred parking approach on State Highway 1 in Waikanae, as part of the town centre works that will be carried out in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency. This project focuses on making the section of the existing State Highway 1 between Te Moana Road and Ngaio Road a fit-for-purpose local road, with improved amenity and east-west pedestrian and cycling connections between the railway station, town centre and river.
The Council’s decision was that a parallel parking approach should be adopted through the town centre for safety reasons. The Council also committed to exploring further safety measures for cyclists with the Transport Agency.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the decision to go with parallel parking over angle parking comes after thoughtful deliberation. Today’s discussion also recognised that further work is needed to help businesses in the town centre thrive.
“We’ve had some very strong views for both options, and I can see why some were in favour of angle parking, but at the end of the day we had to make a decision based on safety, and parallel parking stacks up better in that space. We know this isn’t the decision some people were after, but we couldn’t ignore that angle parking in this particular area would increase the risk of crashes.”
“The designs for the area offer something for everyone. The improvements will add an additional ten parks, and provide better integration of transport modes through the town centre for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”
The NZ Transport Agency expect SH1 revocation works to kick off in the second half of 2018, and should be able to confirm the programme and timelines within the next few months.
The revocation project forms part of a package of works the Council is carrying out to improve the vibrancy and attractiveness of the Waikanae town centre, to meet the needs of the surrounding community with local services, community and commercial activities. The historic village connection with Whakarongotai Marae will be reflected in the development of a cultural thread walkway through the town centre.
Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon says work on the cultural thread walkway will start soon, and tie in with other activity going on in Mahara Place.
“We’re planning to kick off the first stage of the cultural thread works in April. We’ll be making improvements to the area that takes you from the Greater Wellington Regional Council car park, past the Marae through to Mahara Place. Work involves resurfacing paths to make moving about easier for all ages and abilities, working with local Iwi to effectively incorporate the Marae into the town centre, increasing its visibility and acknowledging its importance as a site of cultural significance, as well as improving street lighting, planting and places to rest and relax.”
“We’ve also had great feedback about the pop-up park in Mahara Place, so over the coming months we’re planning to extend the current park with more turf, and put some turf and seating down in Mahara laneway. These spots are proving popular for events in Mahara Place, and provide space for people to socialise, entertain or simply rest and relax.
Further information about these town centre improvements can be found on our website.