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Council receives funding to widen footpath for 1-metre rule

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A popular footpath at Park Island which makes safe physical distancing difficult is about to get a temporary upgrade.

NCC submitted an application to the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets For People Pilot Fund and has successfully secured 90% of funding for the temporary footpath widening project.

The footpath is a 170-metre stretch on Clyde Jeffrey Drive near the hockey turfs. Due to it being narrow and bordered by a hillside and parking shoulder, safe physical distancing is not always possible.

“Most of our streets and parks provide ample space for two people to safely pass one another while maintaining a 1-metre distance. Even with narrow paths, there are usually grass verges so people can move to the side where necessary. The section of footpath at Park Island doesn’t allow that,” says NCC Pandemic Recovery Manager Richard Munneke.

The project will temporarily reallocate the existing parking shoulder into walking space. The new walking space will be separated from traffic with road mounted lane separators. These can be reused around the city once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. Pavement decals on the footpath surface and other signage will remind pedestrians of the requirement to keep a safe distance.

“Given that sports events will be significantly downscaled for the time being, parking availability won’t be impacted, but it will provide a safe space for pedestrians to occupy. Cyclists can simply use the carriageway, which carries few vehicles,” says Richard.

New Zealand Transport Agency Urban Mobility Programme Manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Street pilot fund has been made available for Covid-19 transport responses. “This is particularly important right now as we need more space for people to physically distance. The fund can support councils to adapt their streets so more people can safely walk and cycle.”

Work on the project will begin immediately.

26 May 2020

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