Main street for Waikanae in new designs

Last updated 14:29 23/07/2014

MAIN STREET: Council plans for Waikanae's town centre.

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Cars would drive through Mahara Pl and Waikanae would have a main street in designs for its town centre revealed by the council.

The designs will be used to test community opinion on ideas created after consultation and an open day in June.

The report is part of plans to revitalise Waikanae's town centre once the southern section of the Kapiti expressway is completed in 2017.

What is now State Highway 1 will become a local road, and the main highway will run to the west, with an interchange on Te Moana Rd.

A consultants' report presented to Kapiti Coast District councillors today includes a Waikanae main street - and Mahara Pl being shared by pedestrians and cars.

The report said all prosperous town centres have a functioning main street.

''A main street is the economic engine of a town, the big stage, the core of the community.''

Preliminary designs would see Ngaio Rd become the main street of town, from the current SH1 to Omahi St in the west.

''Creating a vibrant and functioning commercial heart to Waikanae needs to occur between the triangle of the railway station and the two supermarkets.''

Buildings up to the street frontage, slowed traffic and streetscaping would boost the area, the report said.

The designs will be presented to the community again in August for feedback as the council refines its plans in time to set its budget in its long term plan next year.

It will formally consult on any final plans created from the feedback process.

Meanwhile the report offers two potential scenarios for redeveloping Mahara Pl.

One would see it remain a pedestrian-only area, but the other would create a road through the southern end of the mall, connecting the current SH1 to Marae Lane.

''Turning Mahara Pl into a shared space for vehicle and pedestrian access area will increase the number of people accessing the street and promote the commercial viability of the area.''

A staff report to councillors said this engagement phase is to look at ''conceptual ideas'' and seek the community's thoughts.

A second open day, including the latest designs, is planned to run on August 16.

Following the council's decision on the preferred concept later in the year further public engagement is planned for March 2015.

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- Kapiti Observer

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