Consultation on the proposed safety improvements in the Ngongotahā Village opened yesterday.Rotorua Lakes Council is asking for feedback from the community about proposed options to improve safety for road users, active modes users and pedestrians within Ngongotahā village. Consultation closes on October 7.
The corridor through Ngongotahā village is a state highway that is owned and managed by Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency. For a number of years the Ngongotahā community has expressed concerns to council about the safety of the state highway through the village, the council said in a press release.
In response to community concerns, the council commissioned a study to identify current infrastructure issues and develop potential solutions. Now it wants to hear from the community about what option is preferred.
The feedback will help the council seek funding from Waka Kotahi to implement the infrastructure changes. Feedback will also be used to inform the council's 2021–2031 Long-term Plan.
The three proposed options range in cost, physical change and life expectancy.
Rotorua Lakes Council infrastructure general manager Stavros Michael said public feedback would be important to help guide any improvements within Ngongotahā village.
"The Ngongotahā village has a number of unique characteristics that need to be taken into account with any changes to the infrastructure. State Highway 36 runs through the centre of the village – it's a route for large trucks and increasing numbers of traffic from the north end, as well as having local schools and care homes nearby.
"It's important to find the balance between the village community and local businesses' needs, as well as the needs of those drivers that regularly use the thoroughfare from the surrounding areas. Feedback from the community will help to determine what those needs are."
Ngongotahā has also been identified as an area for potential future growth. The council needs to be proactive in addressing traffic safety issues to be able to move forward with locality plans and residential development.
Residents and commercial property owners in the Ngongotahā, Hamurana and Mamaku areas will receive a letter outlining the options and asking for their feedback on the proposed safety changes to the Ngongotahā village infrastructure.
To learn more about the proposed safety options and to provide feedback, you can attend the community engagement night or go to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/letstalk. You can also email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or provide it over the phone by calling 07 348 4199.
The community engagement night will be held from 5.30pm on September 23 at the Ngongotahā Bowling Club (11 Domain Ave). Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Association will also be presenting on other planned works in the Ngongotahā area.
Proposed safety improvements summary
Estimated cost - $150,000
• Reconstructing ramps at existing pedestrian crossing points and removing kerb lips for better accessibility.
• Widening existing pedestrian crossing points at accessible carparks.
• Reducing the speed limit through the village corridor to 30km/h. Coloured pavement surfacing and "30km/h" road markings would reinforce the speed limit change at each end.
• Improving visibility at crossing points of the SH36/Hall Road/Taui Street intersection by changing the planting and landscaping.
• Narrow the road lane width with road markings to slow traffic on the Western side of SH36, next to the parking spaces.
Option 2: Estimated cost - $600,000
• Constructing a raised pedestrian platform.
• Relocating the existing zebra crossing and reconstructing it with a raised platform.
• Extending the raised median north of the Hall Road/Taui Street intersection.
• Constructing raised safety platforms across the main road, on either side of side road intersections.
• Widening the existing footpath to become a shared path on the western
side of SH36/Ngongotaha Road.
Option 3: Estimated cost - $2,000,000
Meets the desired level of service and future proofs the corridor.
• Raising the road surface to be flush with the footpath.
• Installing crossing signals at the pedestrian crossing between the intersections of SH36 with Western Road and Hall Road/Taui Street.
• Extending the raised median north.
• Changing the SH35/Hall Road/Taui Street intersection to a roundabout. Crossing signals could also be considered.
• Widening the existing footpaths on both sides to become shared paths.
• Extensive urban design and landscaping to improve the sense of place within Ngongotahā Village, and to reinforce motorists' understanding that they are entering an area that has high volumes of pedestrians, manoeuvring vehicles and other road users.