New signalised shared crossings at the Parton Road and Tara Road roundabout in Pāpāmoa will keep pedestrians and cyclists safe in an increasingly busy residential area.
Historically a thoroughfare, the area surrounding the roundabout is transforming. With the start of residential development at Pāpāmoa Junction and an increasing number of shops, health centres and medical offices in close proximity, Tauranga City Council needs to anticipate an increase in people walking and cycling in the area.
Polly Delfim, Pāpāmoa Beach Village manager, has been a long-term advocate for the crossings. “It is great to see this project taking place as it will provide a much safer environment for our residents. Many independent retirees walk around this area, they simply want to be able to get to the pharmacy or a medical appointment across the road safely.”
She also sees the benefits for the wider community. “Many school children cross these streets, often on their bikes, scooters and skateboards,” says Polly. “We will be pleased when this is all complete, creating better harmony between drivers and pedestrians.”
This sentiment is shared by local businesses and representatives from the education sector, from early learning centres to Pāpāmoa College, who are also supportive of the construction of crossings.
Brendan Bisley, Tauranga City Council Director of Transport, says it hasn’t been an easy decision, but one that needed to be made.
“Over the past few years we’ve had continued requests from people in the area to put in pedestrian crossings. Considering the fact Tara Road is a key connection between Tauranga’s eastern suburbs and Mount Maunganui and Tauranga, we’ve held off so far. However, due to the way the area is changing, exacerbating existing issues with speed and people crossing the road in the area, we can no longer defer this work.”
Brendan says he realises this is an investment on behalf of the community, as the crossings could see a minute or two added to journeys at times.
“We need to balance the flow of traffic for those travelling through the area with the safety of people living and traveling to school around here. Adding these crossings aligns with the need to provide the growing Pāpāmoa East community with a safe, reliable and easy choice in ways to get around.”
Construction is set to start Wednesday, 25 October 2023 and is expected to conclude prior to Christmas.
To find out more, visit letstalk.tauranga.govt.nz/partonroad