On Friday, Waka Kotahi NZTA announced an additional $10.1 million for their Innovating Streets pilot which aims to encourage and support tactical urbanism ideas with the NZTA covering 90% of the costs of the projects supported. It comes on the back of $13.95 million for it announced back in June which itself was about twice the initial expected budget and highlights just how popular the idea is with councils around the country.
Through two rounds of funding, Waka Kotahi is supporting councils to create vibrant neighbourhoods that make streets safer and create more space for people.
Kathryn King, Waka Kotahi’s Portfolio Manager Developing Regions says “We’re funding 32 more projects from councils across the country that will help to create streets that everyone can enjoy by moving around in safe, healthy and sustainable ways. We’re really pleased with the interest councils across the country have shown in the fund and in delivering projects that put people first.
“Projects will include safe streets around schools so children can get some exercise and out into nature on their way to school, ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ where people can access local streets that are made much quieter by reducing rat-running by others, and town centre revitalisations to make business districts more vibrant.”
Innovating Streets is a nationwide programme designed to support councils and communities to build experience and knowledge in co-design processes to deliver urban street upgrades faster and with more community insight built in.
Waka Kotahi is currently working through funding agreements with councils for Round 2 projects and they will be added once councils have announced to their communities. All projects will be delivered by June 2021.
Auckland fared poorly in the first round of funding with only 4 out of the 40 being within the region after Auckland Transport’s proposals “fell short”.
We’ve done a bit better this time with 13 of the 32 projects being in the region
- Project WAVE – A protected bike route at the bottom of Nelson Street and into the city centre. With the aim of increasing the number of people on bikes using the bottom end of Nelson Street.
- Safe School Streets Mangere – This is part of the Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland project that aims to achieve a fun, safe, healthy and well-connected Māngere and Manukau. Five Mangere schools will be involved.
- Ponsonby Road – Te Rimu Tahi – returning Ponsonby Road to the people – Creating a more people friendly environment on Ponsonby Road, with a focus on three areas: 1. Three Lamps, 2. Between Vermont Street and Williamson Ave, 3. Outside Western Park.
- Maungakiekie Tāmaki Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – Creating two Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, one in Onehunga and one in Eastview. This project aims to re-define the street network in these areas, keeping local streets for local people and creating streets where people can bike and walk without fear, loud traffic and traffic fumes.
- Papatoetoe West Low Traffic Neighbourhood – Creating a low traffic neighbourhood in Papatoetoe West. With the aim of preventing rat-running through residential roads and allocating more road space to walking and cycling.
- Manukau-Wiri – Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland – The proposal builds on the multi-agency collective impact approach developed through the Safe and Healthy Streets South Auckland Programme and involves a series of co-designed temporary tactical interventions to test, trial and pilot people centred changes to streets in Manukau.
- Creating Safer Streets – Britomart Tyler Street – Creating a more people friendly environment on Tyler Street.
- Creating Safer Streets – Emily Place – Transforming Emily Place into a peaceful, tranquil oasis for people to enjoy by making significant changes to the way vehicles move around the site.
- Make it Safe, Make it Playful and Celebrate Tāmaki – Encourage a shift to walking, cycling and public transport. Creating streets as places including play along the way and a celebration of Tāmaki’s natural landscape and unique identity.
- Pukekohe – Eat Streets and Laneway Enhancements – With a view to creating more people-centred streets and inform the future streetscape upgrades of King St, Roulston St and the laneways, Panuku proposes a series of tactical interventions and temporary activities to enhance the vibrancy of Pukekohe’s town centre. At the heart of this activity will be a relocation of the Pukekohe Markets to the town square and Rouston Street.
- Maximising Mangere – Time to Thrive – New pop-up bike lanes that fix gaps in the existing network, including co-design to help choose locations for pop-up cycle lanes and some activations to promote the new temporary bike lanes. Widening and painting of footpaths in strategic locations.
- Glen Eden Town Centre Pop-up Cycleway: Captain Scott Road – Creating safer streets, with slower traffic on Captain Scott Road, The aim is to provide a separated bike connection to Glen Eden Intermediate and Glen Eden Primary Schools, and for residents to the town centre and train station.
- Community Play Streets Pilot for Tāmaki Makaurau – Testing out play streets at several residential areas in West and South Auckland. Play streets enable neighbours to temporarily restrict traffic access to their street so the space can be opened up for play, recreation and to create a sense of community.
The council say these projects will be in place by mid-2021 and will be led by Local Boards, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council or Panuku Development Auckland. There is no designs yet to share as the intention is they will ultimately be co-designed with local communities, schools and businesses. One thing we might now be able to see is roadway art with the NZTA saying:
Recently the Land Transport: Traffic Control Devices Rule 2004 was amended to allow roadway art to be used by councils on low-risk streets, similar to many projects seen overseas. A draft Tactical Urbanism Handbook has also been developed for councils as a ‘how to’ guide that can be referred to at each phase of the project lifecycle.
Roadway art is also sometimes called painted streets and there are plenty of examples online, including a number from Portland such as below.
It is also pleasing to see a couple of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods showing up. These are increasingly being used overseas as a way to combat the scourge of rat running by retaining local access but cutting off through traffic.
There looks to be some interesting ideas in the list and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome. I’m also keen to see how the plans in other parts around the country turn out.