The Town Square/Tainui Shared Street space looks a picture and the feedback from the community has been very positive. We’re very happy with the number of people using it.
However, the absence of clear physical delineations and road markings (ie no height difference between kerb and roadway, no clear driving lanes etc) creates an easy impression of it being one large open area, which could create issues in relation to the fact that Tainui Street between Macky Street and Mawhera Quay has been intended and designed as a shared street.
Road temporarily closed due to safety concerns
The potential for accidents became obvious over the opening weekend. We have already had reports of at least one near miss in the short time that the street was open. The reality is that people, especially children, use the area with little regard to the fact that vehicles also pass through. Due to these issues, the the street was temporarily closed so that we could inform our community how to use the shared space safely before it reopens.
We want everyone to know that we are acting responsibly and in the best interests of the community. Removing the barriers, as has happened, is certainly not helping anybody. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the space, safely.
So what happens now?
The road will reopen in early January as an interim measure pending the current public consultation about whether the road should be remain open to all traffic or closed to traffic except service vehicles. The road has to reopen and remain open until a final decision about its future is made as the status of the street is that of a road and very specific legal requirements must be met before roads can be permanently stopped (closed).
The outcome of the current public consultation process will determine the future for the street. Should Council decide to stop the road, it has to give public notice over a period of 42 days of its intention to close it. Should any objection to the road stoppage (closure) be received, the matter has to be determined by the Environment Court.
Public consultation on the issue of traffic through Tainui Shared Street has now closed. Council will hear and consider submissions at their ordinary meeting on 12 February 2018.
Road to reopen Monday 8 January 2018
The following rules of use for the shared street have been developed to keep people safe. The street reopened to all traffic on Monday 8 January 2018, subject to a 10 km/h speed limit. This will let people see the street in operation both with and without traffic. Please familiarise yourself with these rules below.
Safety rules for Tainui Shared Street
- Expect traffic to use Tainui Shared Street once it has been reopened.
- The start of the road is marked by the stormwater grilles - there is no traditional kerb to mark the end of the footpath and start of the road. We are looking into further enhancing this by the placement of additional planter boxes and street furniture.
- A 10 km/h speed limit will apply. This restriction will be temporary until Council follows due process to make it formal. Until this happens, it is a trial only. Please be aware that like any speed limit, motorists may not always abide by it.
- Council is currently negotiating with affected parties about banning parking in the street but with provision for a drop-off point/loading zone. Please note that the two car parks adjacent to the current grassed area are currently the subject of Council consultation to introduce informal traders into the shared street space (see www.greydc.govt.nz/consultation for more information).
What is a shared street?
We also want to let our community know that it was always the intention that this part of the road would be open to vehicles and pedestrians – hence the label shared street.
Here’s a video from Auckland City Council about their shared spaces to show how this concept works successfully in other parts of NZ: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcyZAy8DPb0& .
It is noted, however, that once our shared street was complete, staff and Councillors received significant feedback about the shared use of the street and potential health and safety concerns were observed. Given this, Council temporarily closed the street to address health and safety concerns by developing conditions for safe use of the space and chose to formally seek feedback from the public on this issue, hence the current public consultation (now closed).
Download a printable version of this information below.
Tainui Shared Street - User Information (PDF, 1MB)
(updated 4 Jan 2018)