Avenues community help to plan a safe connection between Shared Paths

Published on 14 February 2022

A photo showing Central Avenue before the improvement works.

Useful feedback from the local community has re-shaped plans for Central Avenue, especially at the intersections with Second and Third Avenue. The area is set to become a connection point between the Raumanga and Kamo Shared Paths, with the first stage of construction scheduled from March to July 2022.

Northland Transport Alliance Procurement and Projects Manager Rachael Mannion says "Cycling is a growth area for transport. When more people can ride bikes or walk to their destinations we see less traffic congestion, quieter neighbourhoods and less demand on car-parking. We need to make sure our infrastructure supports people who want to get around without using a motor vehicle."

Raumanga Shared Path

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) are providing $5,000,000 to complete the Raumanga Shared Path.  This includes the creation of a new portion of the path to link the current end at Bernard Street and the Kamo Shared Path on Rust Avenue as well as improving the existing section of path between Bernard Street and State Highway 1.

The first stage of this work is the construction of the path from the alleyway on First Avenue to the end of Second Avenue.  Construction is planned to start in March 2022 and expected to be completed in July 2022. Those directly affected by the works can expect to be contacted before work starts in their area. This portion of the works connects with the upgrade of the Lovers Lane Bridge (by the new Civic Centre) which will be built to Shared Path standards.

Avenues Safety Improvements

As well as the MBIE funds for the shared path, Council is funding safety improvements to the Avenues area. The Avenues are being targeted for these safety treatments due to a number of requests from residents to address the issue of speeding vehicles and other safety concerns.

One the of the biggest changes to be made is along Central Avenue with the removal of parking and the addition of right-turn bays and greatly improved crossing points for pedestrians.

Project manager Rachael Mannion says that the new plan is a win for locals and all types of road users: "Putting in a traffic island to help people cross Central Avenue also helps to mark the space for a dedicated right-turn lane into Second Avenue. That doesn't just improve the safety of the road for people pushing prams or riding bikes, it also makes life easier for drivers."

The new plan for the other avenues includes raised tables and slightly narrowed entrances from Central Avenue as well as speed humps further along the avenues to help slow vehicles down.

As per the original plan, the walkways between First and Second Avenues will be upgraded with street lighting. While the differences to people driving will be small, they are significant for walkers and people on bikes.

"All these changes make it much safer for kids in the Avenues, Maunu or Raumanga to access Cafler Park, Forum North or the Central Library, not to mention the schools on the Kamo Shared Path" says Mannion.

"It also makes it easier for people in suburbs like Regent, Kensington or Kamo to ride a bike or walk all the way to Raumanga Falls without leaving Shared Paths or quiet streets."

Technical plans for works on Central Avenue in 2022