The decision to abandon a temporary shared path and altered traffic arrangements on some Mount Maunganui streets has disappointed the cycling community.
Tauranga City Council decided to ditch the Innovating Streets at The Mount project at a meeting on Tuesday, with commissioners saying the project did not have sufficient community support.
The project involved a trial of the temporary shared path and altered traffic arrangements for the section of Marine Pde between Pacific Ave and the Tay St intersection.
Project leader Guy Protheroe said about 30 per cent of the $990,000 budgeted for the project had been spent.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency was prepared to fund 90 per cent of the project, with the council funding 10 per cent.
Protheroe said they received more than 2300 submissions during two phases of consultation.
Several hundred informal submissions were also collected during public engagement sessions at community events.
Bike Tauranga chairman Kevin Kerr said he was saddened the project had been dropped.
"This was an opportunity to create a trial at virtually no cost to the ratepayers. From the perspective of the Mount Maunganui community, it was a no-brainer to give this a try."
Kerr said that as well as improving traffic flow, the project would have created a new cycle connection in Tauranga.
"We lack cycle connections all over the city, and this was an opportunity to do one."
Transport advocate Heidi Hughes said the project was all about trialling change.
"I am so unhappy. This project wasn't about this generation, it is about trialling ideas for future generations."
Hughes, who resigned from her role as a city councillor in December, said she was heavily involved in the project before her time at the council through Greater Tauranga.
She said the idea behind Innovating Streets was to try temporary solutions before spending large amounts of money on permanent changes to streets in the Mount.
"We know that there are issues in the Mount, and this was an idea to try some solutions and we have just scuttled it. "
Mount Maunganui Ratepayers, Residents & Retailers president Michael O'Neill said it was a "sensible decision" not to proceed.
"People come to the beach to bring their toys and their picnics - and usually, they bring cars so they need car parks."
O'Neill said the loss of car parks was their only objection to the proposed trial, and the association was disappointed other parts of the project would not go ahead.
Transport agency urban mobility manager Kathryn King said they were working through a project closure process with the council, which included finalising the budget spent to date.
Any budget not used would be reallocated to the wider Innovating Streets programme, she said.
Marine Parade boardwalk
At the council meeting on Tuesday, commissioners approved a feasibility study to extend the Marine Pde boardwalk.
The boardwalk was not part of the initial plans council was seeking feedback on and it was out of scope for the Innovating Streets project, which is limited to temporary works within the road reserve.
Commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said the idea of extending the boardwalk would address many of the opportunities identified through the Innovating Streets project.
"Although the trial's community co-design approach received good support, we felt opinion was too divided to make a convincing case. Under the circumstances, we felt it would be better to prioritise the potential extension of the existing Marine Pde boardwalk."
Both Hughes and Kerr agreed that going ahead with the Marine Pde boardwalk analysis was logical but they said it would not cater to people on e-bikes, skateboards and electric scooters.
"The boardwalk will be extensively used by pedestrians, and while we applaud it, I am concerned that a shared pathway isn't the best way forward," said Kerr.
Hughes said: "You won't want people who are on 20km/h scooters, whipping past on their skateboards, or electric bikes. That is putting pedestrians at risk."