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Decision Means Ūawa Upgrade Can Start Soon

Around 40 Ūawa residents gathered last night to deliberate and select a design option for the temporary makeover of a portion of their main street – SH35 Tolaga Bay.

The decision-making process involved careful consideration of community needs and priorities.

It’s for a project 90 percent funded by the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, called Streets For People – a nationwide initiative that implements temporary interventions to test designs with local residents in real time.

Council Community Lifelines Director Tim Barry says the project prioritises people-first approaches and these designs would be in place for two years with regular evaluations with the community as to how it’s working for them.

“Streets For People projects around the country are being designed to encourage vibrancy and promote alternative modes of transport such as walking, cycling and scooters.

“Part of the overall picture in Ūawa is to link the main street into existing and future-planned shared paths and recreational areas around Tolaga Bay.

“These designs have been created to slow traffic through the main street and improve safety for all road users.

“Ultimately, it strives to create a safe and vibrant space for everyone in Ūawa.”

Mr Barry says many attendees last night, especially parents, expressed a preference for the full design due to its positive impact on child safety.

“However, it came down to businesses concerns around the removal of parking to enable the new safety features to be installed. After a thorough discussion, the community opted for Option 2, which will improve safety at the Solander and Cook Street intersection.”

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Mr Barry thanked everyone for coming out on a cold Thursday night to discuss this important project.

“We’re happy there’s been a decision that recognises the importance of both safety and economic vitality.

“There’s huge pride for the main street in Ūawa from the community and it’s going to be great to see it given an upgrade.

“We’re very thankful to Waka Kotahi for funding 90 percent of this project and Ūawa resident Bessie Macey, who has been the community’s point of contact throughout this process.”

Once construction drawings are finalised, the community will receive the start date for the temporary upgrade, which is expected to take 1-2 weeks to install, weather permitting.

For more information about the changes, visit Council’s website, https://participate.gdc.govt.nz/streets-people-uawa

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