Temporary changes to some Matamata roads, berms and footpaths
The Matamata community let us know through Pride of Place and Long Term Plan consultations that you'd like to see better walking and biking connections in Matamata. You gave us feedback and ideas for how we can make it easier for pedestrians, cyclists and microwheel users (mobility scooters, wheelchairs, prams, scooters, etc) to safely get around Matamata, particularly to local schools and the town centre.
Thanks to Transport Choices funding from Waka Kotahi, we have the opportunity to test some ideas including a bike route, safer crossing points and other improvements. We need your help to see what works, what doesn’t and what ideas you’d like us to go ahead with. The trial runs from 25 February to 26 March, with time either side for set up and pack down.
These are the temporary measures we have in place to create better walking and biking connections in Matamata. Please take time to test them out and let us know what you think at Matamata Library during opening hours or online at mpdc.nz/walkandbike
Intersection of Tamihana St and Centennial Drive
This raised safety platform is designed to reduce traffic speeds on the street, create a safer crossing point and acts as a courtesy crossing. Drivers are not required to stop at courtesy crossings, however the official New Zealand road code recommends that drivers are courteous to pedestrians using or waiting to use a courtesy crossing. The speed hump signs, reflective triangles, red paint and road markings alert motorists of the raised platform and potential pedestrians. If this were to become a permanent fixture, Council would investigate using alternative options instead of the temporary red paint and ensure a smoother, more accessible transition to the platform from the paths. We have also planned to install new kerb ramps at this site to make improve accessibility for the remainder of the trial.
Meura Street, Tainui Street, Burwood Road, Tawa Street and Broadway
There are a few ways to create better biking and walking connections and each have their own benefits, limitations, challenges and costs attached.
The cheapest and most effective way to create better walking and biking connections is to physically mark off bike lanes on the roads. This allows motorists to use the roads, riders to use dedicated bike lanes and pedestrians and micro-wheel users to use footpaths. However this can often prove unpopular as it impacts street parking.
An often desirable but costly option is to create dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes off from the road. However this is often tricky or impossible to implement consistently on existing berm/footpath networks as they require at least 4.5m path width.
Another option is to widen existing footpaths to create shared paths, to be jointly used by pedestrians, cyclists, mobility devices and scooters, etc. This method can also be costly and not all berms are wide enough for consistent shared paths throughout town but it is more achievable than dedicated paths. Shared paths require all users to share with care, with riders encouraged to sound a bell when approaching walkers. Motorists also need to be extra vigilant when using driveways.
The shared path option is what we are currently trialling. As the footpath cannot be widened on a temporary basis, we have indicated proposed widening via paint on the berm on the western side of Burwood Rd, the eastern side of Meura and Tainui Streets, the southern side of Tawa Street and a section of Broadway. If we were to go ahead with this plan we would look at ways to improve signage along the path to indicate it is a shared path and promote shared path etiquette.
We are testing some new speed cushion pads to replace some of the existing speed bumps that run the whole width of the road. The new pads improve accessibility by allowing pedestrians, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, prams, bikes, etc to weave between them. These are proving to be popular so are likely to remain after the trial and the current full length speed humps removed.
We will also install signs to warn cyclists/pedestrians of intersections and on the road to warn motorists of cyclists.
Sharrows are green markings on road with a bike and two arrows. These are typically used on roads indicated as being part of a bike route and reinforce it is a valid place for cyclists to travel. Sharrows help drivers and cyclists be aware they are using a shared space and to look out for and be mindful of each other. The arrows on the sharrows also help position cyclists on the street; by aiming for the points of the arrows, cyclists stay clear of hazards like car doors, stormwater grates and kerb buildouts.
In combination with sharrows we have placed a temporary speed reduction on this road as well as centreline marking and separation.
To help reduce traffic speeds, we are temporarily building out the kerbs at intersections with Burwood Rd and Tamihana St. This may seem counterproductive as it reduces space but kerb build outs ensure a safer environment as they reduce traffic speeds and make cyclists more visible to traffic by ensuring they’re not forced to the kerb or blocked by cars pulling up beside them and ensures a safer turn onto the cross road.
There are some markings on the road and kerb extensions near the intersection with Tawa St to simulate a raised safety platform with the intension of reducing vehicle speeds and creating a safer crossing point. If this were to become a permanent fixture, we would investigate several options instead of the temporary red paint. The kerb buildouts ensure vehicles don’t park near the crossing to improve visibility and safety of people using the crossing.
We have no physcial changes proposed for this street but as it will form part of the temorary bike route, please look out for bikes when using the road and driveways.
Footpaths/roads along temporary bike route
You will find anti-slip ground decals on the footpaths and roads that make up the temporary route to act as markers for the route and direct users to the website to provide feedback.