Places for People Update: The parklets are coming

The Places for People project team and Raglan Community Board are excited to announce that the Bow

St parklets are under construction, and should be ready to be installed at the end of June. The Places for People Project has been made possible thanks to funding from the central government, through Waka Kotahi’s (NZTA) Innovating Streets fund.

The two parklets will be installed close to the existing raised crossings on Bow St, near Ali’s Turkish Kebabs and the second outside Trade Aid. The concept behind the parklets is to give extra space for pedestrians and cyclists to use and enjoy the downtown area. Creating seated areas to enjoy takeaways or to simply take a break and catch up with someone while walking and cycling around town.

The great thing about the project is that as part of the trial the community will have the opportunity to provide feedback to help shape how we move forward. Once installed, the trial period for the parklets will run through until December, when we will evaluate the success

of the project. If the feedback is positive the trial will continue until March 2022. A few weeks after installation when everyone has had a chance to try the parklets and get used to the changes, you can let us know what you think of these new public spaces. Your feedback is important to us and the project, and can be given via the Community Board website and forms available from the library.

You will also notice the addition of some road art at the crossing of Wainui Rd between the Shack & Wyld (formerly Blacksands). The road art will be painted on the surface of the road to highlight to drivers and pedestrians that this is a busy area with a lot of foot traffic. This will be done on the nights of 21, 22 and 23 June (weather permitting). Road art has been proven around the world to slow drivers down and make them feel more aware of pedestrians.

In conjunction with the Places for People project and as a result of our monitoring and feedback from the community, Waikato District Council will be implementing some changes to reduce the congestion and improve safety at the intersection of Bow St & Wainui Rd, in front of the Harbour View

Hotel. This will involve moving the give-way line forward on Wainui Rd so cars don’t stop in the middle of the crossing, and trialling a painted roundabout at the intersection of Bow St & Wainui Rd. Being just paint on the road surface it will allow trucks, emergency vehicles, and other large vehicles, or those towing to simply drive over it. There will also be give-way lines added to Bow Street in both directions. The aim of this trial is to alleviate the traffic congestion and create a more free- flowing intersection where it becomes clear who gives way to who.

The four parallel parks in front of LJ Hooker will also be changed to angle parks for safety reasons and to minimise delays at the roundabout as people park. Each of the three raised crossings on Bow St will also be pedestrianised. All this work is scheduled to be undertaken on the nights of 21, 22 and 23 June (weather permitting). Bow Street and Wainui Road (from the roundabout) will be closed to all through traffic on these nights.

As part of this work there will initially be a number of “safe hit” plastic poles attached to the road surface along with painted lines to indicate the intended pathway for vehicles.

The project team has requested to keep the use of these safe hit poles to the required minimum number. If, after the trial period, the community feedback is positive and a majority of people want the changes made permanent, then the safe hit poles will be replaced with new concrete curbing and expanded garden beds on Wainui Rd.

People might be wondering about the designs for Putoetoe Place, at the bottom of Bow Street, that were developed earlier in the project. At this stage due to cost and timing, the focus has been on delivering the two parklets and road art. We have gathered a lot of info and feedback and there is support for a redesigned public space in the Putoetoe Place area and this will be readdressed with the businesses and community later in the year.

The Places for People project team would like to acknowledge that this has been quite a journey to get to this point – from lockdown to now being able to create and install some new public spaces into our town. The team recognises that there are many different opinions around town about this project. Throughout it all we have strived to listen to all the different opinions and take on board everyone’s feedback in a constructive and respectful manner.

The opportunity to trial some changes to the downtown area, to re-imagine what might be possible without using ratepayer money was an obvious choice for the Community Board and Project team and we ask that you approach this trial period with an open mind and take time to enjoy the parklet spaces.

If you have any questions please contact the project team or a member of the Community Board directly. You can do that by phone or email. Visit the RCB website for project detail, updates and contact details.

We look forward to getting your input into this project.

Dennis Amoore

Mobile: 027 825 5807
Email: Lisa Thomson
Mobile: 021 179 8256

This design illustration shows what the parklets will look like once completed.