Innovating Streets

There's been a lot of community interest in the Wairaka Innovating Streets project.

Now that the installations have been in place for a while, we'd like to explore people’s thoughts about them and what we should do with them. Broadly speaking we have a few basic options:

  • Remove the installations - Farewell to our planter boxes (or maybe just some of them?)
  • Modify the installation - We’ve already made a few changes in response to public requests but we could make further alterations.
  • Leave them just as they are - The types of materials used mean we could reasonably expect everything to last another few years
  • Plan on making the sites permanent using more durable materials.

Thank you for your feedback on the Wairaka Innovating Streets project. The survey closed on Tuesday, 24 November 2021.


About Wairaka Innovating Streets

The idea is to provide temporary road treatments to improve safety and connectivity for people walking, cycling, or riding a mobility scooter.

For Wairaka, we used:

Kerb buildouts - These are designed to slow traffic by obstructing motorists’ line of sight up the roadway and by making the road feel much narrower. This typically results in reduced speeds. The buildouts were constructed with planter boxes and flexible bollards and were infilled by a local artist.

New intersection layouts - These changes are designed to make the intersections narrower, better directing traffic and reducing cornering speeds. This has been done to improve safety, in particular for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

Cultural design - With the kerb buildouts and intersections changes, we used locally designed road art that reflects the whakapapa of the area and its people. This helps to brighten the neighbourhood and encourages lower driver speeds.

Speedhumps - These were installed to encourage safer speeds in areas where speed was causing safety issues and where speed limits weren’t being adhered to. The humps being installed are wider and shallower than typical speedhumps and were designed to slow traffic while not creating undue road noise or discomfort to drivers.

Chicanes - Temporary chicanes were installed on Wairaka Road to discourage high speeds and to encourage traffic to stay on Muriwai Drive where possible. These features are one-way and difficult to navigate with long vehicles or trailers.

Courtesy crossings - were installed next to Te Ana o Muriwai and near Te Whare o Toroa.

Street art - Some sections of road were painted with designs provided by a local artist, telling stories about the area.

Wairaka Innovating Streets project outcomes

The trial has enhanced the connection across Muriwai Drive to the Wai, reduced speeds on local streets, and brought more vibrancy to the area with artwork.

On Harvey Street, the average speed dropped by 6kph and the number of people exceeding 60kph fell to zero - a significant drop in speeds which will make these areas safer for people. Similar results were seen at the Heads, with the average speed dropping 10kph and only 0.6% of vehicles exceeding the 30kph speed limit.

On Toroa Street, the chicanes didn't result in any meaningful change in speeds or traffic volumes.

The Comm Corner intersection looks to be working well. We weren't expecting a speed drop here, but pedestrians should be feeling safer and the intersection appears to be performing well for drivers (even if it is a bit slower to get through than previously).

The key outcome of the Innovating Streets Fund is to create vibrant, people focused places in areas traditionally dominated by vehicles.

Council has secured $494,000 of funding from Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) to work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, community and town centre businesses to co-design and activate space in the Kākahoroa Drive car park area. The trial area is within the Town Centre Heart and Riverfront Promenade area. Funding was applied for in collaboration with these projects to contribute towards public engagement and consultation.

The first round of consultation took place from 19 September to 16 October - at the same time as the Town Centre and Riverfront engagement process.

The results of consultation on Innovating Streets, which provides Government funding towards creating safe and more enjoyable walking and cycling spaces, are available to view in this report.

Whakatāne Innovating Streets Consultation Summary - (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Innovating Streets is a nationwide funding programme that provides an opportunity to make low cost, temporary improvements to the road space and activate these spaces with events, while the Town Centre and Riverfront programme is looking at potentially implementing permanent changes. No decisions have been made on what these might be.

Feedback from the Innovating Streets consultation showed that the concurrent engagement processes caused confusion for some people, but there was still a lot of valuable information shared through the Innovating Streets consultation.

Some of the key findings include:

  • People are highly engaged on this subject but need more information to understand what temporary activation of public spaces actually means
  • Business retailers are particularly interested in any potential changes to the CBD environment – temporary or permanent
  • Parking and business vitality are linked in the minds of many respondents
  • People do want more vibrancy in the CBD but are wary of big changes.

Video showing Concepts 1 and 2.

The fund specifically requires use of temporary design and experimental use in public space. Our community will have the opportunity to experience what change could look and feel like, before permanently changing. Any infrastructure will be reused within our District to reduce waste.

This funding is a great opportunity for our community to consider what change could occur as part of the Town Centre Heart and Riverfront Promenade projects. We want your feedback on concepts initially developed to secure government funding for the Innovating Streets project. Your feedback will help to shape the activations we put in place to inform the second phase of consultation for the town centre projects.

There's been a lot of community interest in the Wairaka Innovating Streets project.

