How can Napier’s Carlyle Street, a central commuter route in and out of the city, be a safer and easier street to use for cars, pedestrians and cyclists?

That’s the question Napier City Council is asking users to consider by taking part in The Carlyle Street survey — sayitnapier.nz/ncc/carlyle-street-streets-for-people  — which will run until May. 

In October 2021, Napier-based research company FOLKL presented its findings to Napier City Council in a detailed study of traffic operation, safety, and access for all road users on Carlyle Street. This initial investigation highlighted access to and from properties and land use activities, visibility, parking restricting access, and safety concerns at access points and intersections.  

In particular, the study found that 62% of cyclists “feel a level of unsafety on Carlyle Street”, while 18%  of users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists – “actively tried to avoid Carlyle street”. (See FOLKL’s full report here and read more on the perils of cycling in Napier in BayBuzz magazine’s cycling feature — Biking in Hawke’s Bay … For the strong and fearless? — January/February 2023.)

As result of this and other community feedback, in late 2022 Waka Kotahi awarded NCC $676,000 to make improvements to Carlyle Street as part of its nationwide “Streets for People Programme” aiming to make it easier and faster to create safer, healthier, and more people-friendly streets.

Napier City Council is being supported by Waka Kotahi to work with the community to calm traffic on Carlyle Street, increase feelings of safety, and make the area a more enjoyable place to spend time in.

Principal Transportation Engineer Tony Mills says viable ideas from the community will be trialled temporarily.

“Because the changes are temporary, they’ll be designed to be installed and removed quickly and easily.”

The effectiveness of the changes will be analysed using various methods, including speaking with regular users of the street, and using traffic analysis software.

“Carlyle Street is an important route in and out of town and is home to a variety of businesses and organisations, including schools and Kindy’s, so it’s important we do a thorough analysis of the trialled ideas to see what works best,” says Tony.

The Carlyle Street survey will run until May. Go to sayitnapier.nz/ncc/carlyle-street-streets-for-people/ to have your say.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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