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Intersection safety improvements start - first spade in the ground for Let’s Get Wellington Moving

Crossing intersections in Wellington’s CBD are about to be made safer, accessible, and more efficient with work starting on two busy intersections in November at Whitmore and Stout Streets and Whitmore and Featherston Streets – the first construction work as part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme.

Multiple central city intersections on three transport and pedestrian corridors will benefit from the Central City Walking Improvements project in the next year, as part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving Three-year programme which includes projects that will start construction before 2024.

Mayor Andy Foster says that people crossing intersections in Wellington face a disproportionate amount of delay on the transport network, relative to other modes of transport.

“These improvements are an early part of making central Wellington safer, more attractive and easier to get around for people walking. Wellington is a great walkable city, and this work will make it even more so.

“Making it easier for people to get where they are going will give them more time for socialising, shopping and working. Less time travelling, more time to enjoy walking around our city centre.”

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair, Daran Ponter, says that the current network is serviced well for general traffic, but not for people walking.

“Shorter wait times to cross the road, being able to cross more directly between destinations in many places, will make walking in our central city a safer and more enjoyable experience and will encourage more people to consider how they travel.

“If more people choose to leave their car at home, especially for shorter journeys, it will help reduce congestion in the city.”

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, Emma Speight, says the improvements will help prepare Wellington for the delivery of major projects in the coming years.

“Before we can start on major projects such as a new tunnel or mass rapid transit, we need to provide options for people who want to be able to walk, cycle or catch public transport. Making these changes now will help keep the CBD moving and connect people to work, education and social activities while we deliver the transformational parts of the programme.”

The Central City Walking Improvements project will be made across the following road corridors:

-        Vivian Street between Willis Street and Cambridge Terrace;

-        Waterfront Route (Waterloo, Customhouse and Jervois Quays) between Bunny Street and the City to Sea Bridge; and

-        Waterfront through Whitmore Street.

These corridors were chosen because there are many walking trips across them and where people walking face the longest delays to cross the road.

Physical works at the Whitmore and Stout Streets and Whitmore and Featherston Streets intersections, include the installation of tactile pavers, which are yellow pavers with raised surfaces to alert people who are blind or have low vision that they are nearing the footpath edge of the crossing. There will be improvements to traffic light phasing to prioritise people walking. Once complete, people crossing at these intersections will have a shorter wait time and more time to cross the road. Works will also widen the existing crossing at Whitmore and Featherston Street.

Construction will start at the Whitmore and Stout Street intersection on Monday 8 November and at the Whitmore and Featherston Street intersection from Monday 15 November.

All intersection improvements will be scheduled for construction over one year, subject to the Government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework. Let’s Get Wellington Moving partner, Wellington City Council will be managing the construction through its maintenance contractors.

More information about the Central City Walking Improvements project can be found here.

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