Innovating Streets process and tactical urbanism FAQ
How much is Hamilton Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets and who's paying?
- Alongside reviewing feedback, throughout the trial we will be collecting date (e.g. number of people using the street), identifying safety issues, and observing behaviour changes.
- Performance of the changes will also be measured against the 10 indicators in the Healthy Streets Framework
What happens at the end of the trials?
- While we don't know which street improvements will work best for people, we don't intend for either street to go back to exactly the way it was.
- A full evaluation will be completed at the end of the trial to inform any future decsions on permanent changes to both streets.
What is community co-design about?
Co-design is essentially "designing with": making design decisions with the communities who'll use or experience the thing that's being designed. The more significant the influence of community members versus the influence of technical experts or city leaders, the more participatory the process.
It's good for everyone when cities have wide, deep, constructive community participation in the things that affect people's lives - see more in "What is co-design". Streets have a big influence on our choices and our lives, whether we realise it or not, so it's great to try ways to get more people constructively involved in the decisions that shape streets.
The main community co-design undertaking in HKIS has been a co-design group choosing the "roughly right" set of street improvements to trial, and generating ideas for how to bring the new street layouts to life. See here for more on the process, and here for more on "roughly right".
Everything's been installed before normal public consultation, how is this better process?
Firstly, what's being installed in the streets has already had deep community participation. The designs are based on a thorough co-design process, where a cross-section of regular Hamilton people worked alongside technical specialists (see FAQ above).
Secondly, the live trials are public consultation - just not as we normally do it. Doing consultation this way lets people be much better informed about what's possible, and participate much more in shaping the trial - and thereby the ultimate decisions. Essentially, the city can collectively "try before you buy", and can tailor the makeover while trying it on.
For more detail, see here
So will you change something if people say they don't like it?
In terms of how the project responds to public feedback, there's a difference between people not liking something becuause it's not to their taste, or because it feels strange, versus something that's a fundamental issue (such as a failure against the Healthy Streets indicators) Similarly, perceived inconvenience and risk come in different magnitudes and affect different people on a street.
Where feedback and our monitoring shows something in the "roughly right" trial is causing a meaningful safety or accessibility issue, or something that's causing a disproportionate amount of bad impact compared to its benefit, we will look to adjust if swiftly regardless of whether anyone's said it's to their taste.
Where things are more a matter of opinion or taste, we'll consider whether it's worth changing that thing udring the trial. Ultimately, all the feedback will be used in Council's ultimate decision about the future of the streets after the HKIS trial.
More details on "roughly right"
How can I give feedback on a layout that's changing all the time?
Simply: keep visiting the street, trying it out, and giving more feedback!
There'll be three mini-phases within the trial period, and anytime is a good time for your feedback:
- Safety, workability, and basic function tweaks: in the first two weeks or so after the initial installation is complete, the team will be on alert for changes needed for these reasons. The team may make some of these changes unilaterally if they see an issue.
- Larger requests for changes: these will be collected, and the team will consider whether there's a clear rationale for making them. A set of changes will be made after there's enough data to make a decision, likely to be about a month after initial installation is complete. We'll consider things like: whether a tradeoff in use of street space is overall good for people; if there's an overwhelming consensus seeking a particular kind of change; if there'd be value for the trial overall in making a change.
- Final weeks of the trial: the third phase, in the last four weeks or so, is when the trial street changes will be relatively stable. Small tweaks could still be made, but this is about giving Hamiltonians a chance to get used to the streets. This “wearing it in” will complete the picture of “try before we buy”.
General street design FAQ
How are people with mobility issues being catered for?
The kaupapa of Kirikiriroa Innovating Streets is that the street improvements must improve the equity of streets as public spaces for people. We simply didn't explore designs that would fail to improve accessibility for pepole with impairments, and the members of the co-design group who live with disabilities helped us adhere to this.
The beauty of universal design is that things that make streets better for people with impairments - such as calmer traffic, shorter crossing distances, places to sit - makes them better for everyone else too.
In addition, exclusive mobility carparks will continue to be available on each side of Ward Street and new mobility parks are designated near to Rostrevor Street (on Tristram Street near Founders Theatre).
Won't restricting traffic create lots of congestion and disruption?
Just like road works, events or construction, the tactical urbanism trials will probably create some blips in congestion in the short term, as people driving adjust their routes and habits. The many other options for both north-south and east-west driving around both streets mean it's highly unlikely there'll be any meaningful increase in congestion.
We'll be monitoring this, and observing also how much people driving seem to be using other streets to drive and park, and how much "evaporating traffic" occurs. The impact of a slower experiecne for some people driving will be considered in the context of improved experiences for people doing everything else on the streets.
Why these changes? Was there an agenda behind co-design?
Every tactical urbanism project receiving Innovating Streets For People funding must be testing reconfigurations that make a street or road environment that priorities people over motor vehicles more than it did before. This provided some design parameters for HKIS.
Other parameters around HKIS' street designs were due to the limited funding and tight timeframe of the national programme. This meant some improvement options - that would have improved the streets for people - were off the table as they would have imposed un-funded cost and time burdens on other areas of Council.
