Innovating Streets

Complete the survey online here. Please submit your response by Friday, 19 March. Hard copies are also available from the SWDC office

South Wairarapa District Council is taking its responsibility to create liveable and inclusive towns seriously by making Martinborough Square a safer and more fun environment for everyone!

That is why SWDC is planning to trial temporary changes to the northern edge of the square by tactical urbanism as part of the Innovating Streets Programme by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

What is Innovating Streets?

The Innovating Streets programme and the fund is about getting councils and communities to try using a ‘tactical urbanism’ approach to make urban streets more people friendly, see the programme’s website for more information https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/innovating-streets/
Tactical urbanism is about changing streets by piloting adaptive street improvements that have been co-designed with the locals.

What does this mean?

  • Each Innovating Streets project puts in street improvements that have been jointly designed with communities, to a “roughly right” stage.
  • The projects then install the improvements quickly, using adjustable, low-cost interim improvements like street art and traffic calming devices.
  • People get to experience these in real life and can give lots of richly informed feedback, which is different from traditional on-paper consultation.
  • People’s feedback on how things are working, alongside formal monitoring, enables the project team to quickly adjust and improve the street installations on site.
  • Once the installations are relatively stable, a longer period of trialling helps everyone understand what long-term street improvements work best for the space.

Why is this happening?

Feedback suggests that Martinborough Square has some issues around pedestrian safety; is surrounded by a busy and wide road, and is disconnected from the grassy seating areas of the Square and surrounding shops. SWDC identified that there is a good opportunity to use the Innovating Streets funding to trial potential solutions to these issues.

The aim with this project is to create a safer and attractive environment for pedestrians (locals and visitors); traffic calming to create a more people-focussed environment; and improving the sense of purpose of the area.

When will this happen?

A trial design will be implemented in April

Where is the proposed target area?

What will the trial design look like?

The design is not fully finalised yet, but it will likely involve pocket parks, painted pavement, widening of footpath and introduction of gathering and/or seating spaces to create a more comfortable environment and make the area around the Square more people-friendly.

Can I still drive through the Square?

Yes, the trial will not change the ability of vehicles to drive around the square or nearby streets. The design will only occupy the northern edge of the Square. No streets will be fully pedestrianised.

What consultation has already happened?

An initial engagement session was held with the Community Board, Business Association, and adjacent business owners.

What was the outcome of this?

Generally, people were in favour of the ideas that we talked about e.g kerb buildouts and pocket parks and we had people offering their services in one way or another. Firstly, there was a slight concern with the exact location of the trial which has resulted in moving this to the other side of the street, as per the mark-up below:

Several reasons for that, being:

Space for community not just adjacent businesses – The main concern with the current location was that this might be perceived as space that will be claimed by the adjacent businesses, while the intention is for this space to serve all of community, and not just customers of the nearby bars.

Alcohol ban enforcement – Associated with the previous point is that the area will be alcohol-free, which is easier communicated if it is not immediately connected to adjacent bars.

Shading and sunlight – Current location is shaded large part of the day, especially later in the season. Opposite side of the street is sunnier but still has nearby trees to provide shading.

Camber – The northern edge has a steep camber and deep gutter – the southern edge of the street is much flatter, which makes implementation easier.

Delivery trucks – With a trial on the other side of the street there is less impact on the deliveries made to the business on the north side.

Heavy vehicles – Heavy vehicles will still need to drive through the square and require generous turning space in and out of Kitchener Street. A trial on the northern edge would not interfere with this.

Bridging the square – One of the issues we identified at the start was the disconnect that currently exists between destinations around the square, with the square itself currently more acting like a visual barrier than a connector. Making the edges of the square more attractive, accessible, and comfortable promotes the use of the square and is a good catalyst for further change in the future.

Based on the above, we believe that the new location, which is approximately the same size and very close to the previous one, will be more beneficial and we back the communities request to change sites.

How can I get involved?

Come along to the community workshops, these will be held before the trial is implemented join us to be part of a co-design process, working alongside Council staff, contractors, and other stakeholders at one of two sessions:

Thursday, 25 February
10.00am – 11.00am
Waihinga Centre Martinborough

Public engagement workshop to communicate concept of Innovating Streets, site location and ideas presentation on concepts and design solutions to understand what is important for this space. This may include, for example, calming the traffic, bringing more greenery, redesigning local parks, creating more space for cycling and recreation.

Friday, 5 March
10am – 4.00pm
Martinborough Square

The Innovating Streets team will have developed a draft design based on public feedback, this will then be presented to the community at the designated area. Community members are encouraged to come and have a look, ask questions, offer resource and ideas on how the concepts.

Once the designs have been installed, there will be opportunities to take part in creative activities and events in the street that encourage people into the newly rearranged street space, and a chance to give feedback on how the new layouts feel.

Provide feedback to the designated email address innovating.streets@swdc.govt.nz.

Complete the survey online here. Please submit your response by Friday, 19 March

Timeline

Engagement workshop – Thursday, 25 February
10.00am – 11.00am
Waihinga Centre Martinborough

Public engagement workshop to communicate concept of Innovating Streets, site location and ideas presentation on concepts and design solutions to understand what is important for this space. This may include, for example, calming the traffic, bringing more greenery, redesigning local parks, creating more space for cycling and recreation.

Pop up engagement workshop – Friday, 12 March
11am – 3pm
Martinborough Square

The Innovating Streets team will present concepts to community based on public feedback at the designated area. Community members are encouraged to come and have a look, ask questions, offer resource and ideas on how the concepts work.

DATE TBC

Implement trial. Feedback during the trial will be important to see what you think of the temporary solutions to determine any permanent changes.

More information

If you have learned of this email from a neighbour/friend and would like to receive these regular email updates, please email innovating.streets@swdc.govt.nz

Thank you for your interest in the project, we look forward to receiving your feedback.

……………………………

Update 2 February 2021: https://swdc.govt.nz/MEDIARELEASE-Innovating-Streets-trial-in-Martinborough-underway

Update 22 September 2020: https://swdc.govt.nz/Media-release-SWDC-secures-funding-from-Waka-Kotahi-Innovating-Streets-Fund

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