More than 400 parks along Cameron Rd may be sacrificed part-time for peak hour bus clearways that transport planners say are urgently needed.
Tauranga City Council has given its transportation team the go-ahead to investigate the bus clearways as a means of giving buses priority and making Tauranga's newly redesigned public transport network more attractive.
Some trees along Cameron Rd may need to be removed - though not those in the median - and some side road intersections closed or redesigned to make the clearways possible, the council's transport committee heard on Monday.
Details such as what the peak hours would be, which intersections would change and how best to incorporate cycle lanes would be part of the design process.
Outside of peak hours, the clearways would be available for parking.
The stretch between Harrington St in the CBD and Tauranga Hosptial would be first in line change, with construction potentially starting in late 2019 according to a timeline estimate.
Once construction began on phase one, the design work could begin for phase two to extend the clearways from the hospital to Greerton - a narrower piece of road with more engineering challenges.
Infrastructure manager Christine Jones said the council had a "strong commitment to work together with the community" on its plans.
"But at the end of the day our primary objective is about trying to move more people on the public transport network rather than provide parking for sole-occupancy cars."
The council has anticipated backlash to the proposal - particularly from retailers who relied on the parking for their customers or staff - and has already had staff out talking to businesses about what it's plans.
Rachel Pinn, programme leader for passenger transport with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, said that following Monday's launch of the new bus network 15 buses an hour were travelling in each direction on Cameron Rd.
They had the capacity to carry up to 885 passengers an hour, she said. At last count, pre-redesign, buses carried about 230 passengers during the morning peak.
Representatives of both the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council supported the project.
Cameron Rd - by the numbers
- 25000 cars per day between CBD and hospital
- 33000 cars per day between 14th and 15th Aves
- 90 per cent of vehicles on the road are cars
- 1.1 people average occupancy of each car
- 3 per cent increase in traffic volumes since 2013
- 15 buses an hour in each direction in new network
- 885 passengers per hour capacity on buses
- 43 serious injuries in last decade
- 2 deaths in last decade
- 400+ on street parks between CBD and hospital.
Source: Tauranga City Council