Sacred Heart College students will benefit from a Napier City Council (NCC) programme encouraging students to walk or bike to Napier Hill schools.
The NCC has been awarded more than $400,000 funding for the project through the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People Programme.
The focus for this project is on an area which encompasses Napier Central School, Napier Girls’ High School, Sacred Heart College, and surrounding streets. Napier Council will be working collaboratively with the schools on this project.
Sacred Heart College Principal Maria Neville-Foster says she welcomes the initiative which will benefit all school students in the area.
“We encourage our students to be active and healthy, so we are pleased that these steps are being taken to ensure that they can do so in a safe environment.”
“Not only is walking and cycling to school good for the girls, but this programme will also ease congestion around school in the mornings and afternoons.”
“We are committed to working with our community and the Napier City Council to make our school and the surrounding area a safe zone for our students.”
The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People fund supports councils to do things differently by using “tactical urbanism” - quick, low-cost, and temporary improvements that help to create more vibrant, people-friendly spaces in neighbourhoods. The approach centres on co-design and data collection throughout the trial and its findings are a pathway to more permanent solutions that will follow.
“We’re delighted to have received this funding and look forward to working with the community on the improvements,” says Fleur Lincoln, NCC Strategic Planning Lead.
Councillor Keith Price, who chairs the council’s Sustainable Napier committee and has the transportation portfolio, says testing improvements before making them permanent, as will be the case with both these projects, is a great idea.
“As a former West Quay business owner, I know how busy it gets. Being able to test and tweak solutions is good for everyone,” he says.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says on its website that the Innovating Streets for People programme aims to make it faster and easier to transition streets to safer and more liveable spaces.
The programme helps the sector plan, design and develop towns and cities by providing a toolkit of support options specifically targeted at retrofitting streets to reduce vehicle speeds and create more space for people. A fund of at least $7 million is available for council projects.