All options in mix for Gisborne's heavy traffic routes

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GISBORNE District Council community lifelines director David Wilson has told the regional transport committee that no routes are favoured for heavy traffic entering the urban area, and that it was a case of putting the heavy traffic in the right place.

The committee adopted Mr Wilson's recommendation for a business case to allow discussions to start with the NZ Transport Agency to identify heavy traffic routes for the Gisborne network.

“There are benefits and cons whatever way we look to put heavy vehicle routes," he said.

“By no means have we picked a winning route.”

One of the problems was that the council did not have a network prioritisation plan.

“We don’t direct vehicles where they should go, we don’t have any sort of strategic plan," he said.

"They are looking for the best way to manage the network and the best way to get efficiencies as safely as possible.”

They were trying to keep people away from heavy vehicles and make sure they were putting the right vehicles in the right place to get the best outcome for residents, heavy vehicles, cyclists and all other road users.

It was a case of putting the trucks where they needed to be.

Mr Wilson said the need for the study came from looking at access to the port coming back from Hirini Street and looking at the choke points and what was feeding those.

There were cost implications for taking a longer route to the port. This would be part of the development of the business case.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she was an Awapuni Road resident and had to deal with more traffic coming past her home. The heavy traffic in Awapuni Road had affected Salisbury Road where a residents' group had been formed.

Were they making sure that the network plans fitted with other district plans?

Awapuni rezoning talk, but no action

There had been talk years ago about rezoning the Awapuni area to residential, which had not happened.

Mr Wilson said the whole process had to be focused on the future. It would take into account changes for the Awapuni area.

One of thos potential changes was moving the industrial area to Aerodrome Road, which the council was investigating.

“We are making sure they can get their trucks and trailers into those spaces and following the likes of Steve Weatherall with our commitment into these spaces."

But he said Awapuni Road was a state highway.

“We all think about it as a local road but it is in fact a designated state highway. We are talking to the transport agency about the fact that it is there.

“We are aware of the issues that people have with Awapuni Road. It is on our schedule for work.”

Developments planned for the Waikanae Holiday Park did not create any insurmountable issues. But it was not just a case of looking at the Gisborne urban area, it was about where vehicles were accessing it.

A high level strategic plan had been set for the Gisborne Urban Cycle Strategy covering the next 15 years. One of the things they wanted to do was take cyclists away from heavy vehicles, he said. “They don’t mix that well.”

That was part of the justification for the Alfred Cox Cycleway so people did not have to ride down Awapuni Road. Sam Aberahama, a regular user of the walkway, said it was under used and represented a huge opportunity by promoting that route.

Bill Burdett said as long as he had been on the council they had been trying to shift the heavy logging traffic off Ormond Road. All that would do would be to increase traffic on Awapuni Road.

Graeme Thomson said developing a business case was the sensible way to go. He successfully moved an additional motion that the business case consider all options.

GISBORNE District Council community lifelines director David Wilson has told the regional transport committee that no routes are favoured for heavy traffic entering the urban area, and that it was a case of putting the heavy traffic in the right place.

The committee adopted Mr Wilson's recommendation for a business case to allow discussions to start with the NZ Transport Agency to identify heavy traffic routes for the Gisborne network.

“There are benefits and cons whatever way we look to put heavy vehicle routes," he said.

“By no means have we picked a winning route.”

One of the problems was that the council did not have a network prioritisation plan.

“We don’t direct vehicles where they should go, we don’t have any sort of strategic plan," he said.

"They are looking for the best way to manage the network and the best way to get efficiencies as safely as possible.”

They were trying to keep people away from heavy vehicles and make sure they were putting the right vehicles in the right place to get the best outcome for residents, heavy vehicles, cyclists and all other road users.

It was a case of putting the trucks where they needed to be.

Mr Wilson said the need for the study came from looking at access to the port coming back from Hirini Street and looking at the choke points and what was feeding those.

There were cost implications for taking a longer route to the port. This would be part of the development of the business case.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she was an Awapuni Road resident and had to deal with more traffic coming past her home. The heavy traffic in Awapuni Road had affected Salisbury Road where a residents' group had been formed.

Were they making sure that the network plans fitted with other district plans?

Awapuni rezoning talk, but no action

There had been talk years ago about rezoning the Awapuni area to residential, which had not happened.

Mr Wilson said the whole process had to be focused on the future. It would take into account changes for the Awapuni area.

One of thos potential changes was moving the industrial area to Aerodrome Road, which the council was investigating.

“We are making sure they can get their trucks and trailers into those spaces and following the likes of Steve Weatherall with our commitment into these spaces."

But he said Awapuni Road was a state highway.

“We all think about it as a local road but it is in fact a designated state highway. We are talking to the transport agency about the fact that it is there.

“We are aware of the issues that people have with Awapuni Road. It is on our schedule for work.”

Developments planned for the Waikanae Holiday Park did not create any insurmountable issues. But it was not just a case of looking at the Gisborne urban area, it was about where vehicles were accessing it.

A high level strategic plan had been set for the Gisborne Urban Cycle Strategy covering the next 15 years. One of the things they wanted to do was take cyclists away from heavy vehicles, he said. “They don’t mix that well.”

That was part of the justification for the Alfred Cox Cycleway so people did not have to ride down Awapuni Road. Sam Aberahama, a regular user of the walkway, said it was under used and represented a huge opportunity by promoting that route.

Bill Burdett said as long as he had been on the council they had been trying to shift the heavy logging traffic off Ormond Road. All that would do would be to increase traffic on Awapuni Road.

Graeme Thomson said developing a business case was the sensible way to go. He successfully moved an additional motion that the business case consider all options.

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