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Black chip the choice for city footpaths

14 August 2006

Black chip the choice for city footpaths

Auckland city's footpaths will be paved in black chip concrete following a joint meeting between the council's Arts, Culture and Recreation, and Transport and Urban Linkages committees today.

Black chip will be used for all footpaths across the city, apart from those in the CBD, town centres, commercial and retail centres, business zones 2 and 3, and premier and district parks.

The joint committee considered a number of factors before making its decision on a standard footpath treatment for most of the city's footpaths. These factors included:

* consistency of look and feel and impact on the city's urban design

* availability and durability of footpath material

* ease of maintenance by the council, utility companies and developers

* cost of renewal and maintenance.

"Our decision to support one finish will ensure a standard surface suited to the environment that is accessible and safe for people walking about the city," says Councillor Penny Sefuiva, chairperson of the joint committee.

"Auckland City's policy on footpaths aims to achieve a high quality and coherent look across the city, as part of this council's increased focus on urban design. Private developers and utility operators, such as Telecom and Vector, will be able to replace footpaths after their works much more easily. The result will be a higher standard of footpaths from now on," says Ms Sefuiva.

"Footpath surfaces need to be safe, firm, even, slip resistant, of quality appearance, and maintained to an appropriate level. They also need to be cost effective. On balance, black chip exposed concrete is the best option for the city's footpaths."

"All our consultation shows that people are less concerned about the colour of the footpath than the quality of the surface. We have a responsibility to our communities to offer a safe surface on the city's most widely used recreational asset." "Footpaths are only one element of a street's character, and need to be considered as such. Buildings, berms, street trees and the volume of traffic in a street all contribute to the street's character," says Ms Sefuiva.

"The additional funding of $83 million over the next 10 years agreed to by the council in its long-term planning will renew around 30 per cent of the city's footpath network. We will be spending $18 million this year and at least $28 million each year for the next nine years to make sure our footpaths are up to standard. This is unprecedented investment."

"Now we have made our decision, we can get on with the business of renewing the city's footpaths," says Ms Sefuiva.


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