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People changing streets in eastern Porirua neighbourhood

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The neighbourhood around Fantame St in Cannons Creek is working with Porirua City Council to jointly design a better streetscape that makes it safer and nicer for the community.

Council’s People Changing Streets project is one of many collaborative street-improvement projects rolling out across the country, fuelled by 90% funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets programme.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says the Fantame St project is about making the neighbourhood more appealing for everyone, taking the emphasis away from cars and focusing on the wider needs of the community.

"Our residents have been raising safety concerns about speeding cars, crashes and near misses that have been part of the landscape for quite some time," she says.

"This project gives us the chance to work with them to make this important neighbourhood street safe and appealing for people cycling, scooting, wheeling, running errands or getting kids to school, and not just for those in cars."

Mayor Baker says road safety projects are not new to Council, but this is a new way of going about it, enabled by the Innovating Streets programme, and means greater emphasis on community input and ideas.

"A key part of the philosophy is getting to a ‘roughly right’ design, installing temporary features into the road to see how it works and local people being able to experience them and give feedback so changes can be made before final features are installed," she says.

Jacqui Edwards, a member of Creeksiders, says she was keen to get involved in the project as soon as she heard about it.

"I look forward to encouraging and supporting Fantame St residents, and other locals, to have an influence on how the street looks feels, changes and develops. It will be great to see improvements that will alleviate speeding and safety concerns around the school. My hope is that this type of street improvement project could happen elsewhere in Cannons Creek and Porirua in the future, and what we do here could influence that."

Community co-design workshops are being held in February and March, along with special input from the Russell School community. The initial ’roughly right’ set of street improvements will go into Fantame St and its intersections during May, for the local community to try out and feedback so the changes can be improved.

Further information is available from poriruacity.govt.nz/fantame-street, by emailing PeopleChangingStreets@PoriruaCIty.govt.nz or at the Kāinga Ora Porirua Development Community Info Hub (26 Warspite Ave).

3 Feb 2021