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Peak summer parking and traffic report confirms Walks Project infrastructure needed.

27 June 2016

An independent report into peak summer traffic flows and parking from Hot Water Beach through to Ferry Landing has confirmed the need for expansion and development of car park facilities around Hahei, a park and ride service to continue, as well as a regular summer shuttle bus service

The recommendations are in the final version of the MWH Peak Summer Traffic and Parking Assessment Report which has been publicly released today.  The report was commissioned as part of our Walks Project to get an understanding of current and projected traffic and visitor volumes for the area where the first planned Walks route will go, from Hot Water Beach through to Whitianga

"The report's findings show that even without the Walks project, additional parking is likely to be needed to accommodate demand by 2021," says Ross Ashby, our Council's project manager on the Walks Project.

The report's main recommendations are for the introduction of a new Walks car park at Lees Rd. Hahei and at the entrance to Hahei Village, along with the continuation of a Park and Ride Service.

Other recommendations included in the report are:

  • Traffic volumes need monitoring for the next five years.
  • Promotion and expansion of a Ferry Landing - Hot Water Beach shuttle bus including 24/48 hour unlimited ride tickets.
  • The development of Parking Strategy and Signage Strategies that identify short and long term measures.
  • That the existing car park at the top of Grange Rd, Hahei should become drop-off only.
  • Lees Road to be sealed and widened up to the proposed new Walks car parking site.
  • A clear direction for larger vehicles into the Lees Rd car park is needed and warning signs should be used to deter larger vehicles continuing up beyond the car park.
  • By 2021 it is projected that sealing of upper Lees Road would be needed (subject to monitoring for traffic going beyond the car park.)

"This is an independent report and it needs consideration by Council, along with an assessment of what the priorities are," says Mr Ashby. "And in some instances, there's work that the report recommends, that is already underway - including the development of the Hahei Entrance car park and a car park and roading improvements at Lees Rd, " says Mr Ashby.

Our Council had programmed the sealing of the of Lees Rd up to Stella Evered Reserve for 2018/19, however this has now been packaged up with the car park development and timing is subject on resource consent approval of the car park at Lees Road.   This work will be brought forward to 2016/17 if we are successful with the car park consent.

A Parking and Public Transport Strategy for the wider Mercury Bay South area is already underway and a report on its progress will be taken to the Mercury Bay Community Board meeting in August.  A Signage Strategy will also be considered as part of our Public Places Bylaw, which we are about to review in August.

The Hot Water Beach to Ferry Landing Peak Summer Traffic and Parking Assessment Report was written by MWH, an independent engineering and management consultation firm, with input from our Council, local iwi Ngati Hei, the Hahei Beach Ratepayers Association and based on a number of studies and strategies for the area over the past decade. Traffic measurements and monitoring were also conducted around Hahei and its surrounds over peak summer, which are also tabled in the report. To read the full report go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/ccwalk   and download the file from the right-hand side of the page.


 

In other Walks updates:

1 - Hahei Village Entrance Car Park - We're currently working through the notification and tender process - which is both on track. We hope to have the tender out in July.

2 - Lees Rd Car Park - Concept design for the car park continues with feedback from our roading department staff, the landowner and a landscape architect.  The current configuration of Stage One includes parking for 161 parks - 137 car parks + 18 campervans and 6 bus parks.  The location of a kiosk and toilets, along with a Pay and Display system is also being worked through as well as Stage Two design. 

3 - Andlinger Track - Walkway and platform are now complete. This week we have contractors finishing further safety fencing along the newly constructed track, which was put in as a result of a fire that removed some of the understory and shrubs along the cliff edge leading to the platform.  This fencing includes re-establishment of planting that over time will provide a natural barrier.  Additional tree pruning and removal will also be carried out along the length of the track and around the platform as a final safety measure before the track is opened to the public.  The official opening of the track that was scheduled for late June was delayed due to the fire and the availability of key stakeholder.  We are now aiming for a late August launch and opening before the busy summer period.

4 - Purangi Crossing - We're seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from any existing or new commercial operators and entrepreneurs for providing a "dry feet" crossing of the Purangi estuary for walkers as part of our Coromandel Walks project. Expressions of Interest, along with any other ideas or proposals need to be submitted by 30 June 2016. The EOI document can be downloaded from the right-hand side of the webpage www.tcdc.govt.nz/ccwalk

5 - Meetings  Along with the Great Walks Governance Group meetings, Council staff continues to meet with Lees Road residents and the newly formed Great Walks Stakeholders Working Group. The Stakeholders Working Group is made up of representatives from the Hahei, Cooks Beach and Hot Water Beach Residents and Ratepayers Associations, Destination Coromandel  and the Mercury Bay Business Association.                     

The first stage of our Walk project will provide a walking route from Whitianga to south of Hahei, via Cathedral Cove with a crossing of the Purangi Estuary to link between Cooks Beach and Hahei. To find out more about the Walks project go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/corogreatwalks