Living Streets Hamilton
Meeting notes, August 13, 2009
Present: Daphne Bell, Stacey Ward, Maxine Fraser, Jennie Dalton, Judy McDonald, Sandra Baxendine, Celia Hope, Margaret Southgate, Mark Servian, Peter Bos, Kate Hayward
An enthusiastic and well-attended meeting, in which a large range of items were addressed!
Report on “Street Cred”, the training weekend for advocates held in Wellington in July by Living Streets Aotearoa.
Daphne and Margaret both attended the weekend and Daphne provided a summary of highlights:
At the administrative level,
- Celia Wade-Brown has stepped down and has been replaced by Peter Koortegaast from Nelson.
- Funding from NZTA has been guaranteed for the next two years
- The Inaugural Golden Foot awards finalists included projects from HCC (Happy Feet project in Flagstaff) and a walkable development in Cambridge designed by Antanas Procuta who is based in Hamilton.
- Margaret and Daphne commented on the very interesting focus on the Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide on the first day of the meeting. There are to be design sessions held with engineering staff at HCC in the near future, and there is a good possibility of Living Streets Hamilton having some members attend this session. Daphne will let us know when dates are determined.
Items discussed during the weekend included:
- Community street reviews (something that we could consider becoming involved in here)
- “Adopt an intersection” projects, to focus on one particular area for improvement
- Ponsonby Rd has adopted the “community Pace Car” approach suggested by David Engwicht
- Walk2Work is scheduled for March 10 next year – this is something we need to pursue with HCC and other agencies as soon as possible, particularly with a view to combining with BikeWise, even if the dates are not identical.
- Some branches of Living Streets have “walking meetings” alternating with more serious ones – considerable enthusiasm for doing this during the summer months here. Could help raise awareness of Living Streets and get more people involved.
- Some groups have developed “Certificates of appreciation” which can be presented to people or groups who have done praiseworthy things connected to pedestrian wellbeing
- Possibilities exist for assisting councils with street audits, possibly by contract
- International Car-Free Day is coming up soon – we should make a feature of it???
- Waitakere LS has set up a group called “Losing it Together” designed to encourage weight loss by regular walking
- Auckland had the “Get Across” campaign relating to pedestrian and cycle access to the Harbour Bridge which attracted about 5000 protesters earlier this year.
- “Take over a parking space” idea: put down artificial grass, chairs, tablecloths and have a picnic!
- “Free Range Kids” – an idea stemming from New York, where people deliberately let their kids go and explore the city and play outdoors unsupervised. Designed to get lots of people doing it and to counteract the “stranger danger” fear, based on the fact that most nastiness is actually done by people who know you, not by strangers.
- Comments on the need to know the value (monetary) of getting people out of cars, as determined by reduced emissions, reduced health costs, reduced roading requirements, etc. Daphne has some data available but more is needed.
Consultation with NZTA, HCC and CAW on Ohaupo Rd cycling and walking facilities:
A meeting is being held next Wednesday, August 19th, at 3.30pm to 5pm, at NZTA offices, 4th floor BNZ building Victoria St, opposite Garden Place. This is to discuss further details of suggested facilities for Ohaupo Rd from Kahikatea Drive to Dixon Rd. Our main concerns focus around the lack of provision for safe crossing of the road, especially for children, the elderly and the mobility-impaired. It is hoped that several of us can attend the meeting, despite the short notice. Please get back to me and confirm if you think you can make it.
Consultation with NZTA on proposed crossing of Cobham Drive to the Hamilton Gardens. Several possibilities were discussed at the initial meeting a couple of weeks ago, and others have been raised since. If you have any further suggestions, please get them on paper and in to me as soon as you can. The is going to be considerable further negotiations on this issue once Peter Crosby, the original convenor of the meeting, gets back from leave in early September. Again, there should be the chance for several of us to attend these meetings and I will keep you advised once timing becomes clearer.
