Ward St – ViaStrada idea

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In 2010, Hamilton City Council engaged ViaStrada to produce concept drawings for a Central City Cycle Network. One of the ideas included two options for cycle lanes for Ward St. The plan was to link Girls’ High to Ward Park then provide single direction cycle lanes along each side of Ward St. What makes this different from the Stark Concept is that ViaStrada’s focus was on encouraging students to bike to and from Girls’ High school, Ward Park and the city centre. Stark’s focus for cyclists, to the west, is on cyclists coming from the Western Rail Trail.

Both concepts show that Ward St can be a lot friendlier to cyclists than it is today. However, the ViaStrada drawing doesn’t show what people do in Ward St. Many people don’t actually walk the full length of Ward St on just one side of the road; many will cross to the other side at some point mid-block. Stark’s drawing acknowledges this by proposing pedestrian crossings spaced at a maximum of 100m apart. Ward Street between Anglesea and Tristram measures just over 200m, and the concept suggests two mid-block crossings.

What both plans include is trees on the south side of Ward St. It’s OK to start by just removing some kerb and sealed surface to plant a few trees with porous surfaces around them. It’s OK to test reactions. Paint the Stark concept on the ground, then count people, listen, and watch where people walk, cross and bike. In making places attractive, sometimes a little change can make the place feel a lot nicer.

Category: News, Planning, Projects

Ward St – Matt’s idea

This post focuses on the Ward St part of Matt Stark’s submission to the 10-Year Plan 2018-2028. A link to the full submission can be found here and Matt’s verbal presentation is at 10 Year Plan Submissions 11 May 2018 Part 1: Start at 1 hour mark. 

“Improve the cycling and pedestrian connection on Ward Street … The Western Rail Trail has provided a great start to this heavily used route into the CBD. Unfortunately at the moment when you cross Tristram St you are greeted with a rather industrial and bleak welcome to the CBD … it is a prime opportunity to improve the streetscape, to make it safer and feel more welcoming. The concept would see a narrowed street with lower traffic speeds, increasing safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Stark Property have engaged Edwards White to come up with an initial concept design that has support from local stakeholders … This will benefit the business community and commuters who use the western rail trail or park in the surrounding streets. It will provide a more appealing and safer link to the Hamilton West Green Belt and connection to the city stadiums. Ward Street is also heavily used by Wintec and Hamilton Girls’ High School students … This concept has not been priced, as it is only a concept design and requires further development … With the Waikato Regional Council moving to Ward Street in 2020, and the redevelopment of the Wintec campus on Ward Street, there are plenty of opportunities to partner on this project”

There’s not much I can add to Mr Spark’s submission. Ward St as a car parking place does have the look and feel of ‘dead space’. Please, get on with safer speed signs and plant some trees. Get rid of the existing white-line marking, paint Mr Spark’s concept on the ground, benchmark actual desire lines (map) and measure the length of time people stay. Count people before and after implementing the concept. Make kerbs flush as shown in the concept: this means that as the number of people increases, change can easily happen without disrupting the flow of people who are already spending time in Ward St. Look to include a better link between Girls’ High and Ward Park, but still focus on Ward St as a place.

End

Category: News