For more, see here.
Ward Street FAQ
When are the changes starting and how long do they run?
All dates are dependant on weather and construction variables.
- The trial starts on Saturday 22 May 2021. The new end date for the trial is in the process of being confirmed.
- The installation work will be completed between Saturday 22 May and Thursday 3 June (all plans are weather dependent).
- Events and activities will take place on Ward Street after Friday 4 June.
Why choose Ward Street for a trial makeover?
Between Anglesea and Tristram streets, Ward Street is pretty inhospitable to people. Right now people don't linger, socialise, or even sit down - let alone window-shop.
This is becaues there's no shade, no shelter, almost nowhere to sit, the street is unpleasant to walk, bike or scoot down because of the speed and number of cars, it's hard to cross over (especially if you're not fit and able), it's uncomfortable at night, and there's almost nothing growing there.
It's simialr to many other central city streets, but it's especially unfortunate for this section of Ward Street because:
- It's right in the city centre and we want a central city where people love to be
- Large numbers of people walk through already, including shoppers and students, but rarely stop
- It's a key route for people coming to and from the ctiy from the Western Rail Trail
- It's a key route for students of Hamilton Girls' High and Wintec to Garden Place and the rest of the city
- It's got small retail and hospitality businesses that rely on footfall (people walking in the door)
- It's getting large residential and business developments which will mean many more people nearby, day and night
This makes this section of Ward Street a prime candidate for people-centred improvements.
Where will I park to visit Ward Street during the trial?
If you're wanting to pop in, look first on the same section of Ward Street.
- At the beginning of the trial, there will be 14 carparks available on Ward Street - 9 x P30, 2 xP10 and 3 x P60 mobility carparks.
- Parks may be changed during the trial based on monitoring information, and feedback from the community.
If there's no space free just when you want it, there are over 2,100 publicly-available carparks available within a five-minute walk of Ward Street. There's a citywide parking map at Parkopedia.
(Kid Repblic have special provision for customer carparking - contact the store).
Won't less street carparking hurt local businesses?
- Evidence from around the world shows making a street more attractive and pleasant brings more people to the area, which supports local businesses.
- There is limited space with the central city. As Hamilton grows, we need to ensure businesses can thrive in the long term by exploring different ways of attracting people to the central city.
How will I drive through Ward during installation of the trial?
There's a weekend road closure kicking off the installation: from 7.30am to 4.30pm Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May. There'll be no access for vehicles nor on-street parking while the road is closed.
After that, one side of the street is getting its trial makeover installed at a time, so its traffic lane will be closed for about a week. This means traffic going in that direction will have a detour during this time.
What temporary road and lane closures will there be during the installation period?
The southern lane (i.e. Wintec / TNG Tech side) will be closed from Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May during work hours (from 7:30am to 5:30pm). The northern traffic lane (i.e. The Warehouse/ Vegan Buffet side) will always be open during this time, and the southern lane will be reopened after work hours (from 5:30pm to 7:00am each day). You'll always be able to walk along the southern side of Ward Street even during installation works.
The northern lane (i.e. The Warehouse / Vegan Buffet side) will be closed from Monday 31 May to Thursday 3 June from 7:30am to 5:30pm. The southern lane (i.e. Wintec / TNG Tech side) will always be open and the northern lane will be reopened from 5:30pm to 7:30am. You'll always be able to walk along the northern side of Ward Street too, even during installation works.
The traffic management team will be on site during the installation period to assist people.
Delivery, staff and customer vehicles - along with people walking, scooting and cycling - needing to access businesses and organisations along Ward Street will be allowed entry.
You can get a regular, citywide roadworks update by subscribing to The Week On Our Streets.
Rostrevor Street FAQ
Why choose Rostrevor Street for a trial makeover?
Rostrevor Street, between Norton Roundabout and Tristram Street, is okay if you're driving or parking, but for anyone outside a vehicle you just get out of there - or avoid it.
It also cuts an inhospitable swathe across the heart of the parks of the West Town Belt, making a barrier between public spaces which are getting developed as a great destination for people.
Hamiltonians said emphatically in the West Town Belt Masterplan consultation that they want the West Town Belt to be stitched back together so that the park space can be used and enjoyed more by everyone, so that recreation, cultural and social activites can be enjoyed and so that we can connect more with nature in our central city. The area around Rostrevor will in future have a multi-use park and the Pan Pacific Community Hub (along with exisiting facilities such as the squash and tennis clubs).
Mill Street and Norton Road are alternative east-west options for driving, and altogether this makes Rostrevor a great candidate for people-centred improvements.
I normally drive through / park on Rostrevor, where do I go during the trial?
Driving through: Norton Road and Mill Road are easy east-west routes to take instead of Rostrevor.
Parking: There are over 550 publicly-available car parks within a five-minute walk of the made-over section of Rostrevor Street, and the new traffic calming and scooter parking in the trial will make it safer and easier to get to and from.
There's a ctiywide parking map at Parkopedia.