Council Decides Future Closure of Town Square and Tainui Shared Street
At their meeting on Monday night, the Grey District Council made a final decision on the Town Square and Tainui Shared Street area and any permanent road closure. A trial closure was put in place for every weekend and public holiday between 18 December 2020 and 5 April 2021 with the purpose to improve the vibrancy and atmosphere within the Greymouth CBD and to gather feedback as to the viability of a permanent road closure.
During the period of the trial, Council had a survey open for the community to provide feedback on the closure. It is clear from the data received, the area is well used by the community when there are events organised, however, the area is not well utilised when no events are taking place. Over the trial period, 11 events took place in the area, with 10 of these being successful with over 100 attendees. Most of these were Council organised events.
Council has carefully considered the data from the survey and feedback from the community and local businesses and come to the decision that the Town Square and Tainui Shared Street will not be closed or turned into a pedestrian mall on a permanent basis. The road will rather continue to be closed for planned events only.
It is important we acknowledge the overwhelming feedback which clearly indicates that the community holds concerns about the safety of the area and the possibility of people, especially children, being hit by cars. Traffic counting equipment was installed in the area for the last week of the trial period and this told us that on all days of the week, 95% of the vehicles that use this portion of the street drive at 28km/h instead of the 10km/h speed limit. As the road will not be closed permanently, Council Traffic Engineering Staff will next undertake a thorough assessment of the area and look at options to improve safety and dramatically change the speed of vehicles using this part of the street.
Mayor Tania Gibson said “Whilst many people including myself wanted the area closed permanently, I think the information we have collected from the trial has proven that closing the Town Square for events which will occur mostly in the summer period is the right decision. For the businesses in the vicinity, it makes sense to still have passing trade as in the depths of winter the area is largely unused for events. If we can improve safety and utilise the area to have the best possible end result for the CBD it is a good outcome. I would like to thank the staff involved with the trial, I thought they have done an excellent job with bringing the information required to make an informed decision to Council.
If you would like to read the full Council report, please visit: https://www.greydc.govt.nz/04your-council/agendas-...