How did this project come about?
In 2018, we asked nearly a thousand parents with kids at six Cambridge schools to identify barriers preventing their child from walking and cycling to school and to pinpoint any high risk areas on students’ cycling and walking routes.
Of those surveyed:
- 73% of parents said they wanted their kids to walk or bike to school but ONLY if it was safe
- 87% of children (when asked by parents) said they wanted to be able to walk or bike to school
For more information, check out the Safe Ways To School survey.
The importance of walking and cycling was also highlighted as a top priority by residents and has been reflected in the refreshed Cambridge Town Concept Plan.
Why is it necessary?
- Safety – we’ve been told by parents and kids they don’t feel it is safe to walk or bike to school.
- Health and wellbeing of Cambridge kids – we know getting some exercise before school or work is a great way to start the day.
- Growth – our towns are growing and we need to provide infrastructure for everyone to get around town safely and easily without needing to hop in a car. Check out our plans for the future of walking and cycling in Waipā at www.waipadc.govt.nz/urbanmobility
Why these changes?
- Pink and blue dots – to change the roading environment and appeal to drivers natural instincts to slow down.
- One-way on Duke Street – necessary due to the narrow width of the road. The blind corner on upper Duke Street is also a key danger spot for cyclists.
- No-entries on Grosvenor and Victoria East streets – to reduce the number of cars rat running on these streets.
- Orange hit sticks – temporary, cost effective. Used to narrow the road and provide a space for cyclists at intersections.
Who is paying for it?
Streets for People is 90 per cent funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency which is a big win for us. It gives us the means to test out changes to our streets and make them safer without a huge cost to ratepayers.
Why these streets?
A map was created to highlight hotspots across town where students had witnessed accidents or near misses and where crash data had been recorded.
The route selected as part of the Streets for People project is based on the areas where there were the biggest danger hotspots. Many of these were on streets outside of or near to schools. This is also the route most used by children en route to or from school.
What has the feedback been so far?
Mixed - While many people support the purpose of the project, concerns have been raised around some of the temporary changes.
- The pink and blue dots – the general feedback from residents has been that the dots make intersections too confusing.
- The pop-up cycleway on Duke and Wilson streets – we’ve had some great feedback from parents and their kids who are loving the new cycleway.
- The one-way access of upper Duke Street – many feel the one-way street has increased congestion in town and is making it more difficult for drivers to get out of town.
What happens now?
We are reviewing all the feedback as it comes in and will be looking to make changes. We are also carrying out traffic and pedestrian monitoring to see if the temporary treatments, such as the pop-up cycleway, speed humps and painted dots, are working as intended.
Are other councils making temporary changes to the streets in their towns?
Yes, this project is part of a nationwide initiative called Innovating Streets which is being driven and funded by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency. There are 74 projects which have been initiated from Auckland all the way down to Bluff in the South Island.