Te Ara Rimu - Kihikihi pathway
In December, it was announced safe walking and cycling in Cambridge had been given a massive boost. Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency has invested close to $17.4 million in our district from their Climate Emergency Response Fund, to offer more transport choices and help people opt safely out of cars. Of that, $5.64 million will be spent on a new shared pathway in Kihikihi with an additional $2.4 million from Council funding.
Have your say
Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback in June – July on the six proposed cul-de-sacs in Kihikihi.
All six cul-de-sacs in Kihikihi, on Moule, Rolleston, Bryce, Grey, Hall and Whitaker Streets have been given the green light from Council to advance. The decision was made on Tuesday 29 August by the Service Delivery Committee where they heard from 9 submitters out of the 149 people who provided feedback.
Service Delivery Committee hearings and decision
To view the hearings and Service Delivery Committee deliberations and decision watch the video below.
There will now be a one-month appeal period from Tuesday 29 August, where any person can appeal the cul-de-sac decisions to the Environment Court. On appeal, the Environment Court may cancel or affirm the declaration, or affirm the declaration with modification.
These six streets are critical streets to close off to ensure a safe and effective pathway for children and the community.
We’re building a new pathway down Rolleston, Whitmore and Oliver streets and making some changes to the street layouts to make it safer for our local tamariki to get to school.
Work will begin on the pathway mid-September and is expected to take about nine months to complete. We’ll be doing it in stages to minimise disruption as much as we can.
The first stage of the works will be the two roundabouts at the Rolleston and Herbert Street intersection and the Whitmore and Oliver Street intersection.
What we have heard so far
In June – July this year we went out for consultation on six proposed cul-de-sacs in Kihikihi. The plans included creating six pedestrian malls along the pathway route by turning the following six streets into cul-de-sacs:
- Bryce Street (at current exit onto Rolleston Street)
- Grey Street (at current exit onto Rolleston Street)
- Rolleston Street South (at current exit onto Whitmore Street)
- Moule Street (at current exit onto Whitmore Street)
- Hall Street North (at current exit onto Whitmore Street)
- Whitaker Street North (at current exit onto Whitmore Street).
This means motor vehicles on these six streets will no longer be able to turn onto Rolleston Street or Whitmore Street. People will still be able to access the streets by foot, bike, scooter, mobility device etc.
A pedestrian mall is a legal term for an area of road where motor vehicles aren’t allowed, and a cul-de-sac is a street that’s closed at one end.
In March this year, we shared our plans for the new pathway in Kihikihi and we received overwhelming support. Over half of you told us the new pathway would encourage you or your tamariki to walk or cycle more in Kihikihi and almost 90 percent of you supported installing safer low speeds zones around schools, in particular Kihikihi School.
Changes from the feedback includes:
- additional bus stop on Whitmore Street, to provide better coverage for the Te Awamutu/Hamilton bus service users, and to accommodate children that catch the school buses in that location.
- increasing the size of the bus stop outside Kihikihi School
- providing more roadside parking
- inclusion of raised safety platforms to improve pedestrian crossing points
- adding more traffic calming measures to slow traffic along Whitmore Street.
Thanks to everyone who had their say and has been involved in this exciting project so far.
The Te Ara Rimu, Kihikihi pathway project reflects the purpose of the Kihikihi Urban Development Plan that was supported by the community and adopted by Council in 2021. The key initiatives from the plan include:
- An off-road shared path to connect Kihikihi School, town and open spaces.
- Traffic calming to reduce traffic and speeds along Whitmore and Rolleston Streets.
- Lower traffic speeds around Kihikihi School.
- Divert traffic from rat-running through residential areas.
A closer look at the pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs
Creating a cul-de-sac involves closing off the road at one end so there is no option for motor vehicles to access Rolleston Street or Whitmore Street. They are essentially no exit streets.
Creating a safer pathway
Council believes the pedestrian mall and cul-de-sac options are a critical part of our pathway construction as they mean we can reduce the number of intersections on Rolleston and Whitmore Streets. This means those using the pathway can use it without having to look out for, and stop for, vehicles crossing the path.
Ultimately pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs enable us to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of pedestrians and cyclists. For our tamariki this is especially important – it means they’ll be able to safely get to and from school each day.
Creating safer, quieter neighbourhoods
The creation of pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs will have the added benefit of creating quieter streets and neighbourhoods. The pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs will help to achieve the following:
For many, homes on cul-de-sac streets are highly sought after and have a higher level of desirability.
