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Safety improvements coming for the Motueka community

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is sharing its designs for safer intersections and pedestrian crossings through Motueka’s town centre with the local community, ahead of construction starting in July this year.

With funding of $6.8 million as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Waka Kotahi has designed intersection improvements and pedestrian crossing signals on State Highway 60 (SH60) High Street through Motueka’s town centre. 

“These safety improvements will ensure everyone who uses High Street can get to where they are going safely when they are driving through or visiting Motueka’s bustling town centre,” says Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, Emma Speight. 

“In 2017, we started investigating safety and journey time reliability improvements on SH60 High Street. At that time, we sought the community’s feedback on the proposed improvements, and we have used this feedback to refine the safety improvements we will be delivering along this stretch of road,” Ms Speight says. 

Waka Kotahi will deliver four safety improvements for the community: 

  • A new roundabout to improve access onto SH60 at the King Edward Street and Old Wharf Road intersection.
  • Traffic signals will be installed at the Tudor/High Street intersection, and the existing zebra crossing just north of this intersection will be removed.
  • Pedestrian signals will be installed on High Street north of Wallace Street, along with a right turn bay into Wallace Street. At this location we will also remove the existing zebra crossing.
  • Traffic signals will be installed at the Pah/Greenwood/High Street intersection, and the existing zebra crossing on High Street, just south of the Pah/Greenwood/High Street intersection will be removed.

“High Street is a busy road with lots of people driving, walking and cycling through the area. By replacing the existing zebra crossings with signalised crossings, we will help people get across the road more safely. These changes will also help traffic flow better during peak times and make it easier for people to enter High Street from side streets,” Ms Speight says. 

To deliver these safety improvements, the large trees and some on-street parks will be removed within the area.  

“We are asking the community for their insights on where they think mobility, time-restricted, loading zone, bicycle and motorcycle parking could go along High Street within the parking spaces we have allocated. We are also seeking feedback on the pedestrian zebra crossing at the roundabout,” Ms Speight says. 

Tasman District Councillor David Ogilvie, who represents Motueka Ward, says the news of the High Street safety improvements starting is very welcome.

“A roundabout will relieve the frequent hesitant and risky congestion at the Clock Tower corner. Both sets of traffic signals will provide considerable certainty and improved safety for everyone entering or exiting our Main Street. The upgrade does provide for new, appropriate plantings, to help offset the need for trees to be removed, which is necessary for the longer-term safety gains.”

Cr Ogilvie said he was looking forward to a safer and easier to navigate High Street, rather than the  “giant river of traffic dividing the town” which it has become in recent years, particularly in the congested holiday season. 

He thanked all the parties and local people who have contributed to safety discussions in recent years and the funders for bringing it to fruition. 

Speed review in parallel with safety improvements starting 

In parallel to this project, Waka Kotahi is reviewing speed limits along High Street, Motueka. 

“In 2017 we also spoke with the community about speed limits on High Street. As some time has now passed, we are checking in again to see what people  think about the current speed limits,” Ms Speight says. 

There are several ways in which people can provide feedback or ask questions, either via our website, or by popping into a community information session this weekend - 10 or 11 April. 

Community drop-in sessions: 

  • Saturday 10 April – Motueka Recreation Centre, 10am – 3pm
  • Sunday 11 April – Motueka Market, 8am – 1pm

“We’re looking forward to delivering these improvements for the community. Construction will be staged, starting with the traffic and pedestrian signals in July 2021 aiming to be completed by December 2021. The roundabout construction will begin in September 2021 and is expected to be completed by April 2022,” Ms Speight says. 

Waka Kotahi will pause construction during the peak summertime months (2 December 2021 – 11 February 2022). 

“Our focus will be on working closely with businesses and the community to minimise any disruption. We will have further updates around construction timings within the coming months,” Ms Speight says. 

More information about this project, including maps of the improvements, is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/sh60-motueka-safety-improvements/(external link)

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