SH1 makes way for parallel carparks
By Alan Tristram
Kapiti Coast Council has come up with a controversial plan for the old SHI through Waikanae which provides parallel car parks.
The former SH1 is being handed over to the KCDC as part of a ‘revocation’ plan, following SH1’s relocation to the Kapiti Expressway.
The Council says parallel parking should be adopted through the town centre for safety reasons, although it will also study further safety measures for cyclists with the Transport Agency.
Earlier, the KCDC said : ‘In making SH1 a fit-for-purpose local road a variety of factors will be considered including the quality of the road, kerbs, shared paths, cycle lanes, planting and urban design, speed limits, and renaming of the road.’
New town centre plan
The Council was voting today on parking for State Highway 1 in Waikanae, as part of the town centre works that will be carried out in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency.
The project focuses on making the section of the existing State Highway 1 between Te Moana Road and Ngaio Road a fit-for-purpose local road, with improved amenity and east-west pedestrian and cycling connections between the railway station, town centre and river.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the decision to go with parallel parking over angle parking comes after ‘thoughtful deliberation’. Today’s discussion also recognised that further work is needed to help businesses in the town centre thrive.
Strong views from locals
“We’ve had some very strong views for both options, and I can see why some were in favour of angle parking, but at the end of the day we had to make a decision based on safety, and parallel parking stacks up better in that space. We know this isn’t the decision some people were after, but we couldn’t ignore that angle parking in this particular area would increase the risk of crashes.”
“The designs for the area offer something for everyone. The improvements will add an additional ten parks, and provide better integration of transport modes through the town centre for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”
The NZ Transport Agency expects SH1 revocation works to kick off in the second half of this year, and should be able to confirm the programme and timing within the next few months.
The ‘revocation’ project forms part of a package of works the Council is carrying out to improve the Waikanae town centre, to meet the needs of the community with local services, community and commercial activities.
Historic connection with Marae
The historic village connection with Whakarongotai Marae will be reflected in the development of a cultural thread walkway through the town centre.
Group Manager Infrastructure Services Sean Mallon says work on the cultural thread walkway will start soon, and tie in with other activity going on in Mahara Place.
“We’re planning to kick off the first stage of the cultural thread works in April. We’ll be making improvements to the area that takes you from the Greater Wellington Regional Council car park, past the Marae through to Mahara Place.
Work involves resurfacing paths to make moving about easier for all ages and abilities, working with local Iwi to effectively incorporate the Marae into the town centre, increasing its visibility and acknowledging its importance as a site of cultural significance, as well as improving street lighting, planting and places to rest and relax.”
“We’ve also had great feedback about the pop-up park in Mahara Place, so over the coming months we’re planning to extend the current park with more turf, and put some turf and seating down in Mahara laneway.
These spots are proving popular for events in Mahara Place, and provide space for people to socialise, entertain or simply rest and relax.