Council seeks public feedback during Arrowtown road closure

by Lauren Pattemore - May 01, 2024

An earlier version of this story used the headline: Arrowtown main street closes to cars for QLDC trial.

Cars and other vehicles will be cut off from Arrowtown's main street next week as the council trials a new shared space arrangement and installs a speed bump. 

It's quickly become a hot topic on social media, after the Queenstown Lakes District Council released a statement on the speed bump installation and shared space consultation on Facebook yesterday (Tuesday, April 30).

"Ever wondered what Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street would be like if it was a shared space that prioritises pedestrians, cyclists, and wheeled mobility device users?," the post reads.

The raised speed table will be placed at the entrance of the one-way Buckingham Street and made from schist and exposed aggregate, and the street needs to close anyway to allow the table to set. 

Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association supports of the construction and the closure trial, and manager Nicky Busst has released a statement on the upcoming works. 

She says the association has worked with the council and other stakeholders for almost three years on a safety improvement plan for Arrowtown.

And, three quarters of their members support exploring the possibility of having Buckingham Street as a shared space with provision for mobility and disabled parking.

Arrowtown-Kawarau councillor Lisa Guy thinks the council is asking an important question, and the installation of the raised speed bump is a good opportunity for the consultation.

"I think it's (Buckingham Street's) already operating as a shared space, if you're out there on weekends and you look (around), people are spilling off the footpaths and meandering through the street to get a better view, and that slows traffic down.

"I think it's kind of an evolution of what's already there - but it's important to still hear from the community about how far they want to take it and what that would look like."

Councillor Guy says she doesn't think she's heard any talk of removing car parks from the Main Street, but instead has heard of changing the time limits on the spaces already there. 

During the trail next week, temporary loading zones and mobility parking spaces will be available on Ramshaw Lane.

A similar pedestrian and vehicle shared space arrangement has been implemented on Beach and Rees Streets in Queenstown's central business district, allowing vehicles to use the road, and stop for up to 10 minutes. 

In Arrowtown, the business association sees next week's arrangement as a "positive step in engaging our business and resident community on what they would like to see" on the township's main street.

"We think it's great to see the council initiative on doing a survey during this road closure."

It wants to see plenty of people take part in next week's survey, which will coincide with the road closure, to "ensure the council receive a full understanding of the wishes of our community".

The association says the council has identified safety issues at several intersections from complaints made by neighbouring businesses and residents, and the installation of the speed bump will be paid for by minor improvement project funding issued by Waka Kotahi.

The street will be closed to vehicles from Monday, May 6 through to the end of Monday, May 13.

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