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Transport safety solutions to be considered

Transport safety solutions to be considered immediately

Cr Aldo Miccio is calling for immediate transport safety solutions to be considered now, and for the council to halt commissioning any further roading studies.

Recently, outcomes of community workshops were presented to council, along with costings for various road improvements and new roading options. Meanwhile in 2009 the Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) was developed and in November the Arterial Study will present its findings.

Mayoral Candidate Aldo Miccio believes it is time to stop commissioning expensive studies and time to action some of the modest and affordable recommendations in the RLTS, while having a future vision for no State Highway designation on Rocks Road.

“Working through our transport options in Council recently, highlighted to me again that council spends a fortune researching and holding workshops, which are all important, but we never action the recommendations,” Miccio says. “I believe part of the reason we never move forward is that we don’t have a shared vision for our transport system, and we don’t have leadership that is willing to make a call. We just sit and wait for the outcome of the next workshop or report.

“For example, the RLTS is a community strategy document with clear objectives around environmental sustainability, economic development, safety and personal security, access and mobility, public health and affordability,” he says. “It was made pretty clear in the submissions to the RLTS that pedestrian and cyclist safety, Rocks Road improvements and public transport are key priorities.

“The Strategy provides a cost benefit analysis for getting more out of our existing network, including some affordable solutions for travel demand management that we can look at immediately,” he says. “There is also no real reason why we can’t take a phased approach to the Strategy’s public transport recommendations.

“Meanwhile, I don’t believe three-laning Rocks Road or Waimea Road is the right solution,” he says. “For the future of our iconic waterfront, Rocks Road surely needs the state highway designation and heavy vehicles removed.

“The key issue we have as a region is the lack of a non-partisan vision for the region’s transport future,” he says. “What is the overarching vision we are aiming for? What do we want our roading network to look like in 30, 50 or 100 years time? Do we want 100% of roads to be cycle and pedestrian friendly, do we want trucks to be off Rocks Road so it can be made safer, do we want public transport to be accessible on twice the number of roads it is on now?” If we can agree on a vision, then we’ll have the public’s blessing to move forward.”
Meanwhile, Miccio notes that Nelson has an incredible opportunity to leverage the $2.63 million pledged from the Government and work towards a position as the cycling capital of New Zealand.

“Cycling proponents such as Stoke Cycles are looking at ways to promote commuting cycling, and there is also an exciting private project looking at developing Fringe Hill as New Zealand’s top mountain bike track,” Miccio says. “If the community at large agreed on a vision of us as the country’s cycling capital, for example, then these sorts of community projects, and Council’s own cycleway improvements, would have the city’s support and would be done.

“We need transport solutions now to provide a high quality safe transport system for locals and visitors,” he says. “Immediate improvements to our roads, cycleways and pathways will also provide many jobs as the economy rebuilds over the next two years.

“If elected mayor, I plan to get a non-partisan vision on the table so we can make some agreement, including agreement about the strategic importance of the iconic Rocks Road, and move forward on the RTLS in a staged and affordable way, while keeping in mind future roading needs for our community,” Miccio concludes.

* Making it happen:*

1. In October 2010: develop a non-partisan regional transport vision.

2. In October 2010: identify RLTS recommendations that aim to improve road safety and bring forward staged improvements to public transport using the existing stock, such as more frequent buses, more bus stops and smartcard ticketing.

3. In November 2010, Arterial Study recommendations are presented to Council and a cost benefit analysis undertaken.

4. In February 2011, Council to sign off priority improvements to cycling and walking facilities across the city.

5. In March 2011, Council to investigate changes to bus stop advertising bylaws to fund new bus stops.

6. In April 2011: Discussions to start on the process towards revoking the State Highway designation off Rocks Road.

* What this would mean to residents:*

* *Protection and enhancement of our iconic waterfront.

* Safer roads and cycleways across the city become a priority.
* Improved walkways. Consultation on, for example; extending the
Maitai walkway to the marina; extending walkways around
Tahunanui beach and suburb; increasing pedestrian refuges in
traffic islands, particularly near schools and parks.
* Increased frequency of bus service and new bus stops closer to
home that don’t impact on rates. **
* Residents and visitors believe Nelson has the best streets,
pathways and cycleways in the country. **


ENDS

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