Green light for Tasman walking and cycling strategy to make streets safer

Separated cycleways are a feature of Tasman District Council's Walking and Cycling Strategy 2022-52.​

Braden Fastier/Stuff

Separated cycleways are a feature of Tasman District Council’s Walking and Cycling Strategy 2022-52.​

Separated cycleways and 30kph speed limits in urban streets are part of a 30-year strategy to make Tasman roads safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Elected members on the council’s strategy and policy committee in late May adopted the strategy, which has a target of doubling the number of trips made by walking and cycling to work and school in urban areas by 2030 and tripling them by 2050.

As transportation planning officer Clare Scott presented the final document to councillors, she described the strategy as aspirational and said it was about holistic network planning.

“We know now that designing our road networks for cars is not enough … we need to ensure the safety of all our road users,” Scott said. “Making sure that everybody [who] wants to have the choice to walk or cycle safely and conveniently.”

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Strategy and policy committee chairman and Richmond ward councillor Kit Maling says the walking and cycling strategy is a high-level document and there could be changes at the detailed design phase.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

Strategy and policy committee chairman and Richmond ward councillor Kit Maling says the walking and cycling strategy is a high-level document and there could be changes at the detailed design phase.

Sustainable transport lobby group Nelsust and the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum back the strategy.

In a statement, the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum says it applauds the council for its “bold move” to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“It’s a fantastic start to setting up the future world in which we will soon need to live,” the statement says. “Getting people out of cars onto bikes or walking, along with using public transport, is an essential component in reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions to zero by 2050.”

Policy 6 in the strategy says the council will work towards all urban​ streets having either an effective 30kph speed limit or a protected or separated cycleway.

Nelsust highlighted that policy and hoped Nelson City Council would follow suit.

Queen St in Richmond has a 30kph speed limit in its CBD.  Such speed limits are proposed for other urban streets where there is no protected or separated cycleway.

Cherie Sivignon/Stuff

Queen St in Richmond has a 30kph speed limit in its CBD. Such speed limits are proposed for other urban streets where there is no protected or separated cycleway.

“These are precisely the sort of measures required to get Nelson commuters and parents to shift from car transport,” it says. ,[Nelsust] eagerly awaits the Nelson Active Transport Plan, and sincerely hopes it will be as ambitious as TDC’s in making our streets safe for all people, not just those in cars.”

Scott said Tasman District Council received 244 submissions on its draft strategy and there was “80% approval for the general proposal”.

“So we’re hearing a really strong desire from the community for this kind of change and moving in this direction,” she told councillors.

In addition, letters were delivered to people living in properties were “road reallocation” was proposed, which drew 51 responses.

“Out of those who would be potentially affected by no longer being able to park on the street in front of their home, 57% of those responding said they approved … a further 10% approved it but had some questions,” Scott said .

A map showing proposed changes for Richmond in the Tasman District Council Walking and Cycling Strategy 2022-52.

Supplied

A map showing proposed changes for Richmond in the Tasman District Council Walking and Cycling Strategy 2022-52.

Committee chairman and Richmond ward councillor Kit Maling said he received “a number” of phone calls and emails from people on Hill St in Richmond, concerned about potentially losing parking spaces from both sides of the street.

“I’ve been informed by staff that this is a high-level strategy and detailed design means that there could be changes in the future,” Maling said.

Scott this week confirmed no detailed designs had been completed and there would be further discussion with residents on projects that might affect them.

“They are not going to wake up one day to roadworks,” she said. “People will be notified, there will be engagement.”

ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson gives details in the Government’s emission reduction plan.

Work was under way “triaging” the potential projects taking into consideration the areas of the highest risk and those likely to bring the biggest benefit. It was expected physical work would begin in the 2022-23 financial year.

An application had been made to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for funding under its Streets for People programme. That could potentially deliver $1 million to $2 million in addition to what the council had set aside in its Long Term Plan to roll out the changes, Scott said.

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