New town centres, cycleways - future bright for Kāpiti, says Mayor
Two significant funding decisions this week have given certainty to the development of local townships and the expansion of cycleways throughout Kāpiti.
Council’s adoption of the Long Term Plan (LTP) has given the go-ahead for the modernisation of Waikanae and Paraparaumu town centres.
In a second development, the Government has announced a $1.57m contribution from its Urban Cycleways Fund to extend the district’s cycleway network.
“It’s been a great week for Kāpiti,” Mayor Ross Church said.
“We now have the certainty we need to proceed with plans to create functional town centres around the expressway and expand our network of safe off-road cycling routes.”
Town Centres Project
Over the past year, council has undertaken extensive consultation with Paraparaumu and Waikanae communities over plans to transform their town centres. Planners believe the building of the expressway provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernise the townships.
Mayor Church says the community has endorsed the project through the LTP process.
“With this public vote of confidence we can now compile all the ideas that have come in and give some considered thought to bringing in the technical expertise we need to make those plans a reality. We’ve still got a lot of work to do and want to hear more from the community, especially private businesses about their vision for their townships.
Mayor Church says a key issue identified by the Waikanae community was car parking and it has been great to see Greater Wellington Regional Council come to the party with its plans for park ‘n ride facilities on the site of the Waikanae Hotel.
“With the Regional Council support for what we are trying to do and the announcement of money from the Urban Cycleway Fund, it feels like all the stars are aligning.”
The first stages of the town centres project will include work on Mahara Place in Waikanae and the Coastlands/Civic precinct and Kapiti Lights projects in Paraparaumu.
Plans to enhance the Kāpiti cycleway network
The $1.57 million dollar Government grant will go towards the first three years of a six year programme called Stride ‘n Ride. This programme has an overall budget of around $5.03 million dollars to deliver up to 30km of off-road shared paths/cycleways and on-road cycle lanes, which will link to busy rail stations, schools, town centres and the new Kapiti Expressway cycleway.
Construction of these facilities is expected to begin in late-2015 and be completed by mid-2018.
Mayor Ross Church says the package will go a long way to realising the district’s aspirations to become a cycling and walking destination.
“With the Kāpiti Expressway under construction and its associated off-road facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, this additional funding couldn’t have come at a better time.”