Te Awamutu Community board wants plans to improve the George St carpark area accelerated.
The call formed part of the board’s submission to Waipā District Council 2020-21 draft annual plan.
Speaking to an extraordinary meeting of Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee last week, board chair Ange Holt said it was a topic which had been on the board’s radar since before her time.
“It’s something we’ve been waiting for for the last three terms,” she said.
“To be fair to council we had not previously approached this in the best way possible.
“It should have been included in at least an Annual Plan before now, rather than only being a recommendation from Community Board.
“The costs for some of the improvements are outside the annual budget for car park improvements,” she told the News.
Safety concerns formed the basis of the board’s calls for the area – and among others suggested improvements and additions include a raised pedestrian walkway through to the toilet block area, a footpath from McDonald’s to The Warehouse, angled parking and directional arrows in the ASB bank block.
“Angled parking and those directional arrows would at least help the traffic to flow in a logical manner,” Ms Holt said.
“How someone hasn’t been seriously injured in the area so far is more good luck than it is good planning. The congestion and confusion that already exists in the area will get worse if we don’t do anything.”
She added that a “small survey” conducted in the Te Awamutu community last year indicated that the public was in favour of the suggested improvements.
Councillor Lou Brown said he thought it was a good idea to have carparking spaces which allowed vehicles to park behind the shops rather than in the street.
Mr Brown said he felt it was also important to provide pick up and drop off zones in the George St area.
He also noted the taxi zone was only used at night.
Ms Holt said on Monday when she was last at George St work had begun on minor improvements – including paving in the middle strip between carparks, planting some new trees and a streetlight had been moved out of a tree.
“So, that’s a good start,” she said.
She also urged council to be expedient when repairing damaged pavements in town.
“As a board, it can be frustrating when we get told work will be completed within an approximated timeframe, so we pass that on to members of the community who then come back to us 18 months or so later and say ‘you said this was going to be done.’”