Path paved for communities to reshape streets
Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood.
“We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport in our towns and cities across Aotearoa New Zealand,” Michael Wood said.
“People live, shop, and meet with friends and whānau on our streets – but many streets in New Zealand do not allow them to do this safely and easily. Some of the rules for managing streets are fifty years old and outdated. That’s why we’re moving to update them, to reflect people’s needs and give communities new ways to be involved in changes that affect them.”
The Reshaping Streets proposals will make it easier for councils to transform streets and better support public transport, active forms of travel, and improved urban spaces.
The proposed changes include:
- a new ‘Street Layouts’ land transport rule which will enable councils to change street layouts, pilot street changes, restrict vehicle access, and establish Community Streets and School Streets
- amending sections in the Local Government Act 1974 covering pedestrian malls, transport shelters (like bus shelters), and temporary road closures
- changes to other rules and regulations enable councils to trial Traffic Control Devices more effectively, reduce speed limits as part of pilots, and to make these rules and regulations more accessible.
“Streets are public places that need to prioritise people, not just vehicles, so our towns and cities are better places to live, work and play,” Michael Wood said.
“Through our Transport Choices package in Budget 22, we are helping to improve transport options by funding the rapid roll-out of at least 100 km of safe urban cycleways to build more connected networks at pace; create significant safety improvements in around 25 pedestrian areas, and support safer, greener, and healthier travel to 75-100 schools. The package is also funding bus priority improvements in over 40 locations alongside improvements to shelter, access, and customer information at up to 500 stops and stations.
“Reshaping Streets builds on this investment and gets the balance right between ensuring we can move people and goods effectively, while making our streets safe for all users.
“These changes will also help New Zealand meet our emissions reduction targets, reduce deaths and serious injuries from transport, and improve health and wellbeing,” Michael Wood said.
The Government is seeking feedback before finalising any proposals and anyone in New Zealand can make a submission.
Public consultation on Reshaping Streets ends 19 September 2022.