Action is building on the call for safe pedestrian and cycle ways for Tamahere as its two halves become cut by an ever wider and busier State Highway 1.
A petition has been launched and a public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 12, 7.30pm, in the Tamahere Community Centre to back demands for safe pathways around the community.
The meeting has been organised by the Tamahere Community Committee (TCC), which recently fired a broadside at NZTA and expressway contractors for reneging on promises to provide safe connectivity.
Walkers and cyclists will be among those speaking at the meeting about the daunting issues posed by a lack of safe crossings in Tamahere.
TCC deputy chair Sue Robertson has urged locals to turn out in numbers to the meeting to show the extent of the problems and the strength of feeling about the lack of consideration being given to the Tamahere community.
After a decade of consultation, the TCC was shocked to learn recently that the expressway contractors had no plans and no funding to complete either of two promised pedestrian crossings within the current expressway project.
Tamahere, with 6000 residents, is bisected by the SH1 expressway, compromising safe and efficient connectivity between its eastern and western sides at the busy interchange at Tauwhare and Airport Rds. That is set to become even busier when the expressway is completed.
Currently NZTA’s only proposal is to widen the footpath under the expressway bridge, which TCC said was unacceptable.
“Our main concern is there is no plan to ensure safety and promote connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists (comprising up to half our community) who live on the eastern side of of the expressway when they travel to the school, the church, the new park and the village and piazza area,” TCC said in a letter to NZTA and others recently.
“The expressway has severed our community and NZTA is obliged to provide safe crossing options across the expressway on- and off-ramps,” it said.
Meanwhile, Waikato MP Tim van der Molen has launched a petition calling for NZTA to provide safe pedestrian and cycle access across the SH1 interchange at Tamahere, preferably via an overpass or underpass from Tauwhare Rd to SH21 (Airport Rd), and from Tamahere Dr to Devine Rd.
The petition can be signed online here and will also be available at the September 12 public meeting.
“I firmly believe that safe and efficient pedestrian and cyclist movements across the interchange are crucial for maintaining a strong community,” van de Molen said.
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