Harbour Street traffic control favoured

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The majority of the public at Wednesday night’s Harbour St meeting support traffic calming of some kind on the street.

When the meeting was asked to vote on their preferred solution for traffic on Harbour St, 38 people supported traffic calming, with 10 people supporting the street being closed to traffic and 5 wishing to retain the status quo.

Alongside the question of how to manage traffic on the street, those at the meeting were asked what physical improvements they would like to see on the street, how it should be promoted and more.

Project Harbour Street 1878 chairman David Wilson led the “community planning meeting” to discuss, among managing traffic on the street, what could be done to revitalise it.

“We’ve made the cake but haven’t iced it,” Mr Wilson told the group.

Ideas such as installing new signage, expanding footpaths, installing Victorian lighting and more were suggested for beautification, and the group heard opinions from numerous members of the public.

Some of those in attendance asked how any modifications to the street would be paid for, some suggested changes to the street and some of the public advocated leaving the street alone.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher was among those at the meeting.

Mr Kircher told the crowd the council had not discussed Harbour St “in any great detail” yet.

Mr Kircher said he had initially supported full closure of the street, but now favoured traffic management.

Issues such as the climate of the town, relatively low population and tourism numbers meant full closure of the street could not be justified, he said.

There were alternatives to consider, he said.

“It may be that we can widen the footpath,” he said.

The council could also look at some closures on Sundays, he said.

There were legal limits to how many days per year the street could close, however.

“That legal side is an important one to take into consideration.”

At the end of the meeting, interest in setting up another working group to drive “project harbour st” forward was gauged.

It was decided that no new group would be established.

By DAVID DE LOREAN