Now that the installations have been in place for a while, we'd like to explore people’s thoughts about them and what we should do with them. Broadly speaking we have a few basic options:

  • Remove the installations - Farewell to our planter boxes (or maybe just some of them?)
  • Modify the installation - We’ve already made a few changes in response to public requests but we could make further alterations.
  • Leave them just as they are - The types of materials used mean we could reasonably expect everything to last another few years
  • Plan on making the sites permanent using more durable materials.

Thank you for your feedback on the Wairaka Innovating Streets project. The survey closed on Tuesday, 24 November 2021.


About Wairaka Innovating Streets

The idea is to provide temporary road treatments to improve safety and connectivity for people walking, cycling, or riding a mobility scooter.

For Wairaka, we used:

Kerb buildouts - These are designed to slow traffic by obstructing motorists’ line of sight up the roadway and by making the road feel much narrower. This typically results in reduced speeds. The buildouts were constructed with planter boxes and flexible bollards and were infilled by a local artist.

New intersection layouts - These changes are designed to make the intersections narrower, better directing traffic and reducing cornering speeds. This has been done to improve safety, in particular for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

Cultural design - With the kerb buildouts and intersections changes, we used locally designed road art that reflects the whakapapa of the area and its people. This helps to brighten the neighbourhood and encourages lower driver speeds.

Speedhumps - These were installed to encourage safer speeds in areas where speed was causing safety issues and where speed limits weren’t being adhered to. The humps being installed are wider and shallower than typical speedhumps and were designed to slow traffic while not creating undue road noise or discomfort to drivers.

Chicanes - Temporary chicanes were installed on Wairaka Road to discourage high speeds and to encourage traffic to stay on Muriwai Drive where possible. These features are one-way and difficult to navigate with long vehicles or trailers.

Courtesy crossings - were installed next to Te Ana o Muriwai and near Te Whare o Toroa.

Street art - Some sections of road were painted with designs provided by a local artist, telling stories about the area.

Wairaka Innovating Streets project outcomes

The trial has enhanced the connection across Muriwai Drive to the Wai, reduced speeds on local streets, and brought more vibrancy to the area with artwork.

On Harvey Street, the average speed dropped by 6kph and the number of people exceeding 60kph fell to zero - a significant drop in speeds which will make these areas safer for people. Similar results were seen at the Heads, with the average speed dropping 10kph and only 0.6% of vehicles exceeding the 30kph speed limit.

On Toroa Street, the chicanes didn't result in any meaningful change in speeds or traffic volumes.

The Comm Corner intersection looks to be working well. We weren't expecting a speed drop here, but pedestrians should be feeling safer and the intersection appears to be performing well for drivers (even if it is a bit slower to get through than previously).

The key outcome of the Innovating Streets Fund is to create vibrant, people focused places in areas traditionally dominated by vehicles.

Council has secured $494,000 of funding from Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) to work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, community and town centre businesses to co-design and activate space in the Kākahoroa Drive car park area. The trial area is within the Town Centre Heart and Riverfront Promenade area. Funding was applied for in collaboration with these projects to contribute towards public engagement and consultation.

The first round of consultation took place from 19 September to 16 October - at the same time as the Town Centre and Riverfront engagement process.

The results of consultation on Innovating Streets, which provides Government funding towards creating safe and more enjoyable walking and cycling spaces, are available to view in this report.

Whakatāne Innovating Streets Consultation Summary - (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Innovating Streets is a nationwide funding programme that provides an opportunity to make low cost, temporary improvements to the road space and activate these spaces with events, while the Town Centre and Riverfront programme is looking at potentially implementing permanent changes. No decisions have been made on what these might be.

Feedback from the Innovating Streets consultation showed that the concurrent engagement processes caused confusion for some people, but there was still a lot of valuable information shared through the Innovating Streets consultation.

Some of the key findings include:

  • People are highly engaged on this subject but need more information to understand what temporary activation of public spaces actually means
  • Business retailers are particularly interested in any potential changes to the CBD environment – temporary or permanent
  • Parking and business vitality are linked in the minds of many respondents
  • People do want more vibrancy in the CBD but are wary of big changes.

Video showing Concepts 1 and 2.

The fund specifically requires use of temporary design and experimental use in public space. Our community will have the opportunity to experience what change could look and feel like, before permanently changing. Any infrastructure will be reused within our District to reduce waste.

This funding is a great opportunity for our community to consider what change could occur as part of the Town Centre Heart and Riverfront Promenade projects. We want your feedback on concepts initially developed to secure government funding for the Innovating Streets project. Your feedback will help to shape the activations we put in place to inform the second phase of consultation for the town centre projects.

  • Thanks for stopping by.

    In total there are three 'parklets' currently located outside Ataturk Café, Subway, and another to be installed at Javaman Café.

    The 'parklets' can be relocated around The Strand and we plan on doing this every three months until December 2021. 

    In December we’ll decide what the long-term future of the parklets will be; keeping them on The Strand, or moving them somewhere else in the district.

    For now, we're really interested to hear what you think of them and how they are currently being used.

    Tell us what you think »
Page last updated: 30 Nov 2021, 04:32 PM