Tauranga City Council has released detailed plans for the Cameron Rd upgrade which they hope will make it safer, more attractive, and provide more ways for people to travel.
Proposed changes include new part-time bus lanes, a new two-way cycleway, and improvements to make the area more walkable, attractive and community-friendly.
Stormwater treatment along the road will also be improved.
The project has been met with a mixed response from businesses.
Quinovic Property Management principal Cliff Tolley said parking was the big issue.
"It's great to have easier access and the push towards buses and the cycle lanes but you still need to park the car."
The Salvation Army Tauranga corps officer Stephen Crump said he was "concerned" about the designated bus lanes.
"We have a family store which requires access and it's not always people who come on buses," he said.
"To sacrifice car parks for [the bus lanes] is going to be awkward.
"Anything that's going to put a dent in the family store income is going to make continuing to provide our current services that much more awkward [and] challenging."
Greenslades Furniture co-owner Andy Greenslade said he liked the project.
"I think the argument is there are not that many cyclists [and] people using buses, but I think we have to do something to encourage it, so I hope it does."
Pristine Drycleaners co-owner Chad McMurtrie said he had seen the entire project process as an area representative for the community liaison group.
"As far as what they're planning, I think they're doing really well with the budget," he said.
More controlled crossings and blocking off some side streets would definitely "make life a bit easier for a lot of pedestrians", he said.
"At the moment it's just chaos. The amount of near misses and accidents we see just here alone is crazy."
McMurtrie said the construction phase was going to be "a bit of a nightmare ... but I think in the long-term it's going to be a good outcome."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said he had received "mixed" feedback from businesses about the project.
"Businesses who are directly impacted have strong feelings - they know the issues as they see it every day," he said.
"While other larger businesses in the city centre are supportive of the goal of making Cameron Rd easier and safer."
The council's general manager of infrastructure Nic Johansson said it was "a challenging task" to find a design solution that maintained existing traffic lanes and accommodated cycle and bus lanes, while also meeting the parking demands of the community.
"We understand the off-street parking needs of the business community along Cameron Rd, which is why we worked with them to define the peak parking hours, what carparks could be kept, and highlight off-street parking for their customers," he said.
Johansson said the bus land was only operational during peak hours and people could park in the lane during off-peak times.
"We have not removed any private car parks and people can still park off-street or along side streets."
Tauranga City Council commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said the project was an "opportunity" to get ahead of the city's rapidly growing population.
Currently around 14 per cent of Tauranga's population lived in the Te Papa peninsula. This number is expected to grow by more than 17 per cent by 2050.
"Our community believes future possibilities for the area include better transport infrastructure and housing, along with less traffic congestion and safer open spaces," Tolley said.
Tauranga City Council director of transport Brendan Bisley said residents would use Cameron Rd differently in the future.
"We are already seeing more residential and mixed-use apartment buildings being developed on Cameron Rd and the nature of the street is changing.
"Cameron Rd is set to become a destination, not just a commuting corridor. Ultimately, we hope this will benefit the business community too."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said as the city grew, it was really important to intensify housing and grow up more than out.
"Projects like Cameron Rd enable that to happen and will provide better transport to/from our CBD, where we expect strong growth in the future," he said.