Possible Story-reading sessions in Garden Place / Library
The success of Celia’s poetry party has inspired the thought that we might be able to organise ongoing activity on Saturdays in Garden Place, one of which could be story-reading. Several members expressed enthusiasm for participating in this. We have approval from Fiona Johnson at the library to use the children’s library area if it’s wet, and she is happy to promote the activity through the libraries providing we give a couple of weeks’ notice. The group supported the idea of regular activities covering all sorts of groups and cultures – eg local theatre groups, kapa haka groups (Stacey knows of several good ones in the Enderley area), other cultural groups (Pasifika, Chinese, Indian, etc etc). The prospect of regular entertainment with unpredictable content was attractive, as a way to get people more engaged with the central city. Celia is letting me have her list of useful contacts developed via the poetry party, and if anyone has any good ideas, or wants to volunteer their services in any way for any kind of event, do get back to me!!
Stacey Ward very kindly came along to introduce herself. She is a new employee of Housing New Zealand and is Community Development Coordinator for the Enderley area. Her projects focus on people, not buildings, and she is aiming at “neighbourhood improvement” projects such as community gardens, street parties, tool libraries, market days, street processions, street theatre and similar events, lead by the community itself with practical backup from Stacey. She is particularly keen to get projects going for older residents. Her activities fit really well with the wider aims of Living Streets and it’s great to have her interested and keeping us informed about her projects. We look forward to your company and ideas at future meetings and events, Stacey!
Hamilton East Heritage Trust is holding a Heritage Day on December 6thand would like to have Living Streets involved to help out with a scavenger hunt, coordinated out of Steele Park in Grey St. Margaret Southgate is the contact person for this – it sounds like a great idea and another good way for us to get the word out there about Living Streets and what it does, while helping out at fun community-oriented day. Anyone who would like to be involved, please contact either me or Margaret or both, and we can discuss further what is needed to make the day run smoothly.
General roading issues and other items of interest
- Several people commented on the scary nature of road crossings near the mosque on Heaphy Tce/ Boundary Rd, especially for small children trying to get to Claudelands Park. The main problem is a total absence of any pedestrian crossings or refuges in the area. Judy will refer this on to Steve Taylor at HCC for consideration.
- Peter suggested it might be a good idea to hold one of our summer meetings on the roundabout at the mosque as an attention-grabbing activity. Mark suggested that some fluoro jackets and traffic management might also be a good idea so we could stage some managed road-crossings to demonstrate the difficulty of the procedure! Daphne mentioned zebra costumes so we could have a zebra crossing….
- The painted pothole idea used as a traffic calming device overseas sounded exceptionally entertaining – a giant painted pothole which is laid out on the road and serves as an immediate traffic calmer. Where can we get one???
- On a more serious note, several people remarked on the problems with broken glass on footpaths and in gutters, which is a real hazard to both cyclists and pedestrians. Under the Victoria Bridge is very bad at present. There was discussion of the possible usefulness of council introducing a bottle refund for returning intact bottles to recycling points – possibly it would be cost effective if maintenance work cleaning up the broken glass could then be done away with. There was some discussion of how we could get an estimate of the actual costs of having broken glass on the streets – worth contacting ACC and DHB to get costs of accident treatment. Judy will refer this on to Steve Taylor and also to Liz Hallsworth on the Sustainable Environment team at HCC
Meetings of interest coming up:
Mayoral Conversation, Monday August 24th, 1.30 to 3pm,
“Moving Minds” with Jonathan Smales, founder and Group Chairman of the Beyond Green Group, who will discuss his experiences as a sustainability strategist advising others and as a developer trying to deliver sustainable developments. He will discuss how to create and deliver places in which people are enabled to live – and want to live- active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
If you would like to go, please RSVP to Lisa Pemberton, Lisa.Pemberton@hcc.govt.nz
In November/December, there will be a visit from Rodney Tolley of Walk21 fame. Daphne will keep us informed nearer to the time.