Category Archives: News

Opoia, Jesmond Park to Claudelands Bridge

Hamilton’s River Plan Objective is ‘For Opoia to be developed as a medium-density residential area (by the private sector) with the provision for public access and a strong connection to the river and central city.’

In 2008 the ‘Hamilton City Heart Revitalisation Project’ explained (7.10 & 7.11) Opoia is ‘within the walk-able catchment of the CBD’ and ‘Currently this area has less than ideal access … constraint to redevelopment is access … doing nothing will not result in land use changes’ and ‘a pedestrian link encompassing a river reserve would be a fundamental requirement for redevelopment of this area’.
Key findings (p95) included – ‘limited by poor connectivity to Claudelands Road, topography issues preventing connections through Opoia. Subsequently development is expected to occur relativity slowly given access difficulties’ (more information in staff comments at end of post). Looking at the quote about topography issues to Claudelands road, below is a check of access difficulties. I have found it possible to provide an accessible path through Jesmond Park between Opoia road and Claudelands road. Topography issues are not the reason Opoia has poor connectivity.

In the Hamilton City Centre Local Area Plan: Oct 2012 – (p6) ‘Opoia has been included because of its close proximity to the central city’. (p15) ‘Improved connections can be achieved through extended street-scaping and pedestrian amenity – with green fingers extending out from the central city’. (p28) ‘Medium density residential development (up to 5 storeys) will be promoted in Opoia, due to the areas close proximity to the central city, views of the Waikato River, and sunny aspect. Current access difficulties into this area will need to be addressed in order to ensure increased residential densities in this area’. (p34) ‘There are currently three pedestrian entry points in to Opoia Precinct, via Riro Road, from Soldiers Memorial Park through Parana Reserve, or from Claudelands Bridge, through Jesmond Park to Opoia Road. Activate Jesmond Park through increased residential density and appropriate edging to enliven this central city park and increase safety / usability of the pedestrian connection between Opoia and the Claudelands Bridge.’

The 2012 idea ‘with green fingers extending out from the central city’ fits so well with ‘Hamilton city council climate change’ commitment: ‘we’re encouraging people to move around our city using active transport’.

Hamilton City Heart Revitalisation Project: May 2008 – staff comments.

Category: News

Claudelands park, Heaphy Terrace to Boundary Rd

Biking is a social activity. Like walking with a friend and driving with a passenger, people like to travel side by side, share thoughts and create new ideas, and humans are social by nature. This is the reason bike routes need to be of a bike-friendly width. Claudelands Park is a social place. It is also the home of The Refugee Cycle Training project being led by the Settlement Centre.

Image from

In the 1980s Heaphy Terrace was identified as a key school cycle route in the Roger Boulter Consulting report for HCC – Cycling Strategy Directions (2005). This report expected 2006/07 to be the year when the “Heaphy Terrace – Rototuna route [is] to be designed / built to completion (if not already completed)” and the 2007 Claudelands park management plan (p17 see bottom of post) says “The perimeter paths are shared use walkway/cycleway and follow a meandering line helping to integrate the park and streetscape.”

Cycling in Hamilton 1988, Figure 2 page 7: Library REF 711,7209931151 HAM

As with much of Hamilton’s biking network, there are gaps. Two significant ones are: (1) A mid-block crossing of Heaphy Terrace. Clearly the path network guides people to a place opposite #879 Heaphy Terrace, where there is no mid-block crossing (e.g. no refuge island, no curb cut down on opposite West side).

(2) The pleasant shared use path narrows to footpath width for 75m then reverts to shared-use again. It would be a really low cost build to make this a bike-friendly network. Anyone suggesting delays (now for decades) to widening this 75m section should explain in writing so the reasoning can be challenged.

Link to 2007 Claudelands park management plan (p17 below)

Category: News