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Porirua City Council has been given $48,000 from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Innovating Streets fund to temporarily widen footpaths linking Porirua Railway Station with the city centre.
Council Traffic and Road Safety Engineer Luke Benner says the funding will allow the Council to widen footpaths on the two bridges on Station Road.
"These projects will make physical distancing easier and safer for pedestrians at two of our city’s busiest locations in the city," he says.
"Widening the footpaths will ensure that people can walk safely between Porirua’s city centre and the railway station, at a safe distance away from others, while also being protected from buses using the two bridges."
The width of the footpaths is currently just 1.3m and it can now be widened to a width of 2.5m to allow two wheelchairs to pass one another safely.
"Given social distancing requirements of 2m, this footpath would greatly benefit from being temporarily widened to create a full width of 2.5m to allow safe passage and minimising the spread of Covid-19."
Development of a shared path network is under way around the outside of the city centre, and pedestrian and cycle activity is expected to increase within the area of Station Road.
Waka Kotahi Urban Mobility Programme Manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Street pilot fund has been made available for Covid-19 transport responses, supporting councils to adapt their streets so more people can walk and cycle to help manage travel demand while public transport capacity is reduced.
"Innovating Streets is fundamentally about reconsidering how we allocate street space, and this is particularly important right now as we need more space for people to physically distance as well as creating vibrant, attractive places to support our businesses," she says.
Work is expected to start in the next few weeks and will include sturdy materials to separate users of the path; planters at appropriate spots to improve the vibrancy of the site; clear signage and communication about the changes at the site.
21 May 2020