Sections of two Hamilton city streets are being closed to traffic or have restricted access for a 10-week trial aimed at showing people how they could be made safer, easier and more enjoyable spaces.
They are a section of Rostrevor Street (between Boyes Park and Hinemoa Park) and a section of Ward Street (between Tristram Street and Anglesea Street).
The trials are the first rollout of Hamilton Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets (HKIS), which is one of dozens of similar projects unfolding nationwide. All are receiving 90 per cent funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Hamilton City Council says each trial calls for direct feedback from the community on-site, which will be used to influence how to make city streets "better for everyone".
People are being asked for their views on the designs, which the council's transport and urban mobility programme delivery lead, Martin Parkes, says is exciting because Hamilton residents have co-designed the street improvements.
"Now we're inviting everyone to come down, get amongst the trial layouts, and give feedback from their real experience of how the streets are feeling and working," he says.
The council says people's feedback on the designs can be given to the HKIS team during a visit to each area. This is then used to adapt the scenario/set-ups throughout the trial period. Ultimately, the goal is to arrive at a dynamically-informed solution that will improve each street section for everyone to use – not just vehicles.
Waka Kotahi's urban mobility manager, Kathryn King, says she is "excited to see fast-growing cities like Hamilton re-shaping streets, so they better serve the growing community."
Hamilton city councillor Angela O'Leary says the project lets Hamilton's city streets and Hamiltonians' input play a pivotal role in realising the city's vision for sustainability, while creating a vibrant centre that's great to be in.
"This project is exciting because it gives people the chance to actually stand in and move around each street section. They can then make suggestions to the HKIS project team on how to tweak it. It's a 'real world' opportunity encouraging greater participation from our community in shaping the future of their streets."
For the trial, which runs through to early July, the Rostrevor Street section between Boyes Park and Hinemoa Park will be open to people but fully closed to cars. There'll be street art and events in this street section beginning Saturday May 1.
The council says it is safer to get around the Tristram Street/Rostrevor Street roundabout with safer crossings and traffic calming features.
For driving, Norton Road and Mill Street are alternative routes. For parking, there are more than 550 publicly available carparks within a five-minute walk.
From Wednesday April 28 to Thursday May 6, trial street improvements will be installed along the south (PWC/Wintec side) of Ward Street with a lane closure to traffic. This section of Ward Street will be one-way (east-bound only) during this time.
The council says traffic management staff onsite will assist anyone who requires access into a premise.
On the north (Warehouse/Vegan Buffet side), the same installation procedure will happen, between Friday May 7 and Saturday May 15.
Improvements in both street sections (including seating, art, trees, wider footpath, a bike/scooter lane) will be installed, taking about two weeks.
The Ward Street section will stay open to through traffic (foot, bike and vehicle) throughout the installation period, with some 'stop/go' traffic management in place.
Access to all premises on the Ward Street section will continue throughout the project.
To find out more about this project visit hamilton.govt.nz/innovating-streets