Opportunity to create community spaces
The creation of pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs result in more community / free space that can be used in all sorts of ways. Council could grass these areas, could plant fruit trees, create play spaces – things that significantly improve the liveability of the whole neighbourhood. No plans have been made around this but it’s something we’d love your ideas on!
Additional driving time
Creating these pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs will mean that those residents who live on either of the six affected streets will need to have a longer driving time to get onto Whitmore or Rolleston Street.
We’re expecting that the pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs will result in an average additional time of 2.5 minutes.
Higher volume of traffic on Herbert and Oliver Street
Our projections show that the pedestrian malls and cul-de-sacs will result in more traffic on Herbert and Oliver Street. However, the two new roundabouts at the intersection of Rolleston / Herbert Street and Whitmore / Oliver Street will help manage traffic safety and also acting as traffic calming measures (i.e. help slow traffic down).
Investing in safe and connected walking, scooting and cycling infrastructure is a priority across our district.
In December last year, safe walking and cycling in Waipā was given a massive boost with confirmation the Government will invest millions of dollars of new money on paths and cycleways in the district.
Waipā District Council was successful in receiving up to $17.4 million through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Climate Emergency Relief Funding. The fund is part of the Government’s Transport Choice programme aimed at opening up streets and helping people safely opt out of cars. Of that, $5.64 million will be spent on a new shared pathway in Kihikihi with an additional $2.4 million from Council funding.
Waka Kotahi is working with local councils to progress strategic cycle networks, create walkable neighbourhoods and safer, greener, and healthier school travel, and make public transport more reliable, affordable, and easier to use.
The funding has accelerated walking and cycling projects in the district.
In Kihikihi, funding is being used to accelerate the building of a protected, linked pedestrian and cycleway down Rolleston Street and Whitmore Street connecting the town centre, Kihikihi School and Kihikihi Domain. Eventually the protected pathways will connect to Te Awamutu Intermediate and College.
There has been a strong desire from our community to transition towards a transport model that supports alternative transport modes, such as walking and cycling. Residents of all ages and abilities want to be able to travel in our main urban areas safely and conveniently, without the need for a car. It also responds to strong government direction around climate change and specifically reducing carbon emissions.
This project is about making changes to streets so they are safer for all modes of transport to get around.
The Waipā District Council Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 includes an investment of over $10 million towards projects such as Cambridge Pathways. The funding from Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency was part of its Transport Choices Package which is included in the Climate Emergency Response Fund.
A Governance Group for the project has been formed and meets regularly to establish a shortlist of priority options for Waipā’s walking and cycling network. A Reference Group has also been formed and given the opportunity to comment on the options. The role of these groups are to be champions of their towns and community groups, to share their opinions and point of views on cycle and pathways and advise how they believe it will impact their community.
The Governance Group has considered feedback from both the Reference Group and Community Boards, and at its meeting of 17 August 2022 made a decision around proceeding with the two projects at Kihikihi and Cambridge, which have been approved by the Council’s Service Delivery Committee.
- Community engagement: March 2023
- Cul-de-sac consultation: 13 June – 13 July
- Hearings at Strategic Planning and Policy Committee: 29 August
- Plans refined: early September
- Plans approved by Council: 19 September
- One month appeal period. Any person may, within one month of Council making a declaration for the pedestrian malls, or such further time as the Environment Court may allow, appeal to the Environment Court against the declaration under section 336(3) of the Local Government Act 1974.
- Construction begins (approx.): Mid- September 2023 (staring with the two roundabouts)
- Construction ends (approx): End of June 2024
Bus Stop: a designated marked spot where a bus regularly stops for passengers to get on and off.
Shared pathway: A path provided for use by both cyclists and pedestrians, with motor vehicles being legally excluded.
Traffic calming: a range of techniques used to manage road users and the road environment to ensure speeds are appropriate to the local environment and the safety of other road users.
Roundabout: a road junction at which traffic moves in one direction round a central island to reach one of the roads converging on it.
Cul de sacs: a street or passage that is closed for vehicular movement at one end.
Pedestrian malls: a pedestrian mall is a legal term for an area of road where motor vehicles aren’t allowed.
Signalised crossing: A signalised crossing provides priority for cyclists and pedestrians through the use of traffic signals. Short periods of time are allotted to pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road and vehicles travelling along the road.
Raised safety platform: elevated sections of the road that help reduce vehicle speed.