In my article of 18 August I raised the issue of an effective traffic circulation solution for Kerikeri. In response to a number of questions raised with us I have provided some background information to this.
For historical reasons Kerikeri does not have a grid road system. Development has been linear spreading along Kerikeri Road as a result of Kerikeri evolving in an ad hoc, unplanned way. We were unready for the surge in population from around1996 to 2006 and much subdivision under our permissive District Plan has taken place without necessary infrastructure.
The Kerikeri/Waipapa Structure Plan of September 2007 was intended to remedy this and the CBD ring road (second Main Street) is an essential element of it. This expensive planning exercise, with a great deal of community input, has been largely ignored ever since. That has been the history of all attempts to plan in Kerikeri.
However Council engaged Consultants in 2013 (view full report presented to Council meeting of 19 Dec 2013) to study the proposed road, parallel to the Kerikeri Main Street, from Butler Road (by Countdown) to Homestead Road and a second stage from Fairway Drive via Augusta Place and Clarke Road. A further stage would continue until the Heritage bypass.
The consultants also reported that the Kerikeri / Butler Road roundabout does not work well. It is confusing and potentially dangerous. Vision Kerikeri agrees and supports developing a full one way system by removing the two way section from the Countdown roundabout to the left hand turn into Homestead Road, and directing traffic from the roundabout via Butler Road to Homestead Road along the proposed ring road (second Main Street). This would improve safety from oncoming vehicles, which currently meet at the roundabout from multiple directions.
Council has purchased 5 properties for the route. Only one property (the Tile Centre) has not yet been purchased.The preliminary estimate in 2013 for Stage 1, Butler Road to Fairview Road was about $900,000, and all the way to Clarke Road about $1.6M. Detailed design has not yet been done as far as we know.
With a second parallel Main Street constructed the Structure Plan conceived (Para 3.2.9 - see page 38 of the attached PDF) a pedestrian friendly Main Street and retail area with reduced through traffic movement and traffic calming as appropriate as well as mixed use activities surrounding the CBD and the opportunity for exciting urban design.
There is now considerable building and population increase and our infrastructure is again not ready for it. Now s the time to invest in improving Kerikeri’s traffic circulation as a necessary precondition to planning our town centre.