Guest Post: Innovating Streets

Local blogwatcher Ian Chesterman has spotted something rather interesting:

Last week the government very quietly launched a new programme called “Innovating Streets for People”, which is aimed at the kind of tactical urbanism projects I wrote about in this post 4 years ago.

New York got a lot of walk/cycle trialling done quickly with paint and planters

The initial sum available ($7 million) is small but the fact the NZTA are even funding this kind of work is very exciting and has the potential to reshape our streets. The language on the NZTA website is particularly encouraging:

“The programme helps… by providing a toolkit of support options specifically targeted at retrofitting streets to reduce vehicle speeds and create more space for people.” and ” We don’t want projects that create more space for cars”

It is worth reading the NZTA’s more detailed explanation of the fund
where it explains that the fund will provide councils with 90% of the project funding and looks in more detail at the kind of projects that will be supported.

As Victoria St is still a mess with no agreed fix, should we encourage Council to apply for funding to trial a solution? Or is there anywhere else in Christchurch that would benefit from this kind of project?

Simple use of planter boxes and paint in Auckland created this pop-up cycleway

Since the launch of the fund, the Govt has even gone one step further by suggesting that it could be used to help fund temporary wider walk/cycle paths (by reappropriating road space) to help with physical distancing while out and about, and it certainly could be quite the opportunity to reshape our city streets.

Where do you think we take advantage of temporary street rearrangements?

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Innovating Streets”

  1. I’ve noticed cars rat running in Addington around the intersection of Antigua and Brougham streets. The entrances from Antigua to streets like Burke and Ruskin have some traffic calming but even so in the evening cars roar through the protected cycleway then along Ruskin Street and around the Barrie Street corner to sneak onto Brougham Street without waiting for the phase change at Antigua/Brougham Streets. It seems to me that all the intersections with Antigua street should have proper raised footpaths across the local street entrances. A slow 25 kph speed should be set to create a safe low speed neighbourhood. And I can’t see the need for such local streets to open onto Brougham at all. Barrie Street for instance should be a cul de sac for cars just as Kipling Street is already. This is just one example. But major distributors could easily be separated from local streets more effectively to prevent high speed rat running like this – a low cost high return investment ideal for shovel ready action.

    Perhaps there should be a webpage where proposals to raise footpaths, and create such separations could be compiled. This would develop a database of interventions that could attract funding to readily provide immediate benefit.

    1. Hi David,

      A cul de sac for Barrie St sounds like a great example for this fund- it would only need a concrete planter box or similar and you’re right there is no justification for that street to have direct access to a main arterial. Have you suggested it to the local councillor?

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