Tauranga City Council is calling on community members to register their interest in a new trial named Innovating Streets at the Mount.
The project aims to enhance the way people move around on the streets in the north Mount Maunganui area and will be developed in close collaboration with local residents and businesses.
While various ideas have already been suggested, nothing is set in stone yet and the final plan for the trial will be determined by co-design with the community.
The initiative will ask the community to focus on opportunities in the busy Mount north area, including The Mall (Pilot Bay) and Marine Parade (from Banks Ave to Tay St).
Community engagement is planned to start in late-August and will allow people to contribute to the project throughout its lifespan. In order to enable the co-design aspect, a community design group will be formed to help guide the direction of the project, while the wider community will also be able to provide feedback to the plans developed.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said it was crucial to get widespread engagement to create a balanced plan which met the needs of most people.
"Mount Maunganui is one the most popular spots in New Zealand, with high numbers of people in cars, on bikes, on foot and other modes of transport, but there is also limited space.
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"Innovating Streets at the Mount is all about taking up a great opportunity to test some quick, creative, low-cost and temporary street solutions, with direct involvement from the community in their design. Our aim is to make this treasured, but busy area as people-friendly and safe as possible, with better facilities for moving about and for recreation.
"The lockdown due to Covid-19 gave many of us a new experience of using public spaces at the Mount. We would like to learn from this and see if there are any ways to enhance this area and make it more available to a wider variety of users."
The council will use the learnings and insights from an earlier proposal in 2017/2018, which considered a similar area. That background information will be combined with new community input to develop a plan that will be implemented as a temporary trial before mid-2021.
The project is supported through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Innovating Streets pilot fund. Costs for the total works are estimated at $1 million-plus (ex GST), of which Waka Kotahi is funding 90 per cent and Tauranga City Council 10 per cent.
For more information about the project, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/innovatingstreets. Anyone interested in being involved in the project is asked to register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org