Station picks up new award
Porirua train station has received yet another award for its milliondollar upgrade, this time recognising its ‘‘ wow’’ effect on pedestrians.
At its annual conference, Living Streets Aotearoa awarded the upgrade project the Golden Foot Award for Best Walking Project, recognising a business or organisation that has made a significant difference to encourage more walking.
Living Streets Aotearoa executive member Meg Christie said the underpass has become an asset to the community.
‘‘This was one of those ‘ wow’ projects. What had been a dreary and depressing subway has been transformed to a great, classy place to walk through.’’
The Wellington region’s third busiest station, Porirua sees nearly 1.5 million passengers hop on and off each year. The subway has 300,000 people pass through it annually and the transformation – 60 floor-to-ceiling photo panels inside and 11 murals by Porirua artists lining the approaches – has mayor Nick Leggett singing its praises.
‘‘ The station has been transformed from eyesore to icon and is a fitting introduction to visitors of Porirua’s beautiful natural environment, wonderful relaxed outdoor lifestyle and mix of vibrant cultures.’’
He and regional councillor Barbara Donaldson had the upgrade as part of their campaign platforms in the leadup to the 2010 local body elections.
She says the project is an example of successful collaboration between the regional council, Kiwirail, Porirua City Council and the community, and the result has ‘‘ exceeded all my expectations’’.
‘‘Before the upgrade, the station and subway were dingy and potentially unsafe. This transformation has not only beautified the site, it has had other positive effects, such as greater pedestrian use and train use as well. It helps to achieve our aim of improving facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport passengers.’’
The proof has been in the pudding, with Kiwirail reporting substantial increases in 10-trip, monthly and school term passes, while graffiti and maintenance costs have fallen. From January to August 2010, graffiti removal cost more than $18,000, while in 2011 the same period saw just $430 spent.
Kapiti-mana Police have also reported a 46 per cent drop in the number of incidents reported at the station between 2010 and 2011.
Mr Leggett says the Living Streets Aotearoa award is great acknowledgement.
‘‘Porirua Railway Station is now a destination in its own right . . .’’
Handle the jandal: Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and regional councillor Barbara Donaldson with the Golden Foot Award, recognising that the city’s railway station is now more pedestrianfriendly.