Pedes­trian safety trumps carparks

Taupo Times - - FRONT PAGE -

ROBERT STEVEN One of Taupo’s most dan­ger­ous street cross­ings is get­ting an up­grade.

Pedes­trian space will re­place six carparks at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ruapehu St and Paora Hapi St. Two me­dian is­lands will also be added.

The in­ter­sec­tion sits be­tween the St John’s Am­bu­lance HQ, PAK’nSAVE car park, Eb­bett Holden car yard and the Wool­shed store.

Fraser Scott, Taupo¯ Dis­trict Coun­cil’s land­scape ar­chi­tect, pre­sented the plans to coun­cil­lors on Tues­day.

‘‘The cross­ing points at this in­ter­sec­tion are very poor and place both pedes­tri­ans and ve­hi­cle users at a high risk of be­ing in­volved in an ac­ci­dent,’’ he said.

Scott said ac­cess to carparks would not be sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacted.

‘‘The carparks to the north of that in­ter­sec­tion are re­ally un­der-utilised.

‘‘Im­prov­ing the safety of this [in­ter­sec­tion] will in­crease the use of those carparks.’’

Cr John Boddy said he was be­com­ing con­cerned that the town cen­tre might not have enough carparks to suit fu­ture re­quire­ments.

Scott said the up­grade was in line with pre­vi­ous plans.

‘‘The task is to im­prove pedes­trian safety, in line with CISP [Taupo¯ Ur­ban Com­mer­cial and In­dus­trial Struc­ture Plan], which is mak­ing the town more live­able and more walk­a­ble.

‘‘And that goal, to my mind, out­weighs the park­ing is­sue in this lo­ca­tion.’’

The up­grade is one of sev­eral sched­uled up­grades, he said.

In 2015, the coun­cil made changes to the Taupo¯ Dis­trict Plan which af­firmed ‘‘the need for pedes­trian and traf­fic man­age­ment to en­able a vi­brant and safe town cen­tre’’, Scott said.

Coun­cil be­gan up­grad­ing works to Ta­ma­mutu St, be­tween Ton­gariro St and Ruapehu St in 2015. In 2017, the in­ter­sec­tion of Roberts St and Ruapehu St was up­graded to en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate traf­fic, pedes­trian safety, and an at­trac­tive streetscape.

The project has not yet gone to ten­der, but the cost is an­tic­i­pated to be less than the bud­geted $375,000.

All coun­cil­lors present voted for the up­grade. Cr Rosie Har­vey and Cr John Wil­liamson were ab­sent.

TAUPO¯ DIS­TRICT COUN­CIL

Walk­ing space will re­place six carparks on Ruapehu St and Paora Hapi St.

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