Council after walk, ride directions on the future of Cambridge’s streets

During lockdown, we all walked or cycled from A to B. Imagine if we could park up our cars long-term and transform Waipā…

Posted by Waipā District Council on Monday, November 16, 2020

 

A $9.5 million investment into making Waipā’s two major centres pedestrian and cycle friendly has been announced.

The Waipā District Council is looking for feedback on investing in walking and cycling infrastructure for Cambridge and Te Awamutu and it hopes to get half the money from external sources.

Transportation manager Bryan Hudson said it was crucial to invest in this type of infrastructure to ensure both towns were prepared for significant growth.

“Waipā is home to around 56,200 residents, with over 55 per cent living in Cambridge and Te Awamutu. By 2050, the population of these two towns will nearly double,” he said.

“Improving walking and cycling infrastructure will give residents the option of getting out on foot or hopping on their bikes to get around town, instead of jumping in a car.”

A $9.5 million plan for walking and cycling would be rolled out over 10 years for the upcoming Long Term Plan.

“Before we move forward with this project, we’d like to hear from residents on what they want us to focus on in this space. Is education for cyclists and drivers a top priority or should we focus on creating shared pathways for use by cyclists and pedestrians?”

A working group which included residents from Te Awamutu and Cambridge had narrowed down walking and cycling options into three themes.

Theme one, culture change, focuses on maintaining current walking and cycling infrastructure while providing education programmes for both cyclists and drivers, improving access to bikes and enhancing street lighting.

Theme two, tactical improvements, would put Council’s focus on creating shared pathways for walkers and cyclists to use. With this option, residents would be able to easily move between popular spots in town by bike or on foot.

The third theme, cross-town cycleway, would see Council creating protected cycleways on key routes separating walkers, cyclists and cars and providing safer crossing points for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Residents are being asked to rank the themes in order of importance via a short survey at www.waipadc.govt.nz/urbanmobility.

“We have also weighed up the benefits and disadvantages of each of these options and this is also available on our website,” Hudson said.

Feedback will be taken for the rest of the month.

Featured image: A cycle-way as adopted in the Netherlands. Waipa District Council wants to see similar, cycle-first solutions come to Cambridge. Image via CC.

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