Next step for new walking and cycling path in Kihikihi
Kihikihi’s new walking and cycling pathway ‘Te Ara Rimu’ is one step closer to getting underway after gaining clear support from the local community and stakeholders.
Community engagement around the $7.2m pathway, which is partly funded by Waka Kotahi, took place in March and resulted in the majority of submitters favouring the new pathway.
Over half of the people who participated said the new pathway would encourage themselves or their children to walk or cycle more in Kihikihi and almost 90 percent of people supported installing safer low speeds zones around schools, in particular Kihikihi School.
Waipā District Council’s transportation manager, Bryan Hudson said that the engagement was incredibly valuable and the feedback has resulted in some changes to the proposed pathway.
“We’ve had lots of conversations around this pathway with key stakeholders and the community over the past eight months and this round of engagement was our chance to check in on the detail to make sure we have it right."
Changes resulting from the engagement include:
- 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.
The next steps for the project is to undertake a further round of consultation around the six proposed cul-de-sacs which is a requirement under the Local Government Act.
“The cul-de-sac options are a critical part of the pathway plans as they mean we can reduce the number of intersections on Rolleston and Whitmore Street, making it a much safer space to build a pathway and to help our tamariki get safely to and from school.”
“Now we have a general consensus for the pathway, we need to undertake one final stage of consultation before construction can begin. This will be a chance for us to talk with the community and directly with neighbouring residents, to share our plans and see what they think.”
Consultation round the cul-de-sacs is expected to start next month. The project is set to start construction in September and be completed by mid-2024.
An update and report on the proposed pathway for Cambridge is due to go to the Service Delivery Committee on 20 June.
$4.8 million of funding for Te Ara Rimu has been provided by Waka Kotahi as part of their programme aimed at helping create more transport choices across New Zealand and helping people safely opt out of cars.