Links Avenue will be partially reopening before Christmas (this is expected the week of 19 December – weather dependent) after the Links Avenue Community Panel’s proposal was accepted by the Commissioners and Tauranga City Council.
The reopening is stage one of a three phased approach proposed by the Panel.
While the Panel is seeking that the restricted access is for only five days a week, commissioners prefer to try seven days as a starting point to see the impact on traffic volumes.
For more information on the Panel’s three phased approach, please visit the Panel’s website at www.ourlinksavenue.co.nz.
The Panel was originally established to develop a solution to accessibility issues in the neighbourhood which came about following Council’s response to managing unsafe traffic volumes.
The agreed phased approach will:
provide increased accessibility
reduce the isolation which the community has been experiencing, in particular, its older residents
continue to discourage Links Avenue as a commuter route
ensure safety is at the forefront
create a more liveable and safe environment for the neighbourhood.
The initial reopening is the result of the Panel working over the past five months – meeting once a week in their own time – engaging with experts, the community, commissioners and council.
This initial stage of Phase One – and being implemented prior to Christmas includes:
restricting access only between 7am to 10am and 2pm to 6pm
maintaining a 30kmph speed limit, with a recommended bylaw change at a Council meeting on 12 December, which will take effect from 19 December
installing temporary speed tables until pedestrian crossings can be installed
installing new improved signage and road markings.
The Panel are pleased the Commission and Council staff trusted them to work on this on behalf of the community.
“We’re pleased the Commissioners and staff have taken the time to listen to us throughout this process and providing a detailed response to our proposal. To hear that Council will implement some aspects of our proposal prior to Christmas recognises the value they place on really listening to the community and compromising where possible,” says Dan McLean, Panel spokesperson.
“The Links Avenue community is frustrated at the total road closure so we are pleased Council is expediting making these changes safely before Christmas, especially with this time of the year being a super busy period for the road construction industry,” says Sophie Merwe, Panel spokesperson.
Once the above aspects of Phase One are in place, a period of monitoring and data collection will take place after the Christmas and New Year holidays, to see how this first phase is tracking. The results of the monitoring will help inform the final Phase One changes and contribute towards Phases Two and Three changes.
“We are looking forward to seeing data gathered and hearing from community to assess if the changes are working and whether our other proposed changes can be phased in, especially if time restrictions can safely be reduced to weekdays only,” says Sophie.
Specific aspects of Phase One deferred until next year include:
narrowing the road with flexi-posts (or other)
removing Spur Avenue’s right-of-way and changing it to a small roundabout
adding raised pedestrian crossings the entire length of Links Avenue (to replace the speed tables)
adding roundabouts at each intersection of Links Avenue.
For more information, including details of the Panel’s proposal (all three phases) please visit the Panel’s website at www.ourlinksavenue.co.nz.
Media queries – please email the panel at email@example.com