Transport plan in the review stage
Transmission Gully, cycleways and better pedestrian access are key themes in a crucial transport plan that will help shape Porirua’s future, according to its authors.
Porirua City Council’s Transportation Strategy, which has just passed its public comment phase, is likely to face some tweaking before being put in front of councillors to sign off in July or August.
Many of the measures will be budgeted in time for next year’s 2012-2022 long term plan process, says PCC’s general manager of asset management and operations Peter Bailey.
‘‘Transport supports the city’s directions and goals, it impacts on social networks, sports and business. The data that was collected in putting this together will guide us for a long time – it’s an exciting document because through our consulting with the public, we have got a feel for what is needed.’’
The strategy has its roots as far back as 2006 and has been created with the assumption that Transmission Gully will go ahead. It draws heavily on census figures relating to areas such as crash and injury statistics in the city, vehicle ownership, public transport use and travel movements within Porirua.
Mr Bailey estimates it has cost $ 20,000 to produce this study in the past year, with the same amount again spent since 2006.
‘‘That’s very economical as far as these types of strategies go. We have been able to use the modelling work from Transmission Gully.’’
Porirua has 237km of sealed roads, 4km of unsealed roads, 288km of footpaths and 60km of pathways that provide cycling and pedestrian connections. The length of sealed roads will increase when links at Whitby and Waitangirua for Transmission Gully are constructed, while there are also plans to increase 20km of on-road cycle lanes in the next five years.
Better access to Aotea and between the city centre and SH1, extending Eskdale Rd to Whitford Brown Ave, a ‘‘ more direct’’ route from Omapere St to Discovery Drive and completing the cycle/walkway between Plimmerton and Mana are priorities.
While the strategy states ‘‘there are no specific proposals for any major new roads or intersections within the local roading network’’, the Mungavin/Kenepuru/Titahi Bay Rd ‘‘ gateway’’ is seen as an ‘‘urgent issue’’.
Appropriate upgrades are required but future traffic demands will depend on the impact of Transmission Gully.
A direct bus service between Porirua and Wellington Airport is also mooted, as is improving bus and train interchanges and accessibility, especially for people in Titahi Bay and Whitby.
Mr Bailey is pleased they have produced a study that can be easily read by the layman and whose concepts ‘‘ will be realised’’. There were 17 submitters during the public consultation period.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett says it is a ‘‘significant document’’.
‘‘It will set our parameters for funding in next year’s long term plan and it highlights how vital our connections are with the community.
‘‘Cycling and walking have a greater emphasis, as does public transport. From a political point of view, New Zealand Transport Agency have indicated they will not be passive in transport funding, so we need to clearly show that our planning is up to scratch.’’