Shared pathway brought forward
Strengthening Porirua CBD’s connection to Titahi Bay has shot to the top of the agenda for city leaders.
After considering public feedback on major matters outlined in the draft Long-Term plan for 2018-38, Porirua City councillors have agreed to bring forward $400,000 to 2018/2019 to complete feasibility plans, design and consent work for a shared pathway between Onepoto Rd and Wi Neera Drive.
Councillors also agreed to bring forward the remaining $2.6 million cost to complete construction in 2019/2020.
The idea is to make it easier and safer for cyclists, scooters and walkers coming to and from Titahi Bay along this busy stretch of road by also adding a kerb barrier and marker posts - all thanks in part to a $1.5m subsidy from the NZTA.
Western ward councillor ‘Ana Coffey said the community’s sustained effort earned a unanimous council decision.
Work on the pathway was stopped late last year, when the budget was about $1.7m, because the council said it was going to cost more to fix erosion issues.
‘‘The ups and downs have been frustrating but I’ve fought to keep this project alive in the last three Long-Term Plans,’’ she said.
‘‘Please keep the organisation accountable and continue the support. We need to show NZTA how important this piece of infrastructure is to the many cyclists - and wannabe cyclists - in Titahi Bay.’’
Other budget variations decided by council included a $200,000 second dog park on part of Plimmerton Domain with two areas, one for small dogs and one for large, which northern ward councillor Anita Baker described as ‘‘long overdue’’.
Councillors also signed off $280,000 to upgrade basketball courts in Cannons Creek, and $50,000 each year for subsidised recycling in schools and preschools.
An $8m investment was included in seven years’ time for a partnership project to revitalise Eastern Porirua. Further work will be done with the community on this over the next three years and to identify appropriate investment partners.
Decisions were also made to not spend money. Councillors decided not to allocate $11m for strategic property purchasing; purchasing will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.
Mayor Mike Tana felt happy with where the decisions landed.
‘‘The committee agreed to bring forward funding of $2.4m to upgrade intersections at Whitford Brown Ave and Papako¯whai Rd, $1.2m at Whitford Brown Ave and Okowai Road and $0.9 million at Kenepuru Drive and Raiha St,’’ Tana said.
‘‘These safety improvements will also support growth into the future, particularly once the link roads from Transmission Gully Highway are open and new subdivisions are completed.
‘‘We’re also bringing forward $18m over the next 10 years to upgrade our stormwater, wastewater and water supply services and, in later years, our Wastewater Treatment Plant.’’
Tana said the projected average rates increase - to be confirmed at a meeting on June 27 - could be reduced from the proposed 5.25 per cent to hopefully under 5 per cent.
The pathway will strengthen the link between residents in Titahi Bay and the central city. 'Ana Coffey