Trans­port plan in the re­view stage